Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Sign the Petition Against the Annexation of Salida by Modesto

Official seal of County of Stanislaus

Official seal of County of Stanislaus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Emerson Drake

As most now know, Stanislaus County and Modesto have paid $30,000 each towards a study of the costs surrounding the possible annexation of Salida by Modesto.  After going to several meetings in Salida, from the Hammett Road Interchange meeting to a Salida MAC meeting,  it’s obvious most civically active Salidans are overwhelmingly against the annexation.  Unfortunately governments are seldom driven by what their constituents desire, rather, they are motivated by either special interest groups or political self-interest.

In this case it’s obvious it’s both.

Stanislaus County would like to get Salida onto someone elses checkbook.  Salida has a simple problem, they don’t have the tax base necessary for easy independence at this time.  In years past Modesto held the metaphorical gun to their head when it stole Costco and the rest of the stores on the north side of Kiernan from Salida in a water/sewer deal for the sales tax generated by these businesses.   The County has been careful to keep the small strip business parks lining North 99 for themselves too.

Now developers like Modesto Councilman Joe Muratore, who was caught with his finger in the Federal HUD/NSP2 money pie, are at it again.  Councilman Muratore, thru his company Benchmark Realty, is representing land owners in Salida, one being a current business partner, Stephen Endsley. At the same time the Councilman voted to move Modesto a step closer to the annexation of Salida. See it’s easier to control development if you have friends on the Planning Board and are a Councilman.  Modesto already has 5,700 acres in their sphere of influence to develop but that isn’t enough according to Modesto politicians and their political donors.

At a recent City and County liaison meeting we once again heard the term developers love, when the phrase “low hanging fruit’ was used several times when referring to Salida. 

Most  Salidans say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

An online petition has been created for Salidans, Modestans, and indeed ALL citizens of the county to sign to register their concerns.  I invite everyone who wants to help David from being devoured by Goliath, to sign and let their thoughts be known. Say NO to greedy special interest groups who would plant driveways instead of crops and change the quaint, rural environment of Salida into the city controlled by developers that Modesto has become.

Please consider clicking on the link and filling the form out.  Thank you.



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5 thoughts on “Sign the Petition Against the Annexation of Salida by Modesto

  1. SHANSEN on said:

    “…Modesto should clean up its neglected neighborhoods before casting eyes at Salida and coveting its unbuilt tracts with ready access to Highway 99.” –Modesto Bee / talk of town-

    Modesto California needs to annex the neglected urbanized unincorporated fringe and island communities of West/ Southside Modesto & the Airport neighborhood before even thinking of annexing Salida! Modesto California must stop its practice of municipal underbounding / cherry picking “low hanging fruit” in regards to the annexation process. Modesto must improve the safety and livability of their neglected urbanized unincorporated fringe / island communities and neighborhoods. Modesto California must include the objectives of the elimination of slums and blight; elimination of conditions that are detrimental to health, safety, and public welfare; retrofit the neglected urbanized unincorporated fringe/ island communities/ neighborhoods with public infrastructure projects such as sewer lines, proper street lighting, street improvements, storm water improvements, curbs, gutters and sidewalks as well as parks and other neighborhood facilities.

    Modesto California must stop paving over prime farmland and instead infill its infrastructure projects.

    Modesto California must annex & rebuild their 50 year old neglected urbanized unincorporated fringe/ island communities of West/ Southside Modesto & the Airport neighborhood instead of sprawling north into Salida paving over prime farmland trying to build tax base!

    We must all say NO on the annexation of Salida, California !!!

  2. SHANSEN on said:

    “City boundaries are being selectively drawn to include new, wealthier subdivisions (“cherry picking”) while keeping older, minority, and lower-income communities outside the boundaries. In this way, the governments are seeking to build a tax base at the expense of building a community. This practice may create minority “islands,” surrounded by town but excluded from participation.”


    Doesn’t this sound familiar? We have seen this take place in Modesto California / Stanislaus County for over 50 years. I am positive we will continue to see this into the near future unless we demand change. Take a look at what is happening right now in Modesto California; our city council is about to pave their way to the city of Salida; yet the unincorporated fringe and island communities of West Modesto, South Modesto, and Modesto’s Airport District located in Modesto California’s sphere of influence continue to be overlooked.

    How can GIS mapping and infrastructure data shed light on this issue?
    “GIS maps have a unique power to illuminate this problem and begin the process of change. The GIS mapping process combines several types of information into a single picture. The base map is physical features (roads, city limits, county boundaries) onto which other variables (e.g. race, income, water service, etc.), can be added. Economic variables, such as average house value (from tax information) can also be illustrated. The power of GIS is this layering of different types of information onto a single map so that connections can be made (such as that between race and sewer access).”


  3. SHANSEN on said:


    …Infrastructure data / GIS Mapping?!

    From the headline alone subjects such as terrorist or gangs come to mind; but at a closer look we find GIS Mapping and infrastructure data may be Modesto California’s greatest threat.

    What are the government officials of Modesto California scared of? Are they fearful that when someone plots infrastructure data on a GIS map municipal underbounding will not be their “dirty little secret” but will become “an in your face” factual depiction of the neglect that many communities face within their sphere of influence? We have all seen law enforcements GIS maps of crime throughout the region; so the question I ask is what is so wrong with a GIS map depicting infrastructure deficiencies? Wouldn’t a GIS infrastructure map aid local leaders in creating healthier neighborhoods? I have heard that local leadership related to neighborhood planning and development can have profound influence on public health.

    Then again maybe the City of Modesto is right. Maybe infrastructure data is a real national security threat. Maybe when the truth is out a condom of paint will be thrown at their tenth street offices / ivory tower or worse yet full blown rioting will throw them out of office…seems pretty comical to me but read for yourself…
    Here is a great read in regards to the “National Security threat” infrastructure data poses to Modesto California:

    “… first case study of municipal discrimination, passed an Infrastructure Information Security Policy shortly after the study was published; the policy limited infrastructure data access to qualified engineering firms and town agencies. The city of Modesto, Calif., locked in a legal underbounding battle, pulled its infrastructure data off the Internet after the lawsuit was filed, citing national security grounds. “There’s no conceivable national security interest in where the traffic lights are in Modesto,” scoffs Ben Marsh, the institute’s chief mapmaker. A recent appellate ruling in California rejected a similar national-security rationale, as well as a copyright argument by Santa Clara County, but whether that opinion stands as precedent remains to be seen.”

    “given the leaps that GIS technology and applications have taken in the political and legal advocacy sectors, it’s hard to imagine the GIS trend reversing. By January of next year, Healthy City plans to cover the entire state of California, and Kim says he’s received expansion requests from other cities. Healthy City uses free, open-source GIS software that can be customized as needed. The ready supply of cheap hardware and software can only hasten the arrival of the day when GIS mapping is as universal as photo or music editing. The technology will soon become ubiquitous…”


  4. SHANSEN on said:

    I have posted this definition of municipal underbounding in the past and it caused some to get their panties in a bunch. I guess now I know why, “National Security” was at risk…

    “1. Municipal Underbounding “Municipal underbounding,” a term coined by urban geographers, has been used to describe annexation policies and practices in which municipalities grow around low-income minority communities, leaving them outside the reach of city voting rights and municipal services.”

  5. Pingback: The Salida MAC’s October Meeting on Video « Eye On Modesto

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