By Emerson Drake
Going to Modesto Mayor Garrad Marsh’s Town Hall meeting on Saturday was a real eye opener. I’ve heard him discuss the Salida annexation several times but never with the determination he exhibited last Saturday. He again quoted Mayor Lang’s comments regarding the last annexation attempt, where Lang said (I’m paraphrasing here) we’ll let them have their advisory vote, we just won’t take their advice.
When Mayor Marsh discussed the advisory vote he said it would take a large majority to get him to back down. The number he used at the City-County liaison meeting was 60%. On Saturday he said if the “against” totals didn’t reach this number he would make it a “knock down drag out fight for Annexation.” He believes without this supermajority he can “convince” Salidan’s to follow his lead.
He’s even offered to LET Salida have an arch with their name on it saying “but they’ll still be Modesto.”
In all fairness, he did suggest he would put in place some farmland buffers to use as boundaries against sprawl, but in these particular areas of land the farmers are interested in selling their property. And his ideas of a large-scale sports complex don’t fit with his claims of wanting quality, highly paid jobs for the area. All of this smacks of having already divided up the pie between developers, maybe even some of those already on the council. And interestingly enough he can’t break the Salida Now plan land use designation without proving it’s for the safety of the people living there for 8 years, so how is this all going to come about?
Mayor Marsh once again asked for patience from Salida residents reminding them the Goodwin study won’t be back before the middle of December and after the City and County get a chance to look at it they would share it with Salida residents.
Strangely enough they (Modesto and the County) keep representing the results of the study will assist Salida residents, but the question is will they? So I made a Public Information Request to help understand the parameters of the study’s goals. And for the life of me I don’t see where ANY of the results will assist Salidans in deciding wether or not they will want to be annexed by Modesto.
The way I read the study parameters, is it’s a device to create a common set of values to be used to barter away Salida’s Independence.
After reading Judy Sly’s comments pertaining to trying to pacify Salida with a call for patience and restraint in their abhorring the idea of Modesto’s potential annexation and to rely on the results of the study, I’m forced to believe she hasn’t read the actual study request.
That wouldn’t really be a surprise since she was for the MID water sale BEFORE she read the contract and now she’s making noises as if she’s for the annexation too.
Remember it’s not always what you read in the Bee that is important. Sometimes it’s what you don’t read there that can hurt you the most. Reporter Kevin Valine or his editors are leaving some of the most important information OUT of their stories, but that’s nothing new for the Bee.
So here is a link to the complete pdf. You’ll find pages 10 and 11 are the most relevant ones.