Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Archive for the day “February 13, 2013”

“What’s on America’s Mind” Wednesday at 7:00 PM

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Topics include a conversation regarding the Modesto Council meeting, another Modesto Economic Development  Committee meeting, MID the water hike and the hidden costs, the City County Liaison meeting,  LAFCO vs Salida vs Beard Industrial Tract,  these and more so tune in at 7:00PM Wednesday and find out the things you really  need to know.

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Modesto’s Economic Development Committee Feb.11,2013

English: Author: Carl Skaggs This image was ta...

By Emerson Drake

Monday’s 5:00 meeting of Modesto’s Economic Development Committee was almost uneventful but not quite. First it was an opportunity to address those who had supposedly approved Modesto’s request to LAFCO to change LAFCO’s written rules or policy and allow a “special arrangement” to be made with the owner of Beard Industrial Park, the Beard Trust. 

We’ve asked this question of Mayor Marsh, several LAFCO Board members, and  Brent Sinclair (Modesto’s Community Economic Development Director) and no one has an answer.  Waterford Mayor and LAFCO Board member Charlie Goeken says since Modesto and Beard Industrial requested it and the County was okay with it, LAFCO had no reason not to go along with it.

After a conversation with Councilwoman Burnside, who was nice enough to give me a general direction to look in (but unfortunately the quest didn’t bear fruit), I decided to submit a Public Information Request to Modesto to help in finding out when the Committee  first voted and then the  Council voted on the LAFCO request.

Salida was mentioned in passing during the status report of the development projects processed by the committee.  The list wasn’t mentioned in detail and wasn’t passed out to onlookers.  It can be found as a supplement to the committee’s agenda on-line at Modesto city’s website. http://ci.modesto.ca.us/council/committees/econ.asp 

The second item on the agenda was Brent Sinclair’s recommendation to postpone the 2013 Urban Growth Review. It was felt by staff that so little had changed it wasn’t necessary to update the plan. It is reasonable to presume since little had changed and his department has a computerized list of all changes, an update would be relatively easy and reasonable with the potential looming Salida annexation.  Since $60,000 dollars had just been spent to obtain accurate numbers (the Goodwin Report) it makes logical sense to be using new up to date numbers in the Urban Growth plan.

But Brent Sinclair said it was too hard for staff to update the plan and delaying it for two years seemed reasonable to him. The committee agreed with him.  I brought this matter up to the council the next night but the Mayor seemed to agree with Brent “It’s too Hard” Sinclair.

Could there be a reason Mayor Marsh and Councilman Cogdill, both on the Modesto Ad Hoc Committee, and pushing the annexation of Salida, don’t want or desire an update?  Is an agenda involved? You tell me.

Salida Says NO but Will the Mayor Listen?


Location in the state of California

Location in the state of California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Emerson Drake

Salida turned out for the Salida MAC meeting in larger numbers than I’ve seen Modesto EVER turn out for a council meeting.  Over 243 citizens of Salida attended and stayed for the better part of two hours to let Modesto’s Mayor Garrad Marsh know they weren’t interested  in being part of Modesto. Cars were seen pulling into the Salida library parking lot and leaving when they couldn’t find a parking space.

Speaker after speaker came to the mic to speak against the potential annexation.  Mayor Marsh, who hadn’t requested time on the agenda, wanted special treatment which wasn’t afforded. It’s hard to blame the MAC Board since Marsh had been playing games with the Salida AD Hoc committee . When Modesto’s Mayor had the opportunity to address the crowd, instead of discussing his annexation plans he chose to talk about his family’s past connection with Salida.  Was any of it relevant? No, but it was his choice and his avoidance of the topic people were there to listen to, says volumes.

When the conversation wasn’t going the way he liked, and Modesto Councilman Dave Cogdill became disruptive and was politely asked to quiet down, he almost left in a snit. Fortunately (I think) Supervisor Chiesa talked with him and managed to get him to return to his seat.  Silver spoons get in your way sometimes and it did his that night.

When the crowd was asked to raise their hands to gauge its temperature no one raised their hands in support of annexation, about a dozen suggested they wanted more information, and a forest of hands were raised when asked who was against annexation.

Unfortunately politicians with an agenda suggest the people assembled don’t represent the true feelings of Salidans.  I suggest to you they are VERY MISTAKEN.

Unfortunately due to an electronic glitch the audio recording of the meeting was lost.  But those assembled  remember what was said and how they felt.

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