We try to be chipper on Saturday mornings, but sometimes it’s hard.
Bad numbers can haunt a person and a place. In the case of Modesto — and Stanislaus County — our high unemployment, foreclosure and poverty rates continue to put us on dubious distinction lists.
Two rankings published in recent weeks by 24/7 Wall St., a website produced out of New York and aimed at U.S. and global investors, give Modesto a sixth worst ranking in two areas: The Top 10 Cities where people can’t find work and the 20 Worst Run large cities in the country.
Now the Response By Dave Thomas
Good morning. Saturday’s Modesto BEE used the following words in describing the City of Modesto:
Poverty, 2 times
High unemployment, 4 times
High foreclosure rates, 2 times
Lack of job growth, 2 times
Lack of economic diversity
Lack of skills
Downturn in home values
Falling gross metropolitan GDP
Violent crime rate
Granted, it was an editorial (Pg A9) which highlighted two recent ratings by objective media. The lists were, “The Top 10 Cities where people can’t find work”, and the “20 Worst Run large cities in the country”. These descriptive comments from respected third party observers kinda make you think the choices are valid.
I came away from reading this Opinion unsure about what it was trying to convey. But, I must suggest that the editors’ attitude seemed to be the same thing we have heard for over 25 years. After listing the obvious major failures of our City and its government, the attitude is,
“Well, we are not THAT bad.”
Yes folks, no elected leader, no City Manager, Mayor, County officer, Chamber boss, and no civic leader has accomplished fixing the obvious problems.
I want you to consider this; the reason we continue to be badly run, poverty stricken, no jobs crime ridden, etc, is precisely because no one cares to make Modesto better.
When I moved here by my choice, almost 40 years ago, Modesto had almost no street signs. I had to shame the Mayor into putting some up, both in my neighborhood and downtown! That is the extent of the lame attitude, lazy complacency, and lack of pride. The Mayor told me that I should not need street signs, I should know where I was………
So, I predict that after all the kafuffle dies down, there will be no one who gets off their dead backside and starts fixing things.
Nope. Apathy, acceptance of status quo and simple lazy thinking, lazy acting bureaucrats and elected officials will say,
“Well, we are not THAT bad.”
Oh, one last point. Our brand new (0ne month on the job) police chief wrote a piece in Sunday’s Bee, page D1. He said, “People of this community should not be dealing with that every day.” He was referring to “…aggressive panhandlers who are addicted to methamphetamine.” His last sentence ends like this, “…and many have indicated there is nothing that can be done.”
Well, Chief, as long as you talk to only those responsible for this mess, nothing will change.
Thank you, Dave