By Emerson Drake
Okay it’s a little dramatic, but it fits. The Modesto City Council is preparing, through its General Plan Amendment update, to annex Wood Colony and possibly Salida and I say enough is enough. Unlike the beleaguered citizens of Modesto, residents of Wood Colony and Salida have a means to fight back. Marketplace Shopping Center is a prime example. Modesto residents came out in droves to protest the building of the center at Sylvan and Oakdale roads but the city council, after pretending to listen and postponing the decision a few times, decided developers were more important to them than the voting citizens of the neighborhood. They can’t protest the decision to a higher authority like Wood Colony and Salida will be able to ie: LAFCO.
The Modesto City Council has been drinking the Chamber of Commerce’s Kool aid.
After speaking with Councilwoman Jenny Kenoyer on Jan.7th it became obvious, that despite her protestations of independent research, she was mouthing the exact platitudes of the Chamber’s Craig Lewis and lobbyist Cecil Russell.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, is the chant. But all they are providing are empty promises of ‘core’ jobs which is deceiving few if any. Core jobs don’t rely on freeway access, warehouse and distribution jobs at $10 to $12 an hour do. And the Chamber says we should be grateful for that. But Bill Lyons’ Wood Colony Business Park (WCBP) would provide the 5% commissions for Realtors like Councilman Bill Zoslocki and his boss at Prudential Realty, Craig Lewis. Jenny likes to say she wants a research facility to be built at WCPB and challenged me to give her another option. Very simple, if it’s going to be 10 to 20 years before build-out, which I doubt, lets use the second rate soil on land East of Modesto. Just like the Chamber, Jenny dismissed this out of hand. Why? Because they know it’s out best option and it undermines their arguments in favor of Salida and Wood Colony.
Another talking point they, the Chamber and many members of the Council make is a business park would keep our children from leaving Modesto. What a joke, but again false promises hold out hope to parents of children who might leave after college graduation. I suppose if they had a child who wanted to be an oceanographer they’d promise to build an ocean in the proposed park too.
Their spiel isn’t about truth, it’s about taking advantage of the hard times and making as much money as possible for themselves and their friends just like developer and profiteer Bill Zoslocki did with Village I.
I supported Jenny Kenoyer when she ran for office the first time. I sat with her and fought the proposed water sale to San Francisco. I heard her speak many times about preserving prime farmland. And now because she mentions farmland mitigation she believes it covers for her sins for making false campaign promises. I understand some politicians lie to get in office but I truly never expected it of her, not to this extent.
And as for taking the fight to them…
There are people walking Modesto council districts explaining to the people just how badly the City Council is treating the German Baptist Brethren in Wood Colony. But as Jenny admitted saying, they (the Brethren) can’t vote for her.
Food for thought about the Modesto Chamber of Commerce and those in the Modesto City Council who vote against the preservation of Wood Colony and Salida…To know where Evil grows and permit it to flourish is to accept responsibility for all that follows.