The Modesto City Charter is the set of rules that governs the way Modesto operates. And since ‘special interest groups’ via George Petrulakis wrote more than two thirds of the Charter it’s almost understandable that these same interests don’t want the public being alerted let alone involved in significant changes for the benefit of those who live, work, and raise our families here.
Recently we discussed some of our concerns in a recent Bee op-ed piece but here we’re focusing in on the first of a series of suggestions to improve our charter and the plight of our fellow citizens. Getting some of the council members to listen seems to be a major obstacle so lets start at the beginning. We read the above in its entirety to the Council during the public comment period on 10/8/19.
In an earlier story we documented a least one member of the council nodding off, spacing out (spinning aimlessly in their chairs if you prefer) and another using their phone (texting and emailing) during meetings. From back on the 4/29/19 when we first (but not the only time) recorded Councilman Doug Ridenour nodding off during a council meeting to documenting Councilman Grewal who has what some might call an addiction to texting. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small meeting or in the middle of council meetings he just can’t seem to set his phone down for more than a few minutes.
Maybe they’re too busy to listen and this might help. Stockton had a problem with this a few years ago and they wrote the ordinance to address the issue. It’s at the bottom of the page that accompanies the introduction. Our suggestion is to add this to the Modesto Charter.
Will it help? Who can say but I can voice without hesitation that if they aren’t on their phones they would have a better chance of listening to the public. Then again just minutes after this was read into the record Mani was back texting. And yes we have pictures of that too.
Every meeting we’ve attended that Mani has been at he spends much of his time texting. Apparently his eyes are on the bigger prize, the California State Senate. But how could we count on him to pay attention there?