My name is Emerson Drake. I’ve lived in Modesto for over 30 years and have a continuing interest in local politics. Most of us don’t go to Modesto City Council, County Board of Supervisors, and Modesto Irrigation District meetings, along with their various committee meetings. I try to attend as many as possible, and those I might miss I try to watch on streaming video. I’ve been referred to in the media as a community watchdog, neighborhood activist, political pundit, and a political muckraker. I prefer to think of myself as a concerned, engaged citizen.
Several people make up Eye On Modesto and all us of try to give you another take on not only what happens at these meetings but what’s going on behind the scenes.
As Margret Mead was quoted…
Never doubt a small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
Please join us, won’t you?
I’m a first time reader and I like what I’ve read. I came here from Milpitas to find an affordable home, I’ve lived here for twelve years and it seems like Modesto has declined.while other cities struggling they still see some improvement and wonder why not my city of Modesto.
I’ve been asking myself Why the apathy towards improvements from the leadership, why so much crime ,why so many as you put it..meth addicted panhandlers…
For the first time in my life this year felt compelled to get alarm system for my home, not because I have expensive stuff but because I fear for my families safety.
So is this how I’m supposed to feel about my city? Modesto
You are extremely hard to communicate with, is there a reason for this?
If you want to contact me just use my email firstname.lastname@example.org
I am currently trying to draw attention to modesto irrigations bad business practices, as well as excessive rate hikes. I have a firend who is going to the Modesto bee with his story as mid has turned off his power for no real reason as there is no balance on the account. Trying to complain to city is useless as mid police’s itself. Any help drawing attention to this story would be great as he is in collage and unable to do his work and currently losing all his food due to their bad business practices. Please email if you are interested in helping hold mid accountable for their deplorable actions.
Another example of how the tentacles of organised crime have infiltrated Stanislaus county. The DA has ignored the very obvious and certain murder of our loved one because a local attorney is involved. Money is the reason. Go America!
Crooked da = full prison as cdoj ignores
Fladdy all about money and the corrupt attorneys she protectz
They especially shouldn’t be spending that money when the Public Works department was over $1 million dollars short due to poor planning and that the trees of the Urban Forest, the Parks, and the equipment the city uses all around the city are falling apart because the Public Works director won’t listen to the his Managers. The Parks Manager gets outside perks from Grover and then returns the favor by contracting thousands of dollars in tree work out to them when the internal tree department is 5 times more effective for the same amount of money. The Public Works Director won’t list to the City Arborist and ignored his work plan which has directly resulted in thousands of dollars in overtime and an extension of the Pruning cycle to a point where without immediate changes it may never get back on track. And now on top of thIs, the Public Works Director is attacking his own department trying to find anything he can or anyone he can to blam his own mosmanagment on; $180k in overtime spending for all the storms and emergencies and for work for other divisions which has been driven by his own mismanagement and failure to follow the work plan that the City Arborist provided, refusal to fill staffing levels to complete minimum levels of service, and poor decision making due to lack of knowledge and experience about the department. Even trying to blame a $25k training room remodel for his $1million shortfall.
The Fleet Manager, who also receives perks from the equipment vendors, is instructed to buy the cheapest equipment possible that continually breaks down costing he city more in service fees that are charged to internal departments then the costs of buying he equipment that the departments request in the first place.
How about the $300k they spent on a mini street sweeper operated by an equipment monitor at $28 per hour that is on used to sweep bike trails – a job that can be done much more throruoghly and efficiently by Maintenance Workers
Why does the Forestry department still have a supervisor in charge of it that just finished an investigation where he harassed 9 employees, but the city never even called all the witnesses and swept it all under the carpet and said that it never happened? This same supervisor lied on his original application to get his job stating he had a high school diploma and yet he never even graduated high school. Then he was promoted to a Supervisor position that was never open for recruitment – never even a job announcement posted – just a position that was created for him by friends downtown in risk and HR and now he’s a Supervisor.
No one is allowed to speak of these things because of the high level of retaliation that the city will take against you. But if enough people were interviewed by the Bee and if the DFEHA? Investigated, then maybe something would be done.
Maybe the illegal misappropriation of funds would stop, maybe the slush reserve funds the city creates to bounce money back and forth between departments would be found?
The Public Works Director lied to city council during opens budget meetings about the reason for the $1 million shortfall in the Green Waste Fund budget blaming it on winter storms when he was warned 3 months before the storms that the budgets were underfunded and he grant money for the Nursery had been mismanaged. Paul Couchman can verify this. Isn’t that perjury?
And now the Green Waste fund is Under budgeted again by over $1.5 million and the Public Works Director appears to be deliberately setting up the department to fail and be inefficient by refusing to fill open positions, freezing overtime for outside orgs where the forestry crews can provide services for the golf courses, parks, and CFD areas at a fraction of he cost that Outside vendors charge – all so that he can justify an increase to the tax payers that he will try to get pushed through during the current green waste/garbage fee rate-study that he has ordered.
The city can’t hire an Equipment Operator to operate a Street Sweeper, a service they already pay for, that just sits in their Corporate Yard – But they want to Line he pockets of the real estate developers that run our city to the tune of another $3 million paycheck…
Who is overseeing and auditing our cities spending? Who oversees the Ditectors? What exactly is city council doing in its part to manage the different Divisions and to oversee the Department Directors.
Demand the public records. Demand interviews. We have already been threatened about given these statements and about talking to public. This city is a joke and should be audited by the Federal Government for harassment of whistleblower employees, retaliation, and misappropriation of public funds!