Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Archive for the tag “Bill Zoslocki Developer”

“Broker Bill” Zoslocki Makes a Cheap Joke at the Expense of Modesto College Students

By Emerson Drake    bzoslocki (1)
At last night’s Modesto City Council meeting Councilman Bill Zoslocki once again embarrassed himself and all of the Citizens of  Modesto. For those who aren’t aware, Zoslocki was a developer involved in the Village 1 fiasco and at the same time he was the President of the local Building Industry Association.
 Some Background
 At that time he actively purchased influence in our local government using campaign donations. Now he’s on the flip side of the coin. Councilman Zoslocki, when not pandering to special interest groups,  is busy selling HIS influence in local government. Zoslocki likes to call himself a broker now. A broker of influence, so we’ll start referring to him by the name he prefers Broker Bill.  Broker Bill made his money by NOT paying the proper amount of building fees thereby forcing new home buyers to pay Mello Roos fees out of their pockets instead of his. This was accomplished by purchasing influence and maneuvering the then council to lowering the building fees to below actual cost.  Some have estimated conservatively these ‘missing funds’ to be between $15 and  $20 Million.  Missing only if you forget the developer/builders got market value but paid significantly below actual costs to the city.
Last Night
But last night at the council meeting Broker Bill denigrated all of MJC’s students, young adults, single mothers and fathers, people returning to college trying to improve their job skills, and others just wanting to expand their horizons. at our local MJC by calling them too cheap to purchase a parking pass.  What the City Council and especially Broker Bill chose to ignore is that MJC has been in existence since 1921 and now serves over 18,000 students each semester.  Last night the Council voted to ban students from parking on Myrtle Avenue.  Now city policy says if you want to have this type of restricted residential parking you must buy a yearly pass.  But both of the Council members are running for office,  Mayor Marsh in a March run-off and Broker Bill has had eyes on Kristin Olsen’s seat in the state legislature this coming fall.  Both of these men vowed to make the parking passes free for residents living on Myrtle.
Pandering to Voters
So while we have sympathy for the residents parking situation near MJC they chose to live there knowing the college was near by.  Now suddenly ‘students’ are made into second class citizens.  The many of these students most likely live in Modesto and we all know MJC doesn’t have sufficent parking for 18,000 students between their two campuses.  But Broker Bill and the Mayor want those votes, so students be damned.  Actually both basically said student parking wasn’t their problem, at least as long as they don’t park on city streets.
 
A Wake Up Call Regarding Costs
Just for the Mayor’s and Broker Bill’s information when you add up the fees the cheapest semester could easily add up to over $1,134 and that doesn’t count units per class and enrollment fees.  The most expensive, or as my Grandson who is enrolled there put it, the most unfortunate semester,  can cost $4937 again not counting units per class and enrollment fees.  So not allowing the students to park on the very city streets their gas tax dollars (remember Modesto steals the gas tax dollars from the entire County) paid for is just another way for Broker Bill to laugh in their faces and  say “Let Them eat Cake.”

Modesto Gives Itself a Black Eye in the New York Times

By Emerson Drake      NYtimes

Thanks to the Modesto City Council and the Chamber of Commerce Modesto has received more bad notoriety.  Every time we end up on another negative list, worst to retire to, worst places to live, worst places to breathe, and well, you remember them since they just keep coming.  To hear the Council and Chamber tell/spin it it’s never our fault but outsiders keep picking on us.

This time it’s well deserved, and maybe, just maybe, we came out looking better than we deserve.  We, Modesto citizens and voters,  brought this upon ourselves by not standing up to the City Council en masse and saying “enough is enough.”   The citizens of Modesto, on the large part, have been sitting back and allowing Salida and Wood Colony residents to fight our battles for us and it’s time we took over and straightened the Council and Chamber out. Here is the link to the article:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/15/us/rural-spot-settled-by-religious-group-in-california-fears-a-citys-encroachment.html?_r=0

We should be ashamed of ourselves for not going down to the Council meeting in numbers that would dwarf our outlying neighbors, (Salida and Wood Colony).

Jenny Kenoyer was just speaking the unvarnished truth when she said referring  to Wood Colony that ” They can’t even vote for me”.  Cold sounding as it was it should have resonated in the hearts of Modesto voters as a plaintive cry for help for those who can’t help themselves. Jenny needed guidance and since the voters didn’t provide it the lackeys from the Chamber, including City manager Greg Nyhoff, stepped forward to label Wood Colony residents as anachronisms and being out of step with modern times.  The Chamber reps have been preaching from the rooftops that paving over Wood Colony is inevitable so we might as well get started.

Greg Nyhoff, Dave Cogdill, Bill Zoslocki and Cecil Russell have been reminding everyone who will listen that they don’t have to pay attention to Salida representatives and that the furor over Wood Colony will pass in time.   And why do they keep saying this?  Because the German Brethren will seldom speak in public let alone vote on any level and Salida’s residents, like those in Wood Colony, can’t vote in Modesto elections.  Mayor Marsh has gone so far as to gerrymander the proposed border to purposely exclude a major portion of Wood Colony’s voters.

A Modesto resident named John Walker has provided the most visible push-back to date. He has initiated a petition to recall Dave Cogdill and we wish him well.  Interestingly, when he announced his efforts at the last City Council meeting, Cogdill played the ‘hurt’ card.  He said he was willing to talk with Mr. Walker but wasn’t going to change his mind.  So basically he was going to talk at John and not to him.  From our point of view, when your elected representative feels different from his constituents, he/she needs to be replaced.

The Cuts the Finance Committee Refused to Recommend for Political Reasons

By Emerson Drake

On Wednesday August 15,2013 the Modesto Finance Committee met to discuss the budget reductions recommended by

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

the City Manager Greg Nyhoff in the event the one percent sales tax doesn’t pass. The committee which consists of Chair-Stephanie Burnside. Vice-Chair David Cogdill, and Joe Muratore (absent with Dave Geer standing in) had made prior arrangements with Nyhoff and Mayor Marsh to withhold discussion because of Councilwoman Burnside’s unwillingness to voice her opinions due to  her up-coming re-election bid.  Of just as much concern was Nyhoff having not placed his recommendations on-line (they still are NOT on the city website.

All of the Department heads were there to discuss and or answer questions regarding the potential cuts but because of the previous behind the scenes agreement to help Burnside, no give and take took place.  As a matter of fact Nyhoff told the Dept. heads they could leave.  This article isn’t meant to be a discussion of the right or wrong of the sales tax or of the cuts, we’ll do that in another article.  It’s about disdain and the lack of  transparency by Modesto City officials towards the public. The room was full with Chamber of Commerce members,  a couple of members of the public and one candidate, Bill Zoslocki. Of potential interest were the only three people in attendance with color printouts in white folders, Brent Sinclair, lobbyist Cecil Russell, and candidate/developer Bill Zoslocki. Everyone else had the black and white copies from the table at the door.

Then there was the single page Nyhoff handed out during the meeting containing the cuts.  It was noted the potential deficit this year was $11.8 Million and much is expected to be the same next year.  If they don’t fill positions again this year in the Public Safety and Non-Safety Departments the deficit will be only about $8 Million.  Yet the goal for the day’s exercise was $6 Million.

Here is the list of recommended reductions.

The City Manager’s Dept.  ……………………………………………………….$141,000                                                                                                                    Eliminating lobbyists contracts, eliminating dues, memberships, supporting Alliance, CA League of Cities, Conference of Mayors, eliminate CM and DCM conference attendance.

Human Resources Dept.  …………………………………………………………$209,000                                                                                                                  Position reductions (slow recruitment and hiring, reduced HR assistance to departments regarding personnel matters, delayed response to labor group inquiries.

Finance Dept. ………………………………………………………………………..$450,000                                                                                                                  Downsize budget division (annual budget process, cannot expand to 2 year budget, minimal forecasting and pro forma updates, slower responses to operating dept inquiries) downsize purchasing division (formal RFP’s will go from 120 days to 240. master contracts will expire and require delay in renewals), downsize grant section (grant compliance will shift to operating depts. causing a greater potential for errors in regulatory grant reporting, internal controls weakened significantly)

Parks Recreation & Neighborhood Services ……………………………….$1,000,000                                                                                                              Close Centre Plaza, Closure of Dryden Golf Course, eliminate GF subsidy for John Thurman Field (impact to Modesto Nuts). eliminate support for parades, recreation  programs and Leisure Bucks Programs, eliminate graffiti abatement.

Community and Economic Development ……………………………………$400,000                                                                                                               50% reduction in code enforcement services and complaint inspection, elimination of planning activities of 50% reduction in service (eliminate support for CIP Task Force, 50% reduction in response to customers, developers, City Manager, City Council, inquiries), eliminate participation in Regional Rail. regional transportation and sustainable communities, Eliminate long-range planning (General Plan, ag preservation, housing element, Urban Growth Review), eliminate Downtown Hospitality Program, (parking study, policing and security, entertainment and nightlife)

Total non-public safety …………………………………….approximately $2,200,000

Public Safety Departments–Police and Fire

Modesto Regional Fire Authority (MRFA)…………………………………..$1,400,000                                                                                                      Brown out one fire engine / station

Police …………………………………………………………………………………$2,500,000                                                                                                      Reduction in patrol, reduction in Animal Control Services, elimination in STAN CATT participation, withdraw from Auto Theft Task Force, reduce office hours in customer service, eliminate participation in Federal Gang Task Force

Total Public Safety–Police and Fire …………………………………………$3,900,000

TOTAL PUBLIC SAFETY AND NON-PUBLIC SAFETY ……………………..$6,100,000

What’s on America’s Mind With Emerson Drake Wednesday 8/14 at 8PM

Tonight’s topics include women’s issues around the country,  Profiteering developers in Modesto running for office, opening

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Radio RED 104.9 FM (Photo credit: Mahdi Ayat.)

Modesto Plaza, these topics and more so tune into tonight and find out what you need to know to make decisions important to you, your family and your community.

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To listen live or in our archive : http://www.blogtalkradio.com/whats-on-americas-mind/2013/08/15/whats-on-americas-mind-with-emerson-drake-1

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