Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Archive for the tag “Brad Johnson”

Lessons Learned at LCR’s MID Candidate Forum

By Emerson Drake

The Latino Community Roundtable (LCR) conducted a flawless MID candidate  forum for the public Monday night. They

Lyons

adhered to their rules which include: only those with paid memberships can vote, those with both personal and business memberships can vote twice, and it’s allowable to come prior to the forum and place your votes and leave before the forum starts.  About 50 people were present if you include the eight candidates.  I was present as the votes were counted and the process went off without a hitch as has been my experience with LCR. The eight candidates all responded to the questions put to them to the best of their ability.  Quite honestly there was a wide discrepancy in their ability and afterward I wondered if those voting were at the same forum I was, but that is just my personal opinion.  All in all It was a fair democratic process.

And now the vote totals:

MID District 2           John Mensinger 23              Carmen Sabatino 3

MID District 3        Paul Campbell 18        Les Johnson 7

MID District 4        Jim Mortensen 15          Jake Wenger 9          Ted Donham 1       Brad Johnson 0

What I learned at the Forum

As an observer and participant of the political process I’ve been aware of a slate of candidates being run by Bill Lyons.  In recent MID elections Mr. Lyons has supported the majority of candidates to the tune of $5,000 each.  Unfortunately he supported the candidates who, in turn, supported former General Manager Allen Short.  Short consistently made some of the worst decisions possible costing MID ratepayers millions of dollars.  He was also behind the creation of the slush fund where the MID Board funneled $249,000  through Martino Graphics to a variety of lobbyists.  The man receiving the most money was a political consultant named Mike Lynch.  Would it surprise anyone  to learn Mr. Lynch is the major consultant behind Lyons candidate slate?  With Mike Lynch having the MID money pie all over his face it’s understandable for Bill Lyons to bring in someone unconnected with the Martino Graphics fiasco to be the slate’s (Mortensen, Mensinger, and Campbell) public consultant.

The high profile political consultant is Chip Langman of Langman Consulting.  In a conversation with Mr. Langman he stated he was representing and being paid by candidates Mensinger and Campbell and denied being part of the Mortensen campaign. I suppose when campaign consultants are talking with those who might write about the conversation it’s understandable that being forthcoming (honest) might not be first on their agenda and unfortunately this was the case with Mr. Langman.  Jim Mortensen had previously let it slip, that while he didn’t have a contract with Langman Consulting directly, his major benefactor, Bill Lyons did and it was on his behalf along with that of the other two candidates.

Both John Mensinger and Paul Campbell seem to be nice men in their own right.  This is part of the Bill Lyons technique (modus operandi seemed a little too fancy, but applicable). Lyons likes to bring in respectable businessmen that have little or no experience to run for MID like Glen Wild.  Their main value?  To vote as they are told.  They have little to no experience with MID’s water and electrical issues seeing that Mensinger just started coming to meetings recently and Campbell might not have even located the  the MID Board room more than once.  In the past both men have made public statements regarding the need to sell our water to San Francisco.

Jim Mortensen is a horse of a different color. He came to the podium during the water sale talks and was adamant about wanting MID to sell water on a long term basis to San Francisco.  And he stuck to his opinion when all of the details of the reprehensible contract came to light.  To make a mistake and be wrong and then change your mind is one thing, but to continue on the road to ruin is another.  He continues to say we need to monetize our water.  Just a week ago Mortensen came out publicly for the Board Governance policy which restricts the elected Directors access to the very information necessary to make informed decisions, thereby forcing them to rely solely on staff opinions without being able evaluate the facts for themselves.  This rule made it easier for Allen Short to bamboozle the Board into terrible costly decisions, decisions we ratepayers are still paying for (if you have any doubt check your electric bills).  Mortensen had pledged he would NOT use the Water Advisory Board as a jumping off point to run for office but he did.   Mortensen’s track record tell us he either lies to his advantage or makes terrible decisions and refuses to correct them.

Please understand Bill Lyons has been behind the proposed MID water sale to San Francisco all along. He doesn’t care if we run out of water since his property is along the river and he knows his 11 deep wells will bring him a fortune if the water runs out and everyone become desperate.  In my opinion he wants to assist in our destruction so he can make a fortune.  He can’t dam the water up so he wants to facilitate the sale of it out from underneath us. Even during droughts San Francisco was going to get their water first and MID, you and I, were going to get the leftovers.

Also know this isn’t Lyons first rodeo.  Four years ago Lyons personally supported Glen Wild’s and Paul Warda’s campaigns to the tune of $5,000 each and had his cronies do the same for Tom VanGroningen. Team Lyons has pledged to raise $60,000 for Mortensen’s campaign. In the past  he supported John Kidd and Cecil Hendsley’s campaigns too.   Lyons likes to play behind the scenes and stack the deck with jokers.  Please know several people who helped to recruit Mensinger, Campbell and Mortensen  were directly involved with MID in the last few years.  These include Janice Keating through the Martino Graphics slush fund and George Petrulakis who was paid $28,000 to facilitate ONE meeting between MID and the City of Modesto.  It isn’t a stretch to suggest this money, Keating’s and Petrulakis’,  were down payments for services ‘to be rendered.’

We have many good candidates to choose from running for the Modesto Irrigation District and no offense to anyone, but none will be endorsed by the Latino Community Roundtable.  Now you know the Bill Lyons and MID back story.  Tell your friends, co-workers, and neighbors.  The only way we can save our drinking water and keep our electric bills down is to make sure the Lyon’s slate of candidates doesn’t get into office.

April’s SalidaMAC Meeting

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Your video, Salida CA Town Meeting 2013 April smac-4-13-tree-update-wmv–2h15min, is ready to watch. Share it with friends, family, computer-savvy pets, and total strangers.

Salida CA Town Meeting 2013 April    smac-4-13-tree-update-wmv--2h15min Salida CA Town Meeting 2013 April smac-4-13-tree-update-wmv–2h15min
http://vimeo.com/65049928

“Salida CA Town Meeting Stanislaus County Parks Dept reports back to us regarding replanting the ‘bad trees’ that will be cut down due to breaking up the sidewalk and getting into the pools of backyards with root systems its still clear that the county has no plan to select the tree that will be best for the community and is stuck in a corporate frame of mind to use the cheap trees and the low bid contractors meeting runs 2 hours 15 minutes produced by Brad Johnson at the local public radio station 104.9 FM http://www.kgig.org”;

Did you know you can add Looks and Music to your video using the incredible powers of the Enhancer? Check out some of these amazing Looks!

Salida MAC Meets Tuesday the 26th at 7:00 PM at the Salida Library

Last Months Salida MAC Minutes courtesy of  http://salidamac.blogspot.com/

 

English: Map of the Stanislaus River, a major ...

English: Map of the Stanislaus River, a major tributary of the San Joaquin River, CA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Salida MAC Newsletter – March 2013

 

 

The February Salida MAC meeting video is viewable online by clicking this
LINK – thanks to Salida MAC Councilmember, Brad Johnson and local Salida Public Radio Station 104.9 FM. LIKE “Salida MAC” on Facebook and follow on Twitter https://twitter.com/SalidaMAC
and sign up to receive our newsletter via e-mail. ~ Katherine Borges, Editor

Salida Annexation Report – Salida Municipal Advisory Council Chairman, Thomas Reeves, moved the annexation agenda item up to be discussed and voted upon first. Chairman Reeves read a statement and then asked the other MAC council members for their comments. He then opened the topic for public comment and discussion. The MAC council voted 4-0 against annexation with the public’s support. The Salida MAC council and members of the community requested that Stanislaus County District 3 Supervisor, Terry Withrow, support the position. Salida MAC’s vote and Supervisor Withrow’s decision to support the Salida MAC vote were covered by several local media outlets:
Salida leaders vote against annexation plans” – KCRA 3 – Feb 27, 2013
Salida advisory council rejects Modesto annexation plan” – The Modesto Bee – Feb 27, 2013
Modesto’s Salida annexation proposal gains a foe in Supervisor Withrow” – The Modesto Bee – Mar 1, 2013

Salida Postmaster Report – Salida Postmaster, John Paul Cabral, reported that there had been 90 mailboxes broken into in the area, 14 of which are in Salida. Postmaster Cabral asked that Salida residents please pull their mail from the mailboxes because there are gangs coming in from Modesto targeting Salida’s mailboxes. The Stanislaus County Sheriff has made two arrests so far. Thanks to an alert postal clerk at the Salida Post Office, a man was arrested who had been robbing post offices.

Salida Fire Department Report – Capt. Greg Bragg reported January’s numbers for Station 12 which ran 164 calls serving two fire management areas: from Dale Road to Ladd comes back in on Kiernan and down the Sisk Road corridor and then everything out to the river. 60% of the 164 calls were for EMS. They also provide services in other station areas.

Salida Fire Administration building used for training and
scheduled to be demolished.

The old Salida Fire Administration building has been sold for demolition due to the widening of the Kiernan interchange and is being utilized for training.

Stansilaus County Sheriff Report – Stansilaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson reported that the Sheriff’s Department is not facing any more cuts and is hiring for the first time in more than three and a half years. There are sixteen recruits in the academy and the Sheriff is building jail bed infrastructure and a Coroner’s facility. Sheriff Christianson introduced Deputy Lloyd McKinnon from the Crime Reduction Team who said, “The Team would be in Salida a lot this week, but you’re not going to see us.” Deputy McKinnon also reported that robberies are down 33%, aggravated assaults are up 67%, burgulary is up 8%, larceny is up 12%, auto theft is a big zero, homicide zero and rape is zero.

Salida Sanitary Report – Salida Sanitary Board member Brad Johnson shared a photo of one of the two robots at the Sanitary District.

City of Modesto Water Division Report – Dennis Turner, Director of Public Works for the City of Modesto stated that the water well that had been shut down for contamination was well #281 which is right across the street from the Salida Library. On December 5, 2012, a routine yearly sample was taken on well #281 and the sample showed higher than acceptable nitrate levels. The results were conveyed to city staff on December 6 and the procedure should have been to resample the well immediately, and that was not done. Staff discovered the error when they did a monthly report on January 8, 2013 and promptly shut the well down which is procedure. From December 5 to January 8th, well #281 ran for one hour a day contributing water into the Salida system. The department collects 585 samples in the Salida system every year. Well #281 contributed about 11% during that time period. Well #281 is the smallest well of the eight wells that serve the community of Salida and its water mixes with other sources to meet all of the demands for the Salida community. The City of Modesto is working with the State Department of Health to ensure this never happens again. New procedures have been put in place. Well #281 will remain offline until a treatment is decided upon to remove the nitrates.

Following are answers to some of the questions asked during the Q&A. Answers were provided by Dennis Turner.

The allowable limit for nitrates is 45 ppm (parts per million) and the well tested at 68 ppm.

Modesto plans to install water lines on the new Highway 99 overcrossings and large water storage tanks in North Modesto which will also serve Salida’s water system. The water tanks will not be installed until hydraulic models demonstrate the need.

The City of Modesto is required at all times to maintain a certain water pressure to maintain fire services. The system that monitors the pressure is not manned 24 hours a day so residents should call the City of Modesto Water Department if they detect a dramatic drop in water pressure, or detect any odd colors or smell in the water.

Public Works Department Report – Gary Hayward submitted an announcement about the work on the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. Broadway will be closed for this work on March 4. The Kiernan RR crossing is tentatively scheduled for closure Mar 18-21.

The rough section of road on north Pirrone is scheduled for resurfacing and work should be completed in late April/early May.

Public Works is co-oping with the Parks Department on budgeting for a fix on the mile section of sidewalks on Pirrone west of Sisk. When the plan is determined, Salida MAC will view it.

The sound wall that was run into by a vehicle on Whitestone Way has been repaired.

Nick W. Blom Salida Regional Library Report – Branch Manager Diane Bartlett reported that on Saturday, March 1, 2013 there will be a celebration of Dr. Suess’ birthday and “Read Across America” with story and craft in the Storytime Room.  On March 23, ‘Paver Painting’ will be at the Salida Library where you can paint stone paver ladybugs, turtles, and bunnies. This program will be held from 1-3 pm and is open to all ages.

Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale held March 7 from 10 am – 5 pm and March 9 from 10 am – 3 pm.

March 22 & 23 – the Stanislaus County will hold a mobile hazardous waste collection in the library’s parking lot from 9-1 pm.

Love Salida“will be held April 27. Geary Oreglia at Salida’s Kountry Kitchen is looking for opportunities within the community. One of the project’s will be held at the library from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Supervisor District 3 Report – Supervisor Withrow shared that the ‘DRC’ (Day Reporting Center) for probationers located on Broadway will be out of Salida by the end of March. The DRC is moving to downtown Modesto.

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 7 pm at the Nick W. Blom Salida Regional Library Community Room, 4835 Sisk Road, Salida. Featured presenters are Stanislaus Council of Governments (StanCOG) and Stanislaus County Parks Division.

Salida MAC meetings are broadcast on government cable channel 19 in Salida and channel 7 in Modesto on Saturdays at 11 am.

Be sure to “LIKE” Salida MAC on Facebook and follow on Twitter to keep apprised of the latest information about Salida.

 

The Salida MAC’s October Meeting on Video

Video of October’s Salida MAC meeting is now posted online thanks to Salida MAC council member, Brad Johnson:
http://vimeo.com/52208438
 
Salida Town Meeting Oct 2012 Mello Roos Tax info and the Modesto annexation of Salida Info

vimeo.com

Video Production by Brad Johnson at the Local Public Radio Station Studio 104.9 FM in Modesto/Salida CA this is the Salida town meeting Join us on the 4th Tuesday…

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