Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Archive for the tag “Councilman Cogdill”

The City of Modesto Treats Businesses Better Than it does Its Residents.

By Emerson Drake  modestoarch (1)

Can you imagine being behind more than 30 days in your water/sewer bill what Modesto’s reaction would be?   Yep, it would cut off your service. And before the speculation begins I’ve never had my water cut off. As anyone knows that has owed the city money they can be pretty cold hearted.
Now imagine you have collected money that you owe to Modesto but refuse to pay them.  What would the city do? Well if you are a business absolutely nothing. Budgetel Inn on McHenry operated by United Resorts LLC has owed Modesto lodging taxes (transient occupancy tax) since August of 2008. That’s right 2008 and they finally got around to trying to collect in earnest  and started proceedings October 29, 2014.   Modesto Tax Administrator, Gloriette Genereux ruled in January of 2015 UR LLC owed $106,623.50 in outstanding TOT and penalties.
Since then the Motel has played the lawyer game and stretched out the proceedings by mailing challenges to the wrong party and agreeing to pay, then failing to honor its promises.  All of this comes from tonight’s Council agenda Item 14. agendaitem145316  and agendaitem1425316
Budgetel has been bargaining in bad faith from the beginning in our opinion.  They’ve held on to the City’s ‘OUR’ money since 2008 and it’s time for it to come to an end.  Unless of course they’ll let residents wait 8 years to pay their bills like they do businesses.
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What Came Out of the Workshop

By Emerson Drake

It was the meeting the public forgot. Well not everyone forgot, after all, there were five from the  public. Three were

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

English: Author: Carl Skaggs This image was taken by me on January 14, 2010 in Modesto, California I hereby relinquish all rights to this photo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

candidates or probable candidates for council seats and of the remaining two,  one was from Salida.  Of the council most were there with the exception of Councilman Lopez who was a no-show  and Councilwoman Burnside who came a half an hour into the conversation.

At the very beginning the sparse attendance was noted and immediately Councilman Cogdill said it wasn’t the council’s fault.  But maybe the choice of day and time Wednesday at 3:00 PM could have had something to do with it.  Or maybe not.

After a comparison of the city’s official Vision vs Mission statements the meeting shot past a review of the priorities established in the first Goal Setting Workshop.  For those paying attention to such things, the Annexation of Salida was the very first item under PRIORITY A. 

This time around a plan “B” had been established.  Councilman Cogdill was pushing to “grow” Mary Grogan Park by establishing more ball fields of an unnamed type to join the 10 soccer fields (three artificial turf and seven grass) presently being planned by entering into a public/private partnership to develop and fund the project.  But make no mistake, Mayor Marsh hasn’t taken his eyes off of the prize called Salida and neither have the developers as no plan “B” was mentioned regarding business parks.

It was generally agreed upon the areas we can focus on to achieve easy gains in internal efficiency are outlined in the Moss Adams report.   A copy can be found by clicking on the following pdf link.

COM-Org-Study

We’ve brought this to your attention in the past but if you haven’t already now would be a good time to peruse this document. It was suggested this study contains up to 30 good ideas for improvement.

We were  disappointed in one particular portion regarding Priority Champions.

The City Staff were seeking members of the council to help be responsible for the priorities being established by these workshops. But it appears in true political fashion, some  Council members lead by Councilwoman Burnside wanted no part of being a “Champion” suggesting it was the staff responsibility to push these priorities forward. Councilwoman Burnside stated she wanted to see more reports from the other committees.  I guess the reports/meeting minutes  available on the city website aren’t sufficient.  If “special reports” are generated for her then they should be placed on the city website for all to read.  Please don’t require a Public Records Request for this information.  The City Clerks office is understaffed as it is and are doing an incredible job of keeping up so lets not add to their workload.

One thing experience has shown is if one or more council members don’t show or take a particular interest that no matter the topic, it won’t get done.  It languishes on the vine, dries up and is lost to the scrap heap of disinterest.  When running for office council members like to take credit for actions of past councils (like Modesto’s density) which worked out but are hesitant to take responsibility for major projects where they will be in the forefront.

The next meeting is a community forum scheduled for Thursday, April 18, 2013 from 5-7 PM  at the Downtown Plaza.

As always if you want to hear more on this subject check out yesterday’s radio broadcast on blogtalk.  The link is available on this site.  As soon as the pdf of the hand outs from yesterday’s meeting are made available I’ll be providing them.

 So, as usual, in Modesto, apathy reigns supreme.  You can almost say it’s counted on.

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