Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Archive for the tag “Dave Thomas”

Dave Thomas’ Response to Saturday’s Bee Editorial

Best Wishes Scoopy

Best Wishes Scoopy (Photo credit: RussellReno)

First a Reminder of the Bee Editorial with just a taste and the link:

Modesto makes two more worst cities lists (sigh)

We try to be chipper on Saturday mornings, but sometimes it’s hard.

Bad numbers can haunt a person and a place. In the case of Modesto — and Stanislaus County — our high unemployment, foreclosure and poverty rates continue to put us on dubious distinction lists.

Two rankings published in recent weeks by 24/7 Wall St., a website produced out of New York and aimed at U.S. and global investors, give Modesto a sixth worst ranking in two areas: The Top 10 Cities where people can’t find work and the 20 Worst Run large cities in the country.

 Now the Response By Dave Thomas

Good morning.  Saturday’s Modesto BEE used the following words in describing the City of Modesto:

 

                Poverty, 2 times

                High unemployment,  4 times

                High foreclosure rates,  2 times

                Lack of job growth,  2 times

                Lack of economic diversity

                Lack of skills      

                Downturn in home values  

                Falling gross metropolitan GDP

                Violent crime rate

                Bad economy

 

Granted, it was an editorial (Pg A9) which highlighted two recent ratings by objective media.  The lists were, “The Top 10 Cities where people can’t find work”, and the “20 Worst Run large cities in the country”.  These descriptive comments from respected third party observers kinda make you think the choices are valid.

 

I came away from reading this Opinion unsure about what it was trying to convey.  But, I must suggest that the editors’ attitude seemed to be the same thing we have heard for over 25 years.  After listing the obvious major failures of our City and its government, the attitude is, 

“Well, we are not THAT bad.”

 

Yes folks, no elected leader, no City Manager, Mayor, County officer, Chamber boss, and no civic leader has accomplished fixing the obvious problems.

 

I want you to consider this; the reason we continue to be badly run, poverty stricken, no jobs crime ridden, etc, is precisely because no one cares to make Modesto better.  

 

When I moved here by my choice, almost 40 years ago, Modesto had almost no street signs.  I had to shame the Mayor into putting some up, both in my neighborhood and downtown!  That is the extent of the lame attitude, lazy complacency, and lack of pride.  The Mayor told me that I should not need street signs, I should know where I was………

 

So, I predict that after all the kafuffle dies down, there will be no one who gets off their dead backside and starts fixing things.   

Nope.  Apathy, acceptance of status quo and simple lazy thinking, lazy acting bureaucrats and elected officials will say,

“Well, we are not THAT bad.”

 

 

 

Oh, one last point.  Our brand new (0ne month on the job) police chief wrote a piece in Sunday’s Bee, page D1.  He said, “People of this community should not be dealing with that every day.”  He was referring to “…aggressive panhandlers who are addicted to methamphetamine.”  His last sentence ends like this, “…and many have indicated there is nothing that can be done.”

Well, Chief, as long as you talk to only those responsible for this mess, nothing will change.

 

Thank you, Dave

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An Interesting Email Exchange Between Garrad Marsh and Dave Thomas

This exchange was Modesto Mayor Garrad Marsh and Dave Thomas President of the Stanislaus Taxpayers Association.

Garrad, et al. it is clear that inquiring minds want to know what is really going on with our water policy.  The message below was sent by an inquisitive person.  Please amend my PRA of this morning to include the questions below.
It should be obvious that any document which is used in negotiating with MID regarding an issue that involves a 218 expense is clearly in the public domain.  Again, I trust that you will send me the “Term Sheet” relating to your negotiations with MID immediately.
This proposed scheme by City to take over Surface Water Treatment Plants MUST be fully disclosed to the Public, and soon.
 


Dave, 
As you can see from item 19, copied below, on the just-released agenda for Tuesday’s meeting, the mayor has already discussed the Prop. 218 process to fix the water plant with the City Council. When did that discussion occur? 

When was the decision made to order staff to start the 218 process? Was this decision reported to the Public?  If this was discussed under potential litigation, a Prop. 218 vote has nothing to do with litigation. 


It’s clear to me they’re in the habit of discussing the public’s business in closed session, and that is a violation of the Brown Act.  Would you check on that?
 
19. 

Consider approving Amendments related to updating the Water Rates and Capacity Charge Study regarding the proposed repairs to correct the design and construction deficiencies of the Modesto Regional Water Treatment Plant Expansion:  (i) Financial Consulting Solutions Group, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $64,148, plus $6,147 for additional services (if needed), for a maximum amount of $313,508; (ii)  Horizon Water and Environmental to perform environmental review work in an amount not to exceed $14,951, plus $1,495 for additional services (if needed), for a maximum amount of $16,446; (iii) Harris & Associates related to the Proposition 218 Process for water rates, in an amount not to exceed $13,495, plus $4,580 for additional services (if needed), for a maximum amount of $64,065; and amending the Fiscal Year 2011-12 Operating Budget in the amount of $100,191 in order to fully fund these Amendments and Agreements necessary to update the Water Rates and Capacity Charges. (Funding Source: Water Fund)

 

 
Thank you very much, Dave
P S      I think it is shameful for the Council to hide a $394,019 dollar water expense in the 19th of 22 agenda items, which will be discussed after most people will be in bed.
  Moreover, we know that that $394,019 will be diverted out of the Water Enterprise fund.  It just never ends, does it?

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