When a politician tells you what something isn’t they’re telling you exactly what it is. Talking about Modesto considering to give Modesto Neighborhoods Inc $900,000 Modesto Councilman Doug Ridenour was quoted as saying “This is not a power grab, this is not a money Grab.” Now you know exactly what it is.
Modesto’s history of keeping track of public funds is atrocious. Consider our track history of NSP2 or Neighborhood Stabilization and Preservation funds. Ryan Swehla created Trinity Ventures and received the lions share of the millions of dollars in grant money. Then former City Councilman Joe Muratore, Swehla’s real estate business partner, had to return $68,000 or be charged with a felony by the feds for his participation.
Then there was SCAP and Joe Gibbs who took public money for rebuilding homes and was supposed to be renting them out to low income families. But instead placed their friends and relatives in them.
The city was supposed to be overseeing these funds but instead they went to political insiders. Can we trust our politicians with our money without watching them closely? Heck NO!
To borrow a line from Frank and Ernest, Our problem is we have too many teachable moments and not enough learnable ones.