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