By Emerson Drake
The Alliance held their monthly meeting January 28th at noon and everyone but the public was invited. As an organization subject to the Brown Act the Alliance must post their agenda 72 hours ahead of time, and the official places they choose to use are their website and on the door to their offices at 1010 10th Street. Unfortunately for the public, the time on the website was 3:30 PM and the two pages attached to their door had NO MENTION of the meetings start time.
So understandably when five interested members of the public arrived early at 3:15 for the meeting and discovered the meeting was already over, there was some consternation. During his convoluted explanation, Bill Bassett pointed out it was mentioned just before the meeting by attendees, that the starting time listed on-line was incorrect, but they went ahead with the meeting anyway. What was strange was they adjusted the time on their site to 12:00 AFTER the meeting was over. How that helped I’m not really sure, though their admission came after I explained the incorrect listing had been downloaded over the weekend.
You haven’t read about this in the Bee
You really have to wonder why this Brown Act violation has been overlooked by the Modesto Bee since one of their reporters, Ken Carlson, was one of the five left hanging by the incorrect/false time posting. But even Ken has to get it past his editors before it gets printed in the Bee. And as we have seen, the Bee editors have an agenda they adhere to when it comes to backing the powers that be. They consider that it’s in their best interest not to ruffle the feathers of those in power so they can continue to receive the behind the scene phone calls (or as in the case of MID, confidential Legal Memos) giving them advance notice of political deals. Unfortunately this practice ends up taking their readers down the rabbit hole with them. The Bee keeps their secrets for weeks as in the case of the memos, until Eric Cain published them on his site, www.TheValleyCitizen.COM . Blog sites like his and this one are where you can find out what they don’t want you to know.
It was interesting to read the two different versions of Ken Carlson’s article on the Goodwin report. The first one mentions the Bee obtaining the Goodwin Report and the second one, the one published doesn’t. Makes you wonder doesn’t it? It’s those pesky editors.
The Leaking of the Goodwin Draft Report to the Modesto Chamber of Commerce and the Workforce Alliance
One of the reasons we wanted to attend the Alliance meeting was to hear Bill Bassett’s comments on expanding the Enterprise zones, shovel ready ground, and the need for Modesto to annex Salida to make it easier to divide up the pie known as Salida. Both the Alliance and the Chamber have had the Goodwin consulting Group’s Fiscal Impact Analysis Draft Report for the better part of two weeks. Who in the City and County governments gave these reports away? Well no one will admit to it but it happened. My thoughts are to look to those who are the liaisons from the City and County but who knows? It appears the Chamber is getting ready to launch an “Annex Salida” campaign. After all, one of the reasons for the Chambers existence, and that of the Alliance, is to manage situations for the advantage of their members. Remember Bill Bassett has repeatedly said his “investors” expect a return on their investments. And it usually comes out of your pocket and mine.
Is anyone censuring the Alliances Violation of the Brown Act?
We made sure both the City of Modesto and the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors were made aware of the Brown Act violation and have asked both organizations to issue the Alliance a letter of protest. Will anything come of this probably not. When it comes to the potential annexation of Salida, our Mayor has turned a deaf ear to the vocal protests of over 240 Salida Residents. So I ask the Mayor and Council, when was the last time 240 Modestan’s showed up to a council meeting and stayed past the presentations? For that matter I ask the Board of Supervisors the same question. At Tuesday’s meeting of the BoS there was only one member of the public present for the last hour of the meeting.
Why should the City or County censure the Alliance?
Most people aren’t aware the County gives the Alliance about $92,000 and the City gives the Alliance about $60,00 of the taxpayers money so I feel they have a responsibility to speak out.
Not only should the Alliance receive a letter of censure from both of the Board of Supervisors and the Modesto City Council. these two government entities should stop wasting taxpayer money on the proposed annexation.