By Katherine Borges
My comments tonight are to share with you an update on the Salida Annexation and Incorporation. I find it extremely
sad and unfortunate that I even have to include the annexation part of these comments considering that the people of Salida have spoken and our Supervisor came out in support of us, yet the land grab rape and pillage of Salida continues.
The latest assault occurred in this very room, just 24 hours ago, sitting in your very seats were Modesto’s Planning Commissioners. They were presented with two General Plan updates for Modesto – one by Brent Sinclair, Director of Community and Economic Development for Modesto and the other was presented by various members of the Modesto Chamber of Commerce.
Both plans include Salida. Mr. Sinclair’s plan includes an additional 1,800 acres along Kiernan that is part of the Salida Community Plan. It’s quite callous and arrogant the manner in which Modesto’s planners treat Salida in that regard. That they have the gall to include portions of the Salida Community Plan’s land, let alone Salida, just because they can. Its called “The Salida Community Plan” for a reason and not “The Modesto Community Plan”.
Now I know you have seen the Modesto Chamber’s presentation which contains the further troubling aspect of landlocking Salida to the East and the West with land grabs of astronomical proportions. And I know that nearly all of you farm so I’d be preaching to the choir with any data or statistics I could quote about the quality of prime farmland in and around Salida, so all I really want to do is remind you that you five are the stewards of this prime farmland. You have it within your power to stop Modesto from making a travesty of their city seal over there.
You also have it within your power to help free Salida because the citizens of Salida can only do so much. We had hoped to file for a designation called a “Community of Interest” which in Riverside LAFCO has previously been used to set the boundaries of an unincorporated community and protect it from annexation. But Stanislaus LAFCO has a different policy for a Community of Interest which has turned out to be a real bust for us. In Stanislaus, all the designation affords is that the MAC and Sanitary District are notified of any pending land annexations. The only way left for Salida to protect Salida is through incorporation.
So now we are working on completing the steps required by LAFCO for incorporation. I plan to come back and give you updates on how this progresses.
In the meantime, its up to you to protect Salida and preserve our community plan for Salida. I realize that even though the Modesto Chamber has asked both the Modesto City Council and the Modesto Planning Commission to adopt their plan, that that might not necessarily happen. But they could end up in some sort of compromise where the Chamber starts out asking for more, much much more, and settles for less which may even be the happy medium that they were going for in the first place. Either way, unless you stand up to them on Salida and the other county areas behalf, we stand to get shafted once again. We need you to defend us. You are our voice.
In closing, I would like to thank Salida’s Supervisor Withrow for his continued support of Salida, I’d like to thank Supervisor Chiesa for attending the Salida MAC and Ad Hoc Committee meetings; we appreciate your involvement. I’d like to thank Supervisor O’Brien for his “No” vote on the Salida Now initiative because you would’ve preserved our vote, but I’d also like thank Supervisors DeMartini and Monteith for their “Yes” votes on Salida Now because that gave us a better community plan than the one we previously had and its one that’s worth fighting for.
By Katherine Borges