Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Archive for the tag “tin cup”

What’s on America’s Mind Wednesday at 6:30 PM

Topics include Is Salida being sold down the river by Modesto and the County and does Modesto being on the Ad Hoc

Radio RED 104.9 FM

Radio RED 104.9 FM (Photo credit: Mahdi Ayat.)

Committee help or hurt Salida, Modesto’s General Plan Amendment and what it means to you, are TIN CUP levels high enough or should we TAKE BACK our government and LOWER the limits, North Carolina wants to adopt an official STATE religion, a story about a donkey in a well,  does government just happen to people or is it government by ambush..these and more so tune in at 6:30 PM Wednesday and find out the things you really  need to know.

104.9 FM Modesto our Flag Ship station

The call in number is (347)215-9414

The live and archived link is: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/centralvalleyhornet/2013/04/04/whats-on-americas-mind-with-emerson-drake

News Last Week in Modesto – What You Haven’t Read Anywhere Else

English: Author: Carl Skaggs This image was ta...

By Emerson Drake

Former SCAP Director Appointment to Housing Committee Delayed but NOT Cancelled

On Tuesday the City Council came within moments of voting former Director of  SCAP Frank Ploof, onto Modesto’s Citizen Housing and Community Development Committee.  Mr. Ploof only served for two months as a Director on SCAP’s Board according to Julie Hannon.  Our concern is the ongoing relationship that developed between Daryl Fair, who was the President of the SCAP Board during the worst of the excesses, and who recruited Ploof for SCAP and  the Renaissance Center.  They continued to have an incestuous relationship with SCAP and the organization they billed as a nonprofit, the Renaissance Center.  Fair was the Executive Director and Ploof was a “case manager” and SCAP was paying the rent for the building on “D” street where the pseudo nonprofit was located.

Incredible as it sounds the Finance Committee met according to Julie Hannon, in November to interview eight candidates and choose Ploof. Interesting, since the City website shows the November and December meetings of the Finance Committee being cancelled.  Ms. Hannon told us Councilwoman Stephanie Burnside and Councilman David Cogdill Jr. were the ones interviewing the candidates.

While Mr. Ploof seems like a nice enough man, his relationship with Daryl Fair is a cause of major concern when it comes to Modesto’s Housing Committee.  And we have to wonder about the reasons J. David Wright is buzzing like a bee from councilperson to councilperson promoting Mr. Fair and his search for money to open a homeless drop in center.  It should also be noted J. David Wright was one of Modesto’s larger contributors to local Council races.  Why is Mr. Wright involved with people fronting for phony nonprofits?

After sitting in with the Finance Committee interviewing candidates for the planning Commission and the Board of Zoning adjustment and hearing the probing questioning, I’m surprised Ploof slipped through.  Though in all fairness it should be pointed out Ploof omitted disclosing the SCAP position from his questionnaire. And since City Manager Greg Nyhoff failed to document his investigation, or lack there of,  into the SCAP debacle, the Council members would have to be paying attention to the media to have known. Councilman Lopez asked for this appointment to be delayed and the rest of the council agreed and it was sent back to committee.

We have no doubt with seven others to choose from the Committee can find another capable candidate.

Mayor Marsh Wants Salida Ad Hock Committee to Meet Without the Public Being Present

The Mayor finally admitted having received the “Draft” of the Goodwin Study on the Salida annexation.  He had a meeting scheduled for this week and had staff relay to the public “Stay Home, you’re not invited.”  This is a major concern. Fortunately Supervisor Withrow had already given me an invitation.  When the Mayor was made aware of this he promptly cancelled the meeting.  Eventually it was rescheduled for Jan. 28,2013, but civilian member Thomas Reeves cancelled it, since the politicos were refusing to share the Goodwin report with the rest of the committee members.  I felt it was necessary and went to the Board of Supervisors and to the City Council to protest the Mayor’s actions.  Surprisingly the local print media failed to share this information with the citizens of Modesto or Salida.  Nothing like the third estate allowing games like these to be played. 

The bottom line is,  why the secrecy?

It’s only Money – OURS..!   $17,000 Extra for Soccer Fields

On December 4,2012, Item #16, with the consent of the council Staff pulled back the bids of the synthetic turf for the three soccer fields at Mary Grogen Park saying they had written the bid so poorly they only received a bid from one company which they said wasn’t competitive. On Tuesday they accepted a bid for $17,000 dollars more than the bid in December.  There were questions about the bidding process regarding the City not stating the way the bid was going to be judged. But this time staff didn’t care about the challenge made during the meeting, concerning the bid process, which was flawed or the fact it cost Modesto more money.  But what the heck it was only $17,000 out of Village One’s pocket-book right?    Huh?

Lower TIN CUP Limits Passes Committee and is Sent to Staff – Will Come Back in March

Something we’ve been trying to accomplish for several years is to lower the amount people can contribute to a candidate before  the now elected official has to step back or recuse themselves and not vote for an item brought forward by their contributor.  In Modesto this ordinance is called the TIN CUP or Time Is Now to Clean Up Politics.  The current amount is $3,000 dollars to all candidates and the new levels, if passed, will be $1,000 for council races and $2,000 for mayoral races.  Councilman David Geer and Councilman John Gunderson voted for the lowering of the limits and Councilman Dave Lopez voted against the proposal. Remember anyone one can continue to contribute any amount they choose but the candidate can’t vote for a proposal if the upper limit is passed.  This should help level the playing field for the average citizens. I hope people will call their council representatives and request they support the new levels. 

 After all,  does anyone think we need more money in politics?

To learn more about the Renaissance Center, “the nonprofit that wasn’t,”  go to our older archive location http://www.eyeonmodesto.blogspot.com/2011/11/renaissance-community-services-non.html

Tonight a Special Edition of “What’s on America’s MInd” 7:00 Pacific and 9:00 Central

Tonight we have a report on Modesto’s budget workshop, a special interest group in Modesto known as the Chamber of Commerce, a discussion of the upcoming candidates workshop, and of course  issues that concern us all especially women.

So take some time and check us out.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/centralvalleyhornet/2012/05/18/whats-on-americas-mind-with-emerson-drake

It’s Time to Take Special Interest’s Big Money out of Local Politics

By Emerson Drake

Last night during the public comment period at the Modesto City Council meeting a man stood up and asked for the Council to take another look at Modesto’s “Time Is Now, Clean Up Politics” or TIN CUP ordinance.  This is an opportunity for EVERYONE, regardless of political bent, to help level the playing field of local politics. 

Do you believe unions hold too much sway or think developers can buy our elected officials by the handful?  Since we are in between local election cycles,  now is the time to change the rules our local politicians are required to play by.

At this point in time we have a $3,000  limit before our elected representatives are required to step back or recuse themselves from voting for a contributors project.  That, in the opinion of many Modesto Citizens, is too high.

What was proposed last night is a $1,000 limit on Council races and a $2,000  limit for Mayoral races with a 48 month floating window.

People are still allowed and encouraged to contribute to their favorite candidates as much as they choose so this doesn’t violate anyones civil liberties. The only caveat is if they go over the limit, the individuals receiving the contribution would not be allowed to speak to or vote on any measure put forth by, or that financially benefits, their contributor.

This seems very straight forward and you would think anyone  for better government would be standing in line to endorse this measure.

Very soon we’ll have  a link  to a petition for everyone who wants clean government can sign.  We hope the Modesto Chamber of Commerce will support and endorse this proposal.

Citizens of Modesto, the ball is in your court. Please help us hit a grand slam  for the home team by knocking it out of the park.

Congratulations Mayor Garrad Marsh as a New Day Dawns

Tuesday’s City Council meeting was a breath of fresh air.  Mayor Ridenour bowed out gracefully and Mayor Marsh assumed his position confidently.  He immediately set about making a few of his wishes known. 

 

During the public comment portion of the meeting I asked the council to re-visitModesto’s TIN CUP ordinance and return campaign contribution limits to the prior levels.

 

In 2005Modesto, at the behest of the Chamber of Commerce, raised the level of contribution allowed to $3,000 over a 48 month period. I believe the levels should be returned to the prior level of $1,000. 

 

In recent conversations with Chamber of Commerce leadership it has been made known the Chamber would back this adjustment of contribution levels.

 

What many people are not aware of is Mayor Marsh was one of the Council members in 2005 who voted against the increase.  It is hoped with the Mayor’s backing and the Chamber’s stamp of approval this change could come about soon.

 

To see the request go to http://www.modestogov.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=421&doctype=AGENDA

 And fast forward to 52.30 minutes into the meeting.

 

After dispensing with the consent calendar, Miguel Dinoso asked the Council to ensure firefighters and police would have at least minimal training in Spanish in the Shakelford area..

 

He also spoke out about community concerns regarding the lack of parks in the neighborhood.  Mayor Marsh responded by saying, “”we need to fix that,” simple and to the point.

 

The new logo was on display at the meeting.  On the big screen it was side by side with the old logo for and the difference was striking.  I’ve never heard of a CEO deciding to move his company to a town based on a logo, but updating ours can’t hurt.

 

Mayor Marsh was adamant thatModesto’s motto of Water, Wealth, Contentment, Health remain.

 

We have a real opportunity to improve lifeModesto, let’s join arms and take a step forward together.

Post Navigation