Now I know that with the annexation wheels already in motion, Salidans might feel helpless or powerless to have any say or do anything about it. I felt that way too at first. But trust me, we're not helpless. We have our voices and we need to make ourselves heard. And there are several ways to do this:
Write Letters - If you subscribe to the Modesto Bee, you may have noticed a few Letters to the Editor regarding the annexation which are starting to appear:
September 10, 2012 - "Modesto is bad business for Salida"
September 18, 2012 - "No to the Salida annexation"
Keep them coming Salida! Every little bit helps to make our voices heard and our opinions known.
Attend Meetings - Except for December (because it falls on Christmas Day) the Salida Municipal Advisory Council (aka Salida MAC) holds monthly meetings on the fourth (4th) Tuesday of each month at the Nick W. Blom Salida Regional Library Community Room at 7 p.m. The annexation has been added as an agenda item until it is no longer an issue, and the public is welcome to attend and ask questions or make comments. Stanislaus County Supervisor for District 3 (which includes Salida), Terry Withrow, usually attends and addresses questions regarding the annexation. If you are unable to attend the meeting, you can always call or e-mail Mr. Withrow.
Another meeting you should mark your calendar for to DEFINITELY attend is Modesto Mayor Garrad Marsh's Town Hall Meeting. The next meeting will be Saturday, November 3 at 10 a.m. at the Senior Citizens Center, 211 Bodem Street, Modesto. Call Kathy Espinoza 571-5597 for more information. If you are unable to attend the meeting, contact Mr. Marsh directly with your comments and concerns.
Lastly, if your schedule allows, attend any Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors and Modesto City Council meetings where the Salida annexation issue is an agenda item. These meetings allow for public comments to be made regarding agenda items. Unfortunately, some of the meetings occur in the daytime during working hours or there may be very short notice when the issue is added to the agenda. The Modesto Bee usually lists a review of the agenda items on the day prior, or on the day of the meeting.
Radio Show - Emerson Drake hosts "What's on America's Mind" on BlogTalk Radio on Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. Mr. Drake has been covering the Salida annexation regularly for several weeks now and he welcomes callers to call into his show. You can listen to the show online and if you set up an account, participate in the chatroom. You can also listen to the show over your phone by calling (347) 215-9414, and if you wish to comment, press '1'. The show is re-broadcast throughout the week on a local Salida radio station 104.9 FM
Petition (Binding) - The "loudest" and most effective tool we have to make our voices heard to the City of Modesto and Stanislaus County is through a petition. If 25% of Salida's registered voters sign a binding petition, the annexation will go to ballot for a vote. If over 51% of Salida's registered voters sign the petition, the annexation is killed altogether.
Modesto Mayor Garrad Marsh has said he wants an Advisory Vote for Salida. The problem with an Advisory Vote is that its not binding, which means, no matter the number of votes, the Modesto City Council can opt to ignore the wishes of Salida's citizens and proceed with the annexation.
Many Salidans are not registered to vote and have no intention of registering for whatever reason, but still want to voice their opinion against the annexation. For that purpose, I've established a petition on Change.org A copy of any comments you make will be sent to Mr. Marsh, the Modesto City Council and the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors.
We don't have much time left before the city and county proceed with the annexation. This is your chance to say, "WE ARE SALIDA! HEAR US ROAR!"
NEXT POST: "Patience, please, on Salida" - Why?