Sunday, March 2, 2014

The People's Republic of Modesto?

On Tuesday, January 28, 2014, the Modesto City Council voted against their Planning Commission's recommendation (September 16, 2013) that Salida be removed from Modesto's General Plan update.  Additionally, the council voted to add in approximately 2,300 acres in Wood Colony to the General Plan.

These two votes have resulted in a backlash the likes that Stanislaus County has never before seen. 

And now the back-pedaling begins...

On Tuesday, February 25, 2014, Coucilwoman Jenny Kenoyer motioned that the General Plan be brought back before the city council on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Behind the scenes, the council are meeting with people in Wood Colony. For what reason? A compromise? The residents of Wood Colony don't want a "compromise". Like Salida, they just want Modesto to leave them alone and stop trying to take their land. But as far as Modesto goes, they will use whatever underhanded tactics they have in their arsenal to accomplish their means to an end, and that includes gerrymandering, revisionist history, and just flat out ignoring the wishes of the people who live in Salida and Wood Colony.

Gerrymandered Beckwith Map
The first blantant exhibit of gerrymandering occurred with the approval of the "Mayor's Alternative" map for Wood Colony which contains a "notch" that cuts out 34 homes along Beckwith Road. When questioned about the gerrymander notch at the February 15th Hart-Ransom meeting, Mayor Marsh replied that the houses were cut out to "prevent eminent domain". Audience members were quick to point out that there wasn't anything that would stop eminent domain from being declared on Beckwith to run needed infrastucture or widen the road for commercial development.

Furthermore at the Hart-Ransom meeting, Marsh indicated that the City may remove the 1,254 acres designated as "ag". This move will also gerrymander out more votes from having the ability to vote down any land annexations in the Beckwith-Dakota area.

Salida does not escape Modesto's gerrymandering swath unscathed either. Modesto City Councilman, John Gunderson, contacted a member of Salida's Municipal Advisory Council on February 18th saying a "surprise" is in store for Salida. He did not reveal just what the "surprise" is but other sources have confirmed that the city council is planning to remove the existing town of Salida from the General Plan update and just keep in the Salida Community Plan land that is north and south of Kiernan Avenue. AKA "The land around Gregori" as Marsh refers to it in trying to negate Stanislaus County's designation of that land for Salida. By removing the existing residents' from the General Plan update, this gerrymanders out Salida's votes from the Salida Community Plan land grab. If this comes to pass, it will be up to Salida residents to make the case to LAFCO to preserve this land for Salida as its now designated.

Revisionist History
Talk Radio Commentator, Dave Bowman, was the first to call it like it is when Marsh tried to say that the area north of Beckwith and east of Dakota "isn't part of Wood Colony" as a justification for leaving in the red "commercial" area on the general plan. This same view was expressed
Wood Colony Cemetery entrance
by Councilman Bill Zoslocki as reported by Wood Colony residents who attended the meeting at Kristin Olsen's office. Modesto is adamant about leaving the area in the plan update and Wood Colony residents are adamant about it coming it out; because IT IS a part of Wood Colony. How ludicrous a thing to try and promote that THE LAND DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE WOOD COLONY CEMETERY IS NOT A PART OF WOOD COLONY?!? 

Some of the comments that have been coming out of city council and from Modesto Chamber of Commerce members are: "Modesto needs a win", "There has to be a compromise", "Modesto needs to save face", "the intention is to come up with viable solutions". Now why they feel that Salida and Wood Colony residents should and would agree to a compromise that sacrifices the futures of our communities for Modesto to "save face" is unfathomable! This isn't the "People's Republic of Modesto" where socialism reigns and our communities must sacrifice for Modesto's greater good! Or is it? By virtue of our location along 99, does Salida have to pay yet another price of losing our tax base to Modesto because of 144 years of Modesto's bad planning? Salida has already lost the land that Kaiser is on, along with Costco, Lowe's, Save Mart, etc. How much more municipal lifeblood does Salida have to lose to quench Modesto's thirst? And why does Salida have to even talk about losing it in the first place? Is it because its the status quo in Stanislaus County? Modesto's status quo is that they are used to always getting what they want. 


  1. I think Modesto has one to many bowling alleys

  2. Great blog! Wood Colony will not compromise one acre! Our community has everything to loose and NOTHING to gain. Any annexation into Modesto would be like inviting a cancer cell to take up residence - a full blown metastatic disease of destruction and death of our farming community would follow! I am a big fan of prevention.

    1. Katherine, Thank you for that blog. It REALLY says IT like IT is. Marsh and Council are not fulfilling the peoples requests. If they can't do their jobs, they need to go! Thank you Modesto citizens for taking the reins of the petition process to remove council members who do not work for what the public wants.

      Lina, cancer is the right parallel to this attempt at annexation.