Friday, May 2, 2014

Dave Lopez: The truth behind his spin

Modesto City Councilman Dave Lopez, who is running for Stanislaus County Supervisor Dick Monteith's seat in District 4, is the latest to join the political spin club with talking points on why Modesto should annex Salida. 

He first revealed his three supposed annexation-justified talking points in an April 22, 2014 interview on The Dave Bowman Show. The second public forum where he used the three again nearly verbatim was the League of Women Voters candidate debate as reported in the Modesto Bee.  

At 9:56 on the Dave Bowman Show recording, Dave Lopez says, "We essentially subsidize their fire department" and he proceeds to quote figures on what he thinks it takes to run the fire authority. First off, all Salidans and any other property owners that are within the boundaries of the Salida Fire District pay a yearly assessment for fire coverage on our property tax bills. Salida brought equipment and several trucks into the Modesto Regional Fire Authority (MRFA) along with the fact that Modesto is underfunding their employee benefits and workers comp contributions while Salida is not. AND, if that isn't bad enough, Modesto cut half a million dollars and with the goal of cutting one million from MRFA. So who is subsidizing who here?

Source: City of Modesto Water Department
At 10:14 in the interview, Lopez resorts to outright lying with, "We're subsidizing their water and Modestoans are paying more for their water than Salidans are." This was quite an easy one to disprove by paying a trip down to the City of Modesto Water Department. The chart at the right was provided by the department showing that Modestoans and Salidans pay EXACTLY THE SAME RATES for water!

One minute later, Lopez claims, "We are also subsidizing the bus transportation system" and this is perhaps the biggest whopper of a lie of them all! NO GENERAL FUND monies from the City of Modesto goes into providing bus service to Salida. Transit funding is provided via a highly complex assortment of taxes and grants with some of that being part of the Transportation Development Act. Because the funding goes through the County and NOT Modesto, even when Salida incorporates into its own city, absolutely nothing will change about the bus service.

Now you might be wondering why Mr. Lopez would go and throw Salida under a figurative MAX bus like that, but he says why in his concluding statement, "I live on a two-way street, and they want no part of us. I'm sorry, but that's where development needs to go, up on the Kiernan corridor." And all you need to do is follow the money. Two of the largest landowners on the Kiernan Corridor who are within the Salida Community Plan area were contributors to Dave Lopez's campaign: Stephen Endsley (pg 7) and Dave Romano (pg 19). They are among a plethora of other developers and development related businesses who donated to Lopez's campaign and who would stand to benefit by a potential Modesto land grab on Salida.

Just browse his campaign statement and you'll see that Dave Lopez is a bought man. If he wins the District 4 supervisor seat, it could end up not only being highly detrimental for Salida, but also for Wood Colony. As it stands right now, all five Stanislaus County Supervisors support Salida against being annexed to Modesto. But if for some reason, Modesto were to triumph from Lopez's posturing, then its just a matter of time until Wood Colony will fall. 

"If Salida falls, Wood Colony will follow. And if Wood Colony falls, Salida will follow" 
-Jake Wenger in 2013

Help to save Salida and Wood Colony! Ask your friends in District 4 to vote for Dick Monteith