Tuesday, August 5, 2014

John Gunderson Salida Facebook post #1 and my reply

Constantly learning stuff, comes with the job. Learned that County doesn't have to go through a LAFCO process when it comes to land use issues. Think that's how Salida got screwed with developers having free reign for another 20 years or so. They will move when economic conditions allow and Salidans will have no say. A big problem with that is that when development does not occur within a City's limits, the property tax revenues for the City does not happen. It's gone forever and can never manifest under the current property tax distribution formulas that the State mandates. Then we have this problem that a City will not want to annex because no revenue accompanies the annexation. Prime example for this is the County islands within the City of Modesto. It is a serious drag on our quality of life. Also learned that Modesto has a tolling agreement with County to provide sewer and water to any development near City boundaries. I have a problem with that if the development is not annexed to some municipality. Figuratively speaking we all lose because the City portion of property tax does not happen, hence less revenue coming into our County, less services, less quality of life. What County did to Salida was short sighted and was just catering to developers without thought for the rest of us. In the best interest of all I would like to see the tolling agreement vacated as it is harmful. If County were to decide to allow development in Wood Colony, City would be required to service it under the current agreement. I knew there was a good reason for designating Wood Colony as "green" on the map. Also for your reading pleasure I have provided a link to a 3 county comparison of property tax distribution. It's a mess and makes solving the County island issue difficult to deal with: https://www.facebook.com/notes/john-gunderson/property-taxes-for-2011-2012-a-comparison-of-3-counties/475337735869490
My reply to Councilman Gunderson's Facebook post sent via e-mail:

Dear Councilman Gunderson,

You may have blocked me on Facebook for using the 'R' word (Recall) but that doesn't stop others from sending your Facebook posts to me.  First off, Salida is NOT "screwed with developers having free reign" - we do have a voice, its called the Salida Municipal Advisory Council.  The County DOES listen to us, (unlike the Modesto City Council) so when the economic conditions do allow, then believe you me, we will have a say!  And all FIVE County Supervisors support the people of Salida and Wood Colony. 

As for the property tax revenues, they are not "gone forever" - we are county and so our property taxes go to the County. You postulate that "...a City will not want to annex because no revenue accompanies the annexation" and that's just not true. 

If you read the 1996 Master Property Tax Sharing Agreement and its later amendments you will find that when a city annexes an island in, the property tax the city will receive is 34%.  HoweverSalida is excluded in that agreement and thuswould be negotiated separately.  

What the County did when it passed the Salida Now in 2007 was they replaced the 2000 version of the Salida Community Plan with a better plan.  The new plan calls for money to be set aside for the incorporation of Salida as a city, which is not a new idea, it is something that previous Salidans have wanted to do.  To be quite honest, you sound greedy by saying "without thought to the rest of us' because why should the County give a thought about the Salida Community Plan for Modesto?  Both Salida and Wood Colony were able to successfully fight off annexation by Modesto in 1996 and its quite obvious that we do not want to be annexed now; why can't you understand that we prefer to be county than being annexed into your city?  

I don't know where you are getting your information, but I think you need to do more research because you say that "If the County were to decide to allow development in Wood Colony, City would be required to service it under the current agreement" and that's just not true unless the land was annexed to Modesto. Because if that were the case, then Salida wouldn't have the water extortion issue by Modesto that prevents any new development from occuring in Salida. Wood Colony is on wells and Modesto would have to agree to an out-of-boundary service agreement among other things to bring water out there. Its not benevolent to designate Wood Colony as "green", its paternalistic and imperialistic.  Salida and Wood Colony were NOT FOUNDED FOR MODESTO'S FUTURE BENEFIT!  WE JUST WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE!!  WHY CAN'T ANY OF MODESTO'S CITY LEADERS DO THAT?!? 


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