Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A good week for Wood Colony

The good week for Wood Colony began at the Saturday, September 20, 2014 Town Hall meeting held by Mayor Garrad Marsh at 1010 Tenth Street's basement chambers. Of the 20 citizens who attended the town hall, half were county residents from Salida and Wood Colony. During the question and answer period, Wood Colony resident, Lisa Braden, brought up Modesto's annexation plans for Wood Colony to which the mayor responded, "We don't want to annex Wood
Mayor Marsh's sparsely attended Town Hall - Sep 20, 2014
The left side of the room was nearly all county residents with the
exceptions of Councilmembers John Gunderson and Jenny Kenoyer
seated in the front row with Marsh's assistant, Kathy Espinoza.
Colony. But we need to protect you from the County." This followed with Marsh claiming that the county was irresponsible in its commercial and industrial development in Wood Colony citing examples of Salida Hulling and Beckwith Veterinary Hospital. But the Wood Colony residents weren't buying it. When Marsh tried to say that the huller should be in Beard Industrial Park, Wood Colony residents responded, "How is an almond huller not compatible with almond growers?"

Then Marsh threw down the gauntlet by saying that if the County would sign an agreement saying they would not develop in Wood Colony, that Modesto would do the same. Stanislaus County was swift to take the mayor up on his proposal, and within five days of Marsh's statement, the county CEO, Stan Risen, sent a letter to the city saying they would agree to his proposal and wished to discuss it further, perhaps at a City-County Liaison meeting.

The good week for Wood Colony was topped off with an NPR story airing on KQED public radio's "California Report" titled "California Foodways: The Story Behind Stanislaus County's Top Crop" by Lisa Morehouse. As one Wood Colony resident noted, the story is about nuts,"Those we grow and those we are working to fend off." While more of the focus of the story is on the ag element, it does cover the aspect of the City of Modesto trying to push the Old German Baptist Brethren community and other long-time farming families off of their lands to further their own development plans.

Read more about Mayor Marsh's Town Hall meeting in Kevin Valine's Modesto Bee articles:
"Mayor says Modesto fire station will stay open for now"