Monday, October 6, 2014

John Gunderson Facebook post #6 and my reply - Lovin' those Facebook nuggets!

John Gunderson is my favorite current sitting member of the Modesto City Council! Now before you start making inquiries into my mental state and shopping around for hospitals to have me committed to, allow me to explain that statement: He's the only one talking about Salida and Wood Colony. Sure, the others will talk about it, but only when a question is directly asked of them. But the Facebook-addicted councilman not only talks about Salida and Wood Colony without being asked to, he drops little nuggets of info along the way that we'd never learn otherwise from his tight-lipped peers. For instance, in his last post, he mentioned that a Wood Colony landowner wants $250K per acre. We wouldn't have known that if it wasn't for Councilman Gunderson!

In his October 4, 2014 reply to a post by Lina Allredge on the Salida CA News Facebook page, the councilman drops two intriguing tidbits:
Modesto General Plan map approved January 28, 2014

"As this topic evolves there is muttering that we will go back to the map adopted by Council January 28th (another chance to remove Salida from the plan) with the possibility of a statement of acquiescence from County."

Soooooo...the council is discussing (or to use his word "muttering") about going back to the original land grab map that was voted and approved on January 28, 2014. That would be delightful on so many levels! Particularly because it would put back in so many of the "No" votes needed to vote down annexation! And they had worked so hard to be accommodating sell-outs with gerrymandering those votes out. Tsk-tsk, what a shame...  Equally intriguing is "...possibility of a statement of acquiescence from County". Just who is he talking to and what are they saying? From everything we've heard from the County and/or Supervisor Terry Withrow up to this point, they've essentially told the city to go pound sand. Perhaps he considers the county's "No Growth Pledge" a "statement of acquiescence"? One could hope.

Now I know that its rather unlike me to bypass an opportunity to counter the councilman's propaganda about his opinions on whether Salida's residential housing is "poor planning" on the county's part, but being that he doesn't have a say in the county's planning outside the city limits, its really a moot point. So I'll just cut to the chase and comment on an end statement:
"Stanislaus County and Modesto has done some very poor planning in the past. If civil discourse can proceed perhaps something reasonable can be worked out."
If Councilman Gunderson and the rest of Modesto City Council REALLY WANT "civil discourse" they can start it by taking ALL of (county-defined) Salida and Wood Colony out of their general plan (and that includes the land within the Salida Community Plan). Salida and Wood Colony are not inanimate objects. People do live here and that's what even puts each community on a map in the first place. Both communities have made it loud and resoundingly clear that the vast majority of residents do not want to be annexed into the City of Modesto. Listening to the people is where civil discourse really begins and not with those who have "hidden agendas all over this topic".

Where wise actions are the fruit of life, wise discourse is the pollination.” ― Bryant McGill

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

John Gunderson Facebook post #5 and my reply

Modesto City Councilman John Gunderson made it about a month and a half without posting about Salida, but like any other greed driven politician, he just couldn't stay away from salivating over the county's crown jewels - Salida and Wood Colony. He posted the following on his own Facebook page on September 28, 2014 as well as a few other spots on Facebook.

In his first few remarks, he states:

"Many do not understand who is responsible for the sprawl surrounding Modesto and resultant loss of property tax revenues. If County truly was the entity that is supposed to help Stanislaus County cities it would not support development in the unincorporated tracts adjacent to cities. We all lose when development occurs outside city limits."

First of all, "...sprawl surrounding Modesto"? Just who's sprawl is he referring to? There's no sprawl surrounding Modesto, but there's a city at its southern end - Ceres, and the community of Salida which the City of Modesto has sprawled seven miles right up to Salida's boundaries in the last 100 years. And "resultant loss of property tax revenues"? There's no loss of property tax revenues, the county receives 100% of Salida's and Wood Colony's property tax revenues. Its only a "loss" if you are greedy and think your city should be receiving those taxes. As for "If County truly was the entity that is supposed to help Stanislaus County cities it would not support development in the unincorporated tracts adjacent to cities." Salida is a planned town, laid out by David Curtis in 1908. Just because it hasn't incorporated doesn't mean that Modesto gets to call the shots on whether Salida grows or not. Especially since its Modesto's sprawl which has reached Salida's borders, not the other way around. 

"Development in Wood Colony? Land owner wants $250k an acre and developer wants to develop?, do it using Modesto's system... the other way puts more strain on all of us."

Maybe the councilman has missed the news for the last nine months and experienced bouts of narcolepsy at the council meetings because the last I heard, the resounding and vocal majority of Wood Colony residents do NOT want development in Wood Colony. But its a telling sentence because it shows that the city is obviously in talks with SOMEBODY who owns land in Wood Colony who wants to sell for development. A landowner has quoted a price to him of $250K an acre. And his greed rears its ugly head again with, "the other way puts more strain on all of us." There is no "strain" for Modesto if the county were to develop in Wood Colony without it being annexed into the city. The only "strain" for them is losing out on additional tax base because Modesto is broke. 

In trying to justify the claim of strain, the councilman throws Salida under the bus with something unrelated to Salida:

"Salida is a good example of poor planning on County's part. Noticed something in a housing tract behind the mall... saw a neighborhood with two story houses. The windows overlooking back yards on the upper floors are clear, not opaque so neighbors can look down at the pool where I attended a child's birthday party. This is just one example of the lax building codes County has. There was a significant amount of housing behind the mall that was annexed into the City after it was already facilitated by the County."

The mall was built in the 1970's and does not border Salida nor do any housing tracts that surround the mall. There is nothing but commercial properties between the "housing tract behind the mall" and Salida. Housing tracts that are NOT even in Salida do not qualify as "a good example of poor planning on County's part".

The last couple of paragraphs of Councilman Gunderson's post is about what he thinks Modesto is "losing" in property tax revenues by annexing county areas AFTER they've been developed. His cherry on top is a final jab at Salida referring to Mayor Marsh's September 20, 2014 Town Hall meeting, "Liked the part where Mayor Marsh declared the BOS imposed Salida TPA a joke." 

But ironically, the last joke is on Councilman Gunderson and was done by Councilman Gunderson himself!  As he continues to try to reiterate his point-of-view to the commenters
Snippet of Gunderson's repost
on the post, he reposts what he thinks is justification for it all made by a Salida resident on the "Salida Bitch&Moan" Facebook page. He either didn't notice and/or is hoping others don't notice that the Salida Bitch&Moan page is for the city of Salida, COLORADO. 

I noticed.