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.


  1. As the creator of the Salida Bitch&Moan page, I am honored that an out-of-touch politician would use it in such a way as to expose his own idiocy and prove for himself just how ridiculous he truly is!

  2. I am Terry Brown, I wrote the comment about how our Planning Department did a poor job a few decades ago, but I was directing it at the town that I reside in, which is Salida, COLORADO. Now, I've done business in many towns over the years, and many had poor Planners who did their towns an injustice - only a few were blessed with good Planners. Normally you can tell them apart by looking at who still has their retired Planners still living in their towns... I wish you fellow Salida folks a long and prosperous future.

  3. Hahahaha!!!! That's Blunderson For You!!!