Friday, April 10, 2015

The Modesto City Council's water extortion policies on Salida

It sounds unbelievable that the 18th largest city in California would resort to extortion tactics in 21st century America, but that is exactly what they do to their neighboring community of Salida. Water for land, is the name of Modesto's game.

I've written about Modesto's water extortion in the past, but it helps for you to see it in action for yourself to truly comprehend it. Because its not like if you decided to call Modesto City Hall and ask for their water extortion policy, they'd have a handout ready to give you.

City of Modesto Del Este map illustrating Modesto's
refusal to provide water connections in undeveloped
areas of Salida. See full map here.
As a resident of Salida since 1993, I remember when Del Este was our water company. But I don't think that anyone in Salida realized how bad it would turn out for our community when the City of Modesto purchased the Del Este Water Company in the mid-1990's. Salida is the ONLY former Del Este community that the City of Modesto uses to leverage land in exchange for water. To put it more simply, Modesto will not supply water to any new development in Salida unless they can annex the land into the City of Modesto. The land that Costco, Save Mart, and Lowe's is on was formerly part of Salida's tax base. The land that Modesto Kaiser Permanente is on was formerly part of Salida's tax base. No one tried to stop them. No one in Salida knew what was happening until it too late.

That each new council member allows themselves to be indoctrinated to accept this hostile policy towards their neighboring community is outrageous, abhorrent and shameful! EVERY SINGLE CURRENT Modesto City Council member has cast their vote in FAVOR of continuing a policy of water extortion against Salida as recently as Tuesday, November 25, 2014. Item #6 on the consent agenda that day, was an amendment to allow the Modesto City Manager to approve water connections in former Del Este communities EXCEPT FOR SALIDA. Watch the video, beginning at 51:03 and you will see Councilman Bill Zoslocki request that land contained within the boundaries of the Salida Community Plan be removed from the area and sent to council for approval. This same man has announced that he's running for the 12th California State Assembly District seat in 2016. This same man has voted against removing Salida and Wood Colony from Modesto's General Plan despite a huge public outcry. And this same man would be REPRESENTING SALIDA in the 12th Assembly all the while he VOTES AGAINST SALIDA while serving on the Modesto City Council! I don't know about you my fellow Salidans, but I for one, certainly don't want someone who consistently votes against my community to represent it!

After Zoslocki's request, Mayor Garrard Marsh chimes in to ask if additional taxes like User Utility Tax and other taxes can be added to water connections in the undeveloped Salida area (59:19). Again, the ONLY DEL ESTE COMMUNITY THIS REQUEST IS FOR IS SALIDA.

And last, but not at all least, the councilman who would represent us if Salida were annexed into the City of Modesto, John Gunderson asks if all of the "purple area" can be removed (1:00:08). Brent Sinclair advises against this based on prior agreements made when Del Este was purchased. Councilman Gunderson has a particular fixation on Salida. He writes about Salida often as you can read in many of my 2014 posts. It just completely boggles my mind that for someone who would potentially represent us, to display such an utter disregard for what we think. But then again, we would be in that same situation too if Zoslocki wins the 12th Assembly so why should I be surprised?

As long as the Modesto City Council continues their water stranglehold, there's no hope for an independent Salida as long as Modesto is our only option for water.

1 comment:

  1. posting who owns the land would help with understanding the back room deals as well.