1114 J Street, Modesto, CA 95354 - Phone: 209.577.5757 - Fax: 209.577.2673|Thursday, June 29, 2017
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Message From The CEO – December, 2015 

We had an interesting election with three city council seats decided. Congratulations to Mani Grewal, Doug Ridenour, and Kristi Ah You on their victories. There will be a run off for the Mayor’s position between Garrard Marsh and Ted Brandvold. This will occur in February and it will be an all-mail ballot. The three new council members have all promoted themselves as business friendly and have stated that their goals will be to help promote economic prosperity. We are looking forward to working with the current and new council members to help create a better economy for all. We have a great opportunity to accomplish these goals with our City Manager Jim Holgersson and the team he has put together. Galen Carroll our Chief of Police; Sean Slamon, our Fire Chief; Cynthia Birdsill, our new Community & Economic Development Director are the nucleus of his team and are all committed to making Modesto the City that we can all be proud to work and live with our families.

We are very pleased that Measure I was defeated. Thanks to a great coalition that included former Mayor Jim Ridenour, Supervisor Dick Monteith, both Police and Fire Fighters associations, labor unions, Latino Community Roundtable Hispanic community, and business leaders we were able to defeat this misguided and totally unnecessary measure. There are a number of protections and requirements in place that will protect against so-called “sprawl”. They include: Sewer extension vote, environmental review, public hearings, landowner votes, and requirements of the Local Agency Formation Commission that require Ag Mitigation. We are looking forward to working with the city leaders and others to start a new dialogue on a smart approach to creating jobs and a more diverse economy to create a better quality of life for all of our citizens.

We had a successful Central Valley Business Summit in late October. Thanks to all of our sponsors especially Doctors Medical Center, American Chevrolet, Huff Construction, Kaiser Permanente, Solid Networks, The ACE Train, and The Modesto Bee Media Services. We had a great committee that put together a super line up starting with a panel discussion with Oscar Cabello, Lynn Dickerson, Mike Gorrasi, and Bryan Reese. Then we had five great breakout sessions along with a very well attended business exhibit hall and lastly a luncheon with our keynote speaker JT Snow, former San Francisco Giants baseball player. Thanks again to our committee and attendees for a great event.

Please save the date and mark your calendar for our 102nd Annual Gala and Member Choice Awards Saturday January 23rd at the Gallo Center for the Arts. We will have great food served by the best restaurants of Modesto, plenty of beverages and entertainment.

We will be focused in the coming year on major transportation projects with the goal to develop more economic opportunity for our community. We will be working with both city, county, and Caltrans to improve access and beautify our entrances to Modesto. We will continue to work with the downtown groups to help create a more vibrant experience in the core of our city.

Have a great holiday season, I wish you all a successful and prosperous 2016!

By Chamber President and CEO Cecil Russell

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