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Message from the CEO – July 2015 

Cecil Russell

Chamber President & CEO,
Cecil Russell

June was a great month for Modesto; we had a great kick off for our annual Graffiti Summer. The ceremony for the 2015 inductees to the “Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame” drew a large crowd with the Chevy Club displaying some great cars. Chris Murphy was not only the Master of Ceremonies for the event, but his band provided the musical entrainment. Thank you goes out to Chris for all that he does to keep the Graffiti tradition alive. The North Modesto Kiwanis did another fantastic job with the Graffiti Parade/Cruise and their car show. The move to the municipal golf course provided a great venue for all of the car owners to display their cars. All of these events were well attended and continue to create very positive images of Modesto.

The Leadership Modesto class of 2015 had their graduation on Friday, June 12. They graduated a great class that we are sure will be leaders in their business and in our community. Thank you to all of the Day Chairmen and the entire Steering Committee for their continued dedication to help develop future leaders for our community.

Speaking of leadership, we have challenges facing our community. There are three that are of great concern. The Mayor and City Council have put on the ballot a general sales tax measure to raise additional funds for public safety and other items that they believe are needed. An additional ballot measure is the limited job growth item advanced by the anti-job growth group. Their measure is dubbed “Stamp out Sprawl” (really stamp out jobs), and in its present form would restrict all job growth outside of our current city boundaries. This would severely limit Modesto’s ability to attract major job creation companies from locating. It would also limit Modesto’s tax base from growing. If this happens it would increase the call for increased future taxes to support additional public safety and other infrastructure needs for the city to provide services. These measures, along with the coming election of mayor and three city council seats, will determine the future of Modesto. Your Modesto Chamber’s Government Relations Committee (GRC) will interview all of the candidates in the coming months, and will print in our Progress Magazine their answers in a side-by-side comparison. The GRC will also make its comments and recommendation, on the ballot measures.

Staying with the theme of leadership, the Chamber will continue to share information that surrounds the very critical issue of water. We are reproducing an editorial that the Modesto Bee published, by Assemblyman Adam Gray. This piece (found after my article) outlines the severity of the State’s action and its consequences to our economic health.

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