Message From the CEO – October 2015
This is our election issue for Progress. We sent our questionnaires out to the candidates for Mayor, and each City Council and Modesto Board of Education race. We also requested a follow-up interview with every candidate, and almost all were willing to be interviewed. For every candidate that participated in both the questionnaire and our interview, we are publishing their full, unedited answers to our questionnaire. Please review the questions and answers and make a decision on who you believe will make the best decisions as our elected officials. We base our opinions on who will support economic growth and bring prosperity to our city. Our opinions focus on their respective ideas and plans to grow jobs and deal with our chronic unemployment, and their strategies to create a better image for Modesto. We also consider who will be the best stewards of our tax dollars and how they will invest in infrastructure to provide stronger public safety and better transportation.
The school board candidates are reviewed on the effectiveness of their guidance on policies and accountability and performance of our education outcomes. This includes their ideas on plans to increase not only our graduation rates, but the true readiness students have to enter the job market or continue with higher education. We look at the bottom line – what is the real success rate for our students.
We also include a review of the local ballot measures on this year’s ballot. We have joined the Police and Fire unions and have decided to be neutral on Measure G. We would prefer that there be a specific tax where 100% of the tax revenue would be guaranteed to be spent only on funding public safety.
Measure I was drafted by a single person to essentially stop the city of Modesto from any future increase in major jobs. This measure would also stop the city from increasing its tax base for support of future infrastructure and funds to support more public safety. This measure is not about smart growth, as the practical effect will be to stop any economic progress. The measure does not protect farmland nor does it control sprawl, as it allows the area outside of the city to be develop by the County without the current controls, restrictions and processes that are in place that require any city growth to be smart and controled. It also allows exceptions for apartments and low-income housing and other certain types of residential projects. This measure turns Modesto into a bedroom community.
Measure I is not only a bad idea, but is misguided and influenced and funded by special interests and individuals outside of our city. This should be of grave concern that persons outside the city are trying to control the future of the citizens of Modesto. Please read our reviews and read and study your voter pamphlet. You will notice that the support to vote no on Measure I includes Former City of Modesto Mayor Jim Ridenour, current Board of Supervisor Dick Monteith, Police and Fire Association leaders, labor unions, farmers, Hispanic community and business leaders within our community.
There are many important races and measures on the ballot. We urge all of our members to become informed about the issues and vote for a better Modesto. Below you will find quotes regarding Measure I and why they feel that voting no is in the best interest of the City of Modesto.