TURLOCK NOW: City leaders say growth is 'solid'

mrowland@modbee.comFebruary 20, 2013 

  • ABOUT THE REPORTER
    alternate textMarijke Rowland
    Title: Arts & Entertainment Writer
    Coverage areas: Fine arts, pop culture and other entertainment throughout the Central Valley and foothills.
    Bio: Marijke Rowland has been a reporter at The Bee for 15 years. She grew up in the Midwest and has a degree in journalism from Indiana University. She has covered several beats at The Bee from education to entertainment to employment.
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— Coffee, bacon and a side of economic recovery were on the menu for the annual Turlock Chamber of Commerce breakfast.

The event attracted a roomful of Turlock’s leading business people and government officials to discuss the city’s outlook. Mayor John Lazar gave his annual “State of the City” address applauding what he called its “solid economic growth.” He touted the city’s early and sustained growth, as well as a new initiative on economic development and a road maintenance ballot measure he plans to push this year.

The event’s other speakers included Chamber CEO Sharon Silva, Supervisor Vito Chiesa, California State University, Stanislaus Interim President Joseph Sheley and Turlock Unified Schools Superintendent Sonny Da Marto.

Both of the education leaders expressed relief that this would be the first year in many that neither would have to make cuts, signaling the state’s ongoing budget woes have finally hit bottom.

Chiesa said the biggest, and most complicated, issues the county must address were gangs, its drop-out rate and economic development. But he also stressed that none of them have easy fixes and it will take collaboration to make progress.

Toward the end of the two-hour event, which began at 7:30 a.m., Da Marto showed that even politicians and bureaucrats have a sense of humor about his own speeches by concluding his with a good-natured, “I know you are all losing the will to live, so I am going to end this.”

Read more about the event and Turlock’s outlook soon on www.modbee.com.

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