Regarding Mayor: Council acted to protect farmland (Issues & Ideas, Feb. 9.): I want to acknowledge Mayor Garrad Marsh for his op-ed piece. The subject of land use aside, it is important for our public servants to express themselves in an open manner accessible to all. Attending council meetings is not always doable when work and family are priorities. It might not always seem like it, but the newspaper can be your friend. It is The Modesto Bees job to be critical of decisions and actions taken by city leaders just as it has a duty to allow our mayor to defend his decisions.
One of the reasons I voted for this mayor was his pledge to revitalize downtown. There were ideas of in-fill projects and an idea of building up with multistory, mixed-use residential-commercial projects instead of building out into urban sprawl. I visit other towns and see this already happening. Oakland streets once known for drug deals are now hipster hangouts with high-end restaurants. My suggestion to the mayor (taken with some bitters): Get back to the pledge and go up, not out.