Modesto Council Watch

February 11, 2014 

MODESTO COUNCIL WATCH

The City Council on Tuesday:

• Honored police Sgts. Robert Reyna and Brian Kleiber and Officers Gerald Bohanan, Rommel Cuellar, Mark Starr, Mark Ulrich, David Lewellen, Joseph Lamantia, Evan Swearingen and John Wesley for rescuing a woman during a Jan. 5 standoff in her home in which her boyfriend shot her several times before he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wounds. The officers received a standing ovation after Police Chief Galen Carroll played a video of the rescue from one of the cameras officers wear on their uniforms.

• Voted 7-0 to authorize a three-year extension of the Bank of America letter of credit issued in support of the city’s 2008 refinancing of the debt it issued to build facilities such as its share of Tenth Street Place, the city-county administration building. The letter of credit will cost the city $1.92 million over the three years. The city owes nearly $60 million on the debt.

• Voted 7-0 to accept the city’s 2012-13 fiscal year comprehensive annual financial report prepared by Brown Armstrong, a CPA firm.

• Listened to more than a half dozen speakers criticize the council’s recent vote to include Wood Colony, a farming enclave west of Highway 99, in an amendment to the city’s general plan, which serves as a blueprint for how Modesto will grow and develop in the coming decades. Mayor Garrad Marsh was singled out by some speakers, who claimed he has engaged in doublespeak. Many Wood Colony residents oppose being part of the city’s future. Councilmen Bill Zoslocki and Dave Lopez voted against including the area. On Tuesday, Zoslocki said rather than an amendment, he favored a comprehensive update to the general plan, and Lopez said he does not believe Wood Colony belongs in the general plan. The city is embarking on environmental studies of the general plan amendment, which is expected to come back to the council in 2015 for adoption. Some speakers criticized the council for including Salida – the colony’s unincorporated neighbor to the north – in the amendment.

– Kevin Valine

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