The fiasco of the Jan. 28 Modesto City Council meeting relating to Wood Colony and ignoring the input from the public, leads one to conclude that the vote had been rehearsed in closed session. The fallacy in the city’s argument is that the vote would create jobs. Unless consumers demand something, building a factory will not cause us to buy it. Destroying even one acre of an area that is an unequaled economic engine – and the loss of hundreds of jobs related to that engine – is ludicrous. The mayor did nothing heroic in setting aside agricultural land in his grab plan, it is already agricultural and Wood Colony will keep it that way. The Chamber of Commerce should get out of the council’s business. They are biased and incorrect in their assumptions.
Council member Dave Lopez offered the sanest solution, proposing a comprehensive plan and suspending the action on the floor that night. He was betrayed by six others, who are out of touch with what makes life work. Modesto has more problems than can be enumerated that are worse than the lack of a few acres of “shovel ready” land for a speculator’s dream that may never come true. The Marketplace plan is being contested, and I expect the lawsuit might be expanded to include some of the confused empty-suit players on the council.