Newman City Council agrees to oppose plans for air base

NEWMAN -- Following the lead of its Highway 33 neighbor, the City Council agreed Tuesday to join a group of West Side agencies opposed to the 4,800-acre proposed industrial park on the former Crows Landing air base.

The resolution, written and signed by Patterson's City Council last week, is making the rounds on the West Side. It is scheduled to go before school districts in Patterson and Newman, as well as West Side fire agencies and health care districts.

Council members also agreed to send a formal letter of opposition to the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors, and Mayor John Fantazia represented West Side concerns in front of the Stanislaus Council of Governments board Wednesday.

The PCCP West Park LLC project, headed by Sacramento developer Gerry Kamilos, would overwhelmingly impact Newman and the Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District, said Councilman Ed Katen.

The council voted on the resolution and letter before inviting the public to speak, vexing some who came to the meeting to try to sway the council's opinion.

"Give the people of Newman the opportunity to voice their opinion before you sign something that they don't know anything about," said Leroy McDonald of Newman, who works for Kamilos to bolster support.

The project has stirred high emotions on the West Side. Fantazia issued a stern admonishment to the packed audience.

"What has to stop is the personal attacks at public meetings: Calling developers crooks and scumbags, and saying that supervisors are being paid under the table," Fantazia said. "You will be asked to leave."

Bee staff writer Christina Salerno can be reached at csalerno@modbee.com or 238-4574.

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