Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Salida MAC Newsletter - October 2012

NOTE: So much content and information was shared at our September 2012 Salida MAC meeting that I decided to compile it on a blog because there's no way all of this info could fit into our printed newsletter. ~ Editor, Katherine Borges

Supervisor District 3 Report and Salida Annexation UpdateStanislaus County Supervisor Terry Withrow reported that as of September 25, they were about 15 days into the 60 days for the contracted term of the Goodwin Consulting Fiscal Feasibility Study and then the city and county will decide if they can come to a cost-sharing agreement. He reiterated that he supports Salida's citizens and “will not push anything that isn't what Salida wants”. Supervisor Withrow then gave a brief history of the Salida Community Plan.

An attendee asked if Salida MAC had a copy of the "Seven Questions" public information request regarding the annexation. The "Seven Questions" is posted at this link. Be sure to read this document to learn how the annexation would change the terms of the Salida Community Plan.

Supervisor Withrow shared that he attended a meeting last week with City of Modesto officials including Modesto Mayor Garrad Marsh and several county employees and he stated that he felt good about the meeting and told the mayor that, "I'm not gonna push this, I'm not going to make this happen if the people of Salida don't want it." He said the mayor "agreed 100%" and that he wouldn't push it either. Another Supervisor who was at the meeting, Dick Monteith, shared Supervisor Withrow's concerns about not forcing anything upon the people of Salida that they don't want.

An attendee asked the Supervisor how we can stop Modesto from "picking at us" (annexing chunks of land) in the meantime.  Supervisor Withrow replied that any land annexations have to go through and be approved by LAFCO -Local Agency Formation Commission

In wrapping up his report, Supervisor Withrow also shared how he preserved funds in the county's budget that had been set aside for a future park in Salida. Meeting attendees showed their appreciation with a round of applause.

SF Shakes performer at Salida
Park during
Nick W. Blom Salida Regional Library Report - Diane Bartlett, Library Branch Manager for the Nick W. Blom Salida Regional Library shared information on the "Love Salida" project for the library and announced that the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival will perform parts of 'A Midsummer's Night's Dream' at Salida Park and again at the Salida Library on November 7 at 3:45 pm. A Q&A with the cast will be offered after at 4:45 pm. Rehearsals for Salida's very own production of 'A Midsummer's Night's Dream' will begin on November 26. The company is looking for Salidans to perform in the play to culminate in a performance on December 8. So if you're a Salida resident who would like to be in the play or have a special skill like painting, sewing, dancing, singing, juggling or can play an instrument, please contact Diane at the library or call Carl at (415) 865-4423 for more details.

Fire Department Report – Tom Burns, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Salida Fire District and member of the Board of Directors for the Modesto Regional Fire Authority said it been a little over a year since Salida Fire District, City of Modesto Fire Department, and Stanislaus County Office of Emergency Services combined to form Modesto Regional Fire Authority. It is not, as it is commonly thought around the Salida community, a bigger Modesto Fire Department, nor is it that the Modesto Fire Department has taken over the Salida Fire Department, it is actually a brand new stand-alone agency. The volunteer firefighters in the Salida District are now referred to as “Reserves” instead of “Volunteers”. Salida has twelve active Reserve Firefighters. They not only respond to calls in Salida now, but throughout the whole regional fire district. The Reserve Firefighters now serve in several stations including ones in south Modesto and on the west side. They are looking to expanding additional reserves. 

The Modesto Regional Fire Authority is looking to expand on down the road and other agencies have expressed interest in joining. The fire station (#14) on Ciccarelli Road is currently being used as a training center but is not staffed. It may be staffed when the construction on the Kiernan ramps begins as its unknown how the station on Broadway (#12) will be affected by the construction.  The Modesto Regional Fire Authority holds monthly meetings on the first Wednesday of the month at the City-County chambers 1010 10th Street, Modesto at 1:30 pm and the public is welcome to attend.

CHP Report - CHP Officer Chuck Leon reported that there were 7 auto collisions in the Salida area; 3 were hit and run and 2 were injury. No major injuries. CHP did capture and arrest one of the hit and run suspects. Two DUI arrests in Salida. Since school has started, the CHP has received 10 active traffic complaints for the entire county and 8 of those are in Salida. Officer Leon asked that when dropping off school-age children, do not park in the red zones around the schools when picking up your children. He gave warnings but will issue citations next. Even if you're sitting in your car. He also asked that parents not park on the apex of the curb blocking wheelchair access, or park in front of or in people's driveways.

Sheriff Department Report - Deputy Jeff Crowley is the Salida Community Deputy, but Sheriff Christianson has taken him away from patrolling Salida and teamed him up with three other deputies from Empire, Keyes, and Denair as a crime reduction team. The four deputies work together as a team in the communities doing special tasks such as probation and parole searches. Deputy Crowley also handles the Neighborhood Watch program for Salida along with school safety programs. He addressed the issue of non-residents conducting criminal activities and leaving refuse in Salida's Countrystone Park. Deputy Crowley asked residents to step-up and establish neighborhood watch programs. Contact him at the Sheriff's Department to set one up. Salida shares patrolling deputies with Del Rio so if you would like to request more deputy coverage for Salida contact Sheriff Christianson 

Salida Sanitary Board Report - Salida Sanitary Board member, Brad Johnson, reported that the board is exploring solar energy options to reduce the energy costs of operating the plant and the pumps. The public is invited to attend Salida Sanitary's board meetings which are on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6 pm at the Sanitary District headquarters.

Discussing solar energy prompted an attendee to bring up the point that solar panels can be put on a home for free or next to nothing in areas covered by PG&E but that MID will not allow such a program. It was recommended that citizens who want this program to contact MID Board Member, Paul Warda who covers Salida for assistance.

Salida Union School District Superintendent Twila Tosh
addresses attendees at the Salida MAC meeting
Salida Union School District Report - Salida Union School District Superintendent, Twila Tosh shared that the district is in the process of looking for some federal bond dollars for modernization funds through a non-taxable bond with a low interest rate. The school district is also exploring solar options to save money on energy costs. The school district is adopting a new program similar to Crime Stoppers called "Students Speaking Out" where students can text, e-mail or phone in any kind of a disturbance, or are being bullied and otherwise harmed in any way they can contact the program anonymously. If the offender is prosecuted, the student can receive a reward. Ms. Tosh also addressed some questions from the last Salida MAC meeting regarding the potential annexation of Salida by the City of Modesto. The first question was how the annexation would affect the school district and Ms. Tosh replied that it wouldn't affect the school district; that it would remain a separate district just as Sylvan or Stanislaus Union are separate school districts. 

The next question that Ms. Tosh addressed is "Why isn't Gregori High named Salida High?" and its because Salida Union School District is an elementary district and not a high school district. Salida Union is licensed as a K-8th school district. She shared the history of how Jackson School District merged with Salida's in 1949 and became the Salida Union Elementary School District and has remained the same since. Salida does not have enough students that matriculate from 8th grade to a 9th grade classroom to run a comprehensive high school.

Ms. Tosh also addressed that Dena Boer School and Salida Middle School did receive Mello Roos tax dollars; about 30% and the Modesto School District received about 20% of Salida's Mello Roos dollars towards funding the high school.

An attendee asked how are the schools' scores. Ms. Tosh replied that Sisk School is over  800 on its API. Salida Elementary is in the mid-700's and SMS and Dena Boer are in the high 700's. Ms. Tosh shared that the elementary and middle schools provide music classes, art and field trips which many schools no longer offer.
Salida MAC Councilmember Karen Gorne
volunteering at Love Salida

Two final agenda items - signs for Salida MAC for meeting announcements. Councilmember Brad Johnson offered to pay for the signs. The other agenda item was to ask Supervisor Withrow's assistance to get back the Friday 8 pm time slot on cable TV for Salida MAC broadcasts.

We thank all who attended the meeting and hope you will attend future meetings and continue to communicate your community concerns.

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at 7 pm at Salida Library Community Room

FEATURED SPEAKER: Becky Meredith from Modesto City Schools will address Mello Roos

Salida MAC meetings are broadcast on government cable channel 19 in Salida and channel 7 in Modesto on Saturdays at 11 am. 

Be sure to "LIKE" Salida MAC on Facebook and follow on Twitter to keep apprised of the latest information about Salida.