State of the City 2012
Feb 29, 2012 | 2727 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For those who want a more in-depth look at Mayor Luis Molina's State of the City Address on Monday night, Feb. 27, it is presented here in its entirety:

Good evening and thank you for coming tonight. It is an honor and a privilege to stand here as your mayor and deliver the State of the City address. This is my second address as your mayor, and as I have said before, my commitment to all of you is that this one of many opportunities to have a dialogue. In the many events, activities and grocery store conversations, it is important to have a dialogue and build relationships based on respect and trust. I have served Patterson in elected office since 2005, as your mayor since 2010, and for that involvement, I have my wife Graciela Molina to thank! She has been there by my side, supporting and encouraging as we have served our community of Patterson to the best of our abilities.

Before I continue, let me acknowledge some individuals in attendance. We have our City Council members: Farinha, Novelli, Smith and Buehner, our city manager, Mr. Rod Butler, and various members of our city staff.

I would like to thank Mr. Butler and our city staff for providing information that I will share with you tonight. I appreciate their commitment to serving and informing our residents.

I will share some recent challenges that we have faced, some that we have before us and still some to come. I will also share with you some highlights and projects to look forward to for our community of Patterson. I will finally share with you some ideas to engage more residents, continue to build on a focus of youth leadership development, and ask you to join me in building a better tomorrow. We must strive to become a safer, family-focused environment to live and play.

Early this month, we congratulated our city manager, Rod Butler, on his one-year anniversary. Mr. Butler has done a great job in managing existing opportunities, identified ways to become more efficient and has continued to solidify the administration of our city, working closely with our department heads and overall city staff. Thank you, Mr. Butler, for your leadership and vision.

In the last year, we have been faced with a less than cooperative state legislature and governor. Redevelopment agencies in our city and in the state have been abolished. We must find new ways to secure other funds and resources to rebuild fractures in our community and construct solid projects for our city’s prosperity. The City of Patterson is in a better economic situation than most other cities; however, we must not remain idle in our economic growth opportunities. We have learned from the businesses that have come to town, that having shovel-ready industrial land is an economic boost for a community. It means jobs and an improved economy, and the City of Patterson has been prepared for such opportunities!

Make no mistake about it. We will continue to be faced with economic challenges as a municipality, local businesses, families and individuals. The key is to work at being prepared for those opportunities that we create or that come knocking on our door. Project X could have chosen another location, as with our other businesses, but the work of our city has been preparing a good foundation to attract such projects. We need to continue strengthening our relationship with existing businesses and continue to demonstrate why it is a good business decision to stay in Patterson. I would like to thank our city staff as they make customer service a priority and provide the best service they can to our visitors, businesses and residents. I would also congratulate and thank our Chamber of Commerce for reaching out to our business community, working closer with the Alliance Worknet, and invigorating the organization’s ambassador program to support the business community.

I would like to now list for you some of the accomplishments and goals for different areas of our city, then share with you additional thoughts about us as a community.

PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS COMPLETED & APPROVED BY COUNCIL IN 2011

1. Well No. 4 Rehab Project

2. CDBG Downtown Improvements Phase III Project

3. Highway 33 and M Street Intersection Improvements

4. Non-Potable Pipeline Phase I Project

5. Non-Potable Pipeline Phase II Project

6. Old Town Utility Replacement Phase I Project

7. Prop 1B Rehabilitation Project

8. Skate Park

9. Biosolids Removal, Pond 1

10. Well No. 9 Construction & Site Improvements

11. New Corp Yard Landscape

12. Water Meter Replacement Program

13. SCADA at WWTP Facility (Wiring/Computer Equipment

14. Lutheran Church Accessibility Parking Project

15. Fire Station No. 1 Roof Repairs

Parks and Recreation
Skate Park

The city is proud to have opened our much awaited Patterson Skate Park at the Community Complex. This 15,000-square-foot park designed by world-renowned Wally Hollyday with input from our youth. The state of the art skate park features, a bowl, pool coping, street style skating, stairs and many other features for beginning to advanced skaters alike. Additional amenities include, shade sails, seating area, lights and art wall. The Skate Park is a huge draw for our youth to enjoy and enhance their skills. Programs that will enhance the skate park experience includes free beginner skate lessons offered by PHS student Fernando Ramirez as his senior prep project, Central Valley Am Jam, a huge skate completion hosted in July. We want everyone to enjoy our skate park, but please remember that helmets, knee and elbow pads are required for all skaters.

Art Wall

The Art Wall is an enhanced feature of the Skate Park. The idea came out of the input the Parks and Recreation Commission received during the meeting with Wally. The Art Wall is designed to feature rotating art from local community artists. The art must be reviewed and approved by city staff and the Parks and Recreation Commission. The first art project was designed by PHS student David Luna for his Senior Prep project. David worked with his mentor, PHS art teacher Cade Tomasegovich, to create the art and make it come to life on the four varying sizes and shapes of the Art Wall. Congratulations, David Luna for a great art project.

Teen Center Relocation

We are very proud to have the city support the Center for Human Services’ decision to move the Teen Center to its new location at the True Value shopping center. Staff worked hard with the City Council to understand the need to move the Teen Center to its new home in order to better serve the needs of our youth. The Center for Human Services received a grant from the county’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services to improve the mental and emotional health of Patterson’s youth. We believe this will be done by creating a welcoming and caring place where they feel a sense of belonging. The Teen Center will also work with our seniors, recreation staff and local businesses to create a sense of community that empowers everyone to recognize the many gifts that we all have to offer.

Planning

The city has undertaken a Comprehensive Master Plan process that will determine what the needs and desires of the community are and to focus resources to provide for those demands in a thoughtful, efficient and economical manner. The master plans will include reviews of police services, fire safety, parks and recreation services, the transportation network, and water, sewer, and storm drain infrastructure to benefit the entire community.

Using a state grant, the city has undertaken an update to the Zoning Ordinance. The city will focus on making this document more user- and business-friendly, making government more accessible and requirements easier to understand.

The city issued a building permit to Walmart to begin construction, which is anticipated to be completed later this year.

The city has seen a definite uptick in all development sectors, including new job creators (Walmart and Project X), health care facilities (New Del Puerto Health Care Center, expansion of Golden Valley Health Care Center, and building plans for the Emmanuel Health Care Center), and the city approved new housing building permits for the first time in four years. All of these signs point to a promising future for the city.

*We have heard and read some concerns about the progress of construction at the Walmart site. We had three good things happen this week related to Walmart. First, on Friday, Feb. 17, the Walmart folks came in and paid their permit fees in full to the tune of $1,483,020.94. Some of that money goes to the county for their impact fee program, but the city keeps most of it. Also, on Thursday of this week, Walmart picked up their approved plans at City Hall, which is usually the last step before major construction activity begins. Finally, we received a call from Walmart Project Manager Jason Hatwig this week informing us that Walmart and General Contractor HBI had reached agreement on how to proceed with their soil preparation work, which has been the reason for the delays over the past couple of weeks. We expect to see major activity at the site resume. You may have noticed that earlier this week, two nice banners, one saying “Future Home of Walmart” and one advertising HBI Construction, were installed on the Sperry side of the construction site.

Fire Department

2011 was a whirlwind year for both Chief Hall personally and the organization as a whole. In February of last year, he presented my Goals and Projects to our city manager and council

This report will identify the various goals and projects we were able to successfully complete, as well as those which fell short. It is Chief Hall’s intention to continue moving forward on the shortfalls of 2011, adding those to the forthcoming list for 2012.

· Goal #1 Develop the Patterson Fire Department Mission Statement…

· This goal is still a work-in- progress. Although It would be easier for me, as the fire chief, to push my personal vision, mission statement, and core values onto the organization, I would prefer to have a collaborative effort amongst the troops in identifying what is important to us as a unit, not just as an individual.

· Goal #2 Reinstate consolidation feasibility study…

· This goal is in progress with an anticipated completion date of September 1, 2012.

· Goal #3 Ensuring financial sustainability…

· This goal is an ongoing process; analyzing our current and anticipated staffing needs, delivery methods, and operational consistencies while maintaining current and forecasted expenditures.

· Goal #4 Champion personnel development…

· Although this goal is ongoing, great strides were made in 2011 with the introduction of Target Safety; an online training program accessed anytime throughout the day or night to complete didactic lessons, allowing for more “hands-on” time to complete manipulative drills vital in maintaining position currency and relevancy.

· Another milestone completed was the hiring of a Division Chief of Training/Operations in November 2011. With the addition of Jeff Breasher to our organization, we are now able to take an aggressive approach with our local, state, and federal training mandates, as well as implementing one of my visions in creating a state-of-the-art regional training facility at Fire Station II.

· In addition, I have continued to push our firefighters in pursuing their formal education. To date, we have three of our personnel enrolled in Southern Columbia University’s online Applied Associates of Science (AAS) program with an emphasis in fire science.

· Goal #5 Strive to create a value-driven organization…

· This goal is a work-in-progress with continued evaluation of program delivery including needed (or standard) programs, and the addition of extra-curricular programs designed to enhance service delivery, e.g. community CPR/1st Aid, babysitting education, car-seat installations, etc.

· Goal #6 Initiate improvements of the Records Management System…

· This goal was completed within the given time frame (February, 2012). The transition from our existing records management platform (Firehouse Software) into ZOLL was a painstaking, staff-intensive move linking the Patterson and West Stanislaus fire databases into the Stanislaus County platform. Completing this project allows direct data input from Stanislaus Regional-911 into our records system, thus saving valuable time in the field and even more time saved by staff in the office.

· The second component of the RMS and GIS goal was the installation and implementation of Mobile Data Computers (MDC) in the department’s fire engines and command vehicles. These computers allow direct information exchange between our units and SR-911, as well as “live” apparatus tracking and Global Positioning Systems (GPS), enhancing dispatch and response capabilities.

· Goal #7 Continue fostering relationships

· This goal is ongoing; working with other departments within the city in developing cost-effective relationships, e.g. Public Works and Fire “sharing” fire hydrant information (reducing duplicated efforts) and coordinating GIS programs between Fire, Planning, and Public Works, ensuring the adequate, up-to-date mapping of critical infrastructures are identified, again, reducing duplicated efforts.

· Part of this ongoing process is the establishment of a “Command-and-Control” infrastructure for expanded emergencies, disasters, and catastrophes based on the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS) requirements utilizing personnel form each discipline within the city to carry out the various functions needed.

· Goal #8 Develop working relationships…

· This goal is still a work-in-progress. With the limited resources (mechanics) available within Fleet Services as well as “specialized” certifications required to work on various components of fire apparatus, the Public Works Director and myself have tabled this goal until joint-funding becomes available to bring a full or part-time position into the city. This, however, has not hindered our relationship; Fleet Services has continued to assist the Fire Department in other areas of “routine” maintenance items relating to both our command vehicles as well as fire apparatus.

· Goal #9 Increase delivery of public education…

· Although this goal is ongoing, the Fire Department delivered numerous presentations in 2011 on fire safety, including its annual presentations during October’s Fire Prevention Week. Students at every grade level at Las Palmas, Northmead, Walnut Grove, Apricot Valley, and Creekside participated in either individual class or assembly-style presentations.

· In addition, emergency preparedness sessions were held at City Hall (hosted by the Patterson-Westley Chamber of Commerce) and more recently at the Kit Fox RV Park for approximately 50 RV’ers. A continued focus will be on furthering these presentations as well as establishing a local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

· Goal #10 Re-evaluate job descriptions…

· This goal is on track for completion in late March 2012. To date, job descriptions for the Fire Chief, Division Chiefs (Training/Operations and Support Services/Prevention), Captains, and Fire Apparatus Operators (Engineers) have been completed. To be reviewed are descriptions and classifications for Administrative Assistant and Secretary positions.

· Status of Fire Department Projects for 2011

· Training: Ongoing

· Training Center Master Plan: Props and classroom amenities are currently being constructed and/or purchased. Division Chief Breasher is working with career personnel and our volunteers in establishing priorities for the site.

· Emergency Operations Center Development: Ongoing

· Fire Station-I Improvements: Improvements to Fire Station I have been completed; the structure has been re-roofed; new exterior doors with push-button access have been installed; cabling for computers and new Voice-Over-Internet telephones has been completed; cameras and enhanced exterior lighting has been installed; and a reverse osmosis system has been installed (eliminating the purchasing of bottled water).

· Pending improvements include the installation of new automatic overhead door openers.

Building

2011 was a very good year for the City of Patterson Building Division, including Code Enforcement. Some of the division’s major accomplishments are:

· Code Enforcement collected approximately $250,000 from Bank of America and other major lenders for the fines assessed on foreclosed properties that were in a state of neglect.

· Provided Grainger Corporation with a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy to allow the first “Out Bound” shipment as planned. The primary building permit for the project is now in final status.

· Kiper Development submitted master plans for a 47-unit subdivision (Finishing the lots started by Shea Homes, prior to the housing market decline). Kiper Development started 3 homes in 2011, getting all three through sheetrock prior to the end of the year. All three homes should have a final inspection by 3/1/2012.

· Plan check and prepare the fees for the new AM/PM gas station, carwash and market. The permit is ready to be issued as soon as the fees are paid. Arco plans to start construction prior to March 15, 2012 to avoid a revision for accessibility.

· Worked with the Housing Authority to complete 21 low-income housing remodels and return the tenants to their homes.

· The removal of 902 locations of gang graffiti, totaling 44,584 square feet of surface area.

Patterson Police Services

Department, Patterson Police Services generated a 21 percent reduction in Part 1 crimes. The enhanced partnership with the community and businesses helped in the efforts to reduce our Part 1 crime rate. Last year, we launched an effort to engage the community in calling 911 or our non-emergency number when they suspected criminal activity, suspicious persons and vehicles in their neighborhood. With the collaborative effort, we received many calls leading to the arrest and conviction of several suspects. I would like to thank the public for getting involved and working with law enforcement to reduce the crime rate and make Patterson a wonderful place to live and work.

Thank you to the community members who have taken the time to send cards, letters, e-mails and provide personal comments praising the fantastic efforts by our men and women. In 2010, we launched our first National Night Out with Patterson Fire Department and Patterson Ambulance. In 2011, the event was an even a greater success. We received warm welcomes as we made several stops throughout Patterson, sending our message and educating the community on National Night Out.

National Night Out

National Night Out is a unique event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and is held the first Tuesday in August. Last year, the National Night Out campaign involved citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials from over 15,449 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide. In all, over 37 million participated in National Night Out worldwide.

National Night Out is designed to:

§ Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness

§ Generate support and participation in local anti-crime

§ programs, such as Neighborhood Watch

§ Strengthen neighborhood spirit and community policing partnerships

§ Send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back

National Night Out has proven to be an effective, inexpensive and enjoyable program to promote neighborhood safety and community policing partnerships. Additionally, the benefits your community will derive from National Night Out will most certainly extend beyond the one night of the event. Please join us in 2012!

Neighborhood Watch

No one person or law enforcement agency can be aware of every situation that occurs in a neighborhood at all times. Neighbors are the best defense against crime. To help build strong neighborhood crime prevention networks, the Patterson Police Department sponsors Neighborhood Watch. Neighborhood Watch reduces the opportunity for crime in your neighborhood. By implementing basic crime prevention techniques, watching out for one another and reporting suspicious activity to police, neighbors create a unified front against crime. This awareness reduces criminal activity. We look forward to more neighborhoods joining the fight against crime!

Apricot Fiesta

On June 3rd, 4th and 5th the 41st, the Annual Patterson Apricot Fiesta took place in downtown Patterson. The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department provided law enforcement services for this outdoor festival. An Operational Plan was created based upon historical events and anticipated crowd size. Within the event venue, criminal activity was minimal on all three days. This year’s Apricot Fiesta saw some rain showers but was a successful event.

Barbosa Video

Patterson Police Services continues to partner with Barbosa Video in getting the word out on crime. This has proven beneficial, as residents have called in to report crime. Your phone calls have led to several arrests and convictions. Thank you for taking the time to get involved to report crime in your neighborhoods.

Patterson Police Services

Patterson Police Services is comprised of 21 sworn deputies who provide law enforcement services to 20,560 residents. This averages 1.02 Deputies per thousand residents, which is below the Peace Officer Standards in Training recommended average. The city has adopted a policy to increase the staffing level to 1.5 sworn officers per thousand. It is unknown at this time when the city will reach 1.5 sworn per thousand. The City of Patterson provides crime rate statistics to the Department of Justice, which is then used to measure crime trends throughout the country. Much of the analysis focuses on serious crime that is defined as the Part One Offenses. Those offenses consist of Homicide, Forcible Rape, Robbery, Larceny and Auto Theft. The crime rate for each jurisdiction is derived by dividing the population of each jurisdiction into the number of crimes reported.

General Information

§ Patrol responded to 12,924 calls for service.

§ 1137 traffic citations issued.

§ Contacted 300 suspicious vehicles/persons.

§ Investigated 109 traffic collisions.

§ Handled 66 domestic violence calls.

§ Handled 30 gang related calls for service.

§ Arrested 19 individuals for driving under the influence.

§ Patterson Police Services made a total of 473 arrests.

Street Gangs

In 2009, Stanislaus County was estimated to have 15,000 gang members, of which 5,000 are documented. They are comprised of 80% males and 20% females. The City of Patterson has approximately 177 documented gang members, with many more undocumented. Of the 177 documented gang members, they range from outlaw motorcycle gangs, white pride gangs to the more predominant Hispanic street gangs (Surenos vs. Nortenos).The statistics of crime reports involving criminal street gangs is ambiguous. The majority of these crimes usually go unreported or without a victim. People fear retaliation in their own neighborhoods, and it prohibits them from coming forward as a witness/victim. In the gang culture, gang members also refuse to come forward as a victim/witness for fear of being labeled a “rat” or “snitch”, which can be dealt with through severe consequences.

In our small community of Patterson, one drive-by shooting is far too many. Of the gang-related drive-by shootings reported in Patterson, three were reported in 2010 and seven in 2011. Gang member Jimmy Tovar was the primary suspect in most of the drive-by shootings in 2011. He was arrested and is awaiting trial.

Traffic Enforcement

Patterson Police Services continues to partner with the AVOID the 12 grant. Checkpoints are not only for enforcement but are also used as an educational tool. We have been conducting saturation patrol throughout the city during 2011. Through the contacts made at the checkpoints to the media announcements, we are able to reinforce the message of not driving under the influence. In 2011 numerous DUI saturation patrols we conducted throughout the city. This led to many of the 19 DUI arrests. Our traffic deputy helped CHP with their cell phone campaign and issued several citations to drivers talking on cell phones. Deputy Banks issued over 400 traffic citations in 2011. Additionally, a CITE deployment was coordinated in the City of Patterson using multiple agencies. The team saturated the city for traffic violators to help reduce our traffic collisions.

Child Safety Fair

In October, we participated in a Child Safety Fair with The Klauss Foundation in North Park in downtown Patterson. After the tragic loss of Juliani Cardenas, we wanted to educate the community on how to keep our children safe. We had a great turnout and interacted with many kids and parents throughout the community. We had our motorcycle and off road vehicles on display for the kids and parents.

Recognition

Sgt. Joe Camarda retired from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department after 30 years. Sgt. Camarda was with Patterson Police Department prior to contracting with the Sheriff’s Department. His many years of service to the City of Patterson are commendable and he will be missed. Sgt. Camarda was a figure for many years in the community and had a positive relationship with those he came in contact. I would like to congratulate and thank Joe Camarda for his years of selfless service and dedication to Patterson Police Services and the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department. Enjoy retirement! Patterson Police Services Deputy Randall Watkins received the 2011 Stanislaus Civitan Club, Officer of the Year Award, for his outstanding service. His peers nominated him based upon his hard work and dedication to the community. Deputy Watkins has many years experience and was a prior family crimes detective and field training officer.

Deputy Watkins is currently a member of the Hostage Negotiation Team. He is a valued asset to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department and Patterson Police Services. Deputy Ruben Nuno received a Life Saving Award for clearing the airway of a 7-year-old child on Weber who was choking. Deputy Nuno was the first on scene prior to paramedics or fire department. His quick response and training in CPR saved his life. Deputy Banks entered his new motorcycle and won 1st place in the Menlo Park/Ripon Police 2011 Emergency Vehicle Show. Deputy Banks is proud and honored to have his new motorcycle. MOMS Club of Patterson recognized Emergency Services for their outstanding work and dedication to the community.

This was the second annual recognition. The Sheriff’s Department brought their SWAT vehicle, traffic motorcycle, and K-9 so the kids could interact with the deputies and learn more about Emergency Services. Please join us March 28th, 2012 for the 3rd Annual Emergency Services Appreciation Day.

Jonathan from the Patterson Irrigator thanked Deputy Hutsell when his laptop was recovered after it was stolen from the H.O.S.T. house. Deputy Hutsell quickly recognized the individuals involved and was able to track down the laptop.

Vision

Many county services have been reduced or cut out all together. These are difficult times, and we will be faced with making difficult decisions in the future. We have a great deal to be proud of, however we cannot rest in helping the future generations succeed.

Although the city, along with the school district and other government agencies, is faced with fiscal challenges, and being asked to do more with less, I feel strongly that now is not the time to stay idle. We have a high unemployment rate. People have and are losing their jobs and homes. There is a brokenness that we are experiencing that is felt around the county, state and the nation. It is up to us, as a community, to take advantage of the opportunity we have to build on the challenges we have overcome, to celebrate accomplishments by our city staff, community and council, and to further strengthen our relationships with our school district, health care district, the business community, churches and community-based organizations. It is also a time to take a pause to thank our city staff for the service they provide to our residents, and honor the women and men of law enforcement and fire department for their daily commitment to protect and serve.

With great pride, we must work in partnership, striving to identify and achieve common goals. This will only be accomplished through open and honest communication, respect and trust.

There are some people who ask about our future: where are the youth of today? What are they going to do? Are they ready? Well, let me tell you that I have worked with youth of all ages and Patterson has some very capable, intelligent, creative and powerful leaders. They embarked in a leadership development training with me and facilitators from the Prevention Institute with a grant from the California Endowment. We are putting together a Mayor’s Ambassador Program to work on bringing solutions forward to our community. The future is in great capable hands.

Lastly, last Thursday, we started the Mayor’s Book Club…promoting early literacy. Come and join me at the library on the last Thursday of the month at 10:30 a.m. by reading to our children of preschool age and younger. Community readers create future leaders!

I wish to thank all of you who are here today to show support your council members, city staff and our great community of Patterson.

The State of the City is great! I am very proud to be your, mayor and with your help we will make Patterson an even better community for tomorrow! Thank you and God bless!

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