“The City of Patterson is in a better economic situation than most other cities in the state, however, we must not be complacent about our current and future economic growth opportunities,” Mayor Luis Molina stated in opening remarks before he passed the spotlight off to other city council members. “We have seen first-hand what we can yield if we are prepared with shovel-ready project areas, and to partner with organizations and individuals who can help highlight Patterson as a great place to do business.”
Each other council member then talked about different facets of accomplishments and goals for the city.
Councilwoman Deborah Novelli relayed information regarding two projects she esteems important—the M Street and Ward intersection upgrade and the new intersection signal being placed at the Hartley Street and Walnut Avenue. She also announced a future project in the works—improvements on Baldwin Road.
“In the near future, work will begin—to put it simply—to level the road,” she said. “People who travel Baldwin Road have seen the difference between where the road lies and where the manhole covers sit.”
Councilman Dominic Farinha talked about the city’s downtown and improvements that are on the horizon.
“The city council has taken a very important step to ensure that the Center Building (historical museum) will receive various upgrades,” he said before talking about upcoming discussions on enhancing the downtown area. “This process will not be quick and hurried but rather one that will take painstaking approaches to be all inclusive with and sensitive to concerned citizens, property owners, local merchants and other interested parties to bring about positive improvements to an important and historical section of Patterson.”
Councilwoman Sheree Lustgarten talked about the Patterson Fire Department.
She stated that talks about creating a joint powers authority between the city of Patterson and Newman as well as the West Stanislaus Fire Protection District had slowed due to concerns raised by Newman, but that efforts between Patterson and West Stanislaus to combine had not ceased.
She stated the goals of efficiency between the departments, including development of policy, identification of areas for efficiency and cost savings were all goals between the two departments, along with the establishment of a Citizens Emergency Response Team, which is now in a seven week training course.
Mayor Pro Tem Larry Buehner then highlighted recent strides in law enforcement, including a response rate that continues to be near 5 minutes on average from deputies. He also noted that Patterson Police Services responded to 762 more calls in 2013 than 2012 at 10,690. Buehner said the recent contract agreement reached between Patterson and the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department will continue offering police services to the city, and will provide an additional sergeant to help with administration within the city department.
Molina closed by stating there were still challenges to be met, including unemployment and engaging more residents.
“We should really consider getting to know our neighbors,” he said. “Once we know each other better, we can certainly find ways to act together because of common interest.”
n Nick Rappley can be reached at 568-9975 or firstname.lastname@example.org.