City Manager Rod Butler says goodbye; Business Challenge announced
by Elias Funez
Aug 21, 2014 | 2251 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
City Manager Rod Butler bids his farewell as he presides over his final city council meeting last Tuesday Aug 19.--photo by Elias Funez/Patterson Irrigator
City Manager Rod Butler bids his farewell as he presides over his final city council meeting last Tuesday Aug 19.--photo by Elias Funez/Patterson Irrigator
The Stanislaus Business Alliance Small Business Development Center (SBDC) announced that they will be holding their first ever Stanislaus Innovation Challenge during Tuesday evening’s regularly scheduled City Council meeting on Aug. 26.

SBDC Director Kurtis Clark informed the council that anyone who is a resident, student or business owner within Stanislaus County is eligible to enter the challenge, with the grand prize being $2,500 in cash, as well as $2,500 in professional support services to help them launch their idea towards market introduction.

“It’s what we like to call American Idol meets Shark Tank,” said Clark, referring to the popular television shows.

According to the SBDC website, the Innovation Challenge is designed to assist people who have viable and innovative new ideas or products, and will focus on determining if those ideas have commercial potential. A panel of three experienced entrepreneurs, as well as audience members from each location, will get to cast their votes following the participants’ presentations.

Four separate cities within Stanislaus County have been selected to host the local competitions, including Patterson. The event is scheduled to take place on October 29 at the Hammon Senior Center, from 6 to 8 p.m. Other cities include Modesto on September 17, Oakdale on October 8 and Turlock on November 12.

The winner selected from each city will then move on to a fifth round, where one winner will be chosen to receive the $2,500 cash, as well as the $2,500 in support services. Aside from the prizes and support, the winner will get to compete in the eight-county-wide San Joaquin Entrepreneur Challenge and have the opportunity to be considered for additional funding by the Stanislaus-Merced Angel Investors, who typically invest around $50,000 to $500,000, yet claim to have no limit on the size of their investments.

For more information please contact Lisa Valdez at 209-567-4915 or visit

City Manager Butler applauded

Outgoing City Manager Rod Butler received applause and praise from City Council, staff and audience members during Butler’s final council meeting before leaving to take the City Manager job in his hometown of Upland in Southern California next month. City Engineer Ken Irwin was appointed as the Interim City Manager during last week’s Special City Council meeting on Aug. 12, and will take over in Butler’s absence by the next council meeting.

Baldwin repairs awarded

The Baldwin Road Manhole Repair Contract was awarded to Arrow Construction for $213,325 during Tuesday’s meeting.

Interim City Manager Ken Irwin addressed the council, acting as the director of engineering and capital projects while seated next to the city’s other department heads.

According to Irwin and the staff report, safety concerns have arisen as a result from uneven pavement around manholes in the northbound lane of Baldwin Avenue, between Sperry Avenue and Keystone Parkway. It was identified that improper compaction of the area around the manholes when the road was built back in 2004 are the cause.

“This is one of my pet peeve projects I’ve wanted to get done,” said Councilmember Deborah Novelli as she addressed city staff, adding that she’d like to see construction begin after 8 a.m. in order to help alleviate any added morning traffic issues. “Thank you.”

A second bid for $224,064 was also received from Teichert Construction, but ultimately the decision went with Arrow’s lower bid. A 5-percent contingency for unknown conditions was also added to the contract, allowing Arrow to spend up to $223,991 if need be.

Construction is expected to last approximately eight days and should commence within two to three weeks, according to Irwin.

Tax revenue trends reviewed

Andrew Nickerson of HdL Companies, based out of Diamond Bar, Calif., provided a presentation to councilmembers regarding Patterson’s current and historical sales tax revenue trends and helped answer any questions or concerns presented.

Councilmembers questioned Nickerson’s knowledge of point-of-sale taxes and sales-and-use taxes in relation to Patterson’s distribution centers, and made references to the Amazon Fulfillment Center.

“The business has a very unique structure unlike what we’ve seen in California,” Nickerson said of the city’s most recently constructed distribution center.

Emergency Shelter ordinance tabled again

Councilmembers voted to table the continued public hearing regarding the approval of Ordinance No. 770, which would establish an emergency shelter overlay zone, until their Oct. 21 meeting.

City Attorney Tom Hallinan said he saw some language in the ordinance that could create a problem with age and gender discrimination, and expressed that the ordinance has created debate amongst his law firm.

“There’s been a lot of debate about this internally,” Hallinan said. “I was out voted 3-2 on the SB-2 issue.”

Clemmer touts city water rebate program

Patterson resident and City Council meeting regular Mary Clemmer was happy to report on her experience in taking part in the city’s High Efficiency Toilet (HET) Pilot Rebate Program which offers $75 for each HET installed per home.

Clemmer recently had a pre-inspection for three new low flow HET’s to be installed in her home.

“It was a joy dealing with the city,” Clemmer said. “They were kind, helpful and answered our questions.”

Only city of Patterson utility customers are eligible for the rebate, and there is a limit of two rebates offered per household unless your home was built before 1994. A toilet must use 1.28 gallons of water per flush or less to be eligible as an approved HET.

A call to fill commission vacancies

Councilors pointed out that there are two vacancies on the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission, as well as three vacancies on the city’s Beautification Committee. It was advised that anyone interested in volunteering to fill those vacancies should contact City Hall or fill out an application available on the city’s website at

Elias Funez can be reached at 209-892-6187 ext: 31 or
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