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Community activist Jane Lea wants city council members elected by district

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Jane Lea

Posted: Saturday, December 15, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 7:18 am, Sat Dec 15, 2012.

For many years, community activist Jane Lea said she has felt that some Lodi City Council members have ignored the Eastside, not been responsive to concerns in the aging neighborhoods and often avoided that section of town.

"I find that disturbing that as a council member you do not drive around the town that you represent," she said.

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  • Josh Morgan posted at 9:29 am on Tue, Dec 18, 2012.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 542

    Where do you come up with these ideas? A fire station in a residential neighborhood when you have access to a commercial area. You've got to be kidding me! Ask the residents on Lower Sacramento Road how they like the fire station located next to them. These stations are located based on response times and are strategically located.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 8:51 am on Tue, Dec 18, 2012.

    advocate Posts: 502

    So you'd rather still see 95% of the money spent on the westside on projects like widening Hutchins for a million bucks when many streets are in disrepair and neighborhoods without proper street lighting and alleys that still flood on the forgotten eastside of Lodi? This city council and management can't even get the much needed work done at the Grape Bowland private donations were garnered to put up a new fence at the ballpark at Lawrence park. Only the more reason for having council districts in Lodi and having three or four council members who are best friends and live in the same neighborhood. Just look at the projects since 1998 and they have been on the affluent part of town, with only Rancho San Miguel the only project of importance on the eastside. Another new brainstorm by these council members is to build a new fire station on Cherokee Lane. Guess who is going to be the lucky seller? No other than Mr. Geweke and the properties are two of his blighted run down car lots and chances are he'll get more cash than the blighted properties are worth, with a part time retired real estate appraiser being one of the council members.Why not build that fire station in one of the nearby neighborhoods with good access to 99 and major routes and get some property that is dirt cheap now?

  • Josh Morgan posted at 8:10 am on Mon, Dec 17, 2012.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 542

    You may be on to something there Doug. Instead of five districts why don't we identify five ethnic groups and you can only run for Council if you qualify for one of those groups.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 6:41 am on Mon, Dec 17, 2012.

    advocate Posts: 502

    The good old boys system isn't working as it is now. There is absolutely no communication between this type of council and the minorities who reside on the eastside of Lodi. Some of these are the same council aand management personnel that have built that invisible "berlin wall" between themselves and the eastside of Lodi, which still exists. I work closely with the Hispanic, Pakistani and other ethnic persons on the eastside and I can assure you that the good old boys system of money buying billboards and elections is not fair to this community, which comprises half of Lodi's population, yet has no minority to represent them. The citizen survey of 2007, which has been taken down or hidden from the records or internet sources, suggests that Lodi is a very bigoted town and that most residents polled said it will always be that way. The city of Lodi promised that there would be a survey each year similar to this one but you can see certain council good old boys have not fulfilled that promise. I've posted the link to that survey several times and many of you have seen the results. Lodi has to change the system to assure that all candidates are given an equal opportunity foor a council seat without having to raise tens of thousands of dollars to "buy" their seats.

  • Josh Morgan posted at 7:18 am on Sun, Dec 16, 2012.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 542

    Why in the world would you want to limit your choices based on a street address? I want to vote for the best five candidates based on their abilities, not addresses. If Joanne Mounce's next door neighbor is one of the best candidates running for office why shouldn't I be able to vote for both Joanne and her neighbor?

  • Tim Litton posted at 4:06 pm on Sat, Dec 15, 2012.

    Tim Litton Posts: 24

    I like the idea of having different 4 distrcits with the whole city voting for at least one candidate in each district. Then having a vote for a mayor who can be from any district. I wonder how many councilman we have now that live in the same area of town and would be considered the same district, so of course they wouldn't like the idea. they'd have to run against eachother or move. My only concern would be having qualified candidates from each district.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 12:41 pm on Sat, Dec 15, 2012.

    advocate Posts: 502

    Mr. Morgan, where were you at at the city council candidates forum? The question was asked of each candidate concerning the "good old boys" agenda in Lodi and the answers were pretty conclusive that there is, indeed, a good old boys domination in Lodi, although all candidates had different views on what it means to them except for Ms. Mounce, who proudly proclaimed that the good old boys are an integral part of the Lodi area and are alive and well. Maybe you could get the transcripts from the News-Sentinel, moderators off this event. I believe it was the moderator who asked that particular question. Mr. Kuehne gave the best description of the good old boys.I was at that forum, by the way, and it was a pleasure to see Johnson's face turn beet red upon being asked certain questions. It reminded me of his description of one getting their "panties in a bunch" when often referring to Ms. Hitchcock or Mounce when they didn't agree with him during several council meetings that are on the city video archives. So why do you say there are no good old boys in Lodi, Mr. Morgan?

  • Jim Siemers posted at 12:30 pm on Sat, Dec 15, 2012.

    Jim Siemers Posts: 9

    The money that pays for City of Lodi expenses comes from the entire city. Splitting up the city into districts, could lead to the districts with the largest population determining where the money would be spent. Not necessarily where it comes from

  • Josh Morgan posted at 11:52 am on Sat, Dec 15, 2012.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 542

    Doug, your "good ol boys" comments are getting old and tired. When you actually have some good ideas your credibility is shot to hell when you include the same old comments. The water treatment plant had hearing after hearing in public. You may not have liked the project but it wasn't something done behind closed doors. The Reynolds Ranch project went through the proper public meetings and a zoning change was properly obtained. Again, you may not have liked the result but is was done properly. The Walmart issue was decided in a court of law and supported the City's position that Browman had provided the proper documentation. The only thing sinister about the Walmart project was the undisclosed opposition who refused to identify themselves. You need to put these issues behind you and move on. There are a lot more pressing issues out there that need our attention. And district voting is not going to solve them. If anything, district voting will be an obstacle.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 9:54 am on Sat, Dec 15, 2012.

    advocate Posts: 502

    Councilmembers Hansen and Katzakian sound much like the Bobbsy twins with their "first blush" comments stating that they think districts would be at a disadvantage, causing council members to work against one another? They shouldn''t be working against one another unless it's another one of those controversial iissues or projects the last ten years or more, like the unnecessary and unneeded water treatment plant, redevelopment, the Reynolds Ranch project that was approved and when presented didn't appear to look like the project that was presented with many changes seemingly made to benefit the developers profit margin and the superWalmart in which the three councilmembers who regularly vote together, Hansen, Johnson and Katzakian, overruled their own planning department and let the project continue without finishing the required SEQA and other requirements, just to name a few. If these three same council representatives are so atypical in the method they use to represent the whole city why would they give one of their two favorite contractors' a million dollar project to widen a few blocks of Hutchins street while there are streets in disrepair and neighborhoods still without proper overhead street lighting on the eastside, not to mention the alleys that still flood every rain, while the eastside is gobbled up by many slum landlords charging outrageous rents knowing that they can can, and will rent to anyone willing to pay and many of those rentals are unfit to live in. It's time Lodi has districts like the police, fire, schools, etc. What is it that those against districts are afraid of? Those same olds raise tens of thousands of dollars, and many unaccounted for $99 contribution checks and know that they can buy their way in, like it seemed councilman Johnson did tthis year, and the good old boys fear a dreaded minority, or even two, would upset their house of card at the good ol, boys club.

  • Josh Morgan posted at 9:32 am on Sat, Dec 15, 2012.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 542

    Doug, district voting would be the worst thing to happen to the east side. Under the current rules you can hold five individuals responsible. Under districts you will only hold one responsible. Bad, bad idea.

    Dr. Nakanishi is right on with his comments and concerns.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 9:11 am on Sat, Dec 15, 2012.

    advocate Posts: 502

    Lodi should be divided into 5 council districts with each voter choosing one candidate from each district to finally break the racial barrier of never having a representaive of the large Hispanic and Pakistani, or any ethnicity, from the eastside to speak up for the real citizens there. And< Mr. Parsons, I think you are incorrect to say that JoAnne Mounce living on the eastside has anything to do with her getting elected. She was the people's choice for her never ending battle to represent ALL the citizens of Lodi, not just those wealthy, well connected, good old boys and her not being afraid of questioning those who make the controversial decisions with their three dominant votes and pass any issue they want. Johnson, Hansen and Katzakian are rumored to be some of the foundation of the good ol" boys and before them it was Johnson, Hansen and Beckman. All are firmly embedded in the realty, developer, builder, contractor qand business scenario in the Lodi area and their largee contributors are the same group of good old boys that garner seemingly special favors and get their projects pushed through first with the three dominant votes. It's time to tumble the dominoes in this good ol' boys system and put this issue on the ballot.

  • Josh Morgan posted at 9:06 am on Sat, Dec 15, 2012.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 542

    With all due respect, I think it is a terrible idea. Council members should represent the entire community, not just their respective district. I want to hold five individuals responsible, not just one. District voting is good when you have to cover large areas. Lodi is only 5 square miles. I see this polarizing the community. I also don't like the idea of someone determining that they way to get good representation is to change the rules. District voting in Stockton has been a disaster and they cover a much larger area than Lodi.

  • Bruce Rubly posted at 8:51 am on Sat, Dec 15, 2012.

    brucerubly Posts: 3

    great idea, get a proposition on the next ballot



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