Citizen applauds Lodi’s water meter program
The council and city staff received praise from a new Lodi
citizen for the way they have handled the water meter program.
John Slaughterback thanked Public Works Director Wally Sandelin
for finding a way to install water meters in a timely manner and
with minimal costs to residents.
Slaughterback encouraged Lodi residents to look for leaks in
their water systems, and said most people will find that their
bills are not higher with meters.
He also criticized Councilman Alan Nakanishi for voting against
the water meter timeline without commenting on why he didn’t
“That’s not indicative of good leadership. I would hope in the
future when a council member disagrees with the other council
members, I hope they will let the public know why,’ he said.
Slaughterback recently moved to Lodi from Galt. He regularly
attended Galt City Council meetings, where he was an outspoken
critic especially about how the city managed the wastewater
Two new buses
The city will purchase two 32-foot compressed natural gas buses
to replace two 40-foot buses.
Lodi will purchase the new buses with $940,500 in state
Proposition 1B funds the city received to purchase natural gas
Ed Miller, a representative for Lodi’s Tea Party chapter,
questioned the city purchasing the buses at this time.
“With this big struggle with the economy and the budget, it
doesn’t sound like it is justified at this time,’ said Miller, who
is a regular at council meetings.
Sandelin said the city received the state money through a
competitive process, and Lodi needs to spend it or will lose
The city has wanted to replace the buses for the last four years
because they have had continuous maintenance problems, especially
during the summer. They are six years old and each have 200,000
miles on them.
Councilman Phil Katzakian said right now the city is losing
money on the buses everytime they break down.
“The maintenance issues are on our dime. By getting these new
buses, we are basically saving money,” he said.
Councilwoman JoAnne Mounce said she is happy the buses will be
“One of the things that I hear on a regular basis is that our
buses are running around half empty. I think downsizing our buses
will be a good choice,” she said.
City continues longtime partnership with
Since 2000, the city has hired employees from the United
Cerebral Palsy of San Joaquin, Amador and Calaveras Counties to do
a variety of jobs.
On Wednesday, the council approved a $112,767 contract with UCP
for Downtown cleaning, transit facility cleaning and Hutchins
Street Square landscaping.
In Downtown, the workers focus on School Street and remove
furniture, trash, litter, spills and leaves removal five days a
week. They also clean around the Lodi Station, the parking garage
and sheltered bus stops and mow, edge and trim shrubs at Hutchins
The program includes transportation and direct supervision for
the workers, and is the only known nonprofit to pay its workers the
state minimum wage, according to the city staff report.
Mayor Bob Johnson asked city staff to consider finding even more
ways to utilize the employees.
“They do an excellent job for us at a reasonable price, and we
should find ways to utilize them further,” he said.
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