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Lodi City Council candidates discuss growth

Other forum topics include pension reform, water meters and gangs

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Posted: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 11:35 am, Thu Oct 7, 2010.

On Monday night, Lodi City Council candidates argued about whether Lodi has done enough to attract businesses over the years. That was one of several issues that the seven candidates debated at a forum the News-Sentinel hosted at the Boys and Girls Club.

About 50 people attended and listened to the candidates discuss pension reform, combating gangs in Lodi, redevelopment and even their favorite book and movie.

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  • shawn sanborn posted at 9:56 pm on Sat, Oct 9, 2010.

    shawn sanborn Posts: 15

    A rate payer saving of six million dollars? I dont beleive any of it. As far as I am concerned thier track record stinks! It is known that after all the meters are installed, if people conserve too much water the city will raise the rates to make up the difference for the ill gotten gains they anticipate. Remember, they are not doing this to loose money! I am suspicouse that they want to run out a large group of poor people from this town. I cant prove this, its just conjecture on my part. In my opinion these councilmen and women are no better than corporate felons, manipulating things for thier own benifet and those of thier masters behind the scences. Just like corporate criminals the must boot lick thier supporters or find a new line of work. Think about this, this is just one scheme of many! Think about all the ones very few, or no one knows about that takes away from mostly the poor of this town. The ballot box should have a mark for...(none of the above) and if none of the above is elected, all those that were running for office should be banned from running for office in this town for ever! Does anybody think that this year some one will be held accountable? It has never happened before, odds are more of the same to come.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 10:15 pm on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    Mr. Bitz, Katzakian says he's learned a lot in the first 4 years, apparently to hide the money and then suddenly release the news just before election? I hope he stuck his foot in his own mouth by releasing some facts that were another well kept secret this present council is reputed to be very adept at doing. I think with manager King gone and Bartlam struggling to figure out where King left off, Lodi is headed into some very bad times under this present leadership. Why the big holdup hiring a real qualified city manager?

  • Doug Chaney posted at 10:01 pm on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    Thank you, John Johnson, for being a breath of fresh air and with each statement asked of you at the forum, bringing up a very important reason to insure that neither Katzakian nor Hansen are re-elected. Between those two and council Bob Johnson, they've been responsible for every decision made in the last four years, with most council votes being 3-2, 3 dominant males 3 and usually right females 2. Those same 3, along with ex-council John Beckman, also being responsible for the highest wastewater, water and electric rates in California, if not the entire country, thanks to their constant raising of these fees on the ratepayers instead of the developers, realtors, builders and lenders who should be responsible for these huge "taxes" disguised as rate raises. We need honest council representatives who can reign in spending and return some of those profits from Lodi Electric District, large profits at that, back to the ratepayers with lower rate structures and demand they stop using LEUD as a cash cow for their city of Lodi extravagant spending and to pay city bills with. Larry Hansen is mainly responsible for this issue, with most of his council time spent on both LEUD and NCPA business, as he's also chairman of the board of the Northern California Power Association, and also played a big part of nearly bankrupting both the city and the electric district in 2004-2005 and causing the electric rates to rise by some nearly 70% alone in 2005. That's only one reason that it's time for Mr. Hansen to, as he calls it, "get a real life". As an attendee at the forum, the 3 most impressive candidates were to me, John Johnson, Jay Patel and Tim Reed. I did like Mr. Amador's responses but don't believe he's familiar with Lodians and the area and a new resident within the last 2 years. Mr. Nakanishi seemed to have the same old as Hansen and Katzakian and to me was an utter failure as an assembly member, being one of the same old same olds. I would highly recommend another public forum sponsored by someone other than Weybret and Hanner with their seemingly scripted questions that didn't really face the real issues here that have led not only to the high rates, terrible attitude toward attracting new businesses, the liability of Lodians paying $50 million for the ground and groundwater contamination by Lodi Printing, Lodi News-Sentinel, Guild Cleaners and a few others, while those business owners were forgiven by some of these same council serving now, and one who even played a major part in the contamination themselves. It's time for both incumbents to be dethroned.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:36 pm on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    To listen to what a politician says before an election is an exercise in futility.
    To review and study the actions they have done is an exercise in understanding future actions that are likely. I think any politician who changes positions and views prior to election is very likely to change them to something else after their position is secured.

  • Jim Hanson posted at 5:00 pm on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    Jim Hanson Posts: 27

    roy - I couldn't agree with you more. The incumbents are scrambling to secure their seat and will say anything at this point. They no their time is up!!! Plus the article should have been more clear on the sales tax. One would never say - "vote for me and I will raise sales taxes." The sentinal should have said that all candidates would like to increase the revenue stream of sales tax by promoting local businesses and developing new businesses in the community. Sometimes you have to scratch your head a bit after reading these articles. Monkeys with cigarettes could do a better job!!

  • Sam Heller posted at 4:16 pm on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    Sam Heller Posts: 176

    Haha Kevin, sounds like lovable Lodi. Newcomers not welcome.

    Sorry. Just teasing.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:01 am on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2116

    "But there is disagreement about whether the council has done enough to recruit and maintain new businesses."

    Let's look at to different scenarios from my moving to a new town experiences. First, Springfield Oregon (go Ducks). When we moved in (from out of town) within the first week there was a welcome package brought out by a volunteer that had a plethora of local business promotional things, coupons, menus pens, magnets for the fridge, promotional fliers and business cards as well as lists of community events. Most of it we didn't use (didn't need) but what went through our heads was here was a community that was active in keeping business local (tourism major, that kind of thing is what draws my attention).

    Then we move to Lodi. Here we didn't get anything. Oh, I'm sorry, I did receive a nasty note from a new neighbor the second day we were in town because my garbage cans were visible from the street. I love living in Lodi and love (most) of the people here, but when it comes to promotion local businesses the powers that be are very narrow-minded in their efforts.

  • Timothy Katzakian posted at 7:47 am on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    Timothy Katzakian Posts: 1

    The article says;

    While campaigning, all of the candidates have advocated increasing sales tax to pay for city services. But there is disagreement about whether the council has done enough to recruit and maintain new businesses.

    I think that all of the candidates advocated increasing sales tax revenue to the city through increased business activity, but none of them indicated that they would want a sales tax rate increase.

  • roy bitz posted at 7:01 am on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    roy bitz Posts: 503

    Incumbent council member/ mayor Katzakian announces a rate payer saving of six million dollars in the "estimated cost" of constructing a water treatment plant.
    This is only an "estimate" so it may change again after the election. It seems two council members realize they need to do something dramatic in order to get re-elected.
    It is interesting to review the council meetings and all the discussions regarding the need for a water treatment plant and ALL the associated costs. Go to to view.
    I believe the six million dollar saving is nothing but Smoke and Mirrors!



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