Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Editorial: State of the City finds Lodi doing well — but pensions, crime may mar future

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, November 2, 2013 12:00 am

Lodi is coming out of the Great Recession. That’s the big message we picked up at the State of City function on Thursday.

Mayor Alan Nakanishi focused on “city news” in his speech. That’s natural enough, and he’s rightly proud of the city’s many accomplishments this past year.

But when we put the whole presentation together — informal remarks by Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman Craig Ledbetter, a crime-focused recap by Police Chief Mark Helms and City Manager Rad Bartlam’s take on the nuts and bolts of government — the message of success goes far beyond city government.

Bartlam noted that sales tax is up and property tax has stopped dropping. That means sales in the retail sector are recovering and our homes have stopped sucking out the wealth of Lodi families.

Bartlam broke the news that Cepheid, a company that develops genetic tests and which recently bought Quashnick Tool and Die in Lodi, is going to add 80 high-tech jobs to its payroll here. He also listed off a list of half a dozen names of new stores opening soon in Reynolds Ranch.

Ledbetter noted the boost Lodi will soon get from the Dodge Chrysler Jeep dealership being re-opened by local couple Brian Smith and Kimberly Mullen. And he added that General Mills, Cottage Bakery and CertainTeed Pipe have all recently announced or completed expansion plans. Even the Chamber of Commerce has hired three employees.

Chief Helms reported that serious offenses — known as “Part One Crimes” in his circle — declined steeply from 2003 to 2010. A recent, small increase can probably be chalked up to the state sending prisoners to county jails to cope with its budget problems. Nevertheless, gang-related crime has dropped in the last three years, Helms said.

Helms made the point that everyone benefits from lower crime rates, which contribute a sense of safety and desirability.

Lodi is a better place to work and settle down, and that’s boosts the economy.

Still, the future is not going to be all smooth sailing.

Nakanishi provided a note of realism when he said that, despite concessions from city employees, the cost of retirement benefits is expected to outstrip city revenues in the years ahead.

And Helms announced a campaign by the Lodi Police Foundation to raise money for a ballistic armored tactical transport vehicle — a sort of bulletproof paddy wagon. He cited mass shootings like recent ones in Colorado and Connecticut and the tragedy at Cleveland School in Stockton several decades ago. These things are more frequent and unpredictable.

Sure enough, the day after he spoke, a gunman opened first at Los Angeles International Airport and killed a Transportation Security Agency officer.

“Even in Lodi, it’s a case of ‘when,’ not ‘if,’” Helms said.

He is preparing his officers for that day.

And although it’s closing on a sad event, we were touched by the outpouring of grief and support by friends and strangers for the Miranda family, who were virtually wiped out by a wildly reckless driver on Oct. 22. The funeral was jammed, and so was a spontaneous memorial service on Oct. 25.

People we talked to were moved to tears when Capt. Martin Ross of the Salvation Army played “Amazing Grace” on his steel drum.

The only hopeful thing that may come of this is the continued improvement in the health of Eden Miranda, the only member of the Miranda family to survive the crash.

More about

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.

Recent Comments

Posted 9 hours ago by Kevin Paglia.

article: Letter: Pastor Frank Nolton forgets abo…

If someone were fired after making donations/speaking in support of LGBT issues how much outcry and mass media condemnation would there be …

More...

Posted 9 hours ago by Jackson Scott.

article: Letter: Pastor Frank Nolton forgets abo…

Nice letter Debbie. What Pastor Nolton forgets in his letter is that every person he identified is a public figure in the business world.…

More...

Posted 9 hours ago by Andrew Liebich.

article: Letter: Pastor Frank Nolton forgets abo…

If one supports the right to marry one should support the right to carry and vice versa, civil rights for all.

More...

Posted 10 hours ago by Joe Baxter.

article: Letter: Little signs show our economy i…

Poor Eric posted: "How does it feel to hope that all of your fellow Americans feel an economic squeeze so that you can cling to your f…

More...

Posted 10 hours ago by Frank Gayaldo.

article: San Joaquin County supervisors approve …

FACT: There is no “recent rash of more sophisticated inmates”. The county jail has been operating under a Superior Court imposed populat…

More...

Video

Popular Stories

Poll

Loading…

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists