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Lack of civility at meeting on Mokelumne River access meeting disappointing

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Posted: Monday, September 19, 2011 12:00 am

After attending the meeting on access to the Mokelumne River last Tuesday, I left very disappointed in the behavior and tone of some of my fellow Lodi residents. The residents of Mokelumne Village made themselves visible by their applause at the comments of some closed-minded people who made rude and bellicose comments that were not constructive and did not reflect well on themselves as citizens of Lodi.

Whether you are in favor of additional park access to the Mokelumne River or not, the resident's concerns and the opportunities that are present, deserve due consideration for the benefit of all of the citizens of Lodi. At present the vacant, former city dump with potential environmental hazards, is a weed infested perennial fire hazard that is regularly trespassed by youth using the river and jumping off the trestle. It is populated by transients who live there, use it as a restroom, peep and violate neighboring properties. The property is unsupervised and a perfect environment for perpetuating all of the aforementioned. Come on people, which of these things do you not want to fix?

There is no specific plan at present, so let's look at the opportunities and solutions in a constructive manner. A directed and controlled use has to be better than what is going on now. Park structures, technology and site supervision don't have to be a great financial burden, and are likely to reduce the calls for service that our Police Department must provide now.

Property values do go up with adjacent park facilities. A resident-non-resident fee structure, annual passes, magnetic card systems, CCTV, directed signage, interpretive media, and use by neighbors and non-powered water craft operators can go a long way toward meeting the concerns of local residents and improving recreational opportunities for all of our residents.

Michael Bennett


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