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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 | Updated: 6:02 am, Mon Sep 19, 2011.

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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  • Kim Lee posted at 8:16 am on Tue, Sep 20, 2011.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    Michael Bennett wrote, "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."

    Michael: You're right! It's unfortunate that the angriest residents are the ones that were the loudest at the meeting. Hopefully all can calm down and really consider the options here in making this a win win for the neighborhood and Lodi residents.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:31 am on Tue, Sep 20, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Mike stated... Lodi is better than that...
    Mike... I'm not sure its Lodi per say... I think people are always apprehensive or afraid of the unknown or the uncertain. Basic human nature. I sincerely think anger and frustration should be expected. The meeting you described should have been seen as an opportunity to discover what the fears were so a second meeting could be completed which satisfied the fears. I think it is more the responsibility of the side that wants the change to clearly demonstrate the specifics that solves the problem or concern. I wouldn't say I expect more from Lodi as every community has people who fear change. Satisfy the fear and the meetings will be more productive.

  • Mike Bennett posted at 4:37 am on Tue, Sep 20, 2011.

    mbennett Posts: 4

    Unfortunately, there seems to be a sense that "coming in like a thundering herd" and spouting anger and hype is the way to conduct public discourse and maybe all too often we do. However, in the noise of rally and protest, we lose important factual contributions and the rude behavior drives other contributors out of the discussion. Maybe this is a good place to restore positive statesmanship in our discourse. Frankly, I believe we are better that what we saw at that meeting. Lodi is better than that.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 10:13 am on Mon, Sep 19, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Josh stated...I believe the perspective of the property owners is "not in my back yard"...

    Josh... I was thinking the same thing, but if presented with a proposal that benefits their back yard as Michael Bennett suggests, why the anger? Maybe the presentation needs to be revamped in order to better communicate the advantagesand how their concerns can be satisfied. Seems like a slam dunk unless there are variables unknown that may give good reason to be upset.

  • Josh Morgan posted at 9:47 am on Mon, Sep 19, 2011.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 538

    I believe the perspective of the property owners is "not in my back yard".

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:36 am on Mon, Sep 19, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    One might wonder if there is more to the story. Mr Bennett makes a very good case
    that all people have much to gain by working together for a common goal; to make the area a better place to live. However, there must be reason why people would behave so badly at a meeting. I think they must have a completely different perspective.


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