Longtime Modesto Bee reporter Fred Herman, who’s been retired for decades, shows here he hasn’t lost his writing chops as he comes out strong for City Council candidate Jenny Kenoyer. Fred fondly recalls when he was proud to support Republican Peggy Mensinger in her quest for better planning, smarter growth, farmland protection and green alternatives. He sees Jenny Kenoyer as a key player in building a team that will unite our city and move us forward. Here’s Fred:
Modesto has, as Jenny Kenoyer sees it, three options: We can be that wide spot in the road a biographer of George Lucas referred to as having cows running loose just beyond the city limits; we can cover every square inch of city with housing, as the builders who control our current city council majority surely want, and serve as a bedroom community for commuters to Bay Area jobs; or we can take our place as a vibrant, dynamic city, California’s 18th largest, a center for industry second to none.
Jenevieve Ann Kenoyer, candidate for the Modesto City Council’s District 5 seat, prefers the third. No newcomer to city politics with her tireless advocacy in senior issues, she still is no household name. After 49 years as a registered nurse in the county hospital and Doctors Medical Center, Jenny Kenoyer launched a second career: promoting senior needs, being an ombudsman to prevent elder abuse. Nationally honored (Cambridge Who’s Who) for this work, she would use her seat neither as a springboard into state politics nor to push hubby’s business.
Born in Patterson, she moved to Modesto in 1940—before Pearl Harbor, when the population was about a tenth of its current 200,000-plus. She saw us grow. After Washington Elementary and Modesto High School, she attended San Jose State and graduated from the San Jose Hospital School of Nursing.
In 1971 she helped obtain Modesto Irrigation District fences for unprotected canals. She worked with a 1980 group to balance Modesto High’s budget and save transportation for athletic events. A twice widowed mother of five, she belongs to GAP (Golden Agers for Progress), the Commission on Aging, TACC (Triple-A Council of California), American Legion Auxiliary, SEAPA Stanislaus Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance, MAC (Mobility Advisory Committee), PTA and Modesto High Boosters. In her St. Stanislaus Church, she heads a committee to arrange funeral receptions. Supported by many progressive organizations, she speaks for home owners, with stabilizing home values a prime concern.
A voice for the voiceless, she favors limiting growth by containing it: “Let’s fill in before we fill out.” She would focus on public safety by improving sidewalks, lighting and traffic, be a tenacious fiscal watchdog and push “transparent government”—insuring the public being in on public business.
This fall’s crucial Modesto election could reverse the city’s 4-3 tilt to developer bucks. That means electing Garrad Marsh mayor, Kenoyer to the council. Jenny Kenoyer reminds of our arguably finest mayor, Peggy Mensinger. Peggy united people who haven’t been under one roof since her day. Jenny can do that. She would represent us as Bruce Frohman and Denny Jackman once did.
Josh Esteves, also an attractive candidate, is a promising young man whose time will come. He shares my progressive ideals. But Josh would serve his constituency best by accepting a seat on a commission or board, becoming known and filing for the next opening.
Anything else returns Modesto to cash cow status, to be milked by developers until dry. Please add your vote to Jenny’s this fall.
With questions or input, e-mail Jenny at firstname.lastname@example.org.