The two highest profile candidates in races for seats on the Modesto City Council are Stephanie Burnside and Bill Zoslocki. While both have extensive political histories, Zoslocki’s hasn’t been explored publicly, mostly because the Modesto Bee would prefer voters forget his role in Village I.
Bill Zoslocki’s role in Village I is well-documented here. We’ve also written about it here. During his 2012 campaign for mayor, he opposed urban limits of any kind. He’s also refused to take a stand on Measure X, this year’s most crucial voting issue.
Voters concerned about protecting farmland and improving public safety should realize Zoslocki believes growth is Modesto’s best option. Like countless others before him, his mantra is, “jobs, jobs, jobs.” History shows that slogan has meant, “houses, houses, houses.”
The strongest alternative to Zoslocki is retired educator Rickey McGill. While McGill does not have Zoslocki’s knowledge of planning and growth issues, he’s committed to public safety and education. And knowledge of planning and growth issues, in Zoslocki’s case, will be used to encourage another growth binge. Vote McGill.
Incumbent Stephanie Burnside is challenged once again by Jenny Kenoyer. Like Zoslocki, Burnside has refused to state her position on Measure X, the public safety measure. Like Zoslocki, Burnside can be counted to follow the Modesto Chamber of Commerce’s lead in virtually every case, including attempts to stimulate another growth boom.
Kenoyer has publicly supported Measure X, has acquired extensive knowledge of local issues by attending countless meetings, and will represent a far broader constituency than Burnside. Vote Kenoyer.
Unfortunately for Valley citizens, Councilmember Dave Geer has decided against another run for office. Geer has been an ideal councilmember in many ways, but especially in his willingness to study issues and listen closely to a wide range of viewpoints. He’s been an advocate of farmland preservation and took a strong public stand against the proposed sale of Modesto Irrigation District water to San Francisco.
There are three strong contenders for Geer’s seat. Though Jon Rodriquez and Juan Telles are fine candidates, both are far less experienced than Tony Madrigal. Many citizens are concerned about Madrigal’s history of brushes with the law, most of them involving driving without a license.
Years ago, when Stanislaus County Supervisor Dick Monteith had just entered politics, much was made of Monteith’s past, which included problems more severe than those of Madrigal. Monteith has since had a clean record. People can and do change for the better.
Madrigal has been willing to admit his problems, a positive sign. His political experience and his support for public safety and education make him the best choice to succeed Geer. Vote Madrigal.
Vote for Transparency in Government
Modesto politics has almost always been characterized by hidden agendas. Valley citizens should realize that when candidates refuse to take positions on the biggest issues of the day, they are favoring stealth government like that of former Mayor Jim Ridenour.
It’s only now that malfeasance during Ridenour’s administration is coming to light. In refusing to take a public stand on Measure X, Bill Zoslocki and Stephanie Burnside have shown contempt for transparency in government. That’s just one of several reasons neither should be elected.