There's nothing left to be transparent about ...
The Sanger Herald family wishes you and your family an extraordinary and joyful Easter.
May it be a day chock full of Easter blessings!
It's not a coincidence that spring break and holy week are one and the same this year, according to a teacher friend of mine.
The city council recently held a special meeting to pass an "urgency ordinance" giving the city an ability to keep wireless companies from running wild and creating unsightly clutter in public rights of way.
The federal communications commission opened the door for wireless companies to do just that with a recent ruling.
The city cited an "aesthetic concern."
It seems ironic for the city to be concerned about the clutter and aesthetic problem in the photo on the left below while at the same time perpetuating the clutter and aesthetic problem on the city water tower in the photo on the right below.
Can't help wondering if maybe the sudden "aesthetic concern" has something to do with the city getting lease money from wireless companies for hanging equipment all over the water tower and the city not getting money if wireless companies migrate to utility poles.
An aesthetic concern, by the way, is "a concern with beauty or appreciation of beauty."
None of that concern or appreciation apparently applies to the water tower, downtown or entrances to the city.
The results of a recent poll of Central Valley businesses done by the Central Valley Business Federation pretty much fell in line with our experience at the Herald.
The good news is:
• staffs are a little larger than last year and 2019 is expected to be a better business year than 2018.
The not so good news is that major business concerns are:
• government regulation and compliance and taxes and fees.
No surprise there.
It's an interesting weather year. A couple of times recently I've turned on the air conditioner in my car in the afternoon and the heater on my way home after an evening meeting. Then there's the 60-something day on Tuesday followed by today's predicted high of 90-something.
We've recently had spring, summer and winter weather all in the same week. A couple of times, in the same day.
It's obvious to anyone paying attention that the city staff, obviously directed by the city manager with tacit approval of the city council, is systematically and incrementally cranking the Measure S calendar back to 2011. That was before the then council approved Resolution 4361 creating grant opportunities for nonprofits. Those opportunities for nonprofits were not spelled out and probably not imagined by those who were involved in crafting and then putting Ordinance 1094 on the ballot.
The ordinance that declared, "It is the intent of the People that revenues collected hereunder shall supplement, rather than supplant, existing City expenditures for public safety," was approved in February of 2008, creating the Measure S public safety tax. There was no mention of nonprofits in the ordinance. The stated intent in 2008 was for tax revenues to be split between police and fire departments.
Since Resolution 4361 was approved in July of 2012, nonprofits like SAM Academy, the Boys & Girls Club of Fresno County, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central California and several other nonprofits that provide programs designed to keep at risk youths out of gangs and off drugs fell under a gang/drug prevention umbrella and received grant money from Measure S public safety funds.
The nonprofits usually split up more than $100,000 in Measure S money every year. In 2018 it was $116,000.
In 2019 it will probably be $50,000 split among three nonprofits. That was the topic of a sometimes emotional discussion at the Measure S Citizens Oversight Committee meeting on Monday evening.
The previous city administration - the one instrumental in creating the nonprofit grants - did an okay job of overseeing them. Not good. Just okay.
However, the administration directed by city manager Tim Chapa has never appeared comfortable dealing with nonprofits or grants and the process has been so neglected it has fallen apart.
Jerry Valadez of SAM Academy gets frustrated and complains about a lack of transparency with the grant process. But, in my opinion, there is no longer a process to be transparent about. Whatever is happening now, in the waning days of the grant program, is apparently made up on the spot with no follow up or oversight.
It would be so much better, in my opinion, if this administration would just be up front about its effort to rescind Resolution 4361. Its awkward and obvious effort to surreptitiously dismantle it is flat out embarrassing.
Passing along an Easter message from the Central California Blood Center ... "HELP!!"
"O and B negative blood levels have dropped to a dangerous low and O positive is not far behind."
You can see a list of donation sites at donateblood.org.
Please direct your questions or comments to email@example.com.