After a week of court actions (see related article below), the Oakdale Irrigation District Board of Directors met on Wednesday, Sept 21. During the emotionally charged meeting, factions sounded off, including the meeting ending with General Manager Steve Knell defending himself against media accusations, sounding off against Director Linda Santos, which was trailed by Santos defending herself with her own stern retorts back to Knell.
Oakdale Irrigation District board members Linda Santos and Gail Altieri filed statements with Stanislaus County Superior Court earlier this month explaining their actions from a lawsuit in which they were accused of providing confidential information to plaintiffs suing the water district.
In a fast-paced meeting lasting only a half hour on Monday, Sept. 19, the Oakdale City Council heard two reports on the city's plans for South Yosemite Avenue work in front of the new community/skate park and a plan to study the airport for expansion.
With recent retirements and new hires, the Oakdale Police Department continues to fill its upper ranks with the recent promotion of veteran patrol officer Gary Vanderheiden to the rank of sergeant within the department.
Six Oakdale police officers and two Senior Outreach volunteers were recently honored with department meritorious medals for life-saving actions in the course of duty. One officer, Dan Taylor, received recognition for two separate incidents. Following is a brief recap of the actions that resulted in the honors.
The Oakdale Irrigation District is in line to get a $3 million grant courtesy of the State Water Resources Control Board, which the district anticipates applying toward automation and improvements of over 17 miles of lateral canals.
A Ceres Police Officer driving in Oakdale on his way to work in a marked K-9 unit was involved in a solo-vehicle crash with a power pole early Thursday morning, Aug. 18, causing thousands of residents in the area to temporarily lose power.
A man convicted in 1994 for a series of kidnappings and attempted sexual assaults in Oakdale from 1993 was denied parole on Aug. 18 after a hearing of the State Board of Parole held at Susanville State Prison. Steven Eugene Rice, of Oakdale, was arrested in 1993 for a number of felonies and has been in custody since then.
The Wednesday night, Aug. 17 meeting of Oakdale Irrigation District directors kicked off with Linda Santos getting served with a notice of an intention to circulate a recall petition calling for her removal from the five-person board.
Nearly his entire adult life, Brian Shimmel has worn a uniform. This month he becomes a civilian for the first time in over 30 years as he is retiring from the Oakdale Police Department at the rank of sergeant.
Over the last few years, Oakdale residents have seen their elected city officials set service rates, determine the fate of city property sales, decide on growth developments, and propose sales tax initiatives. Some of those times saw individuals in the community up in arms over those decisions, criticizing leaders for the actions that shaped the city.