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Mayor Paul Delivers State Of City Address
Mayor Pat Paul

Oakdale Mayor Pat Paul recently delivered the State of the City address to a lunchtime crowd at the Gene Bianchi Community Center, detailing the financial health and prospective growth of the city as it currently stands and going forward in 2018.

Continuing with a conservative growth pattern, Paul shared a Power Point presentation showing consistent financial gains for the City’s General Fund Reserves with the end of 2017 closing with $4,443,000 in the bank.

Thanks to Measure Y — a .05 percent general sales tax — the city was able to return four police officers and three firefighters through the SAFER, Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, Grant. In addition, the city has been able to keep all the street lights on and maintain many activities at the Senior Center that otherwise may have been in jeopardy.

Paul was pleased to share that crime in Oakdale has fallen in nearly every major category with violent crime down 40 percent, property crime, 19 percent and overall crime went down by 21 percent. Of the crime categories, larceny was the most logged at 395 incidents but still represented an 18 percent reduction from the previous year.

Part of the police department’s success is due to the new neighborhood policing mode.

Officers and supervisors are assigned to specific neighborhoods, providing a concentrated effort rather than a scattered response to issues. An initiative to encourage police and citizens to work together has also provided a measure of success in lowering crime.

On the more personable side, the Oakdale Police Department continued the successful “Coffee with a Cop” program, which offers monthly opportunities for police personnel and citizens to sit with one another to enjoy a beverage and chat, therefore “personalizing” the men and women who are charged with protecting the citizens and their property.

The first “Coffee with a Cop” was held in August 2016 with the mantra that relationships are built “one cup at a time.”

Attendees were treated to a drone demonstration as one of the newest gadgets and improved technology the police department is employing. All of the new police technology is used in an attempt to enhance transparency and increase operational effectiveness.

The city has also burst onto the social media scene with an increased media presence, encouraging citizens to follow, join and post on their various social media outlets. Currently, the city has Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook accounts. Citizens are welcome to check for updates, crime alerts and public service announcements.

Paul was happy to share that graffiti incidents have dropped significantly and they will continue to employ efforts to drive this quality of life crime down to preserve community pride.

Recognizing the importance of a School Resource Officer on the school campuses, the city has worked in partnership with the Oakdale Joint Unified School District to continue and strengthen the current School Resource Officer Program, moving the program forward in 2018.

Currently, there is an officer assigned to the high school, continuation high school, junior high and four elementary schools.

Stanislaus Consolidated Fire reported a busy 2017 with 67 percent of call-outs being EMS/Rescue related but firefighters responded to 106 Oakdale fires as well.

The City of Oakdale Public Works Department spent 2017 repairing miles of aged piping, replacing areas of piping that were rusted and inefficient as well as refurbishing two miles of city streets.

Planned projects include repairs to Poplar Street, H Street, Armstrong, Third and Fifth avenues, and Magnolia.

Park facility updates include improvements to Kerr Park (lighting, fencing and restrooms), Gilbert Park (tennis court, restroom, accessibility), Fish Park (baseball diamonds, turf upgrades), TL Davis (turf and soil upgrades), and an airport storm drain.

A new “Welcome to Oakdale” sign has also been proposed as well as the addition of an electric vehicle-charging center at Third and E Street.

In an effort to help provide quality housing to the “working poor” of Oakdale, the city recently approved Oak Leaf Meadows, a 56-unit in-fill project on Pedersen Road that will cater to those within the $20,000-$50,000 annual income range for housing.

The city is also planning to expand by annexing more land into the city proper.

The area detailed as the Crane Crossing annexation has been completed with the Sierra Pointe annexation in its final stages.

Oakdale continues to enjoy productive partnerships with the school district, Oak Valley Hospital and Oakdale Irrigation District, Paul noted in her address.

Talks are underway to build a future park in Bridge Ridge with a gymnasium and sports field.


Moving forward, the city is looking toward exploring niche markets, new technology, a year-round farmer’s market, art and theater programs, along with increased tourism opportunities without sacrificing the integrity of small-town life that citizens have come to enjoy about living in Oakdale, Paul said.