Our Community of Oakdale will hold elections for City Council on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. I have already seen signs going up that genuinely miss the real issues that face Oakdale. Years ago I thought being a City Manager would be a good profession. I enrolled in a Masters of Public Administration program through San Jose State. Here are some of the issues that our communities still face some 30 years later. Open hearings and public input into all the city’s plans and programs is critical. We as a community have an obligation to speak out for and against any city council proposal.
Land use and land development is still the number one issue for cities. How big should our city be, land development ordinances, how much open space, parks, and how business friendly, how important to the city is overwhelming development. Real estate taxes and city business and sales tax are important. Water is critical. Waste disposal, traffic, roads, sidewalks, and stop signs. How the city government relates to neighborhood schools, county and state government are also very important. These are issues we as a community should insist our mayor and city council pay attention to and constantly work to improve. These (and more) are issues that every candidate for city council should be required to respond to prior to any voter agreeing to support that candidate.
All other issues are superfluous and should not enter into any discussion on Oakdale City Council races. The issue of party affiliation is not important, that is why these races are considered non-partisan. The issue of who a candidate supports for any partisan office such as Governor or President should be of little or no interest. The issues of Constitutional conservative or liberal has no bearing on how a candidate will support a land development request. These may all be interesting in another race or venue but the one thing it already signals to voters is the candidate is less interested in Oakdale than in running for another office at the state or federal level.
If a candidate cannot speak directly to Oakdale city issues to each Oakdalean’s satisfaction then they are not worthy of your consideration. If we want Oakdale to continue to be the shining star in Stanislaus County we must have a mayor and city council that respects and works for improvement at the city’s level.