I remember the Summer of 2007 well. I remember the signs all over Salida for two initiatives that were slated to be on the ballot come November – “Salida Now” a developer-authored growth initiative which would bring over 4,000 new homes and combined with commercial and industrial development across 3,000 acres, and an opposing initiative, “SOS” short for “Stamp Out Sprawl” which evolved into Measure E, a farmland protection initiative.
To be honest, back in 2007, I didn’t know very much about either initiative. I was against Salida Now from the moment I heard “over 4,000 new homes”. Mainly because 2007 was the beginning of the downward spiral of the housing market. I had neighbors who could previously sell their homes in a day or two, have their homes sit on the market for weeks or even months. If the existing homes we had in Salida weren’t selling, who needed more?
The other thing I remember about that initiative battle were the signs. Salida Now had flashy looking signs all over town and everywhere you looked, while SOS had mostly homemade looking signs with a sparse distribution.
Besides the tension of the initiative battle, I remember the tension surrounding whether today would be the day that Barry Bonds would break Hank Aaron’s home run record. In those days before we owned a DVR, and being that we’re diehard San Francisco Giants fans, my husband and I would rush home to glue ourselves to the TV in hopes of witnessing history.
August 7, 2007 was that day. Barry hit #756! As we celebrated that day, little did we know that a vote had taken place that very day which stole our votes and the votes of thousands of our fellow Salidans.
At their board meeting that day, the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors pulled Salida Now from our ballots and passed it with a 3-2 vote. Jeff Grover, then Supervisor for District 3 which covers Salida, was quoted as saying that Salida Now, “is exactly what we’ve been working on and exactly what we’ve been planning in Salida.” The two other Supervisors who voted in favor of Salida Now were Dick Monteith and Jim DeMartini, and they currently still serve on the board.
When I heard the next day about what the Supervisors had done, I was shocked and furious! How could it be legal that three men, who don’t even live in our community, can steal our votes from us and arbitrarily decide our futures?
And now here we are in 2012, and its happening again.
A new set of politicians, WHICH NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM LIVES IN SALIDA are once again politicking to decide the future of Salida. And rather ironically, five years after its passage, Salida Now is exactly what’s at the heart of the current annexation movement