Modesto council committees change

New faces on the Modesto City Council mean new lineups on the council's subcommittees, which meet monthly to hear new ideas before they head to the full council.

Three council members serve on each committee: economic development, finance, safety and communities, and audit.

The committees have little real power, but sometimes have heated debates that don't make it to televised council meetings.

As chairman of the safety committee, for example, former Councilman Will O'Bryant occasionally held up ordinances that he felt crimped residents' civil rights.

They're also a forum where council members can champion pet issues. That's why slow-growth proponent Garrad Marsh spent several years on the economic development committee to weigh in on building plans.

The new lineups are:

Economic development: Chairwoman Kristin Olsen, vice chairman Brad Hawn, member Dave Geer.

Safety and communities: Chairman Garrad Marsh, vice chairman Joe Muratore, member Dave Lopez.

Finance: Chairman Hawn, vice chairman Marsh, member Geer.

Audit: Chairman Jim Ridenour, vice chairman Muratore, member Olsen.

Bee staff writer Leslie Albrecht can be reached at or 578-2378. Follow her at