Educators fought hard against ‘grab’
Our community has been fighting the state water grab for over six years. I want to thank some of the strong supporters of that effort.
Some of my legislative colleagues began to pay more attention to our position when they learned it was about much more than farmers and agriculture. They were especially impressed with the role Merced educators played in our efforts. Our Merced County educators have stepped up big time on the water issue. Retired Merced Superintendent Steve Gomes co-signed the initial letter to the State Water Board. Our current superintendent, Steve Tietjen, appeared at hearings, signed letters and helped organize our Merced districts in support of the Valley’s position on water. Twenty-two Merced school superintendents signed a joint letter asking the state to consider educational impacts. Special thanks to Alan Peterson, Superintendent of Merced High School District, and Planada Superintendent Jose Gonzales for their support and participation at the water rally and during testimony at hearings.
The fight against the state water grab goes on. But our educators, farmers, teachers, the business community, labor and our elected leaders have all joined in our fight. That is a tough group to defeat.
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Assemblyman Adam Gray, District 21
Atwater going in right direction
Recently, Atwater elected a new mayor and a new team of council members. They have been given responsibility to set a new tone for our city’s future.
Atwater’s recovery from the Great Recession has been slow and difficult. The surrounding communities have managed to bolster their finances and accelerate growth. But for Atwater, it’s been a difficult time and it’s foolish to deny that much of our difficulties are self-inflected. We have churned through five city managers and four police chiefs and that has created an atmosphere of instability. It’s no secret, city leaders have given the term “slash and burn” new meaning.
All that is about to change. Now we have a revitalized city council, a new city manager and a dynamic police chief. This should put a stop to internal dissension. Thanks to the new gas tax, two notoriously neglected roads, Fruitland and Winton Way, are scheduled for major repairs. Residential housing is booming and a major manufacturing company is negotiating to locate here. Our sister city to the south is proud to boast that they are a city on the rise. Atwater can now say, “We are too, Sister!”
Fred Warchol, Atwater