For most jurisdictions, 2010 was a time of budget cuts and austerity. But thanks to a healthy General Fund Reserve, federal stimulus funds, and union concessions, the City of Turlock was able to avoid layoffs and start new projects.
Coming into 2010, everyone knew the fall City Council election had the potential to drastically change Turlock's leadership.
Three hours after that big ball drops in New York City on Saturday – weather permitting, of course – more than 700 new laws will take effect in the State of California, changing penalties for marijuana possession, extending benefits for foster children, and banning trans-fat oil from bakeries, among hundreds of other changes. For more information, read on:
The Journal asked Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa to look back at 2010 and ahead for 2011. The following is his perspectives on the county's past and future.
The USDA's Organic Initiative will enter its third year of helping organic producers and those looking to transition into organic production in 2011 with up to $50 million in funding.
"Increasing consumer demand for organically grown foods is providing new opportunities for small and mid-size farmers to prosper and stay competitive in today's economy," Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said. "The 2008 Farm Bill calls for this assistance, and we want to help these farmers protect the natural resources on their land and create conditions that help foster organic production."
The Journal asked Turlock Mayor John Lazar to look back at 2010 and ahead for 2011. The following is his perspectives on the city's past and future.
The population in the United States grew by 9.7 percent over the last decade, marking one of the slowest growth rates since the Great Depression, according to figures released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.
Community members have spoken and they want Turlock Federal Housing and Urban Development money to be spent on anti-poverty, human services and public safety rather than housing, infrastructure and public facilities. This is what city staff found after sending out a survey through local utility bills to 18,607 customers in the spring of 2010.
As new council members Bill DeHart and Forest White took their oath of office at Tuesday's Turlock City Council meeting, a striking controversy bowled into City Hall before the council voted in favor of a 51,828 sq. foot family entertainment center, which includes bowling lanes, a laser tag arena and bocce ball courts.
A once chaotic small Central Valley town has begun planning for a better and more positive future. Even as three new council members take office and a new city manager comes on board, the City of Hughson continues to strive for a stronger community - the first step, creating a strategic plan.
The California Legislature gaveled in a new two-year session on Monday, welcoming 28 new legislators. They will have little time to get settled as the state is facing a $25.4 billion budget deficit expected over the next year and a half and a state-wide unemployment rate of 12.4 percent.
In a 4-to-1 split the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors voted to approve another round of budgetary reductions at the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department that will force the layoffs of an additional 23 employees, including 14 patrol deputies.
Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) has not given up hope on his Public University Transparency Bill. Despite being vetoed twice by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Yee plans on presenting it again, this time to the governor-elect on Monday.
While the City of Turlock prepares to seat a new council following the Nov. 2 election, the investigation into the party or parties responsible for the illegal "robocalls" placed during the 2008 City Council election continues. The repercussions of the investigation also continue to sow discord between council members.
Any plans to bring a Target Supercenter or a Super Wal-Mart to the area likely were dealt a fatal and final blow as Turlock's Planning Commission voted 5-2 to recommend the City Council maintain the status quo when it comes to the ban on discount superstores.
As election season heats up Turlock's mayoral and city council candidates are becoming increasingly well versed in the nuances of Turlock's city government and all of its moving parts.
A third Taco Bell will soon be calling Turlock home as the Turlock City Council on Tuesday denied local citizens' appeal to reject the fast food franchise's minor discretionary permit location.
While Stanislaus County has developed multiple strategies to resourcefully combat issues caused by the ongoing drought in the state of California, the Board of Supervisors took one step further on Tuesday by unanimously voting to adopt a financial assistance pilot program for a select group of local water well users.
Congressman Jeff Denham spoke with locals about veterans affairs on Monday, but he didn't attend an event or host a public meeting - he led a telephone-townhall.
Locals protesting the establishment of a new Taco Bell in Turlock will meet before the City Council on Tuesday as the members will determine if the process to establish the fast food chain near Pitman High School will continue.
At the behest of Stanislaus Council of Governments Board Chairman Vito Chiesa the regional transportation agency opted to support Turlock's initiative to approve a half-cent city wide road tax on the November ballot despite previous tension leading Turlock to consider abandoning support of the county's own future road tax initiative.
Students used to walking to the park after school and purchasing an ice cream from vendors on bikes - affectionately referred to as the "palatero men" in Latin culture - may have to either walk further or find a new place to buy their sweet treat as the City of Turlock is taking steps to enforce its municipal code as it relates to vendors.
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