One of the most important decisions facing the City Council is to determine whether the city should keep its police contract intact with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department — and then negotiate the terms of that agreement.
City leaders will want to review the matter carefully. On one hand, the city has benefited from many of the services the sheriff’s department has provided at no extra cost to the city. At the same time, financial constraints on the county and the sheriff’s department may lead to greater recruiting challenges down the road.
While the city will not likely be ready to resume running its own police force this year, officials would be wise to consider how that might be done in the future.
The council also is slated to approve several master plans on topics including public safety, transportation, storm drains and sewage collection, sewage treatment, water and parks and recreation. All of these plans are important in providing guidance for the city.
An economic development strategy that the city’s economic strategic commission plans to complete this year will also be important, as it will outline the types of businesses that would fit best in Patterson.
It is also encouraging to hear that the council will take a hard look this year at ways to improve the downtown. The historical area has much potential but has been lagging in recent years, as the city’s retail center has shifted to Ward and Sperry avenues.
We wish city leaders the best in all of these matters and hope they will be able to work together as a team, even when members are in disagreement about certain matters.
After all, if a deeply divided Congress can approve a plan to prevent this nation from falling off the fiscal cliff, we trust that our council members can collaborate effectively in the coming year for the betterment of this city.