Firefighter Mike McLaughlin commended, emergency shelter ordinance considered
by Nathan Duckworth
Jul 17, 2014 | 2104 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Hometown Hero: Patterson career firefighter Mike McLaughlin (second from right) is acknowledged for being awarded the American Red Cross' Professional Rescuer of the Year Award during the June 17 council meeting.  He was awarded with the cities' Meritorious Service Award during the Tuesday July 15 meeting. photo by Elias Funez/Patterson Irrigator
Hometown Hero: Patterson career firefighter Mike McLaughlin (second from right) is acknowledged for being awarded the American Red Cross' Professional Rescuer of the Year Award during the June 17 council meeting. He was awarded with the cities' Meritorious Service Award during the Tuesday July 15 meeting. photo by Elias Funez/Patterson Irrigator
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The city council met on July 15 with a varied agenda that sparked enough public discussion to push the meeting past the three-hour mark, leading council members to table presentations from the Public Works Department and the Recreation and Community Services Department until Aug. 12, when the council will gather for a special meeting.

Resident Mary Bennett took the podium as the meeting began to thank the council for the flowers they sent for her late husband and to announce her intentions to continue his passion of helping the seniors in any way possible.

The council moved the approval of the appointment of two members to the Senior Center Board of Directors near the front of the agenda per Bennett’s request. Alfred Parham and Lorraine Andrews were appointed.

Fire Chief Steven Hall gave the first presentation of the night—a presentation of the City of Patterson Fire Department Meritorious Service Award to Mike McLaughlin. While off-duty at the Apricot Fiesta last year, McLaughlin resuscitated a young child, and helped transport her to a medical facility. McLaughlin had already been awarded the Professional Rescuer of the Year Award by the Stanislaus and Tuolumne county chapters of Red Cross.

“As I’ve said many times, I’m just kind of doing what I’m trained to do,” said McLaughlin. “I actually train and teach CPR for the department, so now I can use this incident in my classes and explain to people it really is worth it to learn CPR.”

Patterson resident Joe Silva and the Chief Attorney for the Department of Child Support Services Marissa De Almeida presented their program, Pathways to Self-Sufficiency, to the council. The program works “to ensure that non-custodial parents can meet their obligations of financial and emotional support to their children through gainful employment,” said De Almeida.

They are seeking support from the council to bring Child Support Day to Patterson on Aug. 27, allowing them to offer their services to residents who do not have the means to make it to the office in Modesto. Those who wish to know more can call 558-1457 to speak with a Pathways case worker. Councilmember Deborah Novelli invited Pathways to Self-Sufficiency to participate in the Child Safety Fair and back-to-school event on Aug. 9.

City Planner Joel Andrews’s report became one of the more contentious items of the night, in which he sought approval for the first reading and introduction of Emergency Shelter Overlay Zone Ordinance. Council had approved this ordinance in 2012, designating the Helping Others Sleep Tonight (H.O.S.T) property on 405 South Fourth St. as an area for homeless shelters.

At the April 15 meeting, a section that had been removed was reintroduced, said Andrews, and that H.O.S.T discussed issues with the council related to families and minors on their existing property, helping in providing policy language.

Mayor Pro Tem Sheree Lustgarten especially brought up concerns surrounding the idea of minors and families being housed in the same facilities as the adult homeless population.

Several board executives and citizens working with H.O.S.T brought up misconceptions concerning the services that H.O.S.T provides homeless or underprivileged minors and families, which do not include housing and shelter.

H.O.S.T Chairman Rich Kelly made sure to address in that list of misconceptions that H.O.S.T is not closed.

“We are not providing overnight shelter at this point,” said Kelly. “We are providing other services for the homeless and the community. We did not ever anticipate being able to open on a 12-month basis this early in the cycle of having a permanent facility.”

The ordinance will be brought back for public hearing at the Aug. 12 meeting.

City council approved the general fund and all other funds budgets for the fiscal year of 2014-15 at $54,417,924 with an additional $60,000 for the hiring of private park security.

The final substantial item dealt with the restoration of Sperry Avenue (from Rogers Road to I-5) and Rogers Road (from Zacharias to Highway 33) and was presented by City Engineer Ken Irwin. Director of Public Works for Stanislaus County Matthew Machado was also present, helping to answer questions and elaborate on the collaboration between the city and the county on these projects.

Both roads were not built for the heavy truck traffic they are now receiving—and which will only increase upon the completion of projects the Restoration Hardware facility, on track to be built by February of next year—and are deteriorating.

The city’s contribution, as approved by the council that evening, for the work on Sperry Avenue will be $595,000 (70 percent), and the county’s contribution will be $255,000 (30 percent) for a total of $850,000.

For the restoration of Rogers Road, the city will pay $270,000 (30 percent), while the county will pick up $630,000 (70 percent) for a total of 900,000.

According to Machado, Rogers Road is on track for construction in September of this year; Sperry will begin in late spring or early summer of next year.

The council approved the rehabilitation of both roads with a 4-0 vote, the absent vote being Mayor Luis Molina, who had to excuse himself after the budget presentation due to his injury.

The two items delayed until the Aug.12 special meeting are a staff report from Public Works Director Mike Willett on key policy issues related to the proposed Construction and Demolition Ordinance and a staff report from Capitol Projects Manager Curtis Jorritsma and Recreation and Community Services Director Juliene Flanders.

The next regular council meeting will be held Aug. 12.

Nathan Duckworth can be reached at 209-892 6187 ext. 24 or nathan@pattersonirrigator.com
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