To the editor:
As vice chairman of the Farmland Working Group, I would like to commend the residents forcing a vote upon the city of Newman’s proposed annexation of 121 acres of farmland.
I have not been a fan of the city taking the “lead” on expanding its sphere of influence based on the General Plan. I’ve long held the belief that development should pay the costs of infrastructure and beyond if they want to come to Newman. Unlike what has been stated by the mayor, Newman will not die if it does not grow! Newman is over 125 years old. Generations of families have lived in this quaint farm town long before he or I ever arrived and will still be standing long after we are gone. The administration places too much emphasis on the idea of jobs-housing balance. Show me in our valley where that has materialized and truly exists? We believe in farmland first. The Central Valley remains a national bread basket. The Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) heard you, you’ve made the city take notice. Perhaps your lands have been in your family for multiple generations when Newman was five times smaller than it is now. Who’s anxious to see Newman five times larger than it currently is? The General Plan is a guideline - I have a copy, I’ve been a part of its process. I also know plans change and are augmented. Wood Colony told Modesto “no thanks” on annexation. Your vote can tell Newman the same.