Image of City Manager Joe Lopez

City Manager's Blog

Jan 20

Help Design Modesto's Newest Skate Plaza

Posted on January 20, 2021 at 10:44 AM by Alyssa Adams

In early 2020, California State Parks awarded the City of Modesto an $8.5 million grant for a complete renovation of César E. Chavez Park. There are two virtual community workshops planned in order to receive resident input on the amenities included: One on January 21, and another on February 25, both at 5:30 p.m., with materials in English and Spanish and a translator present. Residents join these online meetings shortly before they begin.

During public meetings about the Chavez Park redesign in 2019, the community expressed a desire for a skate plaza that could serve West Modesto residents. Modesto’s existing skate park at Beyer Community Park is more than five miles away, a distance too great for both youth and residents without a personal means of transportation.

The City obtained great ideas about the overall design of the park during those meetings and has begun formal design for many of the new park amenities to be constructed by O’Dell Engineering; however, the City is in need of additional community input for the park’s skate plaza.

As a result, the City and O’Dell have partnered with Spohn Ranch, an internationally renowned skate park designer and construction firm based in Southern California, to design a skate plaza based on Modesto residents’ needs.

The City anticipates that the skate plaza will be a modern concrete facility featuring steps, walls, railings, and embankments strategically designed for skateboarding and wheeled sports of all skill levels, but it is ultimately up to residents to help determine the facilities featured.

“We are thankful for our community’s feedback in helping the City plan this dynamic park project. We will continue consulting with community members and industry experts to make this skate plaza a loved destination for our residents,” Ken Peterson, Parks Project Coordinator, said.

The first community workshop is a discovery meeting. Spohn Ranch will present examples of various skate plazas and elements during a community survey, with time set aside for discussion and comments. The meeting will gather information on what amenities would be best for those who plan to use it—whether it’s skateboarders, inline skaters, BMX riders, or others—to make concept layouts.

At the second community workshop on February 25, the design team will present those concept layouts for community review and comment.

Designing, contracting, and constructing the new park elements will take approximately two years, with a target completion date of summer 2023.

The entire park, when complete, will feature an aquatic center, skate plaza, basketball court, soccer field, and three fitness stations, in addition to an updated youth center, a picnic pavilion, event stage area, restrooms, and more than 4,000 feet of walking paths.

More information about the upcoming project can be found on the César E. Chavez Park Renovation Project webpage.
Jan 13

7 Ways to Engage with Us

Posted on January 13, 2021 at 12:00 AM by Alyssa Adams

As a follow-up to our “7 Ways to Get in the Know in Modesto” blog, we’ve compiled seven different ways for you to engage with us. With more people involved and invested in our community, Modesto will continue to innovate and grow to meet the needs of those who live and work here.

Like and Comment on Social Media
Our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages are designed to keep you updated on the latest City news. If we introduce a program you love, let us know in the comments. If you have a question about an update, ask it in the comments. We want to serve our residents, and your engagement on our pages lets us know how to do that more effectively.

Engage with Us
We have a variety of ways that allow residents to engage with us and share thoughts regarding the City and its programs. The new “Engage with Us” tab on our home page highlights at least 10 different ways for us to communicate information with residents, and we’re adding more tools soon. Discover the one best suited for you to better connect with us.

Contact Your Council Member
The City is divided into six districts, and each district elects an individual to represent them. Find your district to see who represents you. If you have a concern you would like addressed or a great idea to improve our City, you may contact your Council Member.

Use GoModesto!
GoModesto! is a tool that may be used for reporting concerns around the City, like street flooding, tagging, and illegal dumping. You are also able to share bright ideas that will improve the community and send exceptional employees a compliment.

Apply for a Seat on a Committee
The City has a number of boards, commissions, and committees (collectively called citizen advisory groups) that are critical for advising policy decisions. These groups research, study, and discuss specific issues with short- and long-term implications and forward their recommendations to the Council. Applications are reviewed as vacancies occur.

Request Public Records
Our new online request form makes it easy for residents to request and access public records. Residents are encouraged to look through previous requests, as they may answer their questions without needing to submit a new request.

Comment at a Council Meeting
Individuals are able to address the City Council in general about items not on the agenda or in response to a specific agenda item. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, individuals may email their comments to the City Clerk to be read during Council meetings or participate through Zoom. See a recent agenda for details.

Vote in Elections
The general election in November placed three new Council Members on the City Council. Because no mayoral candidate received a majority of votes, a special election will be held on February 2 to determine Modesto’s mayor for the next four years. Former Council Member Doug Ridenour and former Modesto City Schools Board Member Sue Zwahlen are the two candidates.

It is important for residents to know what is going on in their community and to feel that they are included in the discussion. If there’s a way we can better reach you that isn’t listed, please let us know. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to stay informed and to encourage you to partner with us in making Modesto THE place to be.
Jan 06

7 Ways to Get in the Know in Modesto

Posted on January 6, 2021 at 8:30 AM by Alyssa Adams

In a city spanning 45 miles with over 215,000 residents, it can be difficult to know everything that is happening in your community at any given point in time. As part one of a two-part series on being informed and getting involved with the City, here are seven ways to stay updated on all things Modesto.

Follow Us on Social Media
Our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are designed to give our residents quick information and updates about the City. We typically feature community news, project details, and local events, along with service updates.

Subscribe to City Beat
On the first of the month, we email a newsletter to our subscribers. The e-newsletter details important announcements, upcoming events (both virtual and in-person, if applicable), and job openings.

Read City Manager’s Blogs
Each month, we post a few short blogs relating to some aspect of City government, like project and program updates, new community investments, and good-to-know information on City matters.

See the Monthly City Manager’s Update
We compile recent accomplishments into the City Manager’s Update for the City Council and the community. This is your snapshot into our financial standing, various project statuses, and community and economic development for the past month.

View the Strategic Plan Dashboard
We have high hopes for our recently adopted 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. Follow along with where the City is in regards to Quality of Life, Economic Vitality, and Governance and Service Delivery. You can also review the City Manager’s Performance Goals.

Watch City Council Meetings
It has never been easier to participate in City Council meetings—you can watch the live-stream directly from your home. City services, policies, and spending are discussed year-round. Meetings are held the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Tuesdays of each month at 5:30 p.m. Public comments are still permitted.

Sign Up for Specific Email Updates
Did you know you can sign up for City emails and text messages based on your preferences? You can pick and choose the topics most important to you and subscribe to get updates on those specific topics.

It is important for residents to know what is going on in their community and to feel that they are included in the discussion. If there’s a way we can better reach you that isn’t listed, please let us know. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to stay informed and to encourage you to partner with us in making Modesto THE place to be.

Next week, we will highlight seven ways to voice your opinion and get involved with your local government.