With the new year, Madera County’s Board of Supervisors will be getting two new members. I wish them the best of luck. They will make important decisions that will resound into the future of Madera County and the well-being of its citizens.
Decisions regarding the continued growth of leapfrog development and urban sprawl in the southeast comer of the county along the San Joaquin River will have to be made and reviewed.
These developments collectively referred to as Rio Mesa are a threat to the people of Madera County. They will forever change the political balance of the county with the eventual addition of 100,000-150,000 new citizens (mostly voters) that will be much closer to Fresno than the city of Madera.
It is not reasonable to expect them to shop and seek services from Madera merchants and businesses when they are just across the river from Fresno. Instead Fresno will reap the rewards from the urban sprawl Fresno developers will create on our side of the San Joaquin River while Maderans will pick up the costs through taxes and reduced services to our existing cities and towns.
Our Madera County forefathers broke away from Fresno County to enjoy freedom and independence. They wanted to better take care of our own county without being under the dictates of Fresno. Rio Mesa will change this forever. The cities of Madera and Chowchilla will be reduced to the status of Sanger and Parlier, subservient to Fresno County politics.
I hope the new board members will save the agricultural and ranching heritage of Madera County by adhering to smart growth in our existing cities and towns and by rejecting leapfrog development and urban sprawl that only enriches developers and increases the tax burden on our Madera County citizens.
James Lex Bufford, MCDCC member, President, Madera Democratic Club