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Opinon: A tip of the hat for county Grand Jury

Cheers for the Madera County Grand Jury for finally casting its eyes on the City of Madera and taking a look at the city’s governance problems. For many months, Grand Jury members sat in on council meetings and tried to figure out why the city government seemed to be so dysfunctional. You study the Grand Jury report in this issue of The Madera Tribune and you may learn some things.

The Grand Jury had help from some smart citizens who came forward and described some of the problems.

Being on a Grand Jury is tough. Not only does it take a lot of time, but also takes a lot of thinking.

We owe a debt to the Grand Jury and the citizens who helped them to help get the city back on a right path.

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New City Manager Arnoldo Rodriguez and his staff have been working to improve Madera’s city governance, and we wish them well. It looks as though Rodriguez and the council members who worked on it have prepared a budget that will serve the city and help to get it out of the red.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom doesn’t seem to get much respect, especially from the California High Speed Rail Authority. Not long after he was inaugurated, Newsom said he was calling off the construction of the High-speed rail system, but would finish the segment between Merced and Bakersfield because it was closer to being finished than the rest of the project.

Along with that, President Trump grabbed the federal money that had been paid into the project, because he said the project was a mess and was wasting federal dollars.

Now we learn that the Authority is going to make public recommendations for the state’s preferred alternatives in Northern California. Does that seem like the HSR project is being stopped?

And what about money? Can the project go anywhere without the billion federal dollars that the feds took back?

When he made his announcement about cutting the HSR project way back, Newsom said it was too complicated and we couldn’t afford it. He was right. Why didn’t he stick to his guns? He is letting the HSR Authority ignore him.

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I am not the only one who has noticed that many of the county’s roads are in bad repair (read Bill Hoffrage’s letter on Page 5 today), but I do know a lot of traffic is coming into the county to give a hard time to the roads we do have. Four big, new truck stops are in the works, which means people who pay attention to things like that must be aware that more cars and big trucks, not to mention their loads, will soon be giving our already shaken roads more pounding.

We know that the 99 soon will be widened to accept more auto and truck traffic, but will that be enough to carry all the new traffic that’s on its way?

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