Editor, Ceres Courier,
Every two years our region sends a representative to the U.S. House of Representatives to voice our unique needs and concerns within the federal government. Washington, D.C. is almost 3,000 miles away from Stanislaus County and, as our Congressman, Jeff Denham could've easily insulated himself in this far away location, but he hasn't. He flies home almost every weekend to work with local leaders to better serve our communities and our residents.
As mayors representing Ceres, Modesto, Riverbank, Turlock, and Waterford, we're tasked with the everyday quality of life issues that include keeping street lamps lit, providing police and fire services and clearing storm drains. Congressman Denham (or Jeff, as he prefers to be called) doesn't dodge our cities' mainstay issues; instead, he rolls up his sleeves and gets to work alongside us as we help our local residents.
Jeff has been an indispensable ally in keeping our communities safe - and assisting those that keep us safe abroad. He has helped our cities secure Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants that allow us to better equip our firefighters to serve our communities. He has also taken care of our community's veterans, as he works tirelessly to secure the French Camp Veterans Affairs' hospital facility here in our backyard.
He has the ability to bring federal leaders to the Valley to address critical problems. When we voiced concern with highly combustible crude oil traveling on the railroads that crisscross through our towns, Jeff convened a Modesto roundtable discussion with the Federal Railroad Administration's Administrator. When we needed to express the negative impacts of the "Waters of the U.S." legislation on our local waterways and canals, he brought us together with leaders from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. And when we voiced outrage over mail theft in our communities, Jeff convened high level U.S. Postal Service agents to meet with us to strategize ways to combat these criminals.
Jeff's consistent and constant commitment to our cities' water projects has also been invaluable. He played a crucial role in obtaining federal approval for the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Project, which will put up to 60,000 acre feet of recycled water to use on Westside farms and will save our cities millions of dollars by avoiding water discharge into the San Joaquin River.
As our federal representative, Jeff has been a leading voice against the State Water Resources Control Board's declaration that crippling percentages of the flow on our rivers should be released downstream instead of on our farms and into our cities' drinking water plants, and he has been the key voice that shed light on the negative impacts of predatory fish in our rivers. And while Ceres and Turlock continue down the path of constructing a surface water treatment facility to ease our dependence on groundwater, he constantly calls us to personally to ask "How can I help?"
Are we disappointed and disgusted with some of the words and actions of the Republican presidential nominee? Yes. But Jeff is a different person: he is a strong, pragmatic leader who is unafraid to help his fellow residents of our region. He is a representative of all Central Valley citizens - regardless of your party affiliation - and he has spent considerable time helping our region's seniors, veterans, farmers and laborers.
His record of accomplishments proves that he deserves another term. Please join us in supporting our Congressman - Jeff Denham - and together, we will continue to build on the progress that's been made under his steadfast leadership.
Mayor Ted Brandvold,
Mayor Richard O'Brien,
Mayor Gary Soiseth,
Mayor Chris Vierra,
Mayor Mike Van Winkle,