Leadership Lodi is a course dedicated to inspiring and motivating individuals from our community to attain higher levels of leadership. Formed through the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce in 1990, the hands-on workshops, interviews with local leaders, and non-profit projects have made an immense impact on Lodi as a whole. During the course of Leadership Lodi, participants go through ten all-day meetings with different facets of the community. The mission for this month was to introduce all of the Leadership Lodi 2019 participants to the wonderful educational opportunities that exist in and around Lodi.
Government Day for the Leadership Lodi 2019 class was informative from start to finish. They began at Carnegie Forum hearing from the City of Lodi’s Business Development Manager Astrida Trupovnieks. Then, the class walked from Carnegie Forum to The Transportation Center to hear from Julia Tyack. Greyhound, Amtrak, Galt South County Transit, Stockton RTD and The Lodi Grapevine all converge at the facility and over 300,000 people travel through Lodi’s station annually. According to Julia, “the goal is to be 100% electric by 2029.”
After leaving the Transportation Center, the class then went to the shared space of the Municipal Service Center and Lodi electric utility. Melisa Price, the Interim Electric Utility Director, spoke about how Lodi is only one of 40 publicly owned utilities and that Lodi uses 35% renewable energy. The class watched a demo from the line workers about completing a “hurt man” rescue in less than 4 minutes, as well as a transformer removal. The transformers weigh 400 to 800 pounds and the tool belt for the workers is about 30 pounds on average. Charlie Swimley, Public Works Director, talked to the class about all the amazing services that happen through public works. The facility maintains all of the city vehicles, roads, underground pipes, park equipment installations, signs, vehicle graphics, street sweeper, sewer cleaning, waste water processing, and more. Products from waste water management are called “nutrients” that are put on crops that will be used to feed livestock only.
Before lunch, the class returned to Carnegie Forum to hear from Jennifer Ferraiolo, Lodi City Clerk, who discussed the importance of local elections and the City Council. There are no term limits, and we now have districts due to the lawsuit from MALDEF. City Manager Steve Schwabauer and City Planner Craig Hoffman completed a presentation on Lodi’s growth The class learned that the City of Lodi has an annual slow growth initiative of no more than 2% or 479 residential units. Many new developments are in progress, but the real issue is that Lodi lacks hotel space.
After lunch, City Attorney Janice Magdich addressed the class and spoke on litigation our city is involved in. The Deputy City Manager/Internal Services Director Andrew Keys spoke about how amazing Measure L has been for the City- including coverage of 19 employees. We then had a discussion about the Budget and Pers with City Manager Schwabauer. City of Lodi’s main sources of revenue are sales tax, property tax, utility tax, and Vehicle in Leu Tax. Doug Kuehne, Lodi’s Mayor Pro Tempore, led a Mock City Council Meeting on the topic of should the City of Lodi allow the sale of medical and recreational marijuana. The class ended their day with a question and answer session about how the City Council functions. Applications for Leadership Lodi 2020 will be available to the public soon. For more information or questions on the program, email Karen Alvarez at KAlvarez@LodiChamber.com.