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Silverman seeks Manteca council seat

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Richard Silverman would like to see a city effort to encourage the development of vacant infill land and vacant buildings in Manteca.


POSTED August 8, 2014 1:33 a.m.

Richard Silverman wants to focus on the “forgotten” Manteca — vacant parcels as well as underutilized or deteriorating buildings.

Silverman said it’s about quality of life and reducing the cost of government.

“You already have the sewer and water connections and the streets in place,” Silverman said.

The retired AT&T employee who spent the bulk of his career problem solving noted it would pump new vitality into older areas.

“The city needs to find ways to work with developers to make infill projects happen,” Silverman said.

Silverman is seeking one of two Manteca City Council seats in the Nov. 4 election.

The retiree who spends his time volunteering in the community including through the Manteca Fire Deportment’s Seniors Aiding Fire Effort along with his wife Linda, says he likes the general direction Manteca is going. His goal is “not to go back to the dysfunctional” era on the City Council and to find ways to direct municipal policy and growth to build upon what Manteca already has.

“I like the way Manteca is going,” he said.”We survived the recession and we’ve kept going forward.”

As to how he’d fit in on the council, Silverman said the goal is to work for the common good and to agree to disagree when at an impasse

“I work well with others,” Silverman added.

Silverman said he believes council members need to listen to those that have concerns, weigh what they have to say and then act. It doesn’t mean that he’d do exactly what someone wants him to do, but that everything needs to be weighed so he can make the most thorough and best decision for the city as a whole.

To that end, he intends to “keep on going door-to-door” figuratively after he is elected.

“A lot of people don’t have the time to get to a council meeting,” Silverman said. “I liked the monthly coffees that former Police Chief Dave Bricker had to hear concerns of residents.”

Silverman lists Bass Pro Shops, Big League Dreams, and Costco as some of the savvy moves Manteca has made in recent years. The two retailers required incentives that are bringing back much bigger dividends in terms of city revenue to underwrite essential services such as police, fire, parks, and streets.

Silverman wants to see a decision made fairly soon on Great Wolf Resort to “either do it or don’t do it.”

He also views voter approval of Measure M, the half-cent public safety tax, as a “godsend.”

“Try to imagine Manteca with 15 less police officers and 13 less firefighters,” Silverman said.

As chair of the citizens’ oversight committee he noted the Measure M funds are being spent just as voters were promised. At the same time the city is still contributing right around 70 percent of all general fund revenue each year to public safety just as the measure requires.

Silverman also wants the city to work toward securing more moderate housing as defined by housing that those who work in Manteca can afford to live in whether it is to buy or rent. Typically when the Bay Area economy heats up there is an influx of people in the housing tight and job rich East Bay and San Jose that start flocking over the Altamont. The demand sends prices up and squeezes out local buyers and renters who make significantly less on average. As a result, many Manteca workers have to commute from elsewhere or share living space.

Public safety is tops with Silverman who also emphasized it is imperative that the city always strive to maintain balance as there are other municipal needs that residents expect.

“It is important to remember there is only so much money and that people expect water to flow when they turn on the tap, their toilets to flush, and their garbage to be picked up,” Silverman said.

Even so, he said he council should never arbitrary dismiss a proposal for a community need or want without looking at it from all angles.

During his door-to-door campaigning one woman lobbied Silverman to support an aquatics center if he were elected. She pointed that Lincoln Pool is older and smaller and that an aquatics center would spur a number of recreational and sports programs for both young people and adults.

Silverman pointed out that the economics to build and maintain an aquatics center may put it out of reach of traditional municipal funding.

That said, he noted it is was an idea that should be explored to see if an arrangement with the private sector could be made such as what was done at the city-owned Big League Dreams sports complex.

Silverman, 68, was born in Los Angeles.  He grew up in Southern California attending local schools.  Silverman earned his Associated Arts Degree in Administration of Justice from Los Angeles City College.  He then went on to graduate cum laude in Management, receiving his Bachelor of Arts from St. Mary’s College.

Silverman worked for Pacific Bell / AT&T and served in a number of capacities in the Revenue 

Accounting Department serving as a billing system manager, an internal financial consultant, a systems analyst and as a programmer.  After leaving AT&T, he worked as a senior financial management consultant for Fujitsu Consulting.

In 1993, Silverman earned his license as a Certified Tax Preparer from the California Tax Education Council and worked as tax preparer for over 10 years.  He later joined Jackson Hewitt Tax Services where he has worked as a senior preparer for the past 9 years.

Silverman is a military veteran serving in the US Naval Air Reserve from 1965-1977.  While in the Navy, he served as an Aviation Electricians Mate, and later as a Data Processing Tech for a Naval Air Intelligence unit and was honorably discharged, remaining active as a member of the American Legion and Fleet Reserve Association.

The Silvermans have been married for over 35 years.  They have three children: Denise, Matthew and Debbie and have three grandchildren.

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