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The 20 who will help shape future for Manteca

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POSTED April 5, 2017 12:55 a.m.

It could easily be the most eclectic group of 20 people ever assembled in Manteca.
It includes a farmer with deep roots, two millennials trying to make it living and working in Manteca, a Del Webb retiree, legacy developer, successful immigrant, Manteca’s Marathon Man of elected public service, the engineer that helped Spreckels Park raise from the rubble of the Spreckels Sugar refinery, businessmen that keep the economy rolling, an affordable housing advocate, and even the loyal opposition.
Their ages range from 20 to 90.
They are the 15 appointees and five alternates picked by the Manteca City Council to serve on the General Plan Advisory Committee that may spend up to three years devising the blueprint to direct Manteca’s growth through 2040.
And the thing that all 20 share is an unshakeable love for Manteca and a desire to make their home a better place not just for their family and neighbors but people who have yet to enjoy life on what 150 years ago was just a sandy plain where jack rabbits outnumbered the people easily 10,000 times over. They are a healthy mix of generational Manteca residents and those who have moved here since 1970 when 13,284 people called Manteca home.
They are the most diverse group perhaps every to shape a general plan in Manteca with this being the fifth time around.
The general plan addresses circulation, public facilities and services, land use and community design, conservation and open space, economic development, housing, safety, noise, and air quality strategies designed to take Manteca from 76,000 residents today to a projected population of 127,700 by 2040.
The appointees and who they were selected by are as follows:
Councilwoman Debby Moorhead
uJack Snyder: He served 26 years on the Manteca City Council including 10 as mayor. His most enduring accomplishment is a toss-up between securing the 120 Bypass and arguably the biggest real estate bargain since $24 in trinkets bought Manhattan Island — the $1 deal that got the city 52 acres for Woodward Park.
uDemetri Filos: The legacy developer who is the son of Bill Filos, the numbers guy that teamed with the big dreamer associates call “Coach” who goes by the name Mike Atherton that put together deals that delivered Spreckels Park, Del Webb at Woodbridge, and The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley to name a few.
uRon Cheek: A civil engineer and an owner of RLC Associates, he’s the detail guy behind a lot of development in Manteca including the tricky effort led by AKF that took the 362-acre shuttered sugar refinery that investors avoided like the plague and turned it into an economic juggernaut that helped power growth at the dawn of this century.
uDavid Cushman (Alternate): The youngest candidate to ever run for council, the 20 something knows firsthand how hard it is to secure affordable housing to rent in Manteca while doing on a young family’s wages consisting of decent paying Manteca jobs.
Councilman Gary Singh
uJose Nuno: A Manteca Planning Commission member who brings arguably some of the best working knowledge to tackle Manteca’s biggest issue — affordable housing. He serves as an affordable housing administrator.
uParminder Singh Sahi: He’s a solid family man that is heavily involved in the community and is a typical Manteca commuter that is pursuing the American Dream. An immigrant from India, he has been employed with Western Digital in San Jose.
uVictoria Brunn: Like the others, she loves her community and has lived in Manteca for 20 years. But what she brings to the table is a first in the five times general plans have been conducted for Manteca. She was picked as much for her ability as Manteca Unified School District community outreach coordinator to help plug the school district into municipal planning.
uJason Laughlin (alternate): He’s exactly what every elected official over the years says they want to make sure Manteca can accommodate — a recent Manteca graduate who is going to Modesto Junior College while working in a starter job with the dream of building his life in Manteca.
Councilman Mike Morowit
uRonald Light: The retired project manager for Medical Diagnostic Isotopes is currently the chairman of the Manteca Water Conservation Citizens Committee, services on the San Joaquin County Commission on Aging and is a member of the San Joaquin County Health Services Agency’s Walkability Program.
uMatthew Sickler: The owner of The Emory has a background in human resources, worked 23 years as a licenses real estate agent and was employed at Pilkington Glass for 19 years. He’s one of the entrepreneurs that saw a unique need in a growing community and came up with a first-of-its-kind private sector business in Manteca to meet it.
uBill Barnhart: An active member of Del Webb at Woodbridge who moved to Manteca nine years ago from Bakersfield, he has been active within the Del Webb community and Manteca with the Mural Society being high on his list. Always the gentleman, he has a reputation for using a fine tooth comb to review development agreements in a bid to make sure promises are kept.
uRichard Paz (Alternate): The retired general building contractor for American Select Builders is a volunteer with various social organizations.
Councilman Richard Silverman
uJoann Beattie: The current Manteca Chamber of Commerce executive director is a longtime worker bee for many nonprofits that give Manteca its caring character. In her role serving the chamber, she is working diligently to deliver what hasn’t been done in 55 years of trying — a united effort to breath more life into downtown.
uJames DuClair: He brings a wide array of experiences to the table. He worked for 10 years as a San Jose police officer and was district manager for Avnet Electronics Marketing Group in San Jose in addition to six years as a real estate sales representative for Toll Brothers Luxury Homes in Dublin and for two years was a co-owner of an international sales and marketing firm based in Florida.
uStephen Tompkins: He is retired after 45 years in the print publications business including 20 years handling lead of administrative duties. He’s a quintessential Manteca volunteer with a stint as youth football and baseball coaches when he was younger to today as a member of the Sunrise Kiwanis that stages the Pumpkin Fair that helps support numerous local non-profits as well as a Manteca Seniors Helping Area Residents and Police volunteer and serves as a lead for the group’s rapid Response Team.
uMarco Galeazzi (Alternate):  He is a retired United States Postal Service employee that helped plan for growth. He has served on the Manteca Parks & Recreation Commission since 1995. he has been a part of the city’s golf financing committee since 1994.

Mayor Steve DeBrum
uWendy Benavides: A 40-year Manteca resident who is now in her 30th year working in real estate. She has also been active in community issues and is an active member of the Friends of the Manteca Library.
uDaryll Quaresma: He has been a self-employed farmer for 35 years and understands the impacts growth — including flood control initiatives to protect the city — will have on farmers and rural residents. He is a past Manteca Chamber of Commerce president and is Chairman of the Oversight Board of the Successor Agency to the Manteca Redevelopment Agency.
uDavid Tenney: The owner of Manteca Trailer and Motor Home, he has an extensive understanding of government through city, state, and county agencies he routinely deals with. He also has a grasp of what powers city government and the local economy His firm has a $5.8  million annual payroll and was the second highest source of sales tax for the City of Manteca generating $700,000 in 2016.
uBenjamin Cantu (alternate): The land use planner and designer retired 35 years working as a planner in what is now known as the Community Development Department. Cantu was part of the staff that worked on the city’s first general plan and has run for mayor and council seat.
Cantu — as an added note — was DeBrum’s opposition in the 2014 mayor’s race.
And while it isn’t a meeting of the newly formed general plan advisory committee, this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. is the second of three community workshops designed to seek general input from residents about what they think is right or wrong with Manteca and where they think it should head.
It takes place at the transit center on Moffat Boulevard at South Main Street.

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