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Manteca mayor, council just figureheads

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POSTED August 13, 2013 12:45 a.m.

Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

The column regarding the old water tower’s historical significance or sentimental value covered a lot of ground, which highlighted issues all too familiar.

However, the real problem was overlooked. The issue is the inherent lack of civil transparency and the community’s belief that the Manteca City Councils and administrations have a firm grip on the helm. The truth is that no one of knowledge has been reviewing what goes on (or the lack of) at city hall; as such, the mindset of indifference to community needs has become practice and the budgetary wherewithal of the city has weakened considerably. For example, even when each councilmember identified in public they had never received as many calls in the past about any subject matter as they did about the old water tower, they still voted to not save money, to not seek community input, and to demolish the structurally safe historic water tower.

Frankly, unlike the forefathers of this community, the jobs of mayor and council have become figureheads that attend a meeting every other week and simply perform to staff’s recommendations; the Council, and the community for that matter, has entrusted the management and future of this community to staff that have no community legacy. The historical value of the water tower is but one example; there was no motivation or forethought as to a possible historic significance in the process of developing the new corporation yard, the old water tower was merely an engineering obstacle to be removed.

While I agree with portions of the column, especially the perception of an absent community voice, the issue is not the water tower. The issue continues to be the face of indifference and lack of oversight of city hall and the Council. Perhaps the history of being snubbed at the council podium has silenced the community’s voice.

Benjamin Cantu
Aug. 12, 2013

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