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Why did it take 20 years to build fire station?

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POSTED September 13, 2013 1:09 a.m.

Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

In response to the recent northwest fire station opening news article, I say “Well said Chief Waters.” The Chief’s comments reflect the importance and need of the brand new fire station—there is nothing wrong and everything is right with finally having a fire station in the northwest sector of the community. I support Chief Waters and our firefighters for doing a great job given the limited resources and political constrictions they must endure.

However, no one (especially the City Manager, the Mayor, or the City Council) highlighted to the gathering that the new station only took 20 years to build from when the need for the fire station was identified and after hundreds of homes were built outside the city’s (long time) adopted 5-minute response limit. No one highlighted that City Hall and the City Council were not able to fund the fire station for decades while the developers continued to profit from building homes. No one highlighted that those other departments and their personnel layoffs and the overall reduction in community public service levels helped fund the new fire station. No one highlighted that the level of public safety was reduced with each new home built outside the 5-minute response limit. (And, no one highlighted that we have the same situation on the south side of Manteca.)

And, finally, no one highlighted that other cities require such improvements to be in place at the developer’s expense and manned as development occurs, simply for the privilege of building homes in their community. We are once again accepting a community amenity that is a day late and a dollar short. It is unfortunate that in Manteca the residents and service levels do not apparently have the same ranking as in other communities.

Benjamin Cantu


Sept. 12, 2013

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