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About the latest fresh face in Manteca politics
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Sheila Raya isn’t a household name in Manteca politics but she is involved in the community.

Raya is one of three hopefuls circulating petitions to qualify for the Nov. 6 ballot for two seats on the Manteca City Council. The others are Ben Cantu - a retired city planner who has had two unsuccessful bids to grab one of five elected city positions - and incumbent Debby Moorhead. A fourth candidate - incumbent Steve DeBrum - has already qualified for the ballot as he has collected 20 signatures of registered city voters that have been verified.

Raya works for the San Joaquin County Superior Court. She’s also does substitute yard duty for Manteca Unified schools.

“I thought to myself that Manteca is my home and that I’m a team player and that I can help improve things.” she said of her decision to run.

Actually, there is more to it than that. Raya is one of the people who help keep the community going.

Raya is a former director of the Manteca Pregnancy Help Center. She also has been involved with the Christian Worship Center for the past 13 years.

She’s married with two sons and two daughters. Ray is an East Union High graduate. She stays involves in local school activities as a daughter is involved in Buffalo basketball and volleyball while another child attends Woodward School.

Raya said she was at the grocery store on July 5 when she saw a headline in the Manteca Bulletin that said filing had opened for the City Council.

Filing for the council closes Aug. 10. Petitions and other candidacy information are available at the City Clerk’s office at the Manteca Civic Center.

Supervisors make pitch for 12 years of board service

You might be one of the lucky folks to get an automated telephone survey call financed by individual members of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors who think that they deserve to serve more than two terms.

The majority of the board wants to amend the voters’ decision in the 1990s to impose term limits. They voted 4-1 to place a measure on the November ballot - with Supervisor Leroy Ornellas of Tracy dissenting - to ask voters to allow supervisors to serve for three four-year terms.

The ballot measure will cost taxpayers $135,000 or enough to pay for 1½ deputies.

Ornellas pooh-poohs his colleagues’ argument that it takes a good four years to acclimate to the job of a supervisor so therefore longer service is justified.

“This isn’t brain surgery,” Ornellas has been quoted as saying. “It should take six months - maybe four (or) three.”

Ornellas, it should be noted, is being termed out this November after representing Ripon, Tracy and parts of Ripon for eight years. One of the most strident supporters of monk eying with the term limits is Supervisor Ken Vogel who will represent Ripon starting in December in addition to the North County, Escalon and the rural east side. Vogel would be required to leave the board in 2014 unless voters change the term limit ordinance this November.

Supervisors make right around $130,000 annually in salary and benefits.

Ransom abhors ‘gang violence’ when it comes to water war

District 5 Supervisor candidates Rhodesia Ransom has blasted the decision to move fast track the Peripheral Canal/Tunnel without environmental review condemning the plan as “a pipe dream from the LA Chamber of Commerce” that will waste taxpayer money and would likely further deplete water availability in San Joaquin County.

“Experts say the project will likely cost more than twice as much as the benefits. No wonder it has such strong support in Washington” said Rhodesia who is running Nov, 6 to represent Tracy, Mountain House and Manteca south of Yosemite Avenue on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.

Ransom noted, “restoring flows to the San Joaquin takes years of environmental analysis, but the multi-billion dollar Peripheral Canal gets a pass.

Studies from the University of Pacific actually show the costs to be 2.5 times the benefits, with an ultimate price tag as high as $50. The principal beneficiaries of the Peripheral project will be cities in Southern California, and some of the largest corporate farming operations in the country. “This is gang violence of a different sort,” she said.

Ransom expressed strong concern over dropping water levels in San Joaquin County, saying that drinking water for communities in her district are already at risk. “I want water in my kitchen, not filling Hollywood swimming pools. I want jobs that build San Joaquin County, not help destroy it.”

"Agriculture is our economic backbone, and it depends on reliable water supplies. We saw what happened to the Owens Valley.”