Some 24 years of Manteca history occupied three seats in the far southeastern corner of the Manteca City Council chambers on Tuesday.
The three men present — Carlon Perry, Jack Snyder, and Willie Weatherford — all served as mayor of Manteca. They covered 24 years or just under a quarter of the 97 years Manteca has been incorporated. Manteca legally became a city on June 8, 1918.
They also represented three of the four living directly elected mayors. The other is Frank Warren. Trena Kelley — the first elected mayor as well as the first and only woman mayor — along with Bill Perry have passed away. Weatherford is the longest serving mayor in city history putting in 12 years before stepping down last year.
The chambers also contained three of the five men who are currently serving or were serving as Manteca’s police chief during the past 25 years — Weatherford, Dave Bricker, and current chief Nick Obligacion The others are Rich Gregson and Charlie Halford who, like Weatherford and Bricker, still lives in Manteca.
It was Weatherford’s first appearance at a council meeting since stepping down.
When he first approached the podium to speak in favor of the city supporting the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6311 by paying for the commercial kitchen, current Mayor Steve DeBrum hit him with a zinger: “Please be pithy.”
It was a line Weatherford used many times when he was mayor in trying to encourage people to stay on point and use as few words as possible to describe their concerns.
Weatherford was relatively pithy ending his comments in one minute and 18 seconds, less than half of the tthree-minute time limit he imposed on speakers as mayor.
He returned to the podium later to urge people to attend tonight’s 7 o’clock meeting of the East Union Cemetery Association that’s taking place at the Manteca Transit Center on Moffat Boulevard.