Call it true transparency, if you wish.
For the first time ever the municipal staff generated Project Status Report provided to the Manteca City Council and general public contains the words, “Limited staffing has not allowed us to move this project along.”
Those words appear in reference to:
uThe replacement of Civic Center turf with ground cover and shrubs that use less water.
uInstallation of the new shade structure, concrete flooring, security lighting and other general improvements for the Northgate Park group picnic area.
uMoving water and solid waste division corporation yards to the wastewater treatment plant and provide a new facility for streets and building maintenance on the existing site.
Then there is the library expansion project that the list indicates that the Manteca Library Advisory Board is continuing the consideration of library building options and city funding priorities. While the board may be meeting — several council members say they haven’t gotten wind of it if they have — the project list goes on to note the project is on hold pending receipt of additional funding.
Of course you can’t get funding if you’re not working on a plan to pursue it or justify the implementation of a fee for growth to pay their fair share of future library facilities.
It seems disingenuous for elected leaders to keep the library on the project list when the city has made no forward movement since 2002 other than a mention of the need for another library made by former council member Vince Hernandez during a council meeting in the spring of 2015.
The City Council meets tonight at 7’oclock at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St., during which time they will accept and file the project status report.
to pot holes
Given the growing frustration with the streets of Manteca and the less than stellar condition some stretches are in nowadays, perhaps it is time for drivers to rate the potholes and crumbling asphalt.
After a reader pointed out the dinner plate sized pothole about two inches deep in the crosswalk across Industrial Park Drive at Van Ryn Avenue another driver pointed out that it is not nearly as bad as the left turn lane going from Industrial Park Drive to South Main Street. That of course takes you to the cracked high-profile washboard on South Main in front of Wal-Mart.
As it has been noted, the city can find $57,000 on the spur of the moment to come up with a Manteca brand and redo a website that had just been updated nine months earlier that earned the council’s unanimous praise, but they can’t spend money on street repairs.
The current city policy is not to do such work until they can redo the entire street like they are planning for South Main Street between Woodward Avenue and Yosemite Avenue later this year.
Maybe the city roll out a Manteca Scale based on the Richter Scale to rate the shaking you can expect driving over bad stretches of pavement on major streets.
Reyes being paid
$3,688 a week
to do nothing
Manteca resident Jerry Schuler had a question regarding Manteca City Manager Elena Reyes who is making $3,688.46 a week for not working since the City Council placed her on paid leave some six weeks ago while they looked into personnel issues.
He was wondering if the council wants to terminate Reyes — and nobody knows if that is the case as the council is staying tight-lipped as they should in such matters — why it hasn’t been done. Schuler saw an article where the Bulletin referenced the contract language that states a city manager can’t be fired during a time period before a municipal election of afterwards. It said 60 days in the Bulletin when it should have said 90 days.
So if they are waiting for the clock to run out they can’t do anything until after Feb. 6.
And for the record, the contract language means she has collected 22.5 hours of vacation since she has been on paid leave.
Should the council decide to part ways with Reyes the city could be on the hook for a lot more.
The contract says if she is terminated while still willing and able to perform the duties of city manager she will receive a lump sum payment equal to 12 months of her salary. Then there’s the contract language the council approved that allowed Reyes to start with 240 hours of accrued sick leave hours, and 160 hours of accrued vacation hours. In addition, on the day she started she began — based on contract language — “start accruing sick leave and vacation leave on a monthly basis, at a minimum, at the highest rate provided or available to other employees, under the same rules and provisions applicable to the most senior Executive Management.”
By the time next month rolls around she will have been on board for six months. Should the city and Reyes part ways between vacation, administrative leave and sick leave accruals she could be entitled to another 550 hours of compensation or $40,500 plus bringing a cash out at near the $250,000 mark.