Brenda Franklin doesn’t want anyone else going through the pain that she has been hit with after taking a fall that injured her foot after encountering disintegrating pavement in downtown Manteca.
The longtime downtown advocate from Tipton’s Stationery hobbled on crutches to the podium at Tuesday’s Manteca City Council meeting to make a simple request of the city — fix the alleys that they have been promising to do for more than two years.
She noted there are significant cracks and tripping hazards in the alley behind the 100 block of North Center and North Yosemite Avenue. Plans to do the work — as well as an off-shoot alley behind the 100 block of Maple Avenue and two nearby parking lot — had been circulated awhile back and then nothing happened.
When Franklin inquired city staff said they could no longer use the set aside Community Development Block Grant funds as the downtown census tract no longer met federal guidelines for the pass through money.
Franklin was made even unhappier by the fact the city said they had spent $36,000 on plans but didn’t have the money to do the work.
She noted the issue is city-owned alleys are in deplorable shape and are creating a safety hazard, adding that it is a maintenance issue. While she referenced a woman that broke her foot elsewhere in downtown, the alley in question has been the site of several people tripping and bicyclists taking spills in recent years.
State of City
open to public
Richard Silverman gets who he works for.
That’s why when the Manteca City Councilman heard that the upcoming inaugural State of the City event planned for Jan. 25, 2017 at the MRPS Hall was going to be by invitation, he pushed to get it on record that it would be open to the public
The response that staff would print up tickets for the general public didn’t suffice. He wanted assurances — that he got — that anyone from the public whether it was one person or four dozen could show up that day and sit in on the presentation.
Whether it would meet the threshold under California law to be an official gathering of a majority of the council members assuming at least three are present wasn’t the issue with Silverman although he noted he was sworn to uphold the law.
It was the fact it was a city function designed to tell the people who are stakeholders — read that residents and taxpayers — what their city is up to that made it imperative for it to be an open venue.
Silverman astutely pointed out “it’s the people’s business.”
Granted the public attending without tickets won’t get fed but they can still listen to talks from a Google executive that handles state and local government accounts and a University of Pacific economist as well as Mayor Steve DeBrum’s State of the City address and the promised unveiling of Manteca’s “new brand” being developed at a cost of $57,500.
“It will be open to the public,” emphasized City Manager Elena Reyes.
Reyes’ noted the event’s potential invitee list was too big to showcase the city’s transit station prompting the need to rent the much bigger MRPS Hall venue where there should be adequate room to set up a few chairs for the general public.
The city has budgeted $5,000 for the event although the Manteca Chamber of Commerce will be selling sponsorships.
Silverman also said the upcoming council/city manager training session chaired by a facilitator who may be paid as much as $2,500 will be open to the public as well.
Silverman isn’t hot on the idea of spending a penny of tax dollars on a facilitator for the training session. He believes Reyes could possibly find someone on staff that is quite capable. He even went as far as volunteering his own services.
Years ago the city tapped staff such as now retired community service officer Rex Osborn to facilitate internal city meetings designed to build teamwork and establish common goals.
Reyes said the goal of the training session ls “What does success look like for (the City of Manteca) for 2017” as well as 2018 and 2019?
It is similar to what the two-step budget workshops have morphed into in recent years. The council has a mid-year report with department heads regarding progress on city goals interwoven with the budget process since everything government does costs money and then a budget workshop to delineate goals for the next fiscal year.
Shaw is new Sierra
High vice principal
Anne Marie Shaw was hired as Sierra High’s new vice principal by the Manteca Unified School Board.
Shaw was hired in 2004 as a speech therapist by the district. She served students at Brock Elliott School and several other sites for nine years. While at Brock Elliott, she worked with the student council and spearheaded community service projects, implemented a Peer Buddies program, and coached track.
She was selected as “Educator of the Year” for 2001-2012.
In 2012 she was hired to serve as a program specialist.
Shaw and her husband Steve — who is a junior high teacher at Neil Hafley School — have two sons, Brett and Andrew.
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