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Weatherford favors true South County district
Mayor Willie Weatherford wants Manteca to take a position on the redistricting of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors. - photo by Bulletin photo
Mayor Willie Weatherford believes the 2010 Census can justify creating a true South County seat on the San Joaquin Board of Supervisors representing  those living east of the San Joaquin River consisting of Manteca, Ripon, Lathrop,  and Escalon as well as the surrounding rural areas.

Manteca is currently split between two supervisors:  Leroy Orenlas who also represents Tracy and Ripon as well as Steve Bestolarides who also represents Lathrop and the areas west of the City of Stockton. Escalon is represented by Ken Vogel who also represents Lodi and all of the rural areas north of Stockton and east of Stockton.

The 2010 Census placed San Joaquin County’s population at 685,306 with one fifth of that - the number of people who ideally should be in a given district - at 137,060. The four cities of Manteca, Ripon, Lathrop, and Escalon have just under 110,000 residents. Rural residents for those four communities could also help make up the number as well as in French Camp and possible Weston Ranch which is part of the City of Stockton but also within the Manteca Unified School District and abuts the Lathrop sphere of influence.

Weatherford said such a district with the four cities would allow for more coordination of growth issues and services. It would also give rural residents - and farmers - one supervisor dedicated to representing their interests in future county-city issues.

“Escalon has more in common with Manteca and Ripon than it does Lodi,” Weatherford noted.

Weatherford said he plans to bring up supervisorial redistricting at an April council meeting so if the council wants to take a position they can do so early in the process.