Does Manteca Mayor Steve DeBrum have a limo? Is being mayor boring? Does he live in a mansion? Can he retire? And what is he doing about the drought?
Those were just some of the questions fired at DeBrum last week as he made an official visit to the Nile Garden School After School Advantage Program operated by Give Every Child a Chance.
Site coordinator Scott Davis said the students wanted the mayor to see what the program was like. They decided to write him letters telling them how much they liked the GECAC program and to invite him to visit. They also sent him a 12-minute video they made.
Before his surprise visit last Wednesday, some of the students had ventured to guess that DeBrum was as powerful as President Obama.
That was the first misconception DeBrum cleared up as he chatted with the students on the playground at Nile Garden before he started fielding questions.
Do you have a limo?
“I drive a Chevy Equinox,” DeBrum responded
Do you fire people?
“There are only two people the city council hires — the city manager and city attorney,” the mayor said adding that the city manager runs the city day-to-day.
Is being mayor boring?
“By no means,” DeBrum replied.
Do you live in a mansion?
“I like to think so,” the mayor, who lives in a modest bungalow style home on Austin Road in a rural portion of East Manteca, said.
Do you have a wife?
“I have a great and beautiful wife,” DeBrum said of his bride Veronica. “We’ve been married for 47 years.”
Do you have to do paperwork?
“There’s lots of paperwork you have to read before council meetings,” he answered. “Then there are (documents) that the mayor has to sign.”
Can you retire?
“I enjoy what I do for a living,” said the 68-year-old DeBrum. “I work for Dairy Farmers of America and oversee Northern California from Stanislaus County to the Oregon border and Northern Nevada.”
Are you going to run for re-election?
“I like what I’m doing,” DeBrum, who took office six months ago for his first four-year term of mayor. “When it gets closer we’ll look at how things are going and decide then.”
What are you doing about the drought?
“That is a very important question. We are working to find ways for Manteca to conserve water.”
The mayor spent about 15 minutes answering questions.
It was his third school visit since becoming mayor.