Sam Fant doesn’t know yet whether he’ll be seeking another term on the Manteca Unified Board of Education.
According to Fant, who is nearing the end of his first term, he still has people looking into whether he can hold both offices as a Stockton City Councilman – if he’s elected to represent District 6, which encompasses Weston Ranch and a large potion of South Stockton – and a Manteca Unified Trustee.
He’ll have until Aug. 12 to submit his candidate paperwork in order to qualify for the November ballot.
Fant, who was behind a push recently to help alleviate the ongoing tax burden to Weston Ranch residents – partnering with Nancy Teicheira, with whom he occasionally spars with on the dais – said that he likes the idea of representing the people of Weston Ranch on both elected bodies and has lawyers looking into whether it’s legal for him to do just that.
If he elects to pursue both – and gets elected to both seats – he won’t be the first person to do it.
Former board member Manuel Medeiros served consecutively as both a trustee and a director the Lathrop Manteca Fire Board – of which he is still a member.
Fant said he’s proud of the work that’s done on the board, and more specifically, what he was able to accomplish on behalf of the residents of Weston Ranch with the assistance of Teicheira – a move, he said, that involved sitting down with one-time ally Dale Fritchen, who has been critical of Fant and even appeared on behalf of a group that sought to recall him.
“It shows, first of all, that Nancy Teicheira and Sam Fant can work closely together on something – who would have thought that?” Fant said of the Weston Ranch Mello-Roos tax cut that will save all paying homeowners roughly $160 on their property taxes this coming year. “It’s all about doing what is best for our community that has been taxed out the wazoo, and it’s a very fulfilling feeling to be able to do something like that – it’s rewarding to know that you’re helping people.
“It’s a step in the right direction, but we’re not done yet. Although the people are happy with what was accomplished, we need to make sure that we do what is necessary to ensure that Weston Ranch isn’t bearing the burden of unapproved projects passed through the previous administrations.”
But his decision won’t be without controversy.
Fant is currently facing charges of conspiracy and election fraud – two felony counts each – for his alleged involvement with the election fraud of Alexander Bronson and Ashley Drain, both of whom were charged by the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office after a complaint was lodged alleging that they didn’t reside in the area in which they listed on their nomination paperwork.
Fant has denied any wrongdoing, and will next appear in court at the end of the month for a preliminary hearing. He believes that if the matter were to go to trial, it wouldn’t take place until after the upcoming Stockton election. Drain is still waiting for her case to go to trial, and Bronson, who accepted a plea deal, will be sentenced for his involvement in October, according to Fant.