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Anderson embraces RDA as Manteca economic tool
Samuel Anderson
Samuel Anderson credits the redevelopment agency’s investment in infrastructure as a key reason why Manteca has fared better in the Great Recession than nearby communities.

“I support RDA and what it does,” Anderson wrote in an e-mail. “There are some people out there that believe our city is using the RDA ‘illegally’ or taking away from school funds, because they read it from some book years ago written for political activists.  RDA laws have since been updated and are now at a point where it is being used effectively.”

Anderson is among the two challengers seeking to replace incumbent City Council members John Harris and Vince Hernandez in the Nov. 2 election. The other is Richard Behling.

There are four hopefuls seeking the mayor’s post. They are incumbent Willie Weatherford, council member Debby Moorhead, retired senior planner Ben Cantu and former mayor Carlon Perry.

The RDA has been a catalyst in a number of major projects such as converting the shuttered 362-acre sugar plant into Spreckels Park, building Kelley Brothers Brewery from the shell of the burned out El Rey Theatre, putting in infrastructure that made the Stadium Retail Center possible, and paying for the bulk of the Big league Dreams sports complex.
It also has gone into senior housing rehab loans, the building of affordable housing units for low-income seniors, small business loans and facade improvements among other things including a $3 million investment in downtown streetscape.

“I believe it is being used effectively and should always be continued to expand within the limits of our growth and capabilities,” Anderson wrote. “The bottom line is RDA does not hurt our community or city, it only helps it.  It can’t please everyone and since having personally met with Steve Pinkerton and prior to him Bob Adams, my understanding is much better than most out there because of the personal one-on-one.  I encourage those out there to take advantage of contacting the city administration for a meeting should they be upset or confused about how our RDA works and our own history with it.  Until then, it is a mute point to discuss outdated history from those who continue to be negative towards it.”

 Anderson contends “without RDA we would be dead in our development tracks.  Manteca would be moving slow for growth and we would be very poor.”

The council hopeful believes the city needs to work with state legislators to better improve the effectiveness of the RDA. He also wants citizens to have the ability to login online and view a more transparent setup of how it works so they can understand and possibly participate in it in a much simpler method.  

 “We need new ideas for RDA and the current council does not have any.” Anderson stated. “it’s time for their retirement from the council and time for a new approach and new ideas from those who can and will bring about development from within.”