Jobs - and keeping Manteca moving forward - are what Mayor Willie Weatherford and council veterans John Harris and Vince Hernandez vow to work toward over the next four years.
The three were sworn-in to new terms Tuesday by San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Jim Cadle after being returned to office on Nov. 2.
Strengthening Manteca’s economy - as well as that of the South County region - was the common thread the three men shared during comments they made after taking the oath of office.
“We’re looking forward to working with Lathrop . . . so we can help get people working in the area,” Weatherford said just minutes after the council met in closed doors to discuss litigation Lathrop has initiated against Manteca over the job-generating CenterPoint project.
Lathrop reportedly wants Manteca to pay for traffic improvements at Interstate 5 and Roth Road that they believe will be generated by the 3 million square feet of distribution space that the project will build south of Roth Road and west of Airport Way.
Weatherford pointed out CenterPoint will provide 1,500 construction jobs in the next two to thee years with 1,000 permanent jobs connected directly with distribution centers.
Weatherford was elected to an unprecedented third four-year term as mayor. When his current term ends in 2014 he will have served 18 years as mayor of a council member.
Hernandez emphasized the importance of “not resting on our laurels and moving on to the next project.”
Hernandez, who became the mayor pro tem due to getting the highest vote in the council race, said he was “proud to be a citizen of Manteca and to serve Manteca.”
Hernandez is embarking on his third four-year term.
Harris, the dean of the current council with 16 years under his belt before starting his fifth four-year term praised all of the candidates - including those who fell short for running a clean campaign.
The campaign while hard fought was devoid of the public animosity and personal attacks that marred virtually every election since the successful 1982 recall of three council members including the city’s first directly elected mayor.