Manteca is in the top 30 percent of California’s 471 cities when it comes to state measuring sticks for fiscal soundness.
And it is because of that along with a dynamic economy and cutting edge initiatives such as building the state’s first diverging diamond interchange, the food waste to fuel endeavor, and similar projects Acting City Manager Miranda Lutzow is confident Manteca will have an abundance of applications in the city’s search for a new public works director, a new community development director and the newly created director of engineering position.
“The changes (in department heads) have not interfered with the delivery or quality of services,” Lutzow told those attending the State of the City event Wednesday at the Manteca Transit Center.
Lutzow was referring to the loss of four — and possibly five members — of the city’s senior management team either through mutual agreement, leaving on their own accord or securing employment during a time period that Lutzow had placed them on administrative leave. Those that have left the city’s employment in the last five months were City Manager Tim Ogden, Community Development Director Greg Showerman, Public Works Director Mark Houghton, and Finance Director Jeri Tejeda. A fifth senior management team member — Police Chief Jodie Estarziau — is still on paid administrative leave.
Lutzow noted “transition is the norm” in Manteca given its 102 years of growth from a milk stop along the railroad tracks to a city of 85,000.
The state auditor’s ranking noted Manteca is in stronger financial shape than 335 of California’s 471 cities.
That’s based on a variety of factors including reserves — Manteca has $20 million in various general fund reserves for a general fund budget of $46 million — how a city stands on managing unfunded pension liabilities, and overall debt. Manteca currently has no bond obligations against the general fund. The various enterprise accounts supported by user fees such as water and sewer that do have bonds being paid off have adequate set aside as a cushion to help pay down debt.
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