Al Mezzetti —a longtime educator who served four years on the Manteca City Council — has passed away.
The 93-year-old who retired as a Lincoln School teacher died Thursday about a week after sustaining injuries in a fall.
Mezzetti served a four-year term on the Manteca City Council in the late 1980s.
His last bid for office was a 91-year-old in the 2018 California gubernatorial primary. Mezzetti, a Democrat, finished 16 out of 17 after receiving 7,179 votes. Gavin Newsom and John Cox advanced to the general election.
The outspoken Mezzetti debuted on the Manteca political scene after the 1983 recall election of three council members — Mayor Trena, Kelly, Rick Wentworth, and Bobby Davis — over termination of popular Police Chief Leonard Taylor.
That led to the 1988 blowup over Yellow Freight when the City Council that Mezzetti served on rejected the firm’s push to build a freight terminal on the south side of the Main Street and 120 Bypass interchange. The council majority had tried to get them to locate in an area that was already zoned for such use at Airport Way and the 120 Bypass but Yellow Freight dug in. The 3-2 vote led to opponents in subsequent elections over the next 10 years to use the rallying cry that there were only three issues that mattered to Manteca voters, “jobs, jobs, jobs.”
Mezzetti proved to be a stickler for details as a council member. He took great exception to nearly verbatim minutes of the proceedings to the point at one meeting it took the council over an hour to approve the minutes of a previous meeting.
Mezzetti wasn’t shy about exercising his rights having filed numerous lawsuits over the years against school officials, newspapers including the Bulletin, as well as citizens he interacted with.
Mezzetti was fiercely proud of his service in the Marines proudly sharing with people he would meet for the first time that he had served in World War II.
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