Ben Cantu, lifelong resident of Manteca and former head of the city’s planning department, has officially filed paperwork to run mayor in the Nov. 6 election.
Cantu and Mayor Steve DeBrum are currently the only candidates who have filed for the position.
“I’m running for mayor because Manteca needs a leader who is focused on the right priorities,” Cantu said. “As mayor, my focus will be on revitalizing downtown, building affordable housing, and strengthening our critical police and fire services. For all the Mantecans who feel left behind, who feel that their needs are not being addressed, I will be their voice as our next Mayor. I would be honored if I could earn their support.”
Cantu’s campaign is staging a Family “Fun in the Park” fundraiser this Saturday, July 28. The event will be conducted at Woodward Park in from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Families are invited for a fun afternoon with music, bounce houses, and lunch catered from Fagundes Meats. Tickets are $15 for adults, and $5 for children under 11. They can be purchased at the event or online at cantu4mayor.com/event. Lunch sales will be limited to the first 200 tickets sold.
Cantu is basing his campaign on what he calls “A Five-Point Plan for a Better Manteca.”
*1. Bring public safety services up to par with a fast-growing city. He noted the police and fire departments are doing an “outstanding” job but are “under-staffed and stretched too thin.”
*2. Fix our crumbling roads and infrastructure. Cantu contends essential road repairs have been neglected too long. He said his top priority will be repairing existing roads and streets.
*3. Stop the endless empty promises and start building up downtown. He proposes moving city hall downtown to create a customer base and reinvest economic resources into revitalizing downtown. He would then transform the existing city hall into a cultural/arts center.
*4. Redirect and re-organize housing developments to create more affordable housing. Cantu said those who work full-time in Manteca are being priced out of the Manteca housing market. He promise to “jump start the process of building houses to accommodate the price range of working families” in Manteca.
*5. Implement term limits and district elections for council members. Cantu said “the City Council should represent a geographic cross-section of the community (and) not be clustered in one part of town. He said he will push for district elections and term limits.
Cantu and his wife Mary have lived in Manteca for more than 50 years. Cantu is a volunteer with the Manteca Kiwanis, a board member of Valley CAPS, and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He is the founder of BC Planning, a local business devoted to land use planning and design. For more information on Ben visit, www.Cantu4Mayor.com. Follow the campaign on social media, at Facebook.com/cantu4mayor, and on Twitter @bcantu1951.