Dave Breitenbucher remembers the Manteca of 50 years ago.
Not only did he grow up in it, but he still lives in it as a resident of Powers Tract nestled between Manteca High and the rebirth of the former sugar beet processing plant as Spreckels Park.
And on Tuesday he takes the oath of office to represent virtually all of what was once Manteca’s city limits in 1972 after being elected unopposed to the newly created District 3 council seat.
Breitenbucher was elected to the council in the next-to-last citywide election for council members Manteca conducted in 2018.
Breitenbucher has a lot of hope for the next four years.
He cautions, however, that improvements people are most likely to see are to basic needs such as improved roads as well as expanding and upgrading city facilities as opposed to adding new municipal amenities.
“There are a lot of needs,” said Breitenbucher, who spent nearly 30 years protecting Manteca citizens and property as a firefighter.
Public safety, he noted, will always be his top priority.
And while he knows Manteca has a long needs and wish list, he said many people often forget to see what Manteca already has.
Breitenbucher said there are many in nearby communities that think Manteca is doing OK based on things the city has that others don’t.
“Look at Great Wolf, Big League Dreams, and Bass Pro,” said Breitenbucher. “They are all within a mile and a half of each other. There are cities a lot bigger that don’t have anything like them.”
But it’s more than just those three entities that put Manteca apart.
Breitenbucher noted people are choosing to come to Manteca for a wide array of reasons.
Among them are things that many take for granted. Manteca has two hospitals, as an example. That is unusual for a community the size of Manteca.
Breitenbucher believes having Great Wolf, BLD, and Bass Pro can be used to the city’s advantage for generating more private sector economic development especially within the city’s family entertainment zone.
Economic development — along with addressing homeless needs, moving downtown forward, better roads, and public safety — are his top priorities.
That would include:
*Attracting more commercial downtown to build on the opening of The Veranda events center as well as the Rice & Roll’d restaurant. That also includes the Deaf Puppy Comedy Club and Brethren Brewing Co. that are both moving toward completion.
*Working toward a new police station and city hall.
*Making sure the city can address the needs of the homeless as well as reduce issues they create in the community.
*Finding ways to step up the city’s effort to upgrade roads.
*Expand the food court at Library Park or find another location in Manteca where it can grow bigger with more offerings.
“We need to catch up on road improvements,” Breitenbucher emphasized.
He noted that should be a high priority as the city wraps up its efforts to make sure municipal finances are in proper order.
Breitenbucher said serving on the City Council wasn’t what he expected it would be when he was first elected in 2018.
By that he’s referencing how long it takes to move projects forward due to rules and processes that must be followed under state law as well as manpower needs and funding issues.
A short list of items that he was the driving force in making happen during the past four years include:
*Saving the city $3.5 million by avoiding the need to widen Main Street to four lanes through downtown by opting instead to synchronize signals as well as alter turn pockets.
*Getting the moto “In God We Trust” on the wall behind the council dais at the Civic Center.
*Being able to get the library parking lot repaved, noting “staff did a great job combining it with the Airport Way project.”
*Working toward doing “the right things” to help the homeless.
25 years as Sierra
High swimming coach
Breitenbucher has completed his 25th year of coaching swimming at Sierra High and his 15th year as head coach for the Timberwolves. Before that he was an assistant swim coach for eight years at Manteca High and served 3½ years as a Delta Valley Aquatics swim coach.
He zeroed in on the butterfly as his specialty stroke while a student at Manteca High. After graduating from Manteca High in 1980 he went to Delta College where he swam competitively for the Mustangs.
His father owned a tire shop at Garfield Avenue and Moffat Boulevard where Precision Automotive is now located adjacent to the Manteca High campus.
The 1980 Manteca High graduate played tight end for four years for the Buffaloes football team. He also served as the student council director of athletics his senior year where one of his projects was overseeing the dedication of the school gym to Dr. Robert Winter.
Breitenbucher was the fourth baby born at Manteca Hospital that is now Doctors Hospital of Manteca and the medical facility’s 100th overall patient.
He has spent most of his life within a one mile radius of the hospital where he came into the world.
*His family’s first Manteca home that was among the 1,000-square-foot and smaller houses built on Fir Street to the west of the hospital.
*His family’s second Manteca home in the Magna Terra neighborhood immediately north and east of the hospital that the late Antone Raymus built and named the streets after American astronauts.
*His current home in Powers Tract sandwiched between Manteca High and Spreckels Park. It is the same house Manteca Mayor Ben Cantu first lived in when his family moved to Manteca.
*Working at his dad’s tire shop as well as Manteca High and the Lincoln Park swimming pool.
*Manning an engine at the Powers Avenue fire station where he spent much of his 30-year career before retiring as a fire captain. He also served for 2½ years as a reserve firefighter.
Breitenbucher served 12 years as a Manteca Parks and Recreation Commission member before his election.
City Council District 3’s western boundary starts at the 120 Bypass and Union Road, jogs to the east on Wawona Street and then swings north on El Portal for a block before shifting slightly to the northwest onto El Capitan. It then heads east on Nevada Street for a block and then heads north on Walnut Avenue before turning east on Alameda and then heading north along the Tidewater to Louise Avenue.
It includes the highest concentration of lower household incomes in the city, all of downtown, Manteca High, and encompasses all of incorporated Manteca that existed prior to 1965.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com