By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Cantu commits to no-kill shelter; Silverman is not backing Larson
2022 election logo

There’s more issues in Manteca besides homeless and law enforcement that involve quality of life decisions.

As such Mayor Ben Cantu has become the first elected official — or candidate — to propose and support making the  Manteca Animal Shelter a “no-kill” shelter.

“It’s time that we make our Animal Shelter a ‘no-kill’ facility,” Cantu said. “Other communities around us are ‘no-kill.’ It’s time we bring Manteca in line with surrounding cities in making sure that ours is a ‘no-kill’ shelter.”

In addition to the change in the euthanasia policy, Cantu is also proposing a discount program to spay and neuter of pets.

 “I envision Manteca being a leader in our region in our treatment of feral animals,” Cantu said .”I will be proposing this change in our Animal Shelter policy in the coming weeks, and I look forward to working with my fellow Councilmembers and the community to make this change happen.”

Cantu is the first leader to formally take a position on a case made at the Aug. 18 council meeting for a no-kill shelter by a group of pet advocates that volunteer at the Manteca shelter.

Speakers were concerned about the number of unwanted cats and dogs that are being euthanized monthly in Manteca

They’d like the city to step up efforts to address  the overpopulation of pets to augment voluntary efforts that are now underway dealing primarily with feral cats.

There was concern that the staffing and size of the animal shelter is inadequate for a city of 88,000 that could reach 100,000 by 2030 at the current growth rate.

Speakers questioned whether a faciality that can handle 30 dogs was big enough especially since the City of Lathrop contracts with the city for space.

That means dogs turned in to the shelter by Manteca residents or picked up loose on the streets have a lower chance of not being euthanized if space were available.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, volunteers spoke about how during the heat wave they spent $600 to buy industrial grade fans to cool the kennels when the evaporative cooling system the city has in place failed to keep temperatures down when it reached 115 degrees.

The timing of the concerns  coincides with the fact the City of Lathrop’s contact with Manteca for animal shelter space is up for renewal.

The animal services division has three full-time animal service officers and two part-time kennel assistants. A third part-time kennel assistant is being sought in order to keep the shelter open for drop-ins and people interested in adoption when animal service officers are on calls.

The council in August had directed staff to bring them up to speed on the city’s animal shelter at a future council meeting.

 Cantu has long advocated for improved care and facilities for animals held at the city’s shelter.

As a city employee, he designed the original animal shelter on Wetmore Street and a subsequent addition.

When Cantu first ran for council in 2008, one of his points about Manteca being behind the curve was the animal shelter — which at that time was more than 30 years old — was too antiquated and too small to meet the needs of Manteca. The city had 66,000 residents back then Today there are 88,000 residents.

The city did eventually build the existing n shelter to replace the original Wetmore structure that is now the offices of the city’s solid waste division.`

In 2018, Cantu was elected Manteca mayor with more votes than any candidate for mayor had received in our city’s history.

During his term, Cantu has overseen the addition of several new police officers to the city’s force, initiated an affordable housing ordinance for working families, and oversaw a wide-ranging review of city finances to ensure that Manteca’s’ tax dollars would be spent wisely.

Cantu and his wife Mary have lived in Manteca for more than 65 years.

Follow his campaign online at, and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at the username @mayorbencantu.



Silverman distances

himself from Larson

Former Manteca City Councilman Richard Silverman wants to make it clear — he is not backing Lei Ann Larson for mayor.

In a letter to the public Silverman wrote, “The citizens of Manteca need to know that I do not endorse or support Larson. I very foolishly made a small donation weeks ago before doing any research on her. In fact, I have requested a return of that donation and Larson has chosen to ignore my request.”

“So far, in my opinion, her campaign has been very negative, misguided, filled with quirky innuendos, and nativity. Not the traits I want in our mayor.”

“Ms. Larson please stop using my name and trying to link me to your campaign.”
“I have endorsed and strongly support Gary Singh. He continues to demonstrate leadership, has solid reality based ideas, strong wide spread support and integrity.”


Larson says city

owes her an apology

Mayoral candidate Lei Ann Larson on Tuesday evening said the City of Manteca owes her an apology for speaking out about a homeless woman that she said gave birth earlier this month at Library Park.

She made her comments after Rosalinda Valencia addressed the council under public comments.

Larson noted Valencia confirmed a homeless woman gave birth on the streets and that the baby was not breathing but was brought back to life.

Larson in a text said “the woman was very upset that the city published misinformation in a press release and tried to use it for political purposes.”

Johnson added that “I am starting to doubt if there was even an ambulance to be honest because she said she had to walk in. Instead of an apology I would like to see donations to  that GoFundMe (account).”

Johnson, on behalf of the newborn, established a GoFundMe account ( dubbed “Welcome to the Family City baby!” to make sure the infant will have basic needs such as a car seat, diapers, clothing and such.

She and her husband made the first donation of $100 toward a stated goal of $2,000

As of Tuesday evening, that was the only donation that had been made.




Singh staging a series

of meets and greets

Councilman Gary Singh — who along with incumbent Ben Cantu and Lei Ann Larson is running for the Manteca mayor’s post in the Nov. 8 election — is staging a series of meet and greets in the coming weeks.

The first is Thursday Sept, 22, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Besitos restaurant at 216 West Yosemite Avenue in downtown.

Food and refreshments will be served.

Then on Sunday Sept. 25, Union Ranch residents are hosting a meet and greet from 2 to 5 p.m.

It takes place at Union Ranch East Park, 925 Raccoon Way.

Bill Barnhardt and Phyllis McDonald are hosting a meet and greet for Singh at the Woodbridge clubhouse on Thursday, Oct. 6, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The meet and greet is open only to Woodbridge at Del Webb residents.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email