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Ex-city workers may compose majority of Manteca Council

When the new Manteca City Council takes office in December it could  consist of a majority of elected officials that are retired city employees.

One of the five candidates running for the two available seats is Charlie Halford who retired as Manteca police chief. The council already has two retired city employees — Mayor Ben Cantu who worked as a planner and Councilman David Breitenbucher who ended his career as a fire captain.

Going back 40 years, there has been only one other time that a former city employee was on the Manteca City Council. That was Willie Weatherford. He served as mayor for a record 12 years in addition to six years as a councilman.

Weatherford served 29 years in law enforcement including a stint as Manteca’s police chief. He also served more than two years as city manager of Galt.

Although Halford, Breitenbucher, and Cantu were all city employees they are far from being in lockstep in their views on how the city should be run. Between them they had almost 90 years working for the city.

They likely do share one concern they might agree on. All three rely on CalPERS being solvent for their retirement checks.

The city’s unfunded retirement obligations loom as a potential budget buster down the road.


 To contact Dennis Wyatt, email