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Fire hydrants, battling graffiti, Waco & more
A vehicle Monday afternoon was blocking the fire hydrant on Moffat Boulevard directly across from Phillip’s Automotive. Trucks and vehicles have blocked the fire hydrant off and on for the past six consecutive days and numerous times over the past two years without any response from the city in terms of enforcement or simply painting the curb red to remind people not to park there.

How well does city management pay heed to duly elected Manteca City Council members that may not agree “eye-to-eye” with them?

Judging by the response Councilman Dave Breitenbucher has received regarding several things including what should be a pressing public safety issue the answer could be “not much.”

Fifteen months ago Breitenbucher, who served 30 years with the Manteca Fire Department including four as captain before retiring, during a council meeting brought up the issue of people  continuously parking in front of a fire hydrant on Moffat Boulevard across from Phillip’s Automotive. He suggested the city paint the curb red to remind people not to park there
The city manager at the time said she’s look into. He asked twice again at public meetings in the past year. One time the response from public works was that there were too many fire hydrants to paint red and that it’s an enforcement issue.
Breitenbucher agrees with staff it is an enforcement issue but he thinks where the violations are the most egregious if the city lacks the manpower to enforce the state law prohibiting vehicles from parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant they should at least paint the curb red to remind people as well as to educate the public.

“I don’t think people do it on purpose,” Breitenbucher said. “They may not see the fire hydrant or they are just not thinking.

For the past six days without failure a vehicle has been seen parking in front of the hydrants.

“The city doesn’t need to slap paint on the curb in front of all fire hydrants in town but they should in front of those that are a reoccurring problem,” Breitenbucher said.

Acting Fire Chief Dave Marques agrees.

In Marques’ defense he wasn’t in charge nor was he aware of the instances when the councilman expressed concern to top brass about the particular fire hydrant.

Breitenbucher also believes the city should get out its red paint cans and paint in front of fire hydrants near Woodward Park and possibly at street corners as well.

Until COVID hit, during weekend soccer tournaments cars were routinely not just blocking driveways but also fire hydrants and corners on streets across from the park as well as on nearby streets such as Wellington Avenue.

The councilman, who has no beef with trucks parking along Moffat per se, said he’ll try to explore an issue with city hall brass that is the concern of some Powers Tract residents.

There is an access point to the Tidewater Bike Path for neighborhood residents aligned with the western sidewalk along Cowell Street. It is common for trucks to actually block the access point.

And when they don’t they are parked so close that neighborhood kids on bicycles or adults walking or jogging literally have to step into the bike lane before they see traffic — which often exceeds 45 mph — moving in either direction.

The city could limit parking within so many feet of the intersection based on the height of vehicles as they do elsewhere in Manteca or they could stop being cheap with the red paint and create a no parking zone for the safety of pedestrians.

But then why would they do that? They just spent six figures on an active transportation plan telling the public how they are going to make Manteca safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. That’s typically all the city does to address quality of life issues is adopt plans and then ignore them until the time comes to hire a consultant to do yet another study.



Blackmon heading

for Waco in Texas

Assistant City Manager Lisa Blackmon who is now serving as acting city manager for Manteca is heading for Texas.

Blackmon has been hired to serve as assistant city manager for the City of Waco. Blackmon is departing employment in Manteca on June 5.

Blackmon will oversee tourism and quality of life focused departments in Waco such as the Parks and Recreation, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, Waco Regional Airport, the Waco Convention Center and Visitors Bureau as well as the Cameron Park Zoo.

Blackmon had been serving as Manteca’s acting city manager since Feb. 26. She was appointed as acting city manager after the departure of city manager Miranda Lutzow.

Blackmon, whose actual last day on the job will be May 27, will have been with the City of Manteca almost exactly five years when she was hired as the city clerk. She came to Manteca after working in the No. 2 positon in the city clerk’s office in Napa.

In early 2020 Blackmon was elevated to assistant city manager by Lutzow.


Army recruits step up

to battle city graffiti

More than 20 Army recruits from Manteca, Lathrop, and Ripon high schools spent Saturday hitting four graffiti hot spots in Manteca.

The two local recruiting sergeants contacted Councilman Gary Singh to offer their help. They also were able to secure 30 gallons of donated paint from Home Depot and Kelly Moore.

Singh and his son joined the effort as well on Saturday.

The four spots they cleaned up were the area under the 120 Bypass overcrossing of Moffat Boulevard, the area around the Army recruiting office on Hulsey Way including the fenced off “park” where the Spreckels Park tribute was built, sound walls along the 120 Bypass, and an area along the railroad tracks from Walnut Avenue to Union Road.


Fant had his job

duties increased

Kevin Fant has always been a hard worker.

A Bulletin article regarding how city management shifted him around didn’t do his work ethic justice let alone get it correct.

When city leadership moved Fant from overseeing the entire Parks and Recreation Department and created a recreation oversight position they have not filled while putting him in charge of park maintenance as well as park planning/development they added more duties.

Fant oversees parks, parks planning/development, street maintenance, fleet maintenance and facility maintenance.


The final $100 egg

was hidden downtown

Deaven Fonseca found the final $100 egg in the Manteca Bulletin’s five-week virtual Easter egg hunt.

The egg was hidden at the Manteca Bedquarters in downtown on Yosemite Avenue just off Main Street.

The four clues were:


* It was an ‘odd’ place — The two-story structure was built 108 years ago to house the International Order of Odd Fellows that met until about 25 years ago on the second floor.

*A popular wall — The store’s east facing wall is home to the series of five murals that honor veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Global War on Terror.

*What happened to the gas station? — There was a Standard station (an independent franchise with Chevron Oil) next door on the northeast corner of Yosemite Avenue and Main Street.

*You could buy shoes & buttons here — Prior to Manteca Bedquarters the first floor space house a fabric store and then a shoe store.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email