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Improving city services means creating more departments
city hall MCC

As Manteca grows in the next 20 years Manteca could add as many as 77 new employees in a bid to improve municipal services.

Interim City Manager Miranda Lutzow — after seeking input from much of the current municipal staff — presented the Manteca City Council Tuesday with a game plan to reorganize and add additional city staff in a coordinated manner as Manteca grows.

Manteca, which currently has 85,000 residents, is on pace to top 100,000 people within six years. There are now right around 400 municipal workers.

A large segment of the game plan involves creating new departments — and reorganizing existing  ones — to streamline operations and enhance public services. But while it could be read as a plan that concedes Manteca doesn’t have enough chiefs, the majority of the positions are rank and file employees

Among the highlights were:

*Adding a second fire engine to the Union Road fire station that would require the hiring of nine additional firefighters. The station was built to house a standard fire engine plus an aerial fire truck as well as two crews.

*Creating an assistant fire chief’s position

*Hiring a third fire inspector, creating a fire marshal positon, and establishing a training captain’s position.

*Adding seven more police officers to bring the number of officers to 67. That is in additional to 10 police sergeants and a four member command staff that includes the police chief that will be expanded to five for an overall total 82 sworn officers.

*The number of community service officers would be increased by 2 to 8 in the police department while ranks of police dispatchers would jump from 12 to 14. The crime analyst’s position would also be restored

*Making the assistant city manager’s permanent and hiring a deputy city manager that would be in charge of public information and community outreach as well as adding an administrative assistant positon in the city manager’s office.

*Splitting the parks and recreation operations into two departments in  order to pursue more robust recreation offerings.

*The recreation department would have an events coordinator that would organize community events including activities designed to being more people downtown. The position would also be in charge of renting city facilities and could function as a “wedding planner” that those renting the transit center for wedding receptions could hire if they wanted to serve. It would be a possible income source for the city.

*Re-organizing the public works department to create a utilities division and an operations division that would have maintenance workers under its wings that are assigned to parks, fleet, facilities, and streets. That is so the city’s maintenance staff can be cross trained and deployed in greater numbers to address pressing needs that arise such as tackling potholes or weed abatement.

*Forming an engineering department by removing engineering work fromr the community development department and public works department. Engineers would be cross-trained to handle plan checks to drafting plans for construction projects.

*Information and technology would be split off from human resources and become a standalone department.

*The formation of an internal city attorney’s office if the council opts to go that route when  the current contract city attorney retires. That would require the hiring of three positions — a city attorney, a deputy city attorney, and as legal assistant.

*The City Clerk would become the Director of Legislative Services/City Clerk.

*Under what is now the city clerk’s office a records manager would be hired as well as a records specialist. In addition an administrative assistant that serves as a liaison and coordinator for council members with everything from their calendars to researching items would be created.

*if the city opts to add a materials separation operation as well as a composting yard for solid waste two food waste workers would be hired as well as three compost yard workers.

It was made clear that the staffing strategy that was outlined would not happen overnight and was dependent on municipal revenue as the years unfold.

The presentation did not touch on dollar amounts for the additional staffing now did it touch on the accumulative impact on the city’s biggest liability — unfunded pension costs. At an average cost of $120,000 per employee added for salary benefits, and overtime the 77 positions could represent an ongoing expense of $9.4 million in constant dollars.

Typically 85 percent of every general fund dollar spent goes toward salaries and benefits.

Lutzow noted the workforce growth plan  as outlined will be used as a guide for building the budget for the next fiscal year starting July 1.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email