After a messy flap last year over the filling of a seat on Lathrop’s Measure C Oversight Committee, the group that provides guidance and serves in an advisory capacity on how to spend the money generated by the city’s one-cent sales tax increase is now set to be whole again.
The Lathrop City Council is expected to appoint Michelle Anderson — a longtime Lathrop resident and organizer of an annual first responder barbecue that thanked the men and women in uniform that served the city — to serve the remainder of the term that initially became available when Reverent Lu Davis resigned from the body.
That’s when things got sticky.
When the council previously considered filling the lone vacancy, the only applicant at that time was recently-retired Lathrop Manteca Fire Chief Gene Neely, who served at the time as an elected official on the Board of Education in River Islands. Neely had previously overseen a budget that saw an influx of approximately $2 million from Measure C. Lathrop Manteca receives 40 percent of the money generated and used that funding to pay for personnel and apparatus.
It was when a member of the council raised a concern near the end of the meeting about a video that been circulating in the community that the political firestorm erupted, resulting in the councilwoman involved filing temporary restraining orders against Neely and his wife for his alleged behavior after that meeting, and Lathrop City Manager Steve Salvatore for his alleged comments the following morning.
While a temporary restraining order was granted against Neely at first, forcing him to surrender his weapons to a firearms dealer while the matter was adjudicated, the charges were subsequently dropped, and he reportedly moved out of California shortly thereafter.
While the council had voted to appoint Neely to the vacancy, he formally resigned the post before being sworn in and the seat has been vacant ever since.
Anderson has long been a supporter for local first responders and has been active in the community, serving on the Veterans and Memorial Day Committees and working to help plan the annual Christmas Parade. She has received certificates of appreciation from Lathrop Police Services, the Lathrop Manteca Fire District, and the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, and volunteers with a community school supply drive.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.