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Manteca voters tackling everything from A to Z
AROUND TOWN
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Two Manteca tax proposals on the Nov. 3 have been assigned letters for the ballot by the San Joaquin County Elections Department.

It starts with Measure A — the proposed one cent general sales tax hike for the City of Manteca — and ends with the Measure Z, the $260 million Manteca Unified School District bond.

The school bond caps the cost to property taxpayers to $45 per $100 per assessed value. That’s a far cry from March when the bond failed to reach the 55 percent threshold needed for approval. The cap was $60 per $100 at the time.

The difference is the more favorable bond market due to the pandemic as well as the district’s financial rating being considered extremely appealing when compared to most other school districts and government agencies such as cities and counties.

And given the last series of the Measure M bonds ended up costing property owners $37 instead of $60 per $100,000 in assessed evaluation, the chances are good if the bonds are approved the actual cost to homeowners and other property owners will be less than $45 per $100,000 evaluation.

 

42 letters in support

of Jodie Estarziau

The Manteca City Council received 42 letters — of which those under 250 words and weren’t duplicate letters of what someone else sent in — that were read into the record during Tuesday’s meeting in support of former Police Chief Jodie Estarziau.

Estarziau was terminated by City Manager Miranda Lutzow after she was placed on paid administrative leave nine months prior.

She was placed on leave after the city received a 5-page anonymous letter that was written as if it were submitted by a police officer. The city retained an outside investigator that looked into the anonymous complaints.

Given it is a personnel matter the specific outcome of that report isn’t being made public although there has been conformation nothing in that letter was grounds for her departure.

Several letters raised some rather interesting points. With nearly 80 officers, Estarziau’s departure after serving as the city’s first female police chief leaves only one woman officer. Another letter questioned the low number of minorities on the force specifically referencing Blacks.

While the city may be lacking with its efforts to diversify the force, it clearly isn’t the handiwork of the council as it was implied. Of the five elected members, the ethnic backgrounds of two are Hispanic and one Punjabi while one is a woman.

 

Moorhead out

of the hospital

Debby Moorhead is back in the saddle as a Manteca City Council member after being sidelined with an illness that landed her in the hospital for 60 days.

She was in remote attendance via Zoom at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Moorhead is running for re-election for what could be her fourth term on Nov. 3.

 

How about a lot of red

paint along Moffat?

Dave Breitenbucher — a retired fire captain who is also a council member — pointed out the need for the city to paint the curb red in front of the fire hydrant on Moffat Boulevard across from the transmission shop that morphed last year into truck parking as well.

Others park their semi-trucks on that end of Moffat as well. Trucks are also parking on the south side of Industrial Park Drive where the drivers — and apparently police — haven’t noticed the city installed “no parking sign” that indicates it is a bike lane.

One of Breitenbucher’s neighbors, John Perez Sr., would appreciate it if the councilman could get the city to restrict parking of trucks near the pedestrian access to the Tidewater Bikeway on Moffat at Cowell Avenue.

It is dangerous crossing there due to as many as six trucks that crowd the intersection and often block access for pedestrians. Three days after Perez made his observation three neighborhood kids trying to cross Moffat on bicycles barely missed being hit because they couldn’t see oncoming traffic in either direction due to the semi-trucks

Most other places in Manteca where high profile vehicles create such a safety hazard the city limits parking on top of intersections they restrict parking to those vehicles under six feet.

Perhaps when  the city gets around to heading out that way with some red paint they might want to paint the curb to a point west of the Tidewater entrance so if pedestrians and bicyclists try to cross they can at least see oncoming traffic in one direction without having to stick their head into the travel lane to see around a truck.

 

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com