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Mayor Cantu recall backers miss deadline

Backers of a bid to recall Manteca Mayor Ben Cantu missed a deadline to keep the process moving forward.

City Clerk Cassandra Candini-Tilton confirmed the group did not turn in the required petition with 20 registered voters plus an affidavit of the original notice to recall service on Cantu made on Oct. 27 by the Wednesday deadline.

Because they missed the state stipulated seven-day timeline after the targeted individual of a recall is given official notice, the process is ended.

The group known as Mantecans4Change can restart the process if they so choose.

That would require serving Cantu again with notice of the intent to recall him. The initial petition of 20 verified registered voters within the city limits of Manteca would have to be again served on Cantu, the petition then needs to be presented to the city clerk’s office with an affidavit of Cantu’s service, and then those signatures verified by the county registrar of voters.

After that a petition signed by 20 percent of the registered voters in Manteca would have to be turned in to actually trigger a recall election. That would entail collecting roughly 8,000 signatures.

Even if the recall is dead it does give notice that a grassroots organization to some degree will likely be in play during the 2022 mayoral and even council campaigns.

That hadn’t happened since the mid-1980s when residents angered about double digit annual growth rates and the city’s inability to keep up with it formed a citizens committee that sought to bolster candidates favoring reigning in growth. They also were seeking to place a measure in the ballot to limit annual growth to 1.9 percent.

That led to the council at the time to adopt the current 3.9 percent growth rate cap. It was the first growth cap in the Central Valley. It was tied into sewer allocations. That effectively allows the actual number of housing units built in a given year to keep rising. That’s because unlike Tracy and other cities with caps there is no set rigid number the city is prohibited from exceeding when it comes to annual residential building permits.

The current group listed three reasons why they felt Cantu needed to be recalled. They run the gamut from a rash of lawsuits the city has been forced to settle regarding the forced departure of a number of department heads and at least one city manager to what the grand jury has described as the hiring of replacements that “lacked the experience and financial acumen” to perform the city’s business.

They also contend under Cantu’s leadership the city has failed to enforce laws when it comes to homeless issues.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email