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Pet owners: Worry about real issues such as tweakers & the homeless
DOG cat.jpg

The effort by the city to restore a limit on the number of cats and dogs a household may have after it was inadvertently deleted from a city ordinance a few years back may end up biting them.

Earlier this month the Manteca City Council did not act on the second reading of the proposal to limit households to three cats and three dogs as they did not get to it before 10 p.m. Under a new council policy, no new council items can be brought up after 10 p.m. unless the council majority votes to take up the item.

That delayed the second reading until at least Jan. 16 although Mayor Ben Cantu has said he favors it not coming back before the council until February. Although he did not indicate why he preferred it to be taken up in February, based on what reservations the previous council had with how the limit on traditional four-legged pets were spelled out as well as public reaction, Cantu might want to see the numbers tweaked.

Using the word “tweak” is apropos as responsible pet owners who would be in violation of the proposed three dog and three cat limit are pulling no punches.

Such is the case with a letter sent to the council by Victoria France. Just like others, she is pulling no punches in arguing the city is essentially putting the screws to people who aren’t creating a problem while letting failing to address bigger and more pressing issues.

France makes it clear given she is not blessed to have kids that her “pups are my children.”

“The thought of there being an ordinance that says I’d have to give away my kid just because the city I live in deems that I have ‘too many’ makes me ill,” she wrote in her letter of Dec. 18.

And while Police Chief Jodie Estarziau has assured residents if the council passes the measure dogs and cats in excess of the proposed limit of three each will be grandfathered in but can’t be replaced once they die. Those that want more than three dogs have the option to secure a kennel license from the city.

That, however, is akin to the city placing a limit on the “human children” one can have for those who oppose the ordinance as written. France agrees that all situations aren’t equal such as an apartment obviously shouldn’t have 12 dogs and cases where people can’t or won’t take proper care of their pets.

But her best point may be as follows:

“There are so many more issues that should take a priority over this. I am manager of a store here in town and can’t even feel safe parking my car in the parking lot at my job. Going into work on my early morning shifts, I see so many tweakers, not homeless, but drug addicts that are definitely up to no good, roaming Yosemite Avenue. If there are just that many on (a main street), I can only imagine how many are roaming the neighborhoods.”

These aren’t people just down on their luck. They’re people who have made a conscious decision to be where they’re at. They are out committing other crimes and destroying property. They’re walking into stores and walking out with hundreds of dollars of merchandise every day  . . .  Loss of product causes less profit to come into the store which in turn hurts our labor budget so my hours are cut which makes me unable to fix my car that was recently broken into in the middle of the night because some druggie thought my literal trash could be a treasure.”

These are the things that need to be changing. Not how many pets people can have.”

Reporting potholes

to City of Manteca

Winter rains are bringing potholes.

Manteca Public Works Director Mark Houghton is asking for the public’s help at noting where potholes are given city street crews can’t drive every road in town.

The best way to report potholes is to use the Manteca app or go to the city’s website ( and go to quick links, scroll down to “contact us o line” and then under topics go to “street/sidewalk/traffic”.

Keep in mind the city can patch potholes in the cold, but they have to use specialized material that has a relatively short time period for being effective.

As an example, city crews addressed the fairly large potholes on southbound Spreckels Avenue just before Moffat Boulevard earlier this month. After a few weeks of heavy traffic and the recent rain, the potholes are back.

Paving, that is much more effective, is temperature sensitive requiring it to be 50 degrees and rising before it can be used.

The good news is Spreckels Avenue that has been in place for 17 years and counting and is taking a bigger pounding each year from increased truck and vehicle traffic, is targeted to have its pavement upgrade within the next year or so.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email