Sprint claims they can match Verizon for coverage.
At least two of Manteca’s elected council members strenuously dispute that claim.
They want the city to switch from Sprint because they can’t use their municipal issued i-Pad to access electronic council agendas and support documents using their devices in large swaths of the community.
Sprint’s spotty coverage was brought up Tuesday during a discussion about council compensation covering council stipends and mileage as well as whether they should be issued cell phones by the city.
The council rejected an option that could have taken their monthly stipend up to $925 a month as allowed under state law. Instead they went for an option that will raise the current $500 stipend to $600 for the next council seated after the November election. Council members have been paid $500 a month since 2001. Prior to that, the council members received $100 a month between 1966 and 2001.
The increase in council stipends is allowed under state law now that the city’s population has surpassed 80,000.
Councilman Richard Silverman reflected the sentiments of his colleagues saying that serving on the council is an honor that he volunteered to do.
Council members noted the stipends they receive each month rarely cover their out-of-pocket expenses such as mileage as well as purchasing tickets to various community events they are asked to attend as council members. The council does get reimbursed for out of area trips such as expenses incurred for the annual San Joaquin One Voice lobbying trip to Washington, D.C.
As for the city issued i-Pads that council members conduct city business with including reading council agendas and back-up material Sprint works well at the Civic Center during council meetings, but not always everywhere else.
Silverman said he had no problem but that wasn’t the case for Debby Moorhead or Mike Morowit.
Morowit said if he is using the i-Pad to share information with constituents or to go over the agenda and he’s not at home, he has to use Wi-Fi access at places like Starbucks. In Moorhead’s case her Sprint service is almost non-existent at her new home in southeast Manteca or where she works just north of Manteca. She said she also has to go to places where she can pick up Sprint signals such as at Denny’s.
Moorhead has been particularly critical of the quality and lack of the signals of several wireless services particularly in the rapid growing neighborhoods south of the 120 Bypass.
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