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Manteca may name park after Jack Snyder
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Jack Snyder — a man who made Woodward Park possible — may be honored by having his name placed on a neighborhood park proposed to the east of the 52-acre community park.
The Manteca City Council Tuesday will consider a request by Atherton Homes to name the park in the Solera subdivision “Jack Snyder Park.” The council meets at 7 p.m. at the Manteca Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.
The staff has indicated they will come up with rules that the council may want to use as guidelines in the future to name parks.
In the past 10 years the City Council has opted to name three parks — one new one and two existing ones — after people that have made a difference for the community instead of retaining names that are primarily tied to a subdivision’s marketing efforts or the name given it on the final map
In 2010 the council renamed Bay Meadows Park adjacent to the Boys & Girls Club as Charles and Bobette Park. Not only were the couple among the original founders but they were among the staunchest and most generous supporters not just of the club but other youth endeavors sharing the success of their business they started in Manteca — Mountain Valley Express — with the community.
In 2014 the city named a park — at the request of developer siblings Toni and Bob Raymus — in Oleander Estates south of Woodward Avenue between Airport Way and Tinnin Road as “Charles O. Palmer II Park.”
The Marine corporal was the first from Manteca to give his life serving America in the Global War on Terror.
In 2015 a small park that had been named Dutra Southeast Park on Laurel Circle backing up to the 120 Bypass east of Airport Way and south of Daniels Street was renamed as “Kevin O’Neill Park.”
O’Neill has spent 29 years devoting his springs and summers to making sure various Little Leagues are functioning physically as well as teaching youth the fundamentals of baseball, sportsmanship and to have fun. He’s has been associated with Little League baseball for 29 years, a term of service split between California and North Carolina leagues. He’s spent the last 17 growing the game for those that live within Spreckels Park Little League boundaries. The Laurel Place Circle park is within the league’s boundaries.
Atherton Homes will be required to pay for the sign for Jack Snyder Park.
Woodward Park is just one of the things Jack Snyder’s leadership over the years — including 25 years as a member of the Manteca City Council including 16 years as mayor — has helped bring to Manteca.
A short list besides Woodward Park includes securing the 120 Bypass, the launching and leadership of Seniors Helping Area Residents and Police, the formation and long-term support of the Boys & Girls Club.  Those are four endeavors where he was in the driver’s seat. The long list of endeavors where he wasn’t along for the ride but was an active player range from helping Manteca secure surface water to establishing the current Civic Center.
Snyder’s 25 years of council service makes him the marathon man of municipal politics.
Back in the 1980s Snyder came up with a vision — a 52-acre park in the middle of what then was an almond orchard south of the 120 Bypass and almost a mile from the nearest house built in the city. No one at city hall thought the idea had much traction given the city lacked the money to buy the site that was valued at the time at close to $4 million, let alone develop it.
Snyder went to work. He found developer Mike Atherton shared the dream. That allowed Snyder to broker the sweetest deal in Manteca municipal history that saw the city pay $1 for 52 acres. There wasn’t horse trading involved. There was no break on park fees, no sales tax sharing, and no preferential treatment.
Snyder gets credit for pushing the slowly grinding machine known as city government to deliver on the promise that Woodward Park offered. Today it is not just the most extensively used park in Manteca, but people throughout the region flock to it for everything from youth soccer tournaments to Memorial Day ceremonies.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email