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Mayor wants big Manteca bash to mark centennial
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Manteca Mayor Steve DeBrum wants to celebrate.
The City of Manteca became a city on May 28, 1918 when voters approved incorporating the community.
“We’re hoping to get all the groups interested in being part of a week-long celebration together — the Manteca Historical Society, Rotary, Soroptimists, Kiwanis, Legion, VFW, Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Bureau, Mural Society and anyone else,” DeBrum said.
The effort is in the preliminary stages as no meeting has been set to discuss possible events or who might be willing to participate.
“It’s 14 months away but that can come up on you before you know it,” DeBrum said.
Tom Wilson of the Manteca Mural Society said his group plans to dedicate the World War I mural as well as dedicate the entire veterans’ mural wall that will be completed by then on the side of the Manteca Bedquarters in downtown facing Main Street.
Wilson noted the society’s first mural — “1918 Crossroads” — across the street on the Century Furniture building was dedicated on the city’s 85th anniversary in 2002.
May 28 also happens to fall on Memorial Day in 2018 opening up the possibility Manteca’s centennial celebration could incorporate the massive Memorial Weekend Commemoration event at Woodward Park that typically draws upwards of 30,000 people as well as allow for a three-day weekend filled with events.
The May 28, 1918 vote was the second try at incorporation. A previous voted failed. Manteca had 200 residents at the time — a far cry from today’s population of 76,000.
The Certificate of Incorporation was received and filed on June 8, 1918. The first council meeting was June11, 1918.
Joshua Cowell — who like DeBrum had a strong agricultural background — was elected president of the Board of Trustees that eventually became known as the City Council.
Mario Litchfield was hired as the city’s first employee for $100 a month. His duties were simple: Collect taxes and supervise the streets. After Litchfield the city staff was rounded out by J.R. Scott as city attorney for $30 a month, George Singleton as city recorder for $25 a month, and E.H. Jefferies as city engineer for $15 a month.
 The first projects were approved at the July 15, 1918 meeting. They hired someone to clean the streets, filed a map of the new city, voted to construct a jail, and notified business along Yosemite Avenue from Hogan Road (Main Street) to the railroad tracks that curbs would be installed.
At their third meeting the board of trustees ordered signs posted at the city limits setting the speed limit at 15 mph that also warned motorists to “close your mufflers.”
That August meeting also produced a decision to purchase a fire bell and place it at the Cowell residence where Bank of America now stands on the southeast corner of Yosemite Avenue and Main Street. A siren was also placed on the water tower to do double duty as a second way to alert of a fire and to announce the nightly 9 p.m. curfew. The volunteer fire chief complained of inadequate fire protection at the meeting. The board agreed and ordered the purchase of a dozen more buckets.

Council members
to staff: Don’t keep
us in the dark
Manteca Councilwoman Debby Moorhead had a few polite yet pointed words for municipal staff at Tuesday’s City Council meeting essentially telling the top municipal employee echelon not to keep the council in the dark.
Moorhead said she was “broadsided” by members of the public who asked about the plan by Acting City Manager Greg Showerman to be hired as the city’s Community Development Director.
She made it clear she supported the move and was pleased with plans moving forward but admonished the staff to communicate better with the council.
Councilman Richard Silverman concurred, saying “ditto to Debby’s remarks.”
Showerman, who is acting as city manager until an investigation is completed of personnel complaints against City Manager Elena Reyes is completed and the council takes the next step, will appoint someone within the department to serve as interim community development director until he is able to take over the duties fulltime.

Tilton head coach
for new Delta Charter
High football team
Former Manteca High assistant football coach and teacher Jeff Tilton is getting back into coaching.
Delta Charter High in Tracy is fielding a football team this fall for the first time in 20 years and Tilton — who is a Manteca resident — will serve as the head coach.
The Dragons’ first game is Aug. 25 against Vacaville Christian.
Tilton serves as an assistant superintendent for the  New Jerusalem District that runs Delta Charter High.
 Delta hopes to join the Division VII Central California Athletic Alliance for football. Delta’s current league for all other sports, the Mountain Valley League, does not field football teams.
Joining Tilton as his assistants are Tony Dumlao and John Griggs. Tilton is interviewing additional candidates to complete his staff.

Combined EU,
Manteca & Sierra
20-year reunion
is being planned
 A three school 20-year high school reunion involving East Union, Manteca and Sierra is being planned for this fall 2017. 
The current committee is working to set the date and then the committee will be looking for classmates to help at the event and spread the word to others.  The committee is also looking for event sponsors.  If you’re a class of 1997 alumni at one of these schools and would like to sponsor or get involved, please contact Tricia at (775) 400-6412.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email