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Mr. Mom wants to be Mr. Councilman
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LATHROP – Brent Maynor has several unofficial titles. The Lathrop City Council hopeful is a student of DeVry University and is studying to be a video game and simulation programmer. He is also a construction worker but was recently disabled, which is why he is enrolled in online courses to get job retraining in hopes of landing a less physically demanding job.

He is also Mr. Mom and proud of it. While his wife, Candace, goes to work as a registered nurse, Maynor stays at home and takes care of their four-year-old daughter, Alyssa.

Now, the son of a military family – his father retired from the Navy – would like to add another title to his name: Lathrop councilman.

Maynor, who actually listed “homemaker/student” under his name in the San Joaquin Registrar of Voters list of candidates, is one of four running for two vacant seats on the Lathrop council, not including the mayor’s post which is also open.  Mayor Kristy Sayles’ two-year term is ending in December. She is running for re-election, and is being challenged by businessman J. “Chaka” Santos and Steve Dresser, a technology coordinator with the Escalon School District as well as a former councilman, city Planning commissioner, and retired Pac Bell employee.

Although this is the first time Maynor is throwing his hat in Lathrop’s political arena, he is not exactly a neophyte politician. While his family was living in Modesto, he ran for a council seat but was unsuccessful.

He and his wife moved to Lathrop two years ago to buy a home in a quiet neighborhood not too far away from City Hall in Mossdale Landing.

His campaign has been primarily conducted via mailers sent to registered voters and putting up signs on street corners. He is running his campaign all by himself without the help of a committee.

He decided to run for office because he wants to help solve Lathrop’s problems such as the high rate of unemployment and the mortgage foreclosure mess which significantly depleted the city’s revenue. He said he is also concerned about the city’s “increasingly threatened emergency services funding.”

Maynor offers a somewhat unique solution on how to get emergency services funded.

“One thing we can do is ask the citizens of the city for donations that would go only toward maintaining emergency services and not for any pay raises of any sort. Even if this money volunteered monthly (whenever someone can spare a couple of dollars) isn’t enough to fix the problem, it can be p ut into high interest-rate savings accounts offered by various companies. While the problem might not be fixed right away, this money will build each time a donation is offered and it will grow in the interest account. After a few years, it might actually start paying for a self-maintained fire-police department,” he said.

As to the problem of jobs or lack therein in the city, Maynor said, “The city has to provide incentives for small and large businesses alike to open here. If the jobs return to our area, this will also help with the housing problem as people might actually be able to pay their bills if they have a job. With unemployment in San Joaquin being higher than other areas, we have a serious problem in our hands that needs addressing.”

On two of the hot-button issues that are currently facing the city – a city fire and police department – Maynor said these are probabilities down the line, but not right now given the city’s dire fiscal situation.

“Every city should have its own fire department, but at times it isn’t fiscally possible to maintain and the city should seek help from surrounding cities to keep people safe instead of cutting funding time and time again, which will cost people their lives,” he said.

He does not believe now is the time for Lathrop to have its own police department.

“Lathrop does have the Sheriff’s Department hired to patrol our city and, for now, that is enough – fiscally speaking, of course. Maintaining your own police department is a very expensive operation and by hiring the Sheriff’s (Office), the costs are cheaper as a result of a combined fund from other cities to support the officers needed. Later down the road, I do foresee us having our own outstanding police department down the road,” Maynor said.