Chris Silva — the third candidate in the race for two seats on the Manteca City Council on Nov. 8 — posted on his Facebook page this week that he plans on raising $50,000 for his campaign.
While that may seem like a high number based on comments made by a couple of folks, it actually isn’t.
Gary Singh spent $51,405 securing a four-year term in 2016. Singh set a record for a Manteca council or mayor candidate. He raised more than twice what Debby Moorhead did — $23,704 — in getting re-elected in 2016 to her third term.
Singh eclipsed the fundraising mark Mayor Steve DeBrum set in 2012 when he raised $46,404 to defeat Ben Cantu who had raised $6,649 to run for mayor. DeBrum and Cantu are facing each other in November again in a race for mayor.
The actual filing for the office doesn’t open until this summer but candidates wishing to raise money under California law have to form campaign committees before they can start collecting donations.
Also running for council is incumbent Mike Morowit and Planning Commission member Jose Nuno. Richard Silverman, the other incumbent, has opted not to seek re-election.
Shining some light on
dark Manteca streets
Manteca Mayor Steve DeBrum wants city staff to look at ways of upgrading or increasing street lighting along Yosemite Avenue near Manteca High.
DeBrum at Tuesday’s council meeting noted there are several blocks in the quasi-commercial district that are “too dark.”
Over the years the crosswalk across Yosemite Avenue at Washington Street has seen a number of pedestrian-vehicle collisions including two at night due to the darkness. There is a light on the southeast corner that nearby residents who use the crosswalk say doesn’t illuminate the area enough.
The upcoming road work on Yosemite Avenue from Main Street to Cottage Avenue is likely to result in a more visible crosswalk featuring a series of wide bars.
Another reason more
street workers needed
Driving Spreckels Avenue at night — or even in the day — provides another reason why road safety might be enhanced if the City of Manteca streets crew that was slashed in half due to the recession a decade ago could be restored to its previous level.
The issue isn’t pot holes or rough pavement but the faded lane lines and the “Bot Dots” that have also become semi-invisible over the years. While pavement surface work isn’t around the corner, it’s clear that work city crews could do if they weren’t under-staffed such as painting lane stripes, is becoming more and more pressing.
zones in city
Manteca Councilman Gary Singh wants the city to revisit the panhandling ordinance to reduce driver distractions.
Manteca’ existing code language prohibits panhandling within 100 feet of a controlled intersection such as one where there are traffic signals.
Singh believes that is too liberal.
He wants the city to explore the possibility of setting the limit at within 1,000 feet.
Singh has observed panhandling in heavy traffic such as on Yosemite Avenue near Highway 99 where such activity backs up traffic once lights change. He also has concerns that bus stops also fall outside of that 100-foot ban making those waiting for rides targets for unwanted solicitation.
Singh said stepped up enforcement is also needed. That means people need to call police when they see illegal panhandling such as at freeway off-ramps and controlled intersections. If police are available units are dispatched.
One reader commented about how they saw a panhandler next to a city installed sign advising the activity is illegal at the Highway 99 northbound off-ramp at Yosemite and mused that the police were letting it happen. When asked if he called the police, he said he hadn’t.
The signs are designed to inform the law-abiding public that it is not legal to panhandle so they don’t give money to those who are panhandling.
Proof that it is working has been the sudden appearance of panhandlers in the middle median on Yosemite Avenue between Black Bear Diner and Wendy’s as well as Starbucks and the Best Western Inn. The pickings on the off ramps have become much slimmer since the signs went up.
Judging by the short time the panhandlers spend on the median, there aren’t too many people willing to give them money as they are backed up at lights on Yosemite Avenue.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com