Manteca City Councilman Richard Silverman doesn’t want to close the Lincoln Park swimming pool.
What he does want to do is before the city starts considering dumping additional money into it given it is a 50-year plus facility that sooner or later will need upgrades and/or major maintenance, is to consider options. Those include investing hard-earned tax dollars elsewhere into possibly a new aquatics center and — should that happen — close Lincoln Pool.
His comments at a July council meeting during the presentation on the parks master plan were misunderstood by some but even so those who inadvertently did still got his main message loud and clear — things like aquatics centers cost lots and lots of money. And given the needs and wants of a growing city, Manteca needs to be very judicious with how it spends money and what they commit to pursuing.
Silverman Sunday noted his main goal is to be as fiscally response as he can as a council member while understanding there is a lot of needs such as road maintenance, public safety expansion, and such competing with a lot legitimate wants such as an aquatics center.
That said the debate and sometimes impassioned dialogue about how the city should spend its resources doesn’t bother him.
“That’s why I wanted to serve,” Silverman said, “to weigh those decisions to help make sure the city’s money is well spent.”
It is why when the time comes to implement the park and recreation master plan he wants to see every option explored, especially joint-use ventures with Manteca Unified that makes sense.
He points to the opportunity that could exist at the city’s fourth high school site on Tinnin Road in South Manteca to build a join aquatics center. Given the school uses and current city uses for a swimming pool do not overlap, taxpayers would be saved the expense of building two separate facilities where one would be idle while the other was in use and vice versa. While routine maintenance is tied closely to pool use, other long-term upkeep isn’t meaning s shared facility would have long-term operating savings as well.
And he doesn’t want options of working with the school district limited to just a future high school site. If the district, as an example, comes up with a master plan for Manteca High’s future that allows it to look at overall space at that campus and the adjoining Lincoln School and it involves a new swimming pool he believes the city should actively explore a joint venture at the more centralized campus.
In other words, if a joint venture makes sense Silverman would want it to be a joint venture done in the most efficient and effective way to meet community needs.
The councilman did mention he is in favor of working with the district to see if they can gain complete control of the segment of Garfield Avenue that cuts through the Manteca High campus creating security issues as well as limited option to modernize the campus and expand capacity for districtwide growth.
One more thing on Silverman.
The Bulletin last week in a story on the upcoming election said that Silverman has served with fellow council member Mike Morowit on the Manteca Planning Commission before being elected to the council. That isn’t true.
Silverman did serve with Morowit on the Citizens Oversight Committee for the Public Safety Sales Tax (Measure M). Silverman served for seven years making sure the half cent sales tax voters approved was spent by the guidelines they embraced. Three of those seven years he served as chair. Silverman also has served two terms on the San Joaquin County Commission on the Aging and a year on the county’s Civil Service Commission.
Readers keep tab
on water ‘waste’
Now for two reader complaints about water conservation rules and either the lack thereof or failure to follow them.
Richard Fleener — who has made it clear he believes it is absolutely sanity for Manteca to keep building homes while requiring everyone to cut back on water user — was taken aback at a car wash fundraiser he passed Saturday outside of Manteca Brake Masters on Yosemite Avenue.
He could not believe the city was allowing the use of water for fundraising car washes. It is a practice that he thought they had banned or required a permit be issued first.
Banning such car washes where water is not recycled as 97 percent is at newer commercial car washes was recommended by the council appointed citizens committee charged with coming up with ways of help Manteca deal with the drought.
The council debated it and then rejected it saying they didn’t want to cut off a source of revenue for nonprofits.
Manteca Unified, however, has banned such car washes at any of its campuses even though scores of elementary and high school student organizes used to depend upon them all the time to raise money. In fact, it used to be a weekend wouldn’t pass that some school-related or community group wasn’t conducting a car wash in front of Golden West School on North Main Street.
And while the school district deserves kudos for that move, another caller that asked to remain anonymous said she was more than miffed that the irrigation system for the Lincoln School playing fields was on Sunday at 4 p.m. when it was 101 degrees.
The MUSD water conservation policy clearly states they follow the city rules for when watering can be done including never between noon and 6 p.m. regardless of the day.