Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
The safety and well-being of our children should be the main focus of Ripon’s City Council candidates. Our children are our future!
Whoever I vote for City council, I want that person’s main concern to be the safety of our children. I don’t care what clubs they have belonged to. I don’t care what job they had before. I don’t care how well known they are. I want to know how they stand on making policies to keep our children safe.
I have lived in Ripon for about 15 years now. I have seen a lot of changes made here in Ripon. A clock tower, more houses, a brand new city Hall. The new Mistlin baseball/softball field is amazing and beautiful. However, as I drive my youngest to school and I see children waiting, without parents, to cross a wide busy road to get to school. I think to myself, I have been calling and emailing the city for years asking for stops signs to be placed there so that these children can cross safely to get to school. I personally met with a city official which got me nowhere.
I then remember, driving my oldest to high school. I remember watching my daughter, among other teenagers, walking to the over crossing to get to school. Crossing a busy road, forgetting to press the button that sets off dimly lit lights flashing that drivers rushing to get to work may or may not see. I remember calling the city, the police department several times making them aware of the many close calls that teenagers have had almost getting hit by cars.
Seeing desperate parents stopping along a sidewalk, with a sign that says no stopping, no parking because they don’t want their children crossing a dangerous road. Seeing police, drive after those frantic parents that don’t want to get caught. The most important issue that we all should address here in Ripon is how to keep our children safer. We refer to our town as a Jewel of San Joaquin County. Our most important jewel is our children. They are who we need to focus on. We need to focus on stop signs, stop lights, improved graffiti abatement policies so our children don’t slip and fall on pedestrian over crossing ramps from wall paint.
Not all children are fortunate to be driven to the front of their school. Safe routes to school should not be left up to the school, our community needs to make sure our children get to school safely.
More people are moving to our city. Ripon is expanding. We need to update our policies and the way things are done to keep up with this expansion. Small town thinking will not work if we want to expand and improve. I expect Ripon’s City Council candidates to make a stand for our children’s safety. I will vote for a candidate that can think outside the box. A candidate who will make changes to make our city better and safer.