Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
The proposed downtown plan by the Manteca Chamber of Commerce is nothing less than an agreement to charge business owners a fee to clean up the town.
I see no long range plan to modernize this city by new development. This city is currently experiencing a takeover by the homeless and the council does nothing to reverse this. This council seems to be content with letting the homeless harass business owners. They also don’t have a clue on how to retake Library Park and return it to a safe recreation area for family enjoyment. This city can assess fees from business owners to clean up the city but this plan will fail.
The councils have been the worst enemy of the downtown merchants. They build competition circling around this city and that killed off business for the downtown area. Then they have filled the city with low ball businesses that fails to draw most people to the city. The big question is, what is there downtown that would even remotely attract shoppers?
Restaurants have vacated the downtown area and that will impact this city.
I once said we need to restore this city, but that’s not the answer to the downtown problem. The buildings are in bad shape and they are not up to seismic standards. I feel that modernizing the downtown area and building condos over businesses will be the only solution to making this city active once again. I suggested this many times in the past to the council. Former Mayor Willie Weatherford used this in one of his past campaigns. The problem is, this council continues to dwell on family type homes that are rapidly consuming farmland. The reason the city embraces this is due their continued overspending and need to keep building to replace the money spent. It also is placing stress on our water supply.
This city should close off sewer permits for this type of development and issue permits for condos and apartments only. If developers want to continue building in Manteca, then they would have to agree to this type of development.
Then they would be more susceptible to agree to a modernization plan for downtown with the merchants and city partnering with developers.
Livermore restored it’s small city by implementing a combination of downtown planning that attracted a large customer base. That is a huge success story. They concentrated on condos and apartments in the city and businesses to provide work for the city residents. Recently someone said, “Manteca is not Livermore.” I agree with that statement, for they have a council that cares about the people. I am not suggesting we follow anyone’s plan, I merely say use Livermore as an example of a city that is governed by responsible representatives that act instead of empty promises that are seldom implemented. They don’t promise and then drag their feet like this council does.