Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Rather than moving towards the former process of selecting a mayor for Manteca, I propose instead that a two-term limit be established. Frankly, a strong mayor with the proper vision and leadership skills should be able to address issues within a two-term timeframe; a longer period promotes complacency.
Thirty years ago, the decision was made to select the city’s mayor for a four-year term because there was recurring difficulty in navigating personalities in deciding who would be the next mayor. The process was not based on who would do the best job. Consequently, addressing community needs from one year to the next and maintaining the long-term fiscal and service levels of the community was left to the city manager and the department heads, most of which had little or no longevity or, in some cases, did not reside in the community. The disjoined transition between one-year term mayors established “the Mayor” as a figurehead, facilitated special interest manipulation of the council, and left the fate of the community to an administration that had no skin in the game.
It is doubtful that altering the current four-year term process to a two-year term mayor will improve the inherent lack of response to the residents’ needs or the cyclical deficit process of budgeting that we have become accustomed to. The required solution to addressing many of the issues is simply new leadership with a change of focus and priorities and an understanding of serve to whom.
The responsibility of being the mayor of Manteca should not be relegated to simply picking a person who will set the tone conducting council meetings. That is a resounding reflection of where we were 40 years ago and how this community was and is still managed today.
Feb. 17, 2012