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Glimmer of hope for libraries
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

After seemingly the lone voice for decades questioning and highlighting the community’s lack of, deteriorating, and/or diminishing public services and amenities, it would appear that there is a glimmer of hopeful improvement emerging on the horizon. At this early date in the new Administration, it would seem that Manteca Mayor Steve DeBrum and the “new” Council are receptive to improving and/or initiating funding to address some of these lacking conditions (that have been ignored and dismissed for decades because previous councils had different priorities, or direction to administrative staff was less than clear regarding community quality-of-life issues.)

One case in point is the need to update the community’s public library. It would seem from a recent news article the Council is considering the library needs of the community. I have expressed over two decades the need to improve the 40-year old public library. In editorial comments, and conversations with Mas’ood Cajee, a local library advocate, I have expressed that the present library needs to be nurtured and updated. In a recent conversation I supported the concept of two smaller libraries (that included a complete remodel and technological update of the current downtown library footprint, and construction of an additional library of like size at Woodward Park.)

The glimmer of hopeful change and focus on the horizon is not outwardly evident to most people, but I recognize recent positive overtones (in light of past Council practices) as we exit the most current recession. While it is still early to tell, it would appear from recent Council comments a possible break in past administrative traditions may be emerging. We’ll see what materializes.

I encourage the Mayor and Council to also initiate a serious planning and fiscal program to revitalize Manteca’s downtown area. While the Manteca Chamber of Commerce is presently carrying the banner in that regard, implementation of such a long-term comprehensive revitalization program requires resources only available through and from City Hall.

Benjamin Cantu