Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Your article ‘Tale of Two Web Sites’ in Wednesday’s Bulletin, comparing the websites of San Joaquin County and the City of Manteca, and calling into question the plan to spend $57,500 to re-do the recently redesigned Manteca city website, was very well done.
My first reaction to the story was that I find it difficult to believe that any employer or company thinking of moving their business to the Central Valley would make that decision based upon how ‘glitzy’ one website was compared to another. No business owner considering making that type of investment could afford to be that shallow and easily impressed by something so superficial. If they were, they probably wouldn’t be in business for long.
If I was a business owner, and I had settled upon a handful of Central Valley of communities of which Manteca was one, the first thing that I would do would be to visit the city and have a look around. When I eventually wound up in downtown Manteca and found empty and boarded up buildings, homeless people begging for ‘weed’, and run down alleys and parking lots, those are the things that would impact my decision far more than any web page or branding program ever could. A vital, functioning downtown district, even if it lacked a high ‘cuteness factor’, would make a far bigger impression on my decision than anything else.