Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I read with some interest Mr. Cantu’s Letter to the Editor of July 2, 2012 in response to my recent letter about the need for public safety and economic growth. He offered his opinion about the financial condition of the City of Manteca and South Lake Tahoe during my tenure as City Manager. I must admit some surprise in his letter and some disappointment. He suggests that the cities in question were worse financially when I left than when I arrived. I must say that he is wrong, but it is not my real purpose in writing. I want to offer some friendly advice to him.
I know that Mr. Cantu is an ambitious man and a long-time resident of the community who has openly said that he wants to be elected to the City Council. He has run for public office in the past and will do so again. I think it is a good thing when people take an interest in their community and wish to enter the political arena. It is not an easy job as City officials battle with State deficits, the confiscation of local revenues by the State, slow economic growth and higher unemployment. I respectfully suggest that the electorate in Manteca want officials to look out for their interests first and place all of their efforts into making the community safe, prosperous, and an attractive place in which to live.
I believe as well that people want elected leaders at all levels to be positive and vigorously debate important local, state and national issues. Being a negative candidate to suit one’s own political interests is not something we need more of in government. We have too many political egotists. Run campaigns on the basis of what you will do to improve the situation and help make the City and its residents more prosperous and safe, and the voters will then decide if they want to elect you to public office.
Contrary to speculation by a few people, I have no intention of running for public office in Manteca at this time. I write letters regarding public policy matters because of my interest in the people of Manteca and the community’s future, and I try hard to keep my comments positive and not derogatory about anyone. I think I can be far more effective as an informed and interested person in the community than an elected official.
I congratulate you Ben on your interest in serving in public office. I urge you to be a positive and a progressive voice in it all and it will serve you and the community well.
David M. Jinkens
July 3, 2012