Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I have always appreciated the freedom and the opportunity to discuss matters regarding the state of this community and to answer any questions regarding present and past conditions.
With this letter I am closing out 2017 with the full understanding that the solution to any problem is recognizing that there is a problem. In this regard, the subject of my many letters rests on the fact that the mayor and council do not see the forest for the trees, so to speak. The Council and much of the community see shiny new commercial centers, Big League Dreams, Great Wolf, and all the new homes, but don’t see that the Council is still scrapping for funds, can’t fix the streets, builds fire stations 10 years after they are needed, drugs and gangs are still a major problem in the community, there are no “real” jobs centers, there are no funds for building highway interchanges, affordable housing is lacking, have no money to improve downtown, traffic is congesting all over town, and so on. These issues did not manifest themselves recently, they are decades in the making, and are expanding and worsening with each budget year.
Most do not see the problem(s) because they were rooted decades ago and have grown ever so slowly; so much so, as to become normal conditions today. But due to my age and inherent personality (which sees and feels detail), the issues are very pronounced. Some problems are clearly visible, such as, the street surfaces and street intersections in need of repair; others are subtle, like a library overdue for update. You need only ask one all telling question for the answer — after 12 years on the Council, why has the mayor and council not been able to “really” repair the streets (or for that matter, address any of the other issues.)
While they will tell you of their accomplishments, such as, an animal shelter, a new city corporation yard, the Lathrop Road fire station, the transit center, police evidence building, and so on; they neglect to say is, the animal shelter took 30 years, the corporation yard took 60 years, fire stations take 10 years after needed, the transit station is serviced by city buses that carry virtually no passengers, and the evidence building took 20 years. Frankly, their measure of success is by decades not years.
Part of the problem is our mayors and Councils have been waiting decades for fiscal returns from all those shiny shopping centers to help pay for repairs to the deteriorating infrastructure and to improve public service levels. But, the truth is, the funds have yet to materialize.
On a final note for 2017, Great Wolf is not the problem, nor is it the solution.