Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
After 30 years city leadership still does not recognize “the disconnect” between wanting more jobs, getting more jobs, and the housing imbalance in our community. Before I explain, let me reflect on a past situation.
During summer vacation way back in the 60s I used to drive a truck hauling freshly harvested tomatoes to the cannery in Tracy. The cannery was “high tech” for the time, occupied a very large site, employed hundreds of people, and represented manufacturing facilities of that era. Today, that cannery is gone. In contrast, a very similar tomato cannery is located near the Stockton Airport; however, it is on a much smaller site, employs much less people, and reflects manufacturing facilities of this current era. The difference between the two represents the evolution and the efficiency of jobs centers of today and of the future.
Today’s disconnect is simply that saying “more jobs is needed” does not make it so, and the types of jobs desired without a program to lure them to Manteca does not make it so. And, more importantly, if the community does not provide housing opportunities that correspond with the desired “jobs” or cultural amenities or favorable public service levels or shovel-ready infrastructure, they will not come. Unfortunately, past city councils ignored the problem (thus hindering the community’s fiscal progress over decades); and today the solution to the problem is elusive to the current city council.
Let me be frank, the sprouting in the community of large concrete warehouses, manufacturing and service facilities do not represent a dawning of a prosperous new future. Why? Those large concrete boxes represent the dumbing-down of the community’s character and competency, and further diminish the community’s ability to improve public service levels. Why? Because the jobs created are lower level service wages, fewer low-tech jobs, property taxes are lower, no sales tax generation, increased truck traffic on an already impacted community, and no housing opportunities available for those new employees.
The solution, or at least the start of a process to lure “jobs centers”, enhance Manteca’s economic appeal, improve the community’s fiscal ranking, etc., will begin with a “Real” structured marketing “Plan” and focus.