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Recession not to blame for lack of city facilities
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

I was recently asked, what would I do if I were mayor or on the council. 

While welcoming new development, I will begin redefining the municipal revenue stream, budget and culture at city hall to begin addressing the community’s declining infrastructure, bring to fruition missing cultural and social amenities, improve the core city economy, create a tangible community service-oriented identity, and instill a process that insures new development pays for their impacts on the existing community. 

Undeniably, many new commercial businesses and developments have occurred in Manteca.  I have and continue to support projects like Spreckels Park, Costco, BLD, Bass Pro, etc. because they sustain an economically balanced community.  However, the lingering problem that fails to be addressed and continues to be ignored by the present administration, is the deteriorating existing infrastructure, the declining and cyclical service levels, the lack of needed streets paving, a too small of a library, a declining downtown, not enough police, no cultural or community center, and the list goes on.  Frankly, a governmental system that takes thirty years to fund a new city corporation yard should be a major concern.

My question is, with all the new shopping centers, employment centers, etc. why are there still no municipal funds available to stay effectively ahead of the rate of deterioration or to provide for community needs. City Hall, the City Council and the local development community continue to blame the present recession for the lack of municipal revenue; the same excuse they have used for decades through all of the previous recessions. 

The fact is that revenue taxes produced by and development fees collected from new development has never offset the fiscal impacts imposed on the existing community, yet the growing deficit is quietly and routinely placed on the backs of the residents. 

Benjamin Cantu
May 10, 2012