Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I’d like to know why Dennis Wyatt likes to take his share of potshots, even at teachers. In my seven years as Manteca Educators Association President, I have never seen you at a single school board meeting. If you want to engage in a conversation about our community, then show up like the rest of us. Don’t use as your excuse, I have to put my paper together. As they say, it is all about showing up.
Safety trumps sports. I want athletes to be safe too. I get that. However, every high school in the district deals with the same obstacles with their fields, but the coaches at every school must take it upon themselves to put the additional time in as well as their players, parents, and the local community to get their fields ready. Manteca High’s baseball fields are covered in gopher holes to the point that they have an inside joke that their mascot should be the gophers. It’s not our fault that fields and facilities are worn down. The people who use them must maintain them. I just have to ask is why haven’t they been maintained at Weston Ranch? When you go to someone and ask for help in repairing your faucet, you don’t expect them to build you a new house. Various youth baseball, softball, and football leagues have agreements to maintain the school district’s elementary fields. What you’re asking to do is use money that is set aside for school construction in Weston Ranch. I understand quite well that facilities money can’t be used for teacher salaries.
That is a separate issue. Teachers aren’t in it for the money, and I resent that you constantly imply that our teachers are greedy because we ask for a living wage. As far as trumping goes, academics trumps sports. We don’t want to get into year round education again because we don’t have enough schools for our students in Weston Ranch. Weston Ranch has not been built out yet with respect to housing. We need that money for school construction in Weston Ranch. There is plenty of land left in Weston Ranch for more housing. You say the athletic fields at Weston Ranch are the “only viable option in Weston Ranch for recreational sports.” That may be. But that’s not our problem. The purpose of Manteca Unified is education, not recreation. That is the problem for the City of Stockton and its mayor, Anthony Silva, a buddy of Trustee Sam Fant. I’m just wondering if Silva is asking his buddy to do him a solid? Take care of Weston Ranch for me because I can’t. The citizens of Weston Ranch have felt for years that Stockton neglects them. Obviously, the city does. Manteca Unified doesn’t provide access to the public to any of the athletic fields, nor should it. What it has done and should continue to do is enter into partnerships with the City of Manteca and the aforementioned youth leagues. You are setting a very bad precedent to come to the rescue of Stockton or any city for that matter when they are not doing their job to provide for their citizens. Taxpayer money set aside for school districts is exactly that — for school districts.