Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I found David Jinkens’ letter of a few days ago to be a bit ironic, yet illustrative of the issues confronting local government, and its perspective of the problem. The present state of our governmental economy is eloquently stated, as it was during Mr. Jinkens’ tenure as city manager of this community and his tenure as city manager in South Lake Tahoe. In fact, it is a very good depiction of Manteca’s fiscal woes during the economic downturns of the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s (during Mr. Jinkens’ term), and today. Unfortunately, the same words and goals lead us into the current recession and deficit budget.
The problem is that municipal administrators tend to conform to the cyclical pattern of fiscal management wherein spending occurs unabated during good times, because new development is plentiful and there is a rush to accommodate more projects, and then they cut to the bone during economic downtowns, because there is now too much fat on the bone. This pattern of municipal management has played out too often in this community, particularly during each of the previous four city managers (including Mr. Jinkens.) In this respect, contrary to Mr. Jinkens’ belief, RDA was fated for death when city officials veered from its original purpose to focus on financing new development.
What is needed is a change from the same old pattern of municipal fiscal management that continues to lead to cyclical deficits. I propose a new approach that emulates private business management, not political science training, in order to establish and maintain fiscal stability that can weather the reoccurring economic recessions.
Truthfully, pulling a community out of an economic recession crisis is not the issue, for there are plenty of public officials that do that very task on a routine basis every eight to 10 years.
June 30, 2012