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Says downtown has spoken with one voice
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

In the first sentence of Dennis Wyatt’s Nov. 5 column “Downtown’s future slogan: ‘Winos, hookers & tweakers’, he says that, “Finally there’s a clear vision for downtown.”

Wyatt’s right, there is a clear vision for downtown. After two years and much discussion, the downtown business merchants overwhelmingly voted to -change Maple Avenue back to two-way traffic, and remove the Main Street bulb outs that are obstructing and delaying police, fire and ambulance calls for service.

Unfortunately, the rest of Wyatt’s column was nothing more than dribble to help his friends at City Hall save face for their poor planning and what their actions have done to the downtown small business owners. I lost count on how many times I hear folks from city hall and even council members say they never come downtown anymore mostly because they want to avoid the traffic congestion.

The column was full of negativity. In fact, Wyatt has the gall to second-guess the recommendation of the stakeholders — the merchants and property owners that have invested in the downtown. He goes so far as to say that motorists will be playing Starsky and Hutch, crossing busy traffic lanes, traveling from alley to alley. When was the last time he was downtown? That is what is going on now — even with the bulb-outs.

Wyatt’s propaganda piece is comical. He implies that the downtown business district will become a destination for winos, hookers and tweakers if the traffic medians are removed and Maple Avenue is restored to two-way traffic. I had to laugh out loud at that implication. I would hope that the winos, hookers and tweakers would not be driving cars while being winos, hookers and tweakers. And as for Maple Avenue, where would the Manteca Police get their ticket revenue?

Really, let’s stop the petty B.S. coming from the Manteca Bulletin and City Hall and start giving some real consideration to the downtown merchants’ concerns. After all, they are the stakeholders that have the most to lose or gain. And lose they have. Their tax dollars have gone to big box retailers along Highway 120 for the sake of what the politicians and city bureaucrats claim will bring the all-mighty sales tax dollar needed to fund their pet projects.

Yes, the folks downtown have spoken with one voice. Perhaps, City Hall should try listening, and I would hope to their constituents, not through consultants or the Manteca Bulletin.

Carlon Perry
Nov. 11, 2009