Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Manteca City Council candidate Ben Cantu is without a doubt an “outside the box” thinker, which in itself is not a bad thing. However, he has made statements and presented ideas that definitely remind you of the old days when nothing got done and conflict at city hall was an everyday occurrence. He criticizes the current City Council when they have done a great job not only getting our city through the recession in one piece but have made important decisions which have made it possible for Manteca to attract big taxpaying businesses such as Bass Pro Shops.
Mr. Cantu has stated that if elected, he would do everything possible to get two “like thinkers” elected in the next election so that he would have a majority and could forward his new way of running our city. Now that surly sounds like something we went through not so many years ago. Remember when Woodward Park sat for over 20 years without being developed due to politics?
However, the purpose of this letter has to do with a pretty ridiculous idea Mr. Cantu has come up with. He states he wants to improve the quality of life for Manteca residents buy developing another Regional Park, which in itself may not be a bad idea. What is ridiculous is that he wants to convert the Manteca Municipal Golf Course into that park.
The Manteca Golf Course has provided a recreational opportunity for thousands of seniors and kids since 1966. Fees paid by golfers to use the course have paid 100% of all maintenance and operation costs along with most of the land and construction costs. The golf course also happens to be one of the best in the area according to an independent study done in 2010 by Environmental Research Associates.
What is ridiculous about this idea is that the cost to maintain a Regional Park of this size would be astronomical with no income coming in to cover the cost. Other issues such as access and safety make this idea one for the record books.
Mr. Cantu goes on to state the City can just build another golf course because there are plenty of sources of money. The question that needs to be asked of Mr. Cantu is why not build a new Regional Park if it’s such a good idea, leave the golf course alone, and save the millions of dollars he says are available to build a new golf course? It’s certainly less expensive to build a Regional Park.
The answer is obvious. Mr. Cantu doesn’t care for the golf course and would never have success in building another one if the current one was turned into a park.
I am sure the voters of Manteca, even if they are not one of the many thousands that use the golf course, understand it’s importance in the community, which by the way provides many kids a recreational outlet and keeps them off the streets and out of trouble.
We don’t need the return of this type of “outside the box” thinker on our City Council. I urge Manteca residents to vote for the two incumbents Debby Moorhead and Steve De Brum who have proven themselves in difficult times and have played a major role in moving our city forward.
October 25, 2012