Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Around town there are street vendors setting up right on the public sidewalks selling strawberries and such. A pedestrian has to walk in the street to get around them. I spoke to one, at least tried to. She did not speak our language, so OK.
On the corner of Powers Avenue and North Street is a pre-teen female, sitting alone with no shade, no bathroom facilities and unsupervised. What disturbs me here is child labor laws may be violated because she may be under age for a work permit. She is also set up right on the public sidewalk, and a pedestrian has to walk in the street to get around her. A person in a walker or in a wheel chair is even more vulnerable.
From what I gathered they have no permit, no license of any kind, plus no visible resale permit for sales tax. To be fair and clear, I am not opposed to paying some high school kid a few bucks to mow my lawn or help me with some yard work. I would welcome that. But having people on public property doing a business without doing it legally makes me wonder about the leadership of my town that I grew up in and love.
So, Mr. Mayor and council members, will you please do your jobs? If you cannot do it, then move over and let someone else take care of our city because you people are not. We have homeless roaming the neighborhoods at night because Manteca is easy prey. I sit outside after dark with my cat that I keep on a leash. I see people, mostly young men in groups that seem to be looking for something. Never the same ones, so they are transients.
Why is that? At the Safeway on South Main, there is a couple selling tamales from the trunk of their car. The Safeway lot is private property, so law enforcement looks the other way so OK, even though they are not collecting sales tax that is still stealing tax dollars. What is the difference here?
If you steal a candy bar from the store, you go to jail. If you steal sales tax money or not pay it, you still are stealing, but now it is money. Am I getting too old, or am I missing something here?
In closing I want to add that I love being retired. I am so busy doing nothing I don’t have time for anything else.
Gary J. Duran