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November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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Local

City of MantecaCandidate for City Council

Photo of Charlie Halford

Charlie Halford

Retired Police Chief
14,497 votes (26.95%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Public Safety is my top priority. To keep Manteca safe we must maintain and expand out Police and Fire Departments, while making sure that our youth recreation activities and streets are maintained.
  • Fiscal Accountability and transparency
  • Work with Non Profits, Faith Based Groups, other cities and counties to address the Manteca Homelessness Problem

Experience

Experience

Profession:Ret. Police Chief & Boys & Girls Club CEO
Police Officer, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Manteca Police Department (1976–current)
Executive Director/CEO, Boys and Girls Club of Manteca and Lathrop (2008–2012)
Police Chief, City of Manteca (1997–2008)

Education

California State University at Sacramento Bachelor of Science, Criminal Justice (1976)

Community Activities

Member, Past President (3 times), Treasurer, Manteca Rotary (1997–current)
Board Member 1997-1998 and President of the Board -1991, Volunteer, Boys and Girls Club of Manteca and Lathrop (1987–current)
Co-Chair, Manteca Community Thanksgiving Dinner (2015–current)
Chairman and founding member, Hall of Fame of Manteca, Lathrop, and French Camp (1994–current)
Board Chair -2005, Board Member, United Way of San Joaquin (1999–2006)

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Chris Hass, Retired Fire Chief

Organizations (1)

  • Manteca Police Officers Association

Elected Officials (5)

  • Tom Patti, San Joaquin Board of Supervisors
  • Vern Gebhardt, San Joaquin Board of Education
  • Bob Elliott, San Joaquin Board of Supervisors
  • Dave Breitenbucher, Manteca City Council Member
  • Ken Vogel, President San Joaquin Board of Education

Individuals (11)

  • Marion and Mona Elliott, Retired Educators
  • Mike Morowit, Former Manteca City Council Member
  • Steve Debrum, Former Manteca Mayor
  • Willie Weatherford, Former Manteca Mayor
  • Kirk Waters, Retired Fire Chief
  • George Quaresma, Retired Fire Chief
  • Steve and Frona Winter, Retired Educators
  • Jack Snyder, Former Manteca Mayor
  • Willie Weatherford, Retired Manteca Police Chief
  • Nick Obligacion, Retired Manteca Police Chief
  • Dave Bricker, Retired Manteca Police Chief

Political Beliefs

Position Papers

Homeless - What to do?

Summary

The homeless epidemic is a nationwide, societal issue.  It is a complex, multi-faceted problem that has continued to increase over the years with no easy “one-size-fits-all” answer. 

The homeless epidemic is a nationwide, societal issue.  It is a complex, multi-faceted problem that has continued to increase over the years with no easy “one-size-fits-all” answer. 

Three things the City should do to address the homeless crisis are:

1.     Strengthen resources for non-profit and faith-based groups serving the unsheltered population on the ground.

2.     Support Manteca Police and their officers dedicated to assisting the homeless.

3.     Spearhead, in coordination with our neighboring cities and counties, a comprehensive regional actional plan for transitioning homeless individuals off the streets.

Our Family City has always been a generous community. Countless non-profit and faith-based groups – like Inner City Action and Hope Ministries and Second Harvest Food Bank – are incredible testaments to this generosity through their service to Manteca’s homeless. Hope Ministries provides programs for women and children and has helped many get back on their feet and transition off the streets.   Inner City Action has provided our community with successful outreach to the homeless. The City should continue to provide resources and coordination to these (and other organizations) looking to support those without shelter.

The Police Department plays an important role in the City’s response to the homeless crisis. Currently, we have two officers dedicated to working with the homeless – connecting them with services and reuniting them with their families. These officers have helped many end their homelessness.

However, the City and the Police Department also need to address the illegal conduct of the homeless. The Supreme Court’s upholding of Martin v. Boise prohibits the arrest of a homeless individual sleeping on public property if there is no, “option of sleeping indoors.” Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an Executive Order by our Governor further limits the ability of law enforcement to remove homeless encampments from public property.  Without temporary shelter options, the actions our officers can take to curb illegal activity by the homeless are limited.

City Council has acted to address this, moving forward with a Navigation/Resource Center at the former Qualex Building in the Industrial Park.  The Qualex Navigation Center/shelter may be an expensive undertaking; some estimates to acquire and establish the Center are as high as $9.1 million. While the location is acceptable, the building may be larger we need.

Before moving forward, a long-term strategy should be developed for the Navigation Center/shelter. Besides providing temporary shelter, how will the Center be used to enact real change? How will the City account for the ongoing costs of operating and maintaining this large facility? Who will be responsible for this facility?

Action is important and I applaud our Council for identifying an acceptable site. However, as a City, it’s important to have a plan before acting. Plans can change but rarely is something successful when not fully considered.

While having a plan as a City is important, participation in a broader, more comprehensive, regional plan will be critical to our success in addressing homelessness. Working with our allies in neighboring cities, we could create a larger network of resources and services and share additional tools to make progress on this issue. This would be balanced carefully so Manteca does not become more attractive than other cities to the homeless.

When people spend too much of their income on housing, they are at risk of being homeless. One of the reasons housing is expensive in California is that there are not enough homes to meet demand. Besides encouraging a healthy mix of smaller lots in new developments, the City needs to be creative and flexible in promoting solutions for less expensive housing in existing residences – such as tiny homes, attached or detached accessory dwelling units (ADUs), and managed semi-independent living for those needing assistance. Additional fees or a lengthy plan approval process can make these attainable solutions economically infeasible. Requiring new developments to participate in an Affordable Housing Program is another solution. However, without a plan in place for revenues, this runs the risk of adding to the cost of housing – not lowering it – during California’s housing shortage.

There is no one answer to the homeless issue in Manteca. But, if we continue to support our local non-profits and faith-based groups, provide our Police with the tools they need to take action on illegal activities, and collaborate on this issue as a region, we have the chance to make real progress in Manteca.

Fiscal Responsibility, Accountability, and transparency

Summary

I believe the city, the City Council,  needs to be fiscally responsible and transparent, managing their (our) finances in a prudent informed reasonable manner. 

I believe the city needs to be fiscally responsible, managing their (our) finances in a prudent informed reasonable manner.  The city, the City Council, needs to remember that they are spending the public’s tax money, money that they worked hard to earn.   I have listed below several issues that gravely concern me regarding the finances of the city.  They are listed in chronological order.

1.      At the December 3, 2019 Council Meeting Staff requested the Council authorize the closing of City between December 23 and December 27th.  Giving all employees an extra three days off.  It was stated it would be at no cost, however Police, Fire, Wastewater and Refuse all still must work.  Additionally, there were approximately 400 employees at the time, meaning 1200 days off were given or the equivalent of 4.6 full time employees or more than 1.15% of the days an employee would have worked in 2019.  There is and was an actual out of pocket cost to cover those personnel who could not take the time off in the Fire Department, Police Department, Wastewater and Refuse.  In addition, there was a loss of productivity of at least 1.15% for the year.  We have been told how understaffed the city is, however, they were willing to give away 3 days of work per employee.  We have been told of the backlog of things that need to be done, but the city gave employees an extra three days off.  Not one council member questioned the cost of closing the City Offices.  It’s important to note that nowhere in the staff report does it say that all employees were to receive 3 additional floating holidays, only that the City Offices would be closed for the three days.   Here is a link to the article in the Manteca Bulletin:   https://www.mantecabulletin.com/news/local-news/ho-ho-ho-manteca-council-gifts-city-workers-up-to-240k-on-taxpayers-dime/    Here is a link to the video of the City Council meeting.  https://manteca-ca.granicus.com/player/clip/573?view_id=2&redirect=true       Here is a link to the Staff report that the City Council based their decision on:  https://manteca-ca.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4269157&GUID=E361D326-98FF-4CAD-9E62-CFE619071ED6&FullText=1 .

2.      December 3, 2019 City Council Meeting, at the recommendation of Acting Finance Director Lutzow, City Council approved the MOU with OE3 which will trigger an additional increase for all other bargaining units.  Link to Staff Report:   https://manteca-ca.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4269155&GUID=7F071223-E588-4084-92BE-23C65C0A957C&FullText=1

3.      February 18, 2020 City Council Meeting Staff presents a power point regarding current and future personnel needs of the city.  It should be noted that the City Council received the information late the afternoon of the meeting and power point/info was not available to the public.  The PowerPoint was not placed on the website until weeks after the meeting.  There are no estimates of costs or when the positions will be needed.  The inference was that it is a 5-year plan.  Link to the Power Point Presentation:    https://manteca-ca.granicus.com/DocumentViewer.php?file=manteca-ca_193248dd0bfa498700ef9ec77d8cc921.pdf&view=1

4.      Sunday March 15, 2020 City Manager acting as Director of Emergency Services, declared a local emergency due to COVID 19.

5.      March 17, 2020 City Council approves 16 new positions at a total first year annual cost of $1,839,410 with a cost to the General Fund of $689,677.  This was done outside of the normal budget process, without considering all the needs of the city and without knowing what the revenues are going to be and while the Finance Department is lacking in management staff, two days after declaring the emergency due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Link to Staff Report:  https://manteca-ca.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4396354&GUID=79F61C3F-B52F-477A-B974-978415A4F5FF&FullText=1

6.      April 7, 2020, City Council Ratifies Declaration of the Emergency and continues the Emergency Proclamation for COVID 19.

7.      May 19, 2020 Council Meeting. Council approves a budget appropriation of $984,826 as a result of the OE3 Employee a 1% higher raise in their contract than the other employee groups.  The other employee groups had “me too” clauses in their agreements that had all be approved by council prior to the approval by City Council of the OE3 agreement on December 3, 2020.   The staff report states that the Former Finance Director and the city’s contract attorney were the negotiating team.  However, on October15, November 5, the current City Manager was given direction regarding negotiations and she had been the Administrative Services Director since July and Acting City Manager since September.    This a nearly million-dollar mistake.    

Link to Staff Report:  https://manteca-ca.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4539186&GUID=936F175B-BEFB-487A-A31B-85716356F5B6

Link to Council Discussion and approval:  https://manteca-ca.granicus.com/player/clip/632?view_id=2

8.      June 16, 2020 Council Meeting.  City Council approves a Provisional Budget for FY20-21 with a more than 2-million-dollar General Fund deficit.

a.      Budget anticipates a doubling of the TOT and Sales tax to stay the same, even though $2,000,000 less Sales Tax was anticipated to be collected in FY 19-20.

b.      The projected General Fund Revenue assumes a rather generous amount of Hotel Tax (TOT) and Sales tax based on the anticipated opening of Great Wolf that is now expected to be after October at the earliest rather than July.   

c.       The budget anticipates $47.7 Million in General Fund Revenue which is $4.4 Million more than was projected to be received in last fiscal year. 

d.      The anticipated actual expenditures in the General fund are expected to be approximately $4.5 Million less than budgeted. 

 Link to Staff Report:  https://manteca-ca.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4570442&GUID=6D5BF097-4FC4-4DFD-946A-FA45A4DC839E&FullText=1

9.      July 21, 2020 Council Meeting, City Council approves amendments to side letter agreements with employee associations clarifying that all groups received an additional 1% cost of living raise as a result of the additional 1% given to OE3. 

Link to staff report:  https://manteca-ca.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4594887&GUID=E60A6A40-0678-4A97-9911-F2E3B8D4CCAC

10.  August 4, 2020 City Council Meeting, Staff requests that a ballot measure be placed on the November 3, 2020 ballot asking that a One Cent Sales tax be authorized.    I don’t believe now is the time to ask for a One cent Tax Increase..  The staff report says nothing about what the tax is needed for.  The staff presentation in my opinion does not justify the need for a sales tax increase.  

Link to the Staff Report:  https://manteca-ca.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4604673&GUID=87880DF4-5FD2-4CBD-B07F-880731AA26A7&FullText=1

Link to the staff presentation:  https://manteca-ca.granicus.com/player/clip/679?view_id=2

Enhancing Downtown and attracting business to the downtown area.

Summary

What we as a community of customers, property owners, business owners and the city can do to enhance the downtown area, attract and retain business to the downtown area. 

The City of Manteca is in a difficult position when it comes to developing a thriving, vibrant, walkable Downtown. Besides enforcing municipal codes, providing incentives, and facilitating roundtable discussions to bring Downtown stakeholders to the table, the tools at the City’s disposal are limited. It will take the collaboration, cooperation, and participation of the City, property owners, and business owners to bring about change.

 

The sheer number of stakeholders – coupled with their different “visions” for Downtown – has stalled efforts to create a viable plan and added to the complexity of revitalization project. In the end, if there is no consensus, there cannot be a successful plan. Differences of opinion and lack of common goals hurt Mantecans who want a safe and enjoyable Downtown experience.

 

To contribute to the success of Downtown, the City should:

 

·         Take Action.  There are steps the City can take immediately to promote a better Downtown environment, such as:

o   Increase street sweeping frequency of Downtown streets, alleys, and parking lots. Reinstall (and enforce) “No Parking between 4 AM and 5 AM” signs so that street sweeping can be done efficiently.

o   Trim trees in streetscape and parking lots to enhance lighting.

o   Enforce codes requiring owners clean their properties (i.e. parking areas, alcoves, dumpster enclosures etc.) frequently and promptly. 

o   Enforce Section 8.17.040 of the Manteca Municipal Code requiring boarded-up properties to be painted to match the color of exterior of the building. Or, encourage and recognize the efforts of volunteers working to make boarded-up buildings more attractive (as completed at 141 W. Yosemite and underway at 220 W. Yosemite).

o   Encourage property owners to get their property owners “Rental Ready” via incentives and/or code enforcement.

 

·         Make Residents Feel Safe. Continue to address and solve homeless issues. Add lighting or upgrade existing lighting to LED for brighter light. Explore increasing parking. If people do not feel safe and welcome, they will not come Downtown.

 

·         Evaluate Infrastructure. The strength of Downtown depends on the symbiotic relationship of businesses and restaurants / shops. Businesses need places nearby where employees can meet clients, grab lunch within walking distance of the office, or unwind after work at Happy Hour. By improving infrastructure and providing solutions to property owners, the City can take steps to incentivize the creation of a downtown business core. First, determine what services (especially internet / fiber optic) the City should provide to attract new businesses or encourage expansions of existing businesses and restaurants. Second, minimize vacant buildings by providing pathways for owners to “upgrade” their properties, making them more attractive for long-term tenants. To encourage updates and improvements, the City could help by waiving / reducing fees and helping these businesses secure grants for infrastructure improvement.  

 

·         Review Existing Ideas. Over the years, City Staff has generated countless Downtown strategies – often in collaboration with stakeholders. Sometimes, we get so laser focused on creating something new, we forget to look back at the ideas Staff, residents, and stakeholders have already developed. Let’s reframe, refresh, and build off existing work by City staff.

 

·         Cultivate Partnerships. Many organizations – such as the Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Business Association – are invested in the success of Downtown. Manteca’s biggest events – Pumpkin Fair and Crossroads Street Faire – show residents and visitors the best of Downtown. The City should continue to strengthen ties with these groups and support their efforts whenever possible.

 

The City has limited control over the destiny of Downtown; Downtown’s fate is ultimately in the hands of its property and business owners. But, by supporting owners and continuing to facilitate roundtable discussions, the City can proactively strive for a mutually beneficial outcome. Additionally, by focusing on code enforcement, economic development, and infrastructure – items the City has more control over – the City can create a safe environment for shopping and dining in the heart of Manteca.

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