The Week in Review
A Report from the City Manager – Vol. 2, No. 47 – December 3, 2009
*** Note: City offices will be closed as a result of upcoming holidays and
unpaid furloughs that will be taken by City employees. Offices will be
closed from December 24 through January 3. There will be no “starts” or
“stops” for water, sewer or garbage service during this time. Solid waste
collection will remain on its regular schedule. Remember, routes
scheduled for Christmas Day or New Year’s Day will be picked up on the
following day. ***
Fire Department Boys and Girls Club Telethon: The Fire Chief and
several off-duty firefighters participated in the Annual
Boys and Girls Club of Manteca/Lathrop Telethon November 23-24, answering
telephones, soliciting pledges, and assisting with the various maintenance
duties associated with the event.
Emergency Incidents: We had a total of 94 incidents this week, which included
4 that were fire related: 1-Structure Fire, 1-Vehicle Fire, 1-Rubbish Fire, and 1-
Outside Fire. Dollar loss for the week was minimal. The remaining calls this
week were: EMS-65, Vehicle Accidents-5, Service Calls-12, and Other
● Structure Fire – Ore Street, November 28
Firefighters responded to a structure fire late Saturday evening to find
smoke in a residence on Ore Street. Upon investigation, firefighters found a
small fire in the range. The range was removed from the residence and the
structure was ventilated to remove the smoke.
● Vehicle Into A House – Sutter Street and Grant Street, November 28
Firefighters were dispatched to Sutter Street and North Grant Street late
Saturday morning for a multiple-vehicle accident. Upon arrival, they found
one vehicle blocking the intersection and the other vehicle into the garage of
the house on the southwest corner. Firefighters provided emergency medical
services, then secured the utilities to the house before shoring the building
to remove the vehicle.
100 Block of Sutter Street – November 28, 2009
● Vehicle Fire – Bass Pro Drive, November 29
Firefighters were dispatched to a vehicle fire in the parking lot of Bass Pro
Shops on Sunday evening. Staff from the facility had been trying to
extinguish the fire prior to the engine’s arrival. Firefighters completed
extinguishment and secured the scene before releasing the incident.
Fire Prevention: Following the City furlough week, the Fire Prevention Division
primarily dealt with requests for new construction projects and occupancy
requirements this week.
Police Department The following is a summary of the significant
events from the past two weeks:
Residential Burglary Arrest: At 9:00 a.m. on November 20, officers responded
to a report of a residential burglary at 1304 Higton St. Neighbors reported
seeing suspicious subjects loitering near the residence and then break into the
west-side window. Dispatch kept witnesses on the phone, while patrol and
unmarked detectives set up a perimeter. One suspect was taken into custody
immediately as he walked out from the side yard. Another was arrested after he
jumped several fences into surrounding yards. The third was arrested a short
distance away. Flat screen TVs, computer equipment and other electronic
equipment was stacked just inside and outside of the residence. Erick Emanuel
Flores, Eduardo Zubirias-Rios, and Alejandro Guadalupe Garcia, all San Jose
residents, were arrested for burglary and possession of stolen property.
Drug Arrest: On November 20, members of the Streets Crimes Unit served a
search warrant at 1956 Box Car Drive in Manteca. During the search, officers
found marijuana, packaged marijuana, money, scales, packaging, marijuana
plant and sales records. One juvenile male was arrested for possessing
marijuana for sale. He was released on a juvenile citation to his mother. During
the search, Mitchel Gray, 19, of Manteca showed up at the residence. Mitchel is
also on probation with a search-and-seizure condition. Inside Mitchel’s car was
marijuana packaged for sale. Mitchel was arrested for possessing marijuana for
sale and transportation of marijuana.
Stabbing: On November 21, officers were dispatched to a report of a stabbing at
1555 Crestwood Ave., Unit No. 1. Victims reported they were walking from the
street to a party. As they entered the driveway, they were confronted by two
suspects. After a short verbal altercation, one of the suspects punched
one victim in the head and face. A second suspect attacked a 15-year-old
victim, cutting him on the neck. The suspects fled in an unknown direction.
Witnesses gave officers conflicting suspect descriptions. Both victims were
treated at Doctor’s Hospital of Manteca. The victim, who was cut on the neck,
was fortunate. The emergency room physician said the cut, which was 6 to 8
inches long, was extremely close to cutting his carotid artery.
Recovered Stolen Vehicle: On November 27 at approximately 10:20 p.m.,
officers located a stolen Honda Accord in the Comfort Inn parking lot, 1920 E.
Yosemite Ave. The stolen Honda had two stolen license plates, and parked in
front of Room No. 114. Room 114 was registered to Christopher Balcom.
Detectives responded to the scene and placed a GPS tracker on the vehicle.
Detectives then set up surveillance and observed Balcom and Richard Araujo
standing at the open driver’s-side door of the stolen vehicle. A short time later,
Detectives saw the stolen Honda leaving the Comfort Inn parking lot and turn
eastbound on East Yosemite Avenue. The Detectives followed the Honda
eastbound on Highway 120. The driver of the stolen Honda parked in the Olde
Towne Bar parking lot. Araujo was detained as he walked away from the stolen
vehicle. Officers went back to the Comfort Inn, Room 114, and secured the
room for preparation of a search warrant. While waiting for another Detective,
Balcom and Celena Gordon walked up to the motel room. Both consented to a
search of the motel room. Detectives located property from the stolen Honda
Accord inside the motel room. Police also discovered stolen property from a
residential burglary out of Stockton. Statements from both Balcom and Araujo
revealed they were part of a group who is responsible for several residential
burglaries and auto thefts that occurred in the Manteca and Stockton areas.
Detectives responded to the scene to recover the stolen property, search
Balcom’s storage unit for additional stolen property, and to follow up with
Stockton Police for additional victims. Richard Steven Araujo was arrested for
Vehicle Theft, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Possession of Stolen Property,
and Felony While Released on O/R. Christopher John Balcom was arrested for
Possession of Stolen Property and Possession of a Controlled Substance.
Stabbing: On November 27 at approximately midnight, MPD Officers responded
to 733 Tahoe St. in regard to the resident finding a victim of a stabbing in his
front yard. The victim, Danielle Bernardeau, was with her ex-boyfriend, Charles
Benham, in a vehicle in the Jack-in-the Box parking lot on South Main Street.
Benham was upset with Bernardeau due to their recent break-up and her filing
a temporary restraining order against him. During the argument, Benham took
out a fixed-blade knife and stabbed Bernardeau in the right thigh. Bernardeau
and Benham drove from the Jack-in-the Box parking lot to 733 Tahoe St. She
started feeling sick so she stopped and started drinking water from the
resident’s garden hose in the front yard. The resident saw the light and heard
the water running and walked outside to investigate. He located Bernardeau in
the front yard. The resident escorted the victim into his residence and called for
an ambulance. Benham walked away and is still at large. The victim was
transported to Doctor’s Hospital, where she was treated and released.
On December 1, officers located Benham walking in the 700 block of West
Yosemite Avenue. He was arrested without incident and booked for Domestic
Violence and Assault with a Deadly Weapon.
Carjacking: On November 29 at 3:00 p.m., a carjacking occurred next to the
park in the 1900 block of Crestwood Avenue. The victims were parked next to
the sidewalk. A subject walked up to the passenger side and asked the
passenger and driver if they had a cigarette. They told him they didn't have
any. The suspect pulled out a black semi-automatic handgun from his
waistband and shoved it into the passenger’s ribcage. The suspect ordered both
victims out of the vehicle. The suspect and three other subjects who were
loitering a short distance away climbed into the pickup and left the area. The
victims watched the pickup go north on the west-side frontage road and
then south onto Highway 99. The suspects were not known to either victim. On
December 1, a Ripon police officer located the stolen vehicle in that city. Police
detained the three occupants, two juveniles and one adult, and searched the
car. They located a handgun and numerous items of gang paraphernalia. It
was determined the two juveniles were not involved in the original carjacking,
and they were released to their parents. Miguel Zamora, 18, of Tracy, was
booked for Possession of Stolen Property and Auto Theft.
Firearms Arrest: On December 1, Detectives were on patrol in the 500 block of
South Veach Avenue. They drove past Timothy Franklin, a transient, who they
knew had warrants for his arrest. As soon as Franklin saw them, he fled on
foot and was pursued by police. Timothy ran into the backyard of 530 S. Veach
and then into the house, where he was caught and detained. He was later
booked on the warrants and transported to jail. Additional patrol and detective
units arrived at the house as back-up. Also in the house was Christopher
Cebrian and Raquel Azevedo. Both had warrants for their arrest and were
transported to the Police Department for booking. During the investigation,
Detectives were standing outside the house and in the front yard. A small white
car drove by with Sean Malendrez, a transient parolee out of Manteca, in the
front passenger seat. Detectives attempted to stop Malendrez to conduct a
parole search. The driver of the white car sped up and turned onto Edith
Street, where Malendrez jumped out of the car and fled on foot into a backyard.
Detectives followed and caught the suspect, detaining him for the search.
Detectives went back and searched the path of the foot pursuit. They found a
loaded .44 magnum revolver on the ground. Malendrez was charged with a
violation of his parole, Felon in Possession of a Concealed, Loaded Firearm,
Obstructing an Officer and Being a Gang Member in Possession of a Loaded
Firearm. It was later determined the pistol was stolen out of Manteca.
Fraud Arrest: On November 15, Detectives began investigating a reported fraud
case involving Steven Garcia and numerous victims of a scam. Garcia had
befriended approximately 20 teachers, parents and staff at McParland School,
with the promise of selling a laptop computer for $275. He accepted the money
from over 15 people, but never delivered the computers. The investigation
showed that Garcia took well over $8,000 from the victims without delivering
the purchased computers. On December 2, Detectives received information
regarding Garcia’s location in Stockton. They set up a sting and were able to
locate Garcia as he left a residence. Garcia was taken into custody for the
Fraud, Grand Theft, and an outstanding felony warrant.
Public Works McKinley Avenue Specific Street Plan: The second
workshop for the McKinley Avenue Specific Street Plan
will be held December 9 at 6:00 p.m. in the McFall Room of the Manteca
Library. The discussion will include alignment refinements based on
community input from the first workshop, and flood protection. The City
encourages all interested residents to participate in the identification of the
future route for the next major roadway in south Manteca.
Recycling Education: The State budget crisis may impact the City’s recycling
education program. We have historically received approximately $17,000 for
the CRV value of the bottles and cans that are recycled through our curbside
recycling program. The State has taken most of the funds allocated for this
program to use for other purposes, and the City has been informed that we will
only receive approximately $850 this year. The City historically used these
funds to purchase bottle/can recycling containers for schools, classrooms,
cafeterias and apartment complexes, printing recycling brochures, and to
purchase give-away items made from recycled materials to hand out at the
Pumpkin Fair, Street Fair and various other community events.
Finance Lobby Remodel: The Finance lobby remodel project is essentially
complete. Building Maintenance and Finance staff worked closely to minimize
the cost of this project by clearly defining the needs, and by using modular
furniture components, where possible, to reduce structural changes to the
building. Staff also scheduled all of this work so that it could be
completed without any disruption to customer service. The new lobby
configuration increases the inside waiting area, improves flow by adding
another door, and should improve our customer service, while increasing staff
efficiency and comfort. The project was completed during the holiday/furlough
closure week to minimize the impact on City staff and the public.
Parks and Rec City Christmas Tree Lighting: The Manteca Senior
Center and the Senior Advisory Committee will be
hosting this event on Thursday, December 3. This family-oriented event will be
start at 6:30 p.m. in front of the City Council Chambers, where the City’s
official Christmas tree will be lit. After a brief gathering, people are invited to go
to the Senior Center, where we will have a community sing-along and
entertainment by the Recreation Division’s Dance and Baton Classes. “Children
young and old will also be treated to a narration of “The Night Before
Christmas.” After the entertainment, each child will get a chance to visit with
Santa Claus, and everyone will enjoy refreshments.
Recreation Program Activity Information:
• Staff is gearing up for youth basketball, which is scheduled to start in
December. Staff is securing facilities and recruiting volunteers and staff.
The league has over 300 participants signed up.
• Tiny tot basketball league is scheduled to end December 12. The league
has approximately 80 participants signed up.
Partnerships with Local Sport Non-profits: Staff has been working with the
Manteca Futbol Club in bringing Nor Cal Futbol Club Soccer Tournaments to
Woodward Park. Two tournaments were held in November, and we will also
have tournaments take place December 5-6 and 12-13. These tournaments
bring in hundreds of teams from all over Northern California to the Manteca
Volunteer/Staff Position: Staff is currently recruiting volunteers, sponsorships
and staff for youth basketball. The City typically recruits up to 60 community
volunteers to help out with the league.
Panda Express Community Fund Raiser: Parks and Recreation is teamed up
with Panda Express for a Community Fundraiser in support of Youth
Recreation Programs. Support Parks and Recreation youth programs – eat
healthy and support local businesses that support us. Go to Panda Express,
1467 Hulsey Way, with your family and friends on the first Friday of the month
(December 4), and Panda Express will donate 20% of the cost of your purchase
to Parks and Recreation! The program runs through April 2010. For more
information visit our website at
Development B.R. Funsten: Significant work on the B.R. Funsten
industrial warehouse project has been completed,
several weeks ahead of schedule. The new warehouse at the facility, located at
South Main and Industrial Park Drive, is finished, and the internal racking
system was installed beginning on Saturday, November 14. Warehouse
inventory from the Fairfield facility is being relocated to Manteca, and should
be completed by December 23. New asphalt paving, landscaping and exterior
paint is being finalized, and the entire facility looks extremely impressive.
Promenade Shopping Center: Construction work is accelerating at the
Promenade Shopping Center south of the Highway 120 Bypass for new luxury
outlet space. Staff and the developer anticipate funding will be approved within
60 days, which will allow for two, new additional buildings to be constructed.
Construction is still on schedule for the Hampton Inn/Suites to be finished in
Zoning Ordinance Update: Work is continuing on an update to the City’s
Zoning Ordinance. A second public workshop will be held in February with the
community. This project will include an update to the City’s zoning, land use,
sign program and other key areas of development.
CenterPoint: A major meeting was held with the developer for the CenterPoint
project regarding the proposed Master Plan for approximately 400-plus acres of
land along Airport Way from Lathrop Road to Roth Road. The meeting also
included City staff, and attorneys representing both the City and the developer.
Significant progress was made at this meeting, and work on the EIR is
Housing Element: Staff met with State Department of Housing and Community
Development (HCD) representatives on the City’s new Housing Element. Staff is
now responding to proposed changes recommended by HCD, and anticipates
bringing a final Housing Element back to the City Council for adoption in 60
Building Safety Activities: The City’s Building Safety Division conducted a total
of 291 inspections during the week. The division issued 19 building permits,
which consisted of 5 Single-Family Dwellings, 1 Hood and Duct, 1
Miscellaneous Electrical, 5 Miscellaneous Plumbing, 1 Residential Remodel, 5
Roofs and 1 Sign Permit. A total of eight new project applications were
submitted for plan check services, which included 1 Commercial Electrical, 1
Commercial Remodel, 3 Fire Alarms, 1 Patio, 1 Residential Fire Repair, and 1
Office Thanksgiving Week Closure: After much public notice,
City Hall was closed Thanksgiving Week as part of the
holiday and unpaid furlough schedule. Finance staff called all 75 residents on
the utility shut-off list to remind them of the closure of City offices. For the past
four months, the City had has listed the closures at the bottom of the utility
billing statements, and another calendar of closures was included in the
October billing statements. Finance staff also contacted the apartments and
tried to notify as many Realtors as possible, since there would be no utility
“starts and stops” during that week. The City also did not shut off any
accounts the week of the November 16. People who should have been turned
off for failed promises, returned checks, etc. were left on to give them the
opportunity to pay when City staff returned. Although City offices were closed,
two of the City’s Building Inspectors still conducted critical inspections. During
the first three days of Thanksgiving Week, a total of 126 inspections were
conducted. Staff was also able to address minor complaints during that week.
It also helped this week, as Monday, November 30, the division had more than
60 inspections, and another 135 on Tuesday. Similar efforts will likely be made
during the vacation/furlough schedule between December 24 and January 3.
Lobbyists’ Federal Funding Efforts: Staff participated in a conference call on
December 2 with the City’s lobbyists to discuss potential City projects that
might be eligible for Federal funding. The lobbyists have been instrumental in
helping us to identify projects that not only have realistic potential funding
sources, but also projects that would not compete amongst themselves. Staff is
preparing a list of those projects, along with funding estimates, and will
present them to Council at the December 15 meeting. Some of the projects will
likely be considered as part of the Council of Governments One-Voice trip next
spring, while others may be considered separately for funding.
Coming up next week:
• A groundbreaking ceremony will be held December 7 for the new
Magnolia Court project. The ceremony will be held at the site of the
development, 767 N. Grant Ave., beginning at 10:30 a.m. Affirmed
Housing is constructing the affordable senior housing project.
• I’ll be meeting with the department managers and mid-managers on
December 9 to discuss a program being developed by City staff. The
neighborhood-based government concept is one that more closely
integrates City employees with the community, in an effort to provide
improved customer service with less staffing. Once fully developed, the
formal program will be presented to Council.
• The next meeting of the Public Safety Sales Tax Oversight Committee will
be held December 10 at 10:00 a.m. in the Council Chambers. The
committee will review the latest Financial Status Report, including both
projected and actual Public Safety Sales Tax Funds within the City.
• The quarterly meeting of the Central Valley Division of the League of
California Cities will be held the evening of December 10. The event is
being sponsored by AT&T, so there is no cost to the City. The key topic of
the evening will be Pension Reform.
Have a Good Weekend!