How family treats family, Delicato


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Aug 22, 2023

How family treats family, Delicato

It’s the burning question flooding smartphones of Manteca voters: How do you view the men and women of the Manteca Police Department that put their lives on the line day in and day out protecting and

It’s the burning question flooding smartphones of Manteca voters: How do you view the men and women of the Manteca Police Department that put their lives on the line day in and day out protecting and serving the community?

Are they very trustworthy, somewhat trustworthy, somewhat suspicious or very suspicious?

The same question applies to Manteca firefighters, Manteca Unified School District teachers, small business owners, and those that reside in Manteca and belong to labor unions.

Voters being cherry-picked by Research-Polls are being asked these questions so hired guns — perhaps political consultants and/or lawyers — can find a way to drive a wedge in the community to get what their client wants.

And what their client wants that the city won’t deliver is no residential development north of Union Ranch and Del Webb.

Delicato has a $100 million investment along with 500 jobs to protect against future homeowners.

Most of those future Manteca residents aren’t likely to have lived in an agricultural region and likely won’t want the nuances of a winery legally applying wastewater from the grape crushing process to orchards infringing om their picture-perfect lifestyle in a $1 million tract home with a water-guzzling front lawn serving as eye candy.

It hasn’t been articulated exactly in such blunt wording, but that is the sum total of points Deicato Vineyards representatives have made repeatedly.

So why ask divisive questions about police, firefighters, teachers, small businesses and labor unions?

The answer is simple.

Political hacks — better known as consultants — will use the level of contempt they get from a shotgun polling approach to help their client devise a campaign to get whatever they want to get.

As an example, If they sense a less than favorable response to police based on those that answer the poll questions, they will use them as cannon fodder should the police association take a position opposite of their clients.

The assumption is all of the aforementioned groups of workers and public servants have a stake in the community growing. As such, they are likely to counter a referendum killing the general plan update should it make its way to the ballot.

The questions are not being asked without the blessing of the Indelicato family.

One doesn’t plunk down $10,000 to $20,000 for a poll and not know what the questions are that will be asked.

The questions as such don’t exactly square well with professed Delicato family love of Manteca.

Do not misunderstand.

Delicato Vineyards has every right to protect their $100 million investment in the winery expansion of the past few years.

The question of the general community of course, is whether the city’s growth plans do just that.

It is a tad ironic with 10,000 or so homes already on the entitlement process to be built, the 7½ year exhaustive effort that addressed environmental justice concerns, climate change considerations, and the need for smart growth polices and mechanisms to be put in place that Delicato chose the ballot measure as their first volley instead of cutting to the chase and suing.

Suing over whatever the exact nature of their grievance is wouldn’t have been akin to proposing to throwing the proverbial baby out with the bath water as the referendum would..

Throwing the general plan out means piecemealing development going forward instead of using a holistic approach outlined in the general plan update until a replacement updated version is put in place.

Based on Manteca’s recent general plan crafting update process, that won’t happen until 2030.

The odds are Delicato will sue regardless given the referendum likely won’t give them anything except a divided community.

That, of course, would mean they can take advantage of a weakened council to try and have their way with Manteca’s future.

They may have been hinting at such a scenario given the obviously Delicato approved poll questions introduced the issue of council term limits not to mention whether one finds Gary Singh, Dave Breitenbucher, Charlie Halford, Jose Nuno and Mike Morowit “very suspicious” when it comes to trustworthiness.

It is also curious that Delicato is even asking questions about climate change and how worried people are about it.

That’s because starting back in 2005, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District began looking at Gallo, Delicato and Constellation Wines among other wineries.

Wineries came under scrutiny because the fermentation process that turns grape sugars to alcohol releases ethanol, methanol and other organic compounds into the atmosphere, where they react with sunlight and heat to form ozone, one of the components of smog.

Greenhouse gases — which Delicato’s massive winery generates — is part of the climate change puzzle.

That is not saying Delicato doesn’t meet the current standards. They do.

But is kind of ironic they are pointing at the Manteca general plan as being subpar in addressing climate change given how much of the 99-year history of Delicato Vineyards the family winery did little to address greenhouse gases.

It’s a complicated issue.

Delicato — and agriculture in general — doesn’t serve to be slammed. They are doing what reasonably can be done.

But that is also true of the City of Manteca which Delicato seems ready to stick it to with the climate change card if they sense an opportunity to blow the updated general plan out of the water by playing to such fears voters may harbor in large enough numbers to make it a worthy strategy.

Agriculture needs to be a part of Manteca’s future as it has in the past.

That’s because there are a lot of good paying jobs in agriculture an allied industries including trucking.

Delicato is a solid employer with an excess of 500 workers.

A path forward needs to be forged to build on Manteca’s agricultural heritage.

Driving a wedge into the community is not the way to do it.

One of the questions, ironically, asked in the polling is whether voters believe the loss of community character is an extremely serious problem, very serious problem, somewhat serious problem, or not too serious problem.

Perhaps the appropriate answer to that question is Delicato Vineyards needs to get a bigger mirror.

This column is the opinion of editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinions of The Bulletin or 209 Multimedia. He can be reached at [email protected]