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Letter: Citizens of Madera — Vote for Andy Medellin

My wife Betty and I are writing to encourage you to vote for Andy Medellin for mayor. I had the privilege of working with Andy’s mom, Marge Medellin, in the 1980s when she served as a councilwoman and mayor for the city. Andy was in high school back then, playing basketball, getting good grades, and working at Pete’s Sports Shop. Mayor Andy Medellin comes from a family heritage of serving this community and he has continued this service. He has served as a planning commissioner, councilman and now mayor. He is a long-time business owner, recognized for his great service and quality products. His accomplishments, dedication, integrity and hard work speak for themselves. Even in these unprecedented, difficult fiscal times, he has led a council and staff that places Madera on sound financial ground. This was no easy feat!

While we have recently moved from Madera to be near our children and grandchildren, Betty and I spent most of our 72 years in Madera (Madera High Class of ’66), raising four children, and contributing to our community. Betty taught kindergarten and first-grade for MUSD for more than 30 years. I served the City of Madera for nearly 15 years as assistant city administrator. I also served 17 years as Madera County’s elected trustee for State Center Community College District and led the fight to make Madera Community College a reality. And I can testify that folks like Marge and Andy Medellin have been an integral part of the development and growth of the college in the community.

Andy Medellin: Community leader; Little League coach; founding member, Madera Evening Lions; successful business owner (Andy’s Sports & Design) for nearly 30 years, married for 30 years with three children. This man is Madera born and bred!

However, I have deep concerns about the tactics of the current races for mayor and city council. As an experienced city manager (serving as Kerman City Manager for more than 18 years) and having served as an elected trustee for SCCCD, I know when something is fishy about an election. One of the indicators is to “follow the money.” Frankly, it appears that Andy’s opponent, Santos Garcia, is being bankrolled by a few who have a personal grudge with the mayor. Another alarming issue is that it also appears that Mr. Garcia and these money backers are attempting to stack the City Council with their hand-picked list of candidates. A "slate” of candidates can be dangerous in local elections because of the potential of the majority of council members being beholden to just a few folks who may assert influence over them. Such elected officials are sometimes referred to as “puppets” of the kingmakers.

We know that a VOTE FOR ANDY MEDELLIN is a vote for integrity and sound fiscal management. He has demonstrated the rare ability to work with folks from all backgrounds. This is why so many citizens and community leaders have endorsed Andy, including the Madera Police Officers Association, CalFire Local 2881 and Madera Association of Realtors. And he deserves your vote too.

Best wishes Madera, you remain in our hearts.

— Ron and Betty Manfredi,

Vallejo, Calif.

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