Manteca City Council Meeting Highlights: New City Attorney and Homelessness Grants

September 16, 2020 at 8:40 pm

The Manteca City Council met this Tuesday night. They will also be reinstating their October 6 meeting due to the cancellation of the National Night Out.

The city council appointed a new interim city attorney and deputy city attorney after the previous attorneys, John Brinton and Don Lupul, resigned on August 10. Brinton had served as Manteca city attorney for over 40 years.

Brendan Kearns and Nick Ghirelli will be the new city attorney and deputy city attorney respectively. They are both from the law firm Richards, Watson, & Gershon (RWG), which handles labor issues for the city and previously worked closely with Brinton and Lupul.

Kearns currently serves as deputy city attorney for the cities of Calimesa, Jurupa Valley, and Manhattan Beach. At RWG, he works on public law with a focus on land use, elections, affordable housing, and economic development.

Before joining RWG in 2015, Kearns spent roughly four years at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development as a Presidential Management Fellow. He has a bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctorate degree from UCLA.

Ghirelli is currently assistant city attorney in the cities of Agoura Hills, Indio, Moorpark, and Rancho Cucamonga, and is also general counsel for the Gateway Water Management Authority in Los Angeles County.

He worked as a legislative staffer for Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) from 2007 to 2010. At RWG, Ghirelli works in transactional, land use, and compliance matters for cities, with a focus on National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permitting and stormwater compliance. He has a bachelor’s with honors from UC Santa Barbara and a Juris Doctorate cum laude from Loyola Law School.

The city council also approved two grant applications from the Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention (HHAP) Grant Program totaling almost $3.3 million. The first, for $1,1 million, would be for the purchase of the Qualex property at 555 Industrial Park Drive to use as a navigation center. The second, for slightly below $2.2 million, would fund a structure for a warming/cooling center at the site as well as staff.

The city will be using two buildings from Sprung Structures, a Salt Lake City based company with offices in San Francisco as well as multiple countries. Structures from the same company are also being ordered for a new homeless shelter in Tracy, and have already been used in San Diego and San Francisco for the same purpose.

The company has estimated that the structures will be able to be delivered to Manteca within three to four weeks, with installation taking 10 to 20 days. Each structure will cover 4800 square feet, built on an aluminium frame with fiberglass insulation and a resin-coated membrane. The city has also requested men’s and women’s bathrooms and showers, including ADA accessible ones.

The structures and attached restroom facilities cost roughly $1 million each and can house 50 homeless individuals. Manteca’s last estimation of the homeless population, in January of 2019, was 218.