Loss In Speeding Ticket Revenues Blamed For Town’s Budget Shortfall

Mar 30, 2021, 7:19 PM | Updated: 7:42 pm

MANTUA, Utah – Residents in Mantua said they’ve been left in the dark after their police chief’s mysterious dismissal while the town battles a major budget shortfall.

While city leaders wouldn’t comment on the financial shortcomings, a drop in speeding tickets was getting a large part of the blame.

The little stretch of U.S. Highway 89 that runs through Mantua is well known as a so-called speed trap to a lot of people. Back in 2015, the Mantua Police Department wrote over $430,000 in tickets.

That number has been dropping ever since.

But for now, you won’t see a Mantua police officer watching speeds along this stretch of highway.

In fact, they haven’t been seen here nearly as much in recent months.

“They’ve been more into the community,” resident Jennifer Gardner said. “You see them around town a lot more.”

Gardner said that’s because they’ve recently taken on a different focus.

“I like their visibility,” she said. “I like that they’ve been more active in the community.”

But what surprised Gardner and a lot of other residents was when the relatively new police chief, Michael Castro, suddenly disappeared.

“The only reason why anybody got wind of this in town was because of a Facebook post,” Gardner said. “No one in town had any idea.”

A source within Mantua City told KSL officers were being pressured to bring in more revenue through writing more tickets.

Mantua Council Examines Budget Shortfall, Connection To Parking Tickets

But they said Castro and other staffers were not on board with ticket quotas. Several officers responded with their own resignations following Castro’s dismissal.

According to the city’s budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year, the police department’s anticipated budget was set at $195,000, with $180,000 expected to come in through fines and forfeitures.

The source also said officers were penalized when ticket revenues went down, having take-home vehicle privileges and part of their budget taken away.

“I was in a work budget meeting last week, and it was mentioned that the police department was not earning their keep,” Gardner said.

Gardner also said there needs to be a change in the way the town is run — and in the interest of full disclosure, she does intend to run for mayor in the fall.

She’s concerned Castro was punished for trying to do the right thing.

“He seemed to love the town,” Gardner said. “He was genuinely interested.”

Castro said in a statement that he loves Mantua and was honored to build a police agency that represented nothing short of excellence, professionalism and a sense of community.

He also said it’s a shame things played out the way they did, but he hopes it will help bring needed change in the town’s future.

The mayor and town council have refused to comment on any of this despite several requests from KSL over the last few weeks.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Several police SUVs parked in a parking lot as Salt Lake City Police investigate a workplace shooti...

Eliza Pace

Victim, gunman in SLC workplace shooting identified by police

Two men involved in a workplace shooting on Sunday in Salt Lake City were identified by police. 

2 hours ago

Elder Mack Jared Chappell, a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints died Sa...

Mark Jones

Church missionary dies from unknown medical condition

A missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has died, according to the church.

17 hours ago

The family of a teenager who died following a crash in Lehi last Saturday said his legacy is living...

Brianna Chavez

Family of 17-year-old who died after Lehi motorcycle crash say he saved lives by donating organs

The family of a teenager who died following a crash in Lehi last Saturday said his legacy is living on after his organs were donated to several people.

18 hours ago

Salt Lake City police say two people have died in a workplace shooting Sunday afternoon. (Salt Lake...

Shelby Lofton and Mark Jones

Two people dead in a workplace shooting, Salt Lake City police say

Salt Lake City police said two people have died in a workplace shooting Sunday afternoon.

19 hours ago


Mark Jones

A Code Blue alert issued in Salt Lake County for Sunday night

A Code Blue alert has been issued for Salt Lake County for Sunday night as temperatures are expected to drop into the 20s.

20 hours ago

Singer and Actress Kristin Chenoweth, right, and Mary-Mitchell Campbell perform during RootsTech at...

Collin Leonard, KSL.com

RootsTech: A ‘wicked’ Broadway finale, plus message from late church Apostle M. Russell Ballard

On the final day of the RootsTech 2024 conference, attendees braved a windstorm to listen to Broadway actor Kristin Chenoweth speak about faith, family and her experience as an adopted child.

22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Loss In Speeding Ticket Revenues Blamed For Town’s Budget Shortfall