In a follow-up, Eric Parfrey sent this letter today to the Stockton Planning Commission regarding the first new housing project up for consideration in years, called Bear Creek East. Parfrey is co-chair of Campaign for Common Ground, and he’s not pleased with the city’s response to his concerns as is spelled out in this story.
“The responses to our questions from staff and the applicant were largely evasive and dismissive of the issues we raised,” he wrote. “Too bad. This lack of honest debate bodes very badly for the future.”
The Planning Commission meets tonight at 6 p.m.
Backers of Measures A/B out-raised the opponents by a ratio of nearly 8-to-1.
The final reports aren’t due until Jan. 31, but here’s what the Taxpayers for Measures A & B filed before the Nov. 5 election, showing their donors big and small. I put this spreadsheet together based on FPPC forms filed at City Hall. It’s a working document and worth sharing because all the names and figures couldn’t be included in the print story.
The Stockton Taxpac No on Measure A provided this spreadsheet. (Right click and choose “Rotate clockwise” to save your neck.) The redacted names didn’t have to be disclosed because of the small amount.
Rick Goucher responded to Monday’s story, Imaging a different downtown, about the vision of Steve Chase at City Hall for jump-starting Stockton’s ramshackle core. Goucher is behind it, and he notes that Chase can’t do it alone.
Goucher, senior manager at CBRE and past president of the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce, sent this out to a number of local leaders:
…When I read about other people’s visions for Stockton and the downtown particularly it always baffles me as to why they never seem to go anywhere. As I have gotten to know Steve Chase I believe that he is a person of deep passion and commitment. The problem isn’t Steve’s idea or vision it is where do we go from here. If we truly want to proceed on a vision of a different downtown it is time that all of the stakeholder’s get together and support the idea. No business person that I know would be willing to make an investment into the downtown unless it has the potential for profit. Part of the problem will be if we are successful in getting one of the universities to come to Stockton and to have the student housing downtown we must figure a way to get shops, restaurants, brew pubs, etc. to come downtown also. The problem here is the economics as these retail establishments will more than likely lose money until the area reaches a critical mass.
Safety is a huge concern downtown and with the passage of Measure A & B it will be critical that the Bike Patrol Officers be restated at the levels prior to the cutbacks at the Police Department during the day and evening hours with regular vehicle patrols at night. With the condition of many of the older buildings being in such poor condition we need to engage Save Our Stockton and come to a conclusion that all of the buildings can’t be saved. I believe the ones that can’t be saved should come down. I also believe that we must consider a different approach to the building and fire codes as they relate to the existing inventory of building downtown, otherwise renovation won’t be feasible.
I guess where I’m going with this is if we want to make this happen it is time to get all the players on the same page and to make it happen, even if it is only one small project to get the ball rolling. Let’s get the Chamber of Commerce (all of them), the Downtown Stockton Alliance, the Stockton Visitors Bureau, the non-profits, the Building Department, the Police Department, the Fire Department, Save our Stockton and private business people together and make Stockton “Someplace Special.”
Here’s the report from Stockton City Attorney John Luebberke recommending the City Council censure Mayor Anthony Silva for violating the Brown Act. Considering the weight of the council’s decision, it is relatively short. The bulk of the 19-page report is made up of news stories provided as evidence of the ridicule Silva brought on the city.
Vice Mayor Paul Canepa will be the one to watch at tonight’s council meeting. It appears that Canepa may come out opposed to the punishment, seeking rather to acknowledge that Silva made a mistake and charge ahead without the censure. Let bygones be bygones. Silva appointed Canepa as vice mayor. Canepa is also planning to run against Councilwoman Kathy Miller next year for a seat on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, so he’s likely factored in this position.
Barring any surprises, the 2-5 vote (Canepa/Silva dissenting) won’t be enough to stop the punishment, which amounts to a public scolding.
Ed Mendel, a reporter at Calpensions.com, wrote this after last week’s hearing in Stockton’s ongoing bankruptcy. The piece portends a showdown at the March 5 confirmation hearing, if and when Franklin doesn’t reach a deal with Stockton.
Mayor Anthony Silva sent this memo out Wednesday, the night before a Boys & Girls Club board meeting. It’s worth reading.
(We removed the personal email addresses of board members before publishing it out of respect for their privacy. Coach Silva’s AOL address remains untouched, because he has in the past used that for business.)
When reached by phone Friday, Silva said that he had only one comment for the story:
“Leave me the (expletive) alone,” Silva said. “That’s the only quote you get from me.”
On his Facebook page, Silva posted a 475-word response to all the stories about him this weekend in The Record. The City Council seeks to punish him and has forwarded his behavior to the civil grand jury, accusing him of a Brown Act violation. Silva also backs an anti-drug program created by the Church of Scientology, causing some controversy.
Mayor Anthony Silva sought his own legal advice vis-à-vis his rights in the search for Stockton’s next city manager. In fact, during Tuesday’s council meeting, he threatened legal action.
Silva has Stockton attorney Michael Babitzke on his side. Here’s a copy of a letter Babitzke wrote on the mayor’s behalf to City Attorney John Luebberke.
In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the section they’re fighting over:
SECTION 1200. Nomination.
The Mayor shall nominate one (1) or more candidates for Council consideration for appointment to the position of City Manager. The City Manager shall be appointed by the Council for an indefinite term and shall not be removed from office except by a vote of a majority of the members of the Council; provided, however, that the City Manager shall not be removed from office within twelve (12) months from the date his or her duties are assumed, except for incompetence, malfeasance, misfeasance, or neglect of duty. In the case of removal within the said period, the City Manager may demand that written charges be made and a public hearing be held thereon before the Council prior to the date on which removal shall take effect; the decision and action on such a hearing shall be final, and pending such a hearing, the Council may suspend the City Manager from duty. The Council shall designate a qualified person to perform the duties of the City Manager in the event of the absence or disability of the City Manager, or in case there is a vacancy in such office. Whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of City Manager, the Mayor shall immediately initiate a procedure for the selection of a City Manager.
(Repealed and Added Election 03/07/2000, Effective 01/01/2001; Amended Election 11/8/94 effective 5/22/95; Amended Election 10/12/71 effective 12/6/71)
Other names didn’t make today’s story.
Gary Malloy came up in conversations. He vied for the appointment to represent District 5, which went to Dyane Burgos. Malloy doesn’t intend to run for a council seat. Rather, the 68-year-old retired retail manager and council watchdog said he’s going to run for mayor in three years.
“If I run, I’m going to run for mayor,” he said in an interview. “I’ll make up my mind first of next year.”
County Supervisor Steve Bestolarides already created a committee. Mayor Anthony Silva will have some competition if he seeks a second term. No doubt more will step forward to run.
Another name that arose while reporting today’s story was Max Vargas. The legislative aide for state Sen. Cathleen Galgiani was rumored to be in the running for Councilman Paul Canepa’s seat for District 3. Nope, he said. “Unfounded rumor.”
The Stockton City Council on Tuesday will consider approving its meeting schedule for 2014. As it is now, the council will meet 24 times, or twice each month. It’s all subject to change.
The full agenda has other items up for discussion at 5:30 p.m., such as setting up the Measure W Oversight Committee.
Councilwoman Kathy Miller at 4 p.m. today will call to order the council’s ad-hoc committee assigned to update the city charter. Councilman Elbert Holman and Councilwoman Dyane Burgos Medina fill out the committee.
They’ll take up recommendations by the Charter Review Advisory Commission, made up of 15 Stockton residents and chaired by attorney Howard Seligman.
The council ad-hoc committee will consider recommendations from the citizens’ commission and decide if the full council should chew on the citizens’ committee’s recommendations. The council only has one hour scheduled, so its doubtful how much they’ll get accomplished. Seligman is expected to be there, “for whatever it is worth.”
It doesn’t sound too sexy, but the city charter is Stockton’s constitution. The citizens’ committee hasn’t made recommendations completely in line with city staff recommendations. It’s a process worth watching.
The 15 members have been busy. Here’s an attendance list.