More on the slow pace of Measure A hirings

As reported yesterday, achieving a net gain of 120 police officers over three years — as called for by Measure A — will be a daunting task for the city, which is not exactly what voters want to hear after approving the three-quarter cent sales tax last year.

The tax went into effect April 1; the police department is hoping the first Measure A officer will be hired in August. The department is only 12 officers larger than it was a year ago at this time. Before a Measure A officer can be hired, the department has to increase its size from the current 358 to 365.

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Public forum on General Plan amendment

This from Stockton’s Community Development Department:

“The first public workshop will take place at the Planning Commission Meeting of July 24, 2014 at 6:00 pm in the City Council Chambers at City Hall at 345 N. El Dorado St. The topic of the meeting will be Communities and Neighborhoods and attendees will be invited to help define the City’s various existing neighborhoods and to explore the role of community in the City of Stockton. The Community Development Department of the City of Stockton invites you to participate in this workshop and to become involved in the continuing General Plan amendment process. More information, including the staff report, will be posted at www.stocktongov.com/generalplan as it becomes available.”

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City Council live — Tocan Nguyen draws ire

To-Can Nguyen, who speaks at virtually every council meeting and regularly makes inflammatory comments, tonight pushed another audience member over the edge. Nguyen referred to City Manager Kurt Wilson three times as “black city manager” Kurt Wilson.

Cynthia Gail Boyd called Nguyen out on it after the second instance and again after the third, at which point the elderly Nguyen finally left the room (as did Boyd). Nguyen, who is in her 80s, regularly refers to people she is critical of by their ethnicity during her remarks. She also often refers to them as “criminals.”

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City Council live — Against advertising on fire trucks

Randy Burns, who ran unsuccessfully for Lincoln Unified school board in 2010, spoke a little while ago against a city plan to place advertising on fire trucks.

“I think this could create animosity between other businesses in the city (and those that buy ads),” Burns said. “Is there nothing sacred? The next thing we’ll have is ads for bail bondsmen on police cars.”

He became emotional, nearly breaking into tears, and said fire and police stand for “pride, honor, sacrifice.” He added, “These things are not for sale.”

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Finger on the button and fuse about to be lit?

So wonders an editorial cartoonist with the Los Angeles Daily News. Of course, if this is actually going to happen, it won’t be until Oct. 1 at the soonest.

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Some reading on Stockton bankruptcy

Click here and here to read what others had to say about Tuesday’s hearing in federal bankruptcy court.

Ed Mendel of the website Calpensions.com wrote:

“A federal judge handling the Stockton bankruptcy may be moving toward a landmark ruling that CalPERS pensions can be cut, possibly while allowing the city to exit bankruptcy in October without cutting its pensions.”

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Pillars of justice

Stockton returns to federal bankruptcy court in about two hours. After passing through the metal detectors to enter the Robert T. Matsui Federal Courthouse in Sacramento, the first thing visitors see is a public art display. The words on the display are by Rita Dove, a former poet laureate of the United States.

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‘America Lost:’ Filmmakers focusing documentary in Stockton, two other struggling cities

In addition to Stockton, Christopher Rufo and Keith Ochwat are visiting Youngstown, Ohio, and Alligator, Miss. The two are in Stockton this week, and this afternoon they said their feature-length project is scheduled for release in early 2016. From the Documentary Foundation website:

” ‘America Lost’ is a feature-length documentary that asks the question: What are the consequences when public institutions fail?

“The film explores this theme through the stories of the nation’s municipal bankruptcy crisis, the Rust Belt’s devastated economy, and the Mississippi Delta’s broken education system.

“The film shows the human toll of these failures by weaving the personal narratives of a single mother struggling to keep her family together, a block watch captain fighting to restore a neighborhood in decline, and a pair of seventh-graders who dream of escaping their impoverished rural town.”

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UPDATE: Animal-shelter items off City Council agenda for tomorrow

It had appeared some changes at the animal shelter would be adopted at tomorrow night’s City Council meeting.

Not so fast.

Attorney Jenni James of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, which is suing the shelter, asked the city attorney today for more public review of the proposals for shorter holding periods and a suspension of adoption fees. The city in turned pulled the items off the agenda.

So if you were going to attend tomorrow’s meeting only because of the animal-shelter items, consider this a word to the wise.

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What does ‘affordable’ mean?

At least one reader was interested in the answer to the question in the headline of this blog post as it relates to the proposed Cal Weber 40 project reported on in Sunday’s paper. Indeed, it’s a valid question.

Here’s the answer, as contained in the staff report included with the agenda for tomorrow night’s City Council meeting:

“Thirty-nine of the units will be rent restricted for 55 years and will be required to be rented to low-income tenants earning between 30 and 60 percent of the area’s median income (AMI) as designated by HUD. Four of the units will be rented to households with incomes at or below 30% of the AMI. … One unit will be for an on-site manager.”

Here’s the full staff report.

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