Randy Hatch is a definite maybe

In an effort to suss our who might run for Stockton City Council, Randy Hatch said to put him down as a definite maybe. The Stockton planning commissioner laid his cards out on the table. The conclusion, he said, is that he’s totally up in the air. But he admitted thinking it over.

Thinking through it aloud, he said that being on the council these days is a thankless job. “All they are is bearers of bad news,” he said. Hatch was invited to a labor training session one recent Saturday, where potential candidates for local races meet with various labor groups. It’s required if you want to get their endorsements. Reactions from friends at maybe running were of two kinds, he said. “You’d be good at it and you’ve got to be crazy,” he said. “I’m leaning toward the latter that I’m crazy.”

Mayor Ann Johnston appointed him to the Planning Commission, but he’s in Vice Mayor Kathy Miller’s council district. Labor has no love for the vice mayor, but Hatch said he had no problems with her. He has no passion to drive her from office. Hatch said he met with the mayor, who was diplomatic, not urging him in one direction or the other. She said they’ve got a “good functioning council.” They talked about the issues before the council, and the mayor asked what he’d bring to the job.

Hatch is a career long city planner. Most recently, he worked as director of Lodi’s Community Development Department. But he was the victim of cuts, and he’s now looking for a job after 35 years working in 8 different planning departments. A good job prospect at a Central Valley non-profit may make the decision for him to run for Council, or not.

But the big question for Hatch is if this is a good time, if it would be good for the city for him to run against an incumbent while the city grapples with “such a dark economic climate,” Hatch said. If his parenting skills are any indication, he’d make a good councilman. He was also happy to talk about his wife, Elaine Hatch, deputy director of the San Joaquin General Hospital, and their three adult children.

Their oldest son, age 33, is a professional classical percussionist for the New York City Opera Orchestra, which plays at the Lincoln Center. That’s an elite level of musicianship. Not shabby.

Their daughter, age 31, in a couple of days will receive her Ph.D. in neurobiology from University of California, Irvine. She researches spinal cord injury and treatment. Wow.

Their youngest son, age 22, recently graduated with a bachelors from UC Irvine in biochemistry and now works in a Southern California lab.

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