Mayor Silva: Takes to Facebook to explain limo incident, blast media

You can view it here. You may need to hit Ctrl-+ to enlarge the type on your computer screen in order to read.

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Silva acknowledges he was there for limousine incident

The story about Mayor Anthony Silva’s wild limo ride broke on Recordnet at 8:45 p.m. and was updated at 9:56 p.m.

Also there is this: The news release from the incident put out by the CHP in December. Mayor Anthony Silva’s name is not mentioned but this is the incident he acknowledges being at, one in which all of the limousine passengers were “heavily intoxicated,” according to the CHP.

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The first logo for a 2016 City Council candidate

Realtor Michael Blower, 46, announced today he will run for the City Council seat that will become vacant next year as Moses Zapien runs for a Board of Supervisors seat. Here’s his news release and at some point you will be seeing a lot of his logo.
Blower’s campaign consultant is Steve Reid, who also is Zapien’s consultant. It’s obviously early to be looking ahead to the June 2016 primary — it’s 68 weeks from Tuesday. Nonetheless, races are starting to take shape. Zapien’s District 4 seat will be coming open, District 6′s Michael Tubbs also may seek a supervisor seat, and Dan Wright will have to run to defend the District 2 seat he was appointed to just last month. And, oh yeah, Mayor Anthony Silva will be facing a reelection campaign next year, too.

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Bankruptcy lawyers: Words, words, we need more words

Reading Stockton bankruptcy files can make your head spin and your eyelids droop.

But looking through some recent files today, I came across an item that made me smile because it was so inadvertently revelatory of the laboriousness of the Chapter 9 process.

The four-page document chronicles a spat between the attorneys for Stockton and dissident creditor Franklin Templeton Investments. The tiff is over a Franklin motion to exceed the word limit requirements in its appeal before the U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel.

Franklin requested to “extend the type-volume limitations” of U.S. bankruptcy code, “which provide(s) that a principal brief may not exceed 7,000 words. Assuming a 14 point type face in a proportional font, this results in a brief that is in excess of the alternative 30-page limit but one of a size the Rule’s drafters presumably considered equivalent. Appellants request a 50% increase over the maximum word count allowed by the rule (21,000 for principal briefs and 10,500 for reply brief).”

Got that?

Stockton objected, and earned a “strongly agree” from federal bankruptcy Judge Laura S. Taylor. But, Taylor continued:

“We, however, accept the representations that the trial transcript exceeds 1,340 pages and that the trial exhibits approximate 1,534. To the extent the type-volume extension is used in part to provide a complete but streamlined statement of the relevant facts, this could be helpful to the Panel. “

Taylor then noted that Franklin argues it has “five critical issues” it wants discussed in its appeal.

“To the extent the type-volume extension is used to discuss five critical issues, it appears appropriate. We note that briefing below exceeds 1,000 pages; Appellants’ articulation of only five issues leads us to hope that the type-volume extension will not be used to plan an alphabet soup, kitchen sink, or otherwise undifferentiated mass of issues before the Court. … ‘[B]revity is a soul of wit.” Hamlet, Act 2, scene 2, 90. Notwithstanding, we agree to the requested word count extension for all parties. … The opening brief filed by appellants must contain no more than 21,000 words and any appellee may file a responsive brief of no more than 21,000 words. Appellants’ reply brief must contain no more than 10,500 words.”

Somewhere, Shakespeare is weeping.

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It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhoods

Stockton’s Planning Commission meets at 6 p.m. Thursday for the latest public workshop to craft amendments to the city’s General Plan. Thursday’s meeting will build on a previous workshop that concentrated on Stockton’s neighborhoods.

More background on the Thursday meeting is here. A draft of proposed neighborhood policies is here. Maps that divide Stockton into 16 proposed neighborhoods are here.

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Mayoral meetings

Mayor Anthony Silva has shared a list of community meetings in February, with topics including people with disabilities, animal services, the homeless, and resuscitation of the Asparagus Festival. The complete list, including dates, times, location and contact information, is here.

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Midtown Neighborhood Community meeting this afternoon

Vice Mayor Christina Fugazi invites you to share concerns at this afternoon’s gathering.

Interested in going? Click here for details.

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Mayoral moolah

Early in every odd-numbered year, the city’s salary-setting commission convenes to make a recommendation to the City Council regarding mayoral and council salaries. This being 2015, the salary-setting commission is back in business, at least for a little while, and city staff has compiled some interesting data to support the body’s discussions.

You can look at the history of mayoral and council salaries since 2001 here.  You can view how Stockton’s mayor and council salaries stack up in comparison to 16 other California cities here. 

The Stockton mayor’s salary has soared since 2001. The council salary has stayed pretty much unchanged. This year, though, the commission has additional discretion. The reason is a charter amendment approved by voters last fall that untied the mayor’s salary from the salary for the chairperson of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.

The salary-setting commission is meeting this afternoon and could make a recommendation for 2015-17  sometime in the coming weeks.

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Former library chief pens letter to mayor, council re: Fair Oaks Library

East Stockton’s Fair Oaks Library was shut down by a city plummeting toward financial ruin in 2010. Advocates, though, continue to push for its reopening, most recently during a City Council meeting on Jan. 27.

Colleen Foster, the retired director of the Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library, wrote last week to Mayor Anthony Silva and the City Council regarding Fair Oaks. In her two-page letter, Foster noted that when Fair Oaks was open, it was every bit as much a community hub as a library:

“The Main Street Merchants met there regularly. Adult Literacy tutors and learners used the library. Staff proctored exams for patrons taking certificated tests, families came to holiday school concerts and to Summer Reading activities. Programs for children and families were packed; many programs were presented bilingually.

“When the City is deciding the feasibility of reopening the Fair Oaks Library, I hope it is not just the ‘bottom line’ of dollars and cents that is considered but the true value of this Library to the community of Stockton. Libraries, like minds, are a terrible thing to waste.”

Read Foster’s entire letter here.

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Stockton retirees: Your checks will soon be in the mail

The city learned this morning that Judge Christopher Klein has signed the order confirming Stockton’s plan to exit Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

What does this mean, you ask?

City Manager Kurt Wilson said just now it means that following a mandatory 14-calendar-day stay on implementation, Stockton will be free to execute the agreements and settlements in its Plan of Adjustment. This involves a massive coordinated effort, Wilson said, to simultaneously execute all aspects of the plan. So it might take 15 days or 17 days to put things in effect, but it won’t take more than 23 days, Wilson said, because it will be done in February, he said unequivocally. Today is Feb. 5.

So what does the plan going effective mean, you ask?

It means that Stockton should officially exit bankruptcy within one month. And it also means that within a month, long-awaited settlement checks should be mailed out to 1,100 Stockton retirees.

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