City Council candidate Sam Fant in court this morning

San Fant’s court hearing, which was scheduled to begin at 8:30 this morning, is now pushed back until 10. You can read details of the case here.

Fant, a Manteca Unified school board member, is running for the District 6 City Council seat in south Stockton against Jesus Andrade. The election is only 40 days away. Fant has another scheduled court appearance Monday morning.

In this morning’s and Monday’s hearings, Fant will seek to have the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office removed from his felony election fraud case. Fant wants the California Attorney General’s Office to handle his case. He charges the D.A.’s Office with racism and says in a court filing that the only person from the D.A.’s Office that he would trust to prosecute his case is the D.A. herself, Tori Verber Salazar.

More to come later, when something actually happens.

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More on the homeless encampment cleanups

The City Council voted last night to allocate $100,000 through the end of the fiscal year for periodic cleanups of homeless encampments by the Police Department and the Public Works Department.

Here is the staff report that was included in last night’s agenda, which provides details on the cleanups:

Read More »

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Mayor Silva: Police Review Board will ‘calm the City back down and bring peace to the streets’

Mayor Anthony Silva said earlier this month he is going to form a “Civilian Police Review Board.” He said at the time the process of establishing the commission would include a “development meeting” where participants would work to determine the procedures for the board. Optimistically, considering he faces a tough reelection fight in November, Silva said he will ask the City Council to formally approve the commission in January.

Silva said this week the “development meeting” will be held at 6:30 p.m. today at the Waterfront Plaza Hotel, 110 West Fremont Street by Stockton Arena.

This week on social media, after this story ran in the newspaper, Silva posted the following on his Facebook page:

“This is how it all starts. This is how things can get out of hand in a city if not dealt with properly and effectively. We don’t need this type of behavior in Stockton that can lead to potentially violent situations. Make no mistake my friends, RACISM still exists in America, and this evil exists in Stockton. My push to implement a Citizens Police Review Board will help to calm the City back down and bring peace to the streets by allowing frustrated residents an opportunity to be heard in the appropriate forum and claims can be recommended for investigation. We must not let crime return to the levels we had 4 years ago and we must not let hatred, racism, and tense relations between some residents and the police cause damage to our community. We don’t need protesters from Oakland walking the streets of Stockton. I need Stockton to support my Citizens Police Review Board and bring peace to our city before its too late. Please share and please pray for our 300,000 residents.”

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Reinvent South Stockton Coalition Summit, General Plan meetings: Chances to get involved

In addition to General Plan workshops Tuesday, Wednesday and Sept. 28, the Reinvent South Stockton Coalition and the city are holding their second annual summit Saturday at the Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium.

According to a news release by Reinvent, the summit will include workshops on education, health, housing, economic and community development, and violence prevention. The summit will run from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Childcare and translation services will be provided.

Preregistration for the free summit can be done here, and if you want to volunteer you can do that here. 

As for the General Plan, here’s a list of those upcoming workshops:

Tuesday, Sept. 20, 6 p.m.: Merlo Gym, 2021 Fair Street near the Dorothy Jones Community Center and Williams Brotherhood Park.

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 6 p.m.: Seifert Community Center, 128 W. Benjamin Holt Drive (one block from the Troke Library; next to Hong Kingston and Valenzuela elementary schools).

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 6 p.m.: Danner Hall, San Joaquin Delta College, 5151 Pacific Avenue (building behind the pond in the center of campus).

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Mayor Anthony Silva will not speak to The Record’s editorial board

With one notable exception, every City Council candidate, along with Mayoral challenger Michael Tubbs, already has spoken to or is scheduled to speak to The Record’s editorial board. The Record then will make endorsements ahead of the Nov. 8 election.

The notable exception is Mayor Anthony Silva, despite numerous invitations.

Some people may want to comment about this, but I am going to save them a lot of time. If people did comment, there’s a 99 percent probability that comments, essentially, would fall into one of two categories:

1. “It’s Mayor Silva’s duty as an elected official to answer The Record’s questions so voters can make an informed decision.”

2. “The Record is a biased rag that is a tool of the Stockton establishment and is out to get Mayor Silva. Why should he give the editorial board the time of day? They’ll never endorse Silva anyway. To heck with them.”

There. Now you don’t have to type in your own comment. You’re welcome.

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General Plan process kicking into gear

Stockton’s on-again, off-again General Plan process is about to be on again. Starting Tuesday, three public workshops are scheduled in an eight-day span. One’s on the south side, another is off Benjamin Holt Drive and the third is focusing on young people and will be held at San Joaquin Delta College.

These meetings are about long-term planning to make Stockton a better place. How long-term? The plan is intended to run through 2040. In other words, these meetings are an opportunity for young people to be heard regarding what they want to see in Stockton’s future.

An aside: I spoke to a 17-year-old about this yesterday. He said he is planning to attend. He said anyone 30 or older is old. If that’s the case, I’m practically decomposing.

Anyway, here are details about the three upcoming meetings:

Tuesday, Sept. 20, 6 p.m.: Merlo Gym, 2021 Fair Street near the Dorothy Jones Community Center and Williams Brotherhood Park.

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 6 p.m.: Seifert Community Center, 128 W. Benjamin Holt Drive (one block from the Troke Library; next to Hong Kingston and Valenzuela elementary schools).

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 6 p.m.: Danner Hall, San Joaquin Delta College, 5151 Pacific Avenue (building behind the pond in the center of campus).

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Want to weigh in on those noisy fireworks on July 4? The next City Council meeting is your chance

Perhaps you have become increasingly weary of listening to the fireworks being set off by residents all over the city every July 4.

Or maybe you wish the explosions were even louder and more frequent.

Either way, if you have an opinion, the City Council will be listening at Tuesday night’s meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Here’s the agenda item.

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Stockton City Employees’ Association issues statement on Silva; court date tomorrow

The Stockton City Employees’ Association, which represents about 400 workers, issued a statement today seeking to reassure citizens that allegations and legal charges faced by Mayor Anthony Silva are not reflective of the city’s staff.

The one-page statement by the SCEA takes no stand on Silva’s candidacy for a second term or his future as mayor. When Silva was arrested Aug. 4, the Stockton Police Officers Association called upon Silva to resign and endorsed City Councilman Michael Tubbs, the mayor’s opponent in the Nov. 8 election. Silva has pleaded innocent to all charges against him.

SCEA President Sabine Verelst said in an interview this afternoon that the statement was made to reassure the public that Stockton is in good hands as it continues its climb from bankruptcy. She said the timing of the statement was intended to coincide with Silva’s scheduled court appearance Wednesday in Jackson.

“Our message wasn’t pointing in any way to the mayor but to assure the public there are a lot of very capable, professional and well-educated people running the city and providing the city the services that we need,” said Verelst, a 20-year Stockton employee in the public-works department. “It wasn’t so much targeted at Silva as to instill some confidence back into the city. … We want to move forward with a positive feeling, a feeling of healing. It’s sad that some of this goofy news coverage gets in the way.”

You can read the entire news release here.

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Judge assigned to Silva case

Leslie Nichols, a retired Santa Clara County judge, will hear the case against Mayor Anthony Silva as the proceedings move forward. The next court date is not until next Wednesday. Silva’s attorneys, Mark Reichel and N. Allen Sawyer, exercised their right to switch judges during the mayor’s first court date Aug. 18.

The new judge in Silva’s case, by the way, has firsthand knowledge of life as a mayor. He once served a stint as mayor of Mountain View. The Mountain View Voice ran this article on Nichols when he retired as a judge in 2009. Nichols’ career included at least one very scary incident, according to the article:

(In 1992) Paul Salisbury shot his way through security at family court with a .357 magnum with the intent of killing Judge Nichols, who he partly blamed for tearing apart his family. “I would have shot the judge if nothing else worked,” Salisbury reportedly told police after the shootout.

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Silva to D.A.: Tubbs news conference with four other council members was a Brown Act violation

Mayor Anthony Silva shared a letter on Facebook last night that he also says he has sent to the District Attorney. Silva is alleging that councilman and Mayoral challenger Michael Tubbs and four other council members (Michael Blower, Elbert Holman, Susan Lofthus and Dan Wright) violated the Brown Act* by participating in Monday afternoon’s news conference. 

You can read Silva’s entire post here, but among his allegations is that it was a city-run news conference with city staff setting up the equipment; and that the event constituted an official public meeting yet public notice that it was taking place was never posted. Silva also says the act of organizing the news conference by Tubbs was, itself, a Brown Act violation because in communicating with the other council members beforehand he was holding a “serial meeting.”

We are awaiting responses from City Hall and the District Attorney’s Office to Silva’s Facebook post.

Silva’s appointed vice mayor, Christina Fugazi, attended Monday’s news conference but stood far from the podium. Fugazi said Monday she was concerned the news conference constituted a Brown Act violation. City Attorney John Luebberke said Tuesday he did not see any Brown Act violations in Monday’s news conference.

Silva, 41, is scheduled to appear at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Amador County Superior Court in Jackson. He is out on $20,000 bail after his arrest eight days ago involving allegations of illegally recording a strip poker game in 2015 that included several teens, one of them a naked 16-year-old, and of providing alcohol to minors at a summer youth camp he hosts each year at Silver Lake. Silva denies all the charges.

* The Ralph M. Brown Act governs how public meetings are conducted in California. Five of seven City Council members — a quorum — participated in Monday’s news conference. Silva says that because there was a quorum, the news conference should have been noticed in advance and the public notified that it was taking place.

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