How you can be the first on your block to find out who the newest City Council member is

Yup, a shameless plug for my Twitter feed it is.

The City Council holds a special meeting at 5:30 tonight to choose Kathy Miller’s replacement. There are five candidates, and after public interviews the council will vote. Mayor Anthony Silva and the other five council members each will rank their top two choices.

A first-place vote is worth two points and a second-place vote is worth one.  He who gets the highest point total wins and will be sworn in to serve the final two years of Miller’s term. Miller, you may have heard, has a new job.

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McFall on new Animal Shelter manager: ‘Comprehensively implement the No Kill Equation’

As reported today, the city has a new manager for its long-maligned Stockton Animal Shelter. Phillip Zimmerman started Jan. 1.

I tried to reach Eileen McFall yesterday for a comment on Zimmerman. McFall is involved in a pending lawsuit against the shelter and alleged as recently as last month that inhumane conditions continue at the southside facility.

McFall wrote in an email that she does not know Zimmerman. She added:

“I hope Mr. Zimmerman will greatly expand volunteer and foster programs and comprehensively implement the No Kill Equation. I hope he will usher in an era in which the shelter operates lawfully, transparently, and effectively. I hope he is able to marshal the resources of city and county government, Stockton’s partner the SF SPCA, and animal lovers in the community to achieve Stockton’s stated goal of becoming the first No Kill community in the central valley.”

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New council members, new bios

Susan Lofthus and Christina Fugazi officially joined the Stockton City Council dropped hours after the ball dropped in Times Square on New Years. The Lofthus and Fugazi bios are now on the city’s website. A reminder: The council is scheduled to select Kathy Miller’s replacement at a special meeting Tuesday night.

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When the ball drops, the new council members will be seated

Christina Fugazi and Susan Lofthus, Stockton’s new council members, officially will assume office the instant 2014 ends and 2015 begins. Actually, all three have already been sworn in, according to City Clerk Bonnie Paige. But the magical spell of swearing them in takes awhile to take effect, evidently.

The swearing-in ceremony for Fugazi, Lofthus and returnee Elbert Holman at a special meeting Jan. 6 will be purely ceremonial. After that swearing in, Fugazi and Lofthus will take part, along with Mayor Anthony Silva, Holman and the rest of the council in selecting a replacement for Kathy Miller, who by then will officially be a county supervisor.

So 2015 will get off to an interesting start, and that doesn’t even take into consideration that on Jan. 7, the city will return to bankruptcy court for the next round in its ongoing battle with Franklin Templeton Investments.

Happy holidays and see you in 2015!

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Not exactly Letterman quality, but here’s a Top 10 for you

Outgoing City Councilwoman Kathy Miller presented her farewell comments at Tuesday night’s meeting in the form of a Top 10.

You can read her remarks here.

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A look at Stockton’s charter before there was citywide voting

As reported a few days ago, Stockton’s citywide voting method for election to the council is undergoing ongoing examination by a citizens charter review commission. The end result, though it’s a long way from happening if it ever actually does, would be a system by which district voters would have sole discretion over their area’s representation on the City Council.

In reporting the story, I received from the city some relevant sections of Stockton’s charter from 1977. There were nine districts (as opposed to the current six plus a citywide mayor); council members were chosen by voters from their districts; the mayor and vice mayor served two-year terms; and the opportunity to be mayor rotated between Districts 2, 3, 6, 8 and 9 during one election cycle and 1, 4, 5 and 7 during another. Take a look.

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Then and now: Miller on the city’s waterfront investments

Today’s paper includes this story on the reflections of outgoing City Council members Kathy Miller, Paul Canepa and Dyane Burgos Medina as they prepare for tomorrow night’s meeting, which will be their last.

The trio was among a select group of council members who served during the city’s catastrophic financial meltdown. Included in her remarks was this comment from Miller:

“When I started at the Downtown Alliance in 2004, the (movie) theaters had opened, the Hotel Stockton, the ballpark, the arena. I was really aware there was concern from a lot of different people about the financing, and that perhaps we had overreached, but I had no idea of the extent of the problem.”

That’s clear from comments made by pre-City Councilwoman Miller in The Record in 2005 when the arena was brand new. Miller was executive director of the Stockton Downtown Association at the time. She said:

“The variety of programming to be offered, including soccer, hockey, football and special events, is extensive, and most has never been available in the Stockton market. This new programming will bring thousands of visitors into the downtown. Many of these visitors will be local but new to downtown Stockton, and many more will be from outside our immediate community. These visitors represent a new source of revenue to downtown businesses as well as sales-tax revenue to the community.”

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Who’s peddling their wares at Saturday’s downtown market

The former Newberry building (115 N. Sutter Street) will host a holiday market from 5-9 p.m. Saturday. Here’s a guide to vendors, with web addresses as available:

Jessica G

La Cruzita

Old Homestead Hideaway:

The Good Life

Nicole Espino

Leather Craft 209

Tilting with Windmills:
Skippy’s Fun House
Something Borrowed:


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Bullhook banishment in Oakland (and the circus says it’s rolling up its East Bay tent)

Stockton is considering a ban on the use of bullhooks to prod elephants by circuses that visit the city. The story was reported last weekend.

This week, Oakland enacted a bullhook ban of its own.

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Planning Commission meeting cancelled

Don’t know how many people were intending to go to tonight’s Planning Commission meeting, but if you were among them, save yourself a trip. It’s been cancelled.

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