Dist. 2 Council challenger Steve Colangelo writes:
“I believe that our city council needs to serve the residents of Stockton and as councilmembers, as leaders, we need to listen to the people of Stockton. Our economy isn’t growing fast enough, wages are stagnant and people do not have extra disposable income to pay higher taxes or utility rates.
“If elected I would want to discuss with the city’s executive team, the city manager’s office, the budget team, and my colleagues on the city council to come up with solutions to prevent further rate or tax increases in the future. I would start this discussion by suggesting that we use the millions of dollars the City has collected from Measure A and did not spend on police officers as promised to buy down the water rate increase.
“We can do this until the City can hire the police officers they promised and have refused to hire. I don’t have all the answers and would be open to any and all proposals and would work hard with my colleagues to build a consensus and produce results.”
A welcome if modest serving of policy discussion amid a diet of personal attacks and other insubstantial dishes which has made this campaign season so tiresome.
Colangelo’s idea would seem to have merit. The question involves its sustainability. That surplus is there, as you know, because police could not retain new hires to the 120 positions. The problems underlying retention have largely been addressed, however. So in the foreseeable future that surplus will go away.
What then? Stockton’s fiscal fixes must be long term. We tried short term decision-making and attained long-term bankruptcy.