That is what mayor Ann Johnston called rival Anthony Silva’s e-mail to supporters: ”Your Mayor Ann Johnston has just recently voted to give herself a $20,000 raise in the worst economic times for this city. She now makes $102,000 and is rewarded for leading us to bankruptcy!”
That is indeed a blatant, outright lie.
It’s two lies, actually. It falsely implies Johnston is responsible for Stockton’s bankruptcy. True, as a council member in the 90s, Johnston voted to give police the enhanced retirement and lifetime retiree health care. She has to take responsibility for supporting these budget-busting expenditures.
However, her overall contribution to Stockton’s insolvency is relatively minor.
Moreover, after her term on the council, when she was a private citizen, Johnston opposed the Events Center as unaffordable.
As mayor, Johnston snapped out of the thrall public employees had over the council. She and the council have been moving heaven and earth for four years to right the city’s fiscal ship.
As for the raise canard, there’s no good explanation. Either Silva misunderstood my column, or he suffers from poor judgment (contending she might be taking the raise!) or, well, he tells blatant, outright lies.
So in the first instance he’s obtuse, in the second instance he’s groundlessly suspicious and in the third instance he’s got the ethics of a slot machine. No matter which you pick, it’s not mayor material.