Memorable moments in mayoral candor

During a testy exchange last night between Mayor Anthony Silva and Council member Kathy Miller, Silva said the most remarkable thing.

Miller demanded to know where Silva’s crime-fighting plan is. The exchange got personal.

“I’m sorry for the council members that are still saddened by the fact that their friend, that the previous mayor, is not here,” Silva said. “I cannot fill her shoes.”

Translation of the first sentence: “I won. Get over it.” Silva has every right to say this. He may be every bit the lightweight City Hall insiders consider him to be. But they greeted him with closed minds. They ought to at least remain open to the possibility he can do the job.

Of course, it would help if Silva himself believed in his qualifications. Which brings us to the second sentence, “I cannot fill her shoes.”

Perhaps Silva blurted this in the heat of a tense moment. Perhaps he meant something like, “I know I do not have the bond you forged with Ann Johnson during the remarkably hard times you served together.”

But what he said was, “I cannot fill her shoes.” Well, shucks. If that’s what he meant to say, then why did he run for mayor? Is there a school of thought out that thinks cities are better run by less-qualified candidates? Did Stockton evince a crying need for less competence? Anybody who thinks that must be taking crazy pills.

Personalities aside, Miller’s right: So far Silva has not produced the solution to crime he was elected to deliver. He needs to tell the public in detail exactly where he is on it. Otherwise he’s repeating Johnson’s worst political mistake, promising the Marshall Plan when she had nothing. When we see the mayor’s plan, we can make up our own mind about his shoe size.

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  • Blog Author

    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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