Silva: “You are friends with my enemies”

When I attempted to interview Mayor Anthony Silva on Thursday, he (or his adviser, N. Allen Sawyer) responded with a statement. I’m publishing it in its entirety below.

But I think you’ll find Silva’s text message to me more revealing. That’s further below.

The statement:

“Stockton still has many problems and I am trying my best with the tools available to me to address them. Stockton residents are still struggling and they are not interested in personal conflicts that do not make their lives better.

“It was wrong of me to allow my personal feelings to come across at a City Council Meeting and I am sorry, it was a mistake. I did not record any conversation. I made my comment in the heat of the moment in hopes that the City Manager would tell the truth. It was a long meeting, I was sick, I was tired, and I did not use the best judgment. I am very sorry and it will not happen again. The fact remains that because of the work of Stockton Safe Streets and myself, we have a way to hire more Police if the residents desire and this is what we should be concentrating on right now because we will need as much support as possible to pass this.”

I am not sure wht Silva is saying. Is Silva is renouncing the “I,I,I” egocentrism that helped make him look immature at Tuesday’s council meeting? … Apologizing for hating on City Manager Bob Deis? … Or euphemizing “allow my personal feelings personal feelings” as a substitute for ”I lied”?

The part where a politician tries to take credit for the work of others I do get. Perhaps Silva’s Safe Streets push did galvanize the city into a quicker response by The Marshall Plan and more cops in that plan. I don’t know. But the city’s quick action in dodging the Safe Streets wrecking ball does not reflect credit on those who swung it.

Silva’s text message:

“You are not going to give me a fair shake. You never have. You never wanted me to win from the beginning nor has the record. You are friends with my enemies, I was advised that from day one.”

What I find remarkable about his message is its Manichean simplicity. Friend=good, enemy=bad. Yes, I supported Silva’s rival, Mayor Ann Johnston. So? Silva won. Yes, I have open lines of communication with City Manager Bob Deis. So? That does not make Silva my enemy. Any animosity between them is their problem. 

But such a blinkered view is pure Silva. No talk of policy. No willingness to engage on his record. Only people who support his hunger for power beyond his job and people he perceives as hated obstacles.

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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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