In the past, the citizens of Stockton shrugged when leaders such as Mayor Anthony Silva won office. They had a curious tolerance for inept and demagogic leaders.
The Council were Bozos, Council meetings were a circus, city government was incompetent and possibly corrupt; that was just Stockton. People lived their lives entirely outside of the political sphere.
That has changed.
Most leaders and, I do hope, most citizens of this city, this city which has been through the wringer in the last five years, have learned the painful lesson that Stockton simply cannot tolerate politicians whose only qualification for office is good will and the conviction that they belong in office.
Substituting Silvas for educated, principled, seasoned leaders led directly to Stockton’s bankruptcy. Before that, it sabotaged waterfront redevelopment. Before that, it kept downtown a bleak disgrace for decades. Before that, it allowed high, tenacious crime. Overall, it has thwarted this city’s potential and made it a scary laughingstock.
That’s the bigger context for tonight’s vote to censure Mayor Anthony Silva, one that transcends his characteristically inept handling of the city manager hire. The council is demanding better. It is isolating Silva to minimize the mayhem he unwittingly causes. This is not, as Silva contends, a distraction from good government. It is good government. The government we long deserved.