Stockton’s new City Manager said straight out the City Council’s squabbling initially deterred him from wanting the job. And when it stopped, the job looked much better to him.
He won’t say it, but that squabbling was largely caused by Mayor Anthony Silva, and the fiery folk Silva roused and brought before the council.
We don’t need to dwell on last year’s follies, now that Silva has toned it down. The point is that Kurt Wilson is not alone in his loathing of lowbrow government antics. More than one of the excellent department heads hired by former City Manager Bob Deis has expressed to me how painful it was to work in a City Hall riven by a maverick and beleaguered by his angry supporters. These department heads are the embodiment of Stockton’s reform and the agents of its better future.
So we see again why divisive or trash-talking leaders, however competent they may otherwise be, simply cannot serve Stockton’s interests. Decorum and collaboration is the soil in which good leaders thrive.