It’s payback time

A robo-call saying Measure A tax money won’t be spent on cops as promised, and urging people to call Council member Kathy Miller to set things right, is political payback by the Stockton Police Officer’s Association.

Aside from Bob Deis, the city manager who stood up to Stockton’s hardest-core public employee union, Miller has been the staunchest champion of the fiscal reforms necessary to stop Stockton’s downward spiral, and to reform a public employee culture in which public servants had become the masters.

She earned the police union’s emnity for her courageous stand on the public’s behalf. And now that Miller is running for higher office on the Board of Supervisors, it’s payback time. 

But the robo-call’s implication that Miller is somehow responsible for breaking Measure A’s promise to votes is false. The city is on track to hire 40 cops a year until all 120 are staffed.

In the news story, political consultant Lee Neves further explained, “Law enforcement does not expect elected officials are going to agree with them or give them what they want all the time,” but they do want “people they can sit down with and have a conversation.” 

Oh, please. The Stockton Police Officer’s Association fought fiscal reforms tooth and nail. Throwing its weight around, it sued the city to fight the declaration of fiscal emergency because — as dire as things were — the union didn’t want the city to have power to make absolutely necessary cuts to their compensation. The union bought the house next to the city manager’s as an intimidation tactic. It subpoenaed the city manager’s wife.

These were not people who wanted to sit down and have a conversation. They are people who wanted to get their way, as they were long used to doing. But Miller is no milquetoast like 1991-2001 City Manager Dwane Milnes, who gave the unions what they wanted — unsustainable overcompensation — and accellerated Stockton’s downward slide. She’s as tough as they are.

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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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