“Wow. There’s obviously a little different management style here that goes a long way,” Canepa said when it was his turn. “For me that’s a very delicate issue. We broke contracts, we had fiscal emergencies, we had bankruptcy,” he said. “If you want a leader who can cram that down on people and be able to sleep at night, then I’m not that person,” he said. “I have a conscience and I care about the people I represent. I care about Stockton and I care about the people I can lead at the county.”
—Supervisiorial candidate Paul Canepa, quoted in today’s story about the candidate’s debate.
I find it appalling that Canepa would imply his rival Kathy Miller acted without conscience when she took the absolutely necessary steps to arrest Stockton’s fiscal spiral. Miller was part of a council and city management team that helped save the city from uncontrolled default.
To say she “crammed” these reforms down people’s throats is union-pandering. Stockton’s unions were not amenable to negotiation. They vigorously denied there was any problem and sued to block reform. They were steering the Titanic straight towards the iceberg and loath to let go of the wheel. To call prying their fingers off to save the ship and its passengers cramming change down people’s throat suggests a squeamishness unbefitting a leader.