The mayor’s flawed thought process

Here’s the way to stake out a position on an issue: you draw a line down the center of a page (whether a real page or a mental one). Then you research the subject. You gather facts.

If you already incline one way or the other on an issue, that’s fine — but take care to research views that differ from your own. And keep an open mind, because you may want to change it as the facts mount up.

Pile up the “pros” of an issue in one column on your page and the “cons” in the other. When you have thoroughly researched the subject, look at which column is taller, the pros or the cons. Take your position based on the taller column — the stronger arguments — and defend your position using those facts.

That is the process of reasoned decision-making.

Admittedly, it takes work. Work Mayor Anthony Silva has always been unwilling to do. I realized this in our very first interview. I asked Silva his position on sprawl. Silva admitted he had no position on sprawl — he simply hadn’t done his homework. Though, y’know, a position on an issue such as growth might be expected of the mayor of Stockton.

When the council voted (unanimously) to add chloramines to Stockton’s water, the mayor evidently voted blindly in support. He didn’t do his homework, though he was voting on an important public health issue. He phoned it in. He later admitted as much on his Facebook page.

Now the mayor has proclaimed on Facebook he is resolutely against a water rate hike. This, before staff produces a report and makes a recommendation. This, when it is clear that reduced water consumption because of drought-driven conservation has reduced water revenues needed to pay off the bond that financed the Delta Water Supply Project.

But then Mayor Silva does not subject issues to a responsible thought process. He subjects them to a political thought process. His mind does not entertain what is best for Stockton and its citizens. He thinks only of how his actions will fly politically. In this story it is clear he has earned the disdain of the entire council for not doing due diligence.

I doubt that Silva could work his way through an issue if he wanted to. That he does not even try reveals him as unfit for office.

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