Author Archives: Michael Fitzgerald

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.

Why your Friday’s better than their Friday

There’s Stockton, California and Fort Stockton, Texas. Which one would you rather be in? Have a sunny weekend! —Thanks to Bill Reis-Knight.

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The social costs of not building housing

“Already, California has the highest poverty rate in the country when cost of living is factored in, and skyrocketing housing costs will push even more residents into the margins. Poverty destabilizes families, potentially for generations, and does damage to the economic vitality of whole neighborhoods.” —Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins, D-San Diego, writing in the [...]

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The pension “tapeworm”

It’s not news to you, Stocktonian, that pensions are gobbling government. Still, a couple anecdotes from a SacBee op-ed are of interest: Thanks to pensions, “In San Jose, the police department budget increased 50 percent from 2002 to 2012, yet staffing fell 20 percent. More money has been consumed by police pensions, leaving less money [...]

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Drilling down into Stockton’s growth

Well, wonks, here’s more to chew on after reading today’s column about the mayor’s proposal to chop developer fees. First — which I should have got in there — the city of Lodi cut fees. Lodi slashed fees from $14,590 per house to $5,940, but expected to break even through efficiencies. Pending a reply from [...]

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Stockton impressionism

Artist Jon Quinones creates “city-scape art done in an Impressionistic-esque manor. ” Here’s downtown’s Bank of Stockton building. Quinones’ art will be part of an exhibition at the County Administration Build through the month of June. The reciption is June 12th 5 to 7 pm.

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Leiba: City running constant surpluses

Ned Leiba writes: “I found your article “Speech shows state of the mayor” stimulating, but I focus on the important fiscal numbers, and so wanted to share some quick observations about the numbers that you recited in your article. “Your article said: “City Hall is looking at a one-time budget surplus. (Silva said $20 million. It’s [...]

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P.T. Barnum was right

The woman who set up a gofundme account to restore Mayor Anthony Silva’s recently-reduced salary wrote this, by way of explanation: “Mayor Silva cares deeply for Stockton and his actions to better his community have been very apparent. He is called ‘The People’s Mayor,’ because that’s exactly what he is! It is the community’s responsibility [...]

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A gofundme account for Silva

Just when you think you’ve seen it all … In the wake of Mayor Anthony Silva’s pay cut, a supporter has opened a gofundme account to raise money for the mayor. It’s funny — and it’s sad. A significant number of Stockton voters cannot distinguish who is doing a good job and who is all [...]

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Unions lose a big one

If, like me, you see managing public employee unions as central to successful government — by which I mean treating them fairly, but not allowing them to hijack or bankrupt the institution — you might be interested in the 7th Senate District special election this week.   Over in Contra Costa County, Steve Glazer, mayor [...]

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Learn about water rights

AP has a modest primer on water rights — senior water rights, such as many in the Delta enjoy, junior water rights such as those Machiavellian south-Valley exporters have. Just a good thing to skim. A mind-boggling factoid in the piece involves how totally unregulated water was before 1914. You wanted water, you took it. [...]

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    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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