Category Archives: Uncategorized

The mayor’s half-baked homeless plan

City staffers and local homelessness experts politely and respectfully dismissed as utterly unworkable Mayor Anthony Silva’s plan for the city to purchase an apartment complex and use it as housing for the homeless. Silva’s plan is “admirable in many ways” wrote City Manager Kurt Wilson diplomatically … BUT … a “series of issues” hampers the plan. [...]

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Tubbs, tiny houses (and red tape)

Council member Michael Tubbs’ proposal for tiny houses to help address Stockton’s homelessness problem goes before the council tonight. An admittedly quick read of the council agenda item suggests Tubbs’ original vision ran afoul of the absurd red tape that complicates things in Stockton and California. “Early on,” the staff report reads, “there was a [...]

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More criticism of the Fair Oaks decision

Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters alluded in his Sunday column to the unwise recent decision by a Stockton council majority to fund the Fair Oaks library. “Michael Fitzgerald laid Stockton’s budget-busting library decision on Mayor Anthony Silva, who is facing a tough re-election this year.” Walters quoted my column. “We have had enough talk and [...]

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Why Stockton’s future requires fiscal discipline

With apologies to regular readers of this blog, I’m re-posting a city fiscal chart I posted just last week. The lavender bars represent the projected balance of Stockton’s General Fund from 2012 to 2050. The “V” of a big drop in reserves to which I allude in Friday’s column is clearly visible in the center. [...]

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Walkscore and the glacial General Plan

Telling us what we already know, says Stockton is a “car-dependent city.” The website, which ranks cities for walkability, gave Stockton a 41 out of 100. The city got a slightly better 54 for its bikeability, and a meager 28 for transit. San Francisco, by comparison, got a walk score of 86. It’s 2016 [...]

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Stockton’s dismal library funding

Without further comment, Mas’ood Cajee, a strong library supporter, sends this graphic: The graphic makes a strong point. Stockton’s libraries are dismally funded. But there are two differences between Stockton and the other cities in the “Greater Silicon Valley:” Stockton, which is really part of the San Joaquin Valley, suffers from near-Appalachian poverty. So City [...]

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An ominous fiscal turn

Real bad news for Stockton’s fiscal future: CalPERS made virtually no money on its investments this year. That’s bad because the state pension management system projects a 7.5% return on its investments. It uses that revenue to defray the cost of public employee pensions to cities such as Stockton. Instead it made 0.61%. Splat. No [...]

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High-speed rail here and there

Finally somebody likes high-speed rail. Unfortunately, it’s Donald Trump. The New York Times dug up a quote: “China and these other countries, they have super-speed trains. We have nothing,” Trump told The Guardian newspaper last year. “This country has nothing. We are like the Third World, but we will get it going and we will do [...]

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The city rides to Jerry’s rescue

The Council on Tuesday voted to fund repairs to the home of Jerry Ruff, the cognitively impaired 70something who’s lived in his car for a year after code enforcers put him out of his home. The city will funnel a $110,000 CalHome loan — state money — “provided as a 30- year, one percent (1%) [...]

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Police get raise, want more

  Though Stockton is on a very tight budget, the City Council on Tuesday gave police an 11 percent raise. It’s necessary. I support this raise. I called for it. Still … there are a couple worrisome elements. When you couple a raise that’s 5 percent above the city’s Long-Range Financial Plan (its post-bankruptcy budget) with the [...]

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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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