An interior shot of the Delta Water Supply Project, where Stockton's water is being chloraminated.
Taking the high road, the editorialist as well as the lead letter-writer in today’s paper call for city of Stockton officials to participate in Monday’s forum about chloramine in the water.
“Sure, Anthony Silva is trying to politicize this issue of chloramines in some of Stockton’s drinking water, …” writes William Maxwell, “but that does not eliminate the need for the city to send a knowledgeable staff member to the forum to answer the public’s questions. … City Manager Kurt Wilson is letting his personal ambivalence toward the mayor stand in the way of … doing what is best for the citizens of Stockton.”
The editorialist wrote, “Wilson has an expert — Mel Lytle, director of the Municipal Utilities Department — who has expertise and a Ph.D. He could be helpful in assuaging the angst … Lytle should be there.”
True, there is something almost poignant in the video Wilson released about chloramines. It is an attempt by a sophisticated city manager removed from the rough and tumble of Stockton’s polity to communicate reasonably that chloramines were the city’s best option. As if democracy can be run from an ivory tower.
But the folks on the high road may underestimate the feelings of City Hall insiders towards the mayor. Though Wilson is too classy to say so, I doubt very much he feels any “ambivalence” towards Silva at all; I imagine he loathes the mayor. Most City Hall insiders do. They reel at Silva’s lack of constructive leadership, for his hollow publicity stunts, for the drama he brings which distracts from real governance and progress.
They loathe him for for telling the masses that “Stockton government doesn’t work” when city staffers work hard and (usually) effectively while he skips off the the Epic Lounge, or wherever he goes when he disappears for long stretches.
They loathe him, in other words, not jut for politicizing the chloramine issue but for politicizing them as aloof and dysfunctional elites.
Asking them to support his forum stems from the belief that personal animosities are secondary and the public good ought to come first. Granted. But Silva has made a career out of making political enemies, and they have a belief about the public good, too: that it is unconscionable to do anything to help Anthony Silva get re-elected.