With a 5-2 vote, the City of Stockton slapped its mayor on the wrist for making some of its closed-door council business public.
Mayor Anthony Silva faced backlash from the council over the early, some say unauthorized, release of a candidate for city manager. Council members said this was all about integrity.
“I think the public should be happy that the council is standing up and saying we should hold one of our own accountable,” District 6 Councilman Michael Tubbs said.
“We don’t get to pick and choose the laws that we obey,” District 2 Councilwoman Kathy Miller said.
Folks outside and the dozens inside City Hall who answered Mayor Silva’s call to stand up for him feel the matter was about something entirely different.
“What you act like are a bunch of sixth grade bullies to the mayor,” one voter said.
“We elected you to do a job. Kathy Miller, if you wanted to be mayor, you should have run for mayor instead of re-running for city council,” another said, as applause filled the council chamber.
Silva was flagged for punishment after the city manager deal supposedly done with David Garcia of Coachella fell through once Garcia’s name was leaked to the press as the new hire.
That name was talked about in closed session and once out, the council asked for the leak to be referred to the civil grand jury.
Silva said the move was all about politics.
“The City of Stockton has been run by a few elite people writing big checks and now there’s a new leadership philosophy. I’m for the working class and the poor,” Mayor Silva said.
Some promised a different kind of political brinkmanship if the games continue.
“Three to four of you are going to get a recall notice in the next few weeks,” former councilman Ralph White said, speaking to the current council members voting to punish the mayor.
The mayor himself saved a little bit of finger pointing for after his admonishment.
He pulled out his cell phone during the meeting and read a text message from a T.V. reporter from the day Garcia’s name was leaked.
He claimed that message, including Garcia’s name, was sent hours before his own press release that’s brought on punishment based on the Brown Act.
Silva says the text is evidence that someone else was the leak.
He’s promising to take the matter to the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission.