Stockton City Parking Garage Workers Fear Losing Jobs

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STOCKTON-

Dozens of Stockton city parking garage employees are worried they could lose their jobs as the city considers subcontracting with a third party company in an effort to crawl out of bankruptcy.

But Mayor Anthony Silva says even if these jobs are contracted out, current employees could still keep their jobs.

"We're concerned about our jobs," parking attendant Marvin Daniels said. "We don't want to leave them, you know."

Marvin is semi-retired, working his six-hour a day shifts to add a little extra to his social security payments. He's been at the garage at Hunter and Market for about 13 years.

He says making ends meet without this job would be tough, and it could be even tougher for his 30 or so coworkers.

"Especially the younger people need them that don't have a second income," Daniels said.

And their paychecks could soon disappear.

As Stockton makes its way out of bankruptcy, the city manager, council and mayor are weighing the cost-saving option of going automated.

"Basically, the City of Stockton is putting out a request for proposals for vendors to come in and get really organized and get our parking lots under control," Mayor Silva said.

Silva says the up-front cost of installing pay machines and toll gates would be more, but would save the city money in the long run.

"This was sort of mandated with the whole bankruptcy process that if we were going to take possession of these parking lots back, we had to run them efficiently and effectively," he said.

But Daniels argues his position isn't easily replaced with a machine.

"And you need somebody to go up and check out the building because sometimes you get these homeless guys in here," Daniels said.

Mayor Silva admits some employees will still be needed if a third-party parking attendant company comes in.

He hopes after the transitions happens, city employees like Daniels keep their attendant jobs - just not with the city.

"We're going to ask whoever gets the contract, whoever is the successful vendor, that they really consider interviewing some of these employees," Silva said.

Those city parking employees wrote a letter to the mayor and other city officials, pleading to keep jobs.

At this point, the mayor says the city is just considering options.