Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva expected some of the applause at Tuesday’s council meeting to be for his announcement of a new city manager, but in the end there was nothing to cheer for in that department.
Members of the public were kept waiting about 45 minutes past the meeting’s scheduled start time, as the mayor indicated to FOX40 that there was still no agreement and that negotiations were ongoing.
All that – despite documents sent to several media outlets, including FOX40, naming David Garcia as Stockton’s new city manager.
As the meeting broke, council members weren’t saying much about what suddenly appeared as an undone deal.
“Perhaps the announcement was a little premature. We’re still negotiating the contract,” said Councilmember Dyane Burgos-Medina.
According to her, the council has decided on a person but she would not reveal that person’s name.
After another hour of post-meeting contract talks, the mayor was willing to offer some explanation.
“It just turns out we need a little more time to continue negotiating and that’s all,” said Silva.
When asked about the day’s confusing turn of events – from leaked documents with start dates and salaries to non-announcements, Silva declined to comment “on any of that stuff.”
Also confusing to many around Stockton – why city leadership would make their top pick someone reportedly ousted from two city manager jobs thanks to scandal.
The first was in Corpus Christi, Texas 10 years ago. Garcia and the city parted ways over his inappropriate relationship with a subordinate.
Then, five years ago in Chula Vista, Garcia left over accusations of improper use of his work computer.
“If you’re just getting your facts from a newspaper, it may not be a total reliable source. And I can tell you that anyone who’s in the vetting process of becoming a top-level official for the city, their background has been done pretty thoroughly,” said Silva.
The city’s been promised a new city manager by mid-November.
No word on how close current negotiations may be to resolution.