Tuesday, August 28, 2012

He Said, She Said: Mayor, opponent battle over alleged pay

By Roger Phillips
Record Staff Writer
August 28, 2012 12:00 AM

STOCKTON - The mayor's race turned nasty Monday as incumbent Ann Johnston accused opponent Anthony Silva of spreading a "blatant, outright lie" about her salary in a campaign email sent out by her challenger over the weekend.

"Your Mayor Ann Johnston has just recently voted to give herself a $20,000 raise in the worst economic times for this city," begins the email, sent to Silva's friends on LinkedIn. "She now makes $102,000 and is rewarded for leading us to bankruptcy!"

On paper, the mayor's position pays $102,232. The city charter says the mayor's salary "cannot be less than the amount paid to the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors for San Joaquin County."

Johnston, however, has refused raises twice since taking office nearly four years ago and has continued to receive the $82,088 salary established by the city's charter-mandated Salary Setting Commission in 2007. Johnston also takes the same furlough days as other city employees, reducing her salary to about $78,000.

"I did not accept (the pay increase)," Johnston said Monday. "It's all documented. It's a matter of public record. For him to suggest I did that is an outright lie. I find it offensive that this is being made an issue when it is not the truth whatsoever."

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