Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Letter from Anthony Silva

A Letter from Anthony Silva:

My name is Anthony Silva and I’m running for Mayor of Stockton. I was born and raised here and now I’m asking myself “what happened to this place?” Crime is unacceptably high again, there’s no jobs, and we’re about to go bankrupt.
After having researched this , along with my staff, I realized that this all could have been avoided. The police were cut by 28% over the last few years, but somehow we still had money to pay for the golf course and for the City council’s and Mayor’s retirement benefits?
The City had an auditing firm come in every single year while Mayor Ann Johnston was in office, they gave her their financial reports, but she only told us we’re going to go bankrupt a few months ago?
How is this ok?
My plan is simple, I am going to focus on nothing else but getting jobs and reducing crime.
We don’t have to just cut services all the time, we can also make more money for the City. I will create a business advisory council to bring new companies to Stockton, give them huge incentives in order to come here, and then make sure they hire at least 60% locals in order to receive those benefits.
I will create a small business training and support program to give businesses free assistance in marketing and Internet marketing. That way, they can sell more and hire more.
I’m also going to make sure more small businesses are opened up here by giving them lucrative start-up conditions and additional training.
But it’s obvious that none of that is going to work until we get our crime under control.
Stockton’s crime rate was improving until the current Mayor took office. She fired 28% of the cops. We have to get the police force back up to the same level that the average California City of our size has.
Then, we have to raise the arrest rate. Raising the arrest rate and prosecuting even small crimes, like graffiti, or broken windows, is the only way to tell the bad guys that this is our Town. You can’t mess with us. That’s exactly what they did in New York City during the 1990s. And it worked there, crime fell by 58% when they did that, far more than the national average.
And lastly, we cannot let the City go bankrupt. This should be our last resort. City Hall thinks that bankruptcy is going to be a clean slate, but it’s not.
Let me tell you a story. There was a tiny town in Pennsylvania, of just 2,400 people, called Westfall. Westfall, Pennsylvania. A few years ago, they filed for bankruptcy and for a town of just 2,400 people, it cost them $600,000 dollars in fees to go bankrupt. $600,000 dollars.
Can you imagine how much it would cost Stockton when we’re about 116 times larger than Westfall?
No one even knows if these bankruptcy proceedings will work. At the end of the day, the judge decides exactly how much debt to forgive and even whether to forgive any debt at all. Then the judge has to make sure at least one type of creditor will agree to that amount before we save anything.
We’re going to waste a whole bunch of money and it will ruin our credit score. No one will ever invest in Stockton again. Who would invest in a town that takes millions of dollars in loans, doesn’t properly file its paperwork, and then lies to everyone, including its citizens, that things are okay when actually they’ve known about this so-called bankruptcy for years.
My plan is to improve business in Stockton, get the cops back, and stop the City from going bankrupt. We cannot just let them keep doing business as usual up at City Hall. It’s unacceptable.
Join me in challenging the current government and getting this City back on course.

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