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Saturday, November 24, 2012

What will council's seat change mean for the Delta?





By Alex Breitler
Record Staff Writer

November 18, 2012 12:00 AM
STOCKTON - Just before the election, the Stockton City Council endured a two-hour presentation on a damnably complex subject: the Delta.

Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to build twin tunnels and siphon off Delta water had reached a "critical juncture," council members were told; they needed a crash course right away.

A week later, three council members, including Mayor Ann Johnston, were voted out of office. A fourth, Susan Eggman, will move on to the state Assembly.

Most of the council members who had in-depth knowledge of the Delta - the acronyms, the power players, the bureaucracy - will soon be gone.

What then?

"Believe me, I'm a little nervous about it," said Vice Mayor Kathy Miller, the lone remaining council member with in-depth involvement in the Delta. "The lack of institutional knowledge now in certain areas on the council - it's not that I think it's insurmountable, but it is an area of concern."

The city had been mostly silent on the subject of the Delta before Johnston elevated it to a major priority the past year.

At first, her concern was not so much with the proposed tunnels, but with other elements of the plan that officials worried would hinder Stockton's future growth.

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