Mayor Anthony Silva attempts fence mending in Stockton State of the City speech

4:04 PM, May 16, 2013   |    comments
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Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva

STOCKTON, CA - Though Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva reminded nearly 1,000 guests why he's still pushing a controversial sales tax to pay for more police, he also took time Thursday to appreciate people he hasn't always gotten along with.

"I have a profound respect for anyone who serves in this position (city manager) and is courageous enough to make tough decisions. Please recognize our City Manager Robert Deis," Silva said.

Silva delivered his first State of the City Address Thursday afternoon at the Port of Stockton.

A short time later he recognized Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones, who might have had reason to feel insulted by the mayor recently when Silva brought a privately funded police consultant to town.

"We are lucky and fortunate to have Eric Jones as our chief. A round of applause for Eric Jones," urged Silva.

Silva spoke strongly of the need to support the sales tax plan that he's pushing, a plan Silva claims would fund 100 more police officers.

"The City of Stockton is broke," Silva said. "We can be a broke city that's safe, or a broke city that's unsafe. You decide."

But Deis repeated after the event it's unwise for Stockton to pass a sales tax while trying to convince a bankruptcy judge the city is broke. He favors a tax plan that solves both Stockton's debts and police staffing.

"They have to be tied together. How it's currently designed, keeps us in bankruptcy and is problematic," Deis said.

Silva said during his speech he intends to donate his city salary to funding a gun buyback program this summer.

By Tim Daly, tdaly@news10.net

News10/KXTV

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