STOCKTON, CA - Stockton Mayor-Elect Anthony Silva already faces critics the day after the election.
"I've lived in Stockton all my life and I've worked in this community, in this county all my life," said Silva, who is president of the Stockton Boys & Girls Club. "It's not easy to run for office in this city. This campaign was dirty and there was a lot of slime tactics used, but it's over now and it's a time to bring people together."
Silva addressed some of the criticism against him. As the Stockton Record reported in Wednesday's paper, Silva owns a house in Morada. He only recently returned to Stockton in March and started living in the Waterfront Hotel Lofts throughout the course of his campaign.
"I'm living downtown, which a former mayor Gary Podesto encouraged people to move downtown," Silva explained. "I can walk to City Hall and I'm only six minutes away from my work at the Boys & Girls Club, so it works out for me."
Perhaps the biggest controversy surrounding Silva taking office is a campaign promise he made last month; an idea to raise the sales tax to pay for more police officers. City Manager Bob Deis said in the past that it would be impossible to raise taxes while the city is in bankruptcy without the creditors coming after that money. Silva stands by the tax plan and said he's consulting lawyers to review its effectiveness.
"I don't believe that if we do a sales tax that's earmarked for public safety and youth employment, that a creditor is going to be able to come in a win a judgment and take that money," Silva said.
To combat crime, he hasn't yet decided if he'll stick with Mayor Ann Johnston's Marshal Plan. His current focus is to get up to speed with the city's finances before his inauguration in January.
"I'm waiting for the city audit to come from the state controller," Silva said."I emailed the city manager this morning, requesting a meeting with him for next week and get a copy of the operating budget for 2012-2013."
Silva said until that budget is balanced and there's enough officers on the streets, he'll not accept a salary for his leadership as mayor.
By Leight Paynter, email@example.com