Quick Links for April 14th

Intro schmintro, Quick Links!

Our little Mayor is finally growing up into a real politician

As the Record pointed out a while ago, Ann Johnston kind of sucks at this whole politics thing. She’s had a lot on her plate recently, but fortunately for her everything seems to be working out just in time for her delayed State of the City speech in May.

The speech was delayed because of heightened security around the Port of Stockton during rice season, and rather than just switch the location to one of the numerous available venues in the City, Johnston decided to hold off a couple months. It was a savvy move because the Mayor didn’t exactly have good news to report when the speech was originally planned in February. Hell, she didn’t have any news. No news is usually good news, but when the main focus of your first State of the City address (the VISTAS program) is a complete and utter failure you usually need something good to close with. Otherwise that address ending standing ovation is going to be kind of awkward.

With the speech moved to May it gave the City plenty of time to resolve multiple issues she would have been forced to address. Murky status of the Thunder’s ownership? Boomshakalaka! Sold to some Canadian oil bumpkin (Although the contract with the City still blows goats despite attempts last year to amend it). Conducting a clandestine search for a City Manager after promising community involvement in said search (online surveys and any panel involving Bobby Bivens doesn’t count)? No problem, dude’s probably getting hired by the end of the week. Drawn out legal battle with the state over sorely needed jobs? Settled! (OK, settled-ish)Medicinal marijuana and the resulting tax revenue? All but a certainty! All of these problems were bad marks on Johnston’s first year, and now she can stand up in front of the Chamber of Commerce next month and declare herself a problem solver. Even if some of those problems were self-inflicted and only solved within the past month or so. It only took her a year (and 4 months), but Ann Johnston finally learned how to play the political game. We’re so proud.

An open response to Mike Fitzgerald’s “open letter” to critics

Ok, so actually some dude named Tim Nunes wrote the letter and Fitzy just added his own two cents at the end. Brewery33 seemed to think it was an open letter to me and said as much in the comments. I’m not vain enough to agree with him, but Fitzgerald did raise some interesting points and I am an occasional critic of Stockton so I figured I’d fire off a response because open letters are fun and I enjoy damning Fitz with his own words. So here goes:

Dear Fitzy,

Great blog post last Friday, I really enjoyed the part where you said the City would be struggling financially even if all the civic-owned venues were in the black. I enjoyed that part mostly because it’s exactly what I said back in February when you suggested we just shut down those perennial money hemorrhagers to help fix the City’s then $14 million (now $23 mil) budget shortfall.

As for your other claim that critics incorrectly blame City Hall mistakes on incompetence, I still haven’t finished laughing at that. What do you call the Johnny Ford debacle? Happenstance? Elbert Holman made the City vulnerable to litigation because he wanted to play District Attorney and passed out subpoenas like they were break room donuts for fuck’s sake. Johnny Ford thought nobody would care if he just helped himself to hundreds of free tickets! How is that not incompetence? What about the Council allowing the Maxim’s debate, a simple permitting issue (well, as simple as permits in Stockton can be), to turn into a racially-motivated discussion on what genres of music are allowed to be played late at night in certain areas?

I’m not trying to say that every last one of the City’s problems can be attributed to incompetence, but it sure as shit plays a prominent role in a lot of them. What other explanation can there be for Dale Fritchen thinking publicly disseminating this picture would be a good idea?

I appreciate the effort because Stocktonians do need to focus on the positive a bit more than they do, but to call us “illiterate about government and the regional economy” is taking it a bit far. After all, we’re not the ones pushing Stockton to reach a potential that the regional economy can’t afford.

Hope to see you on the Pub Crawl,

Reclaiming the Title

P.S. Tell Tim that unless the Lightening have banded together to play unorganized ball is a muddy park, we only have 3 professional sports teams. And calling three minor league teams “pro” is kind of a stretch.

Meanwhile, in Tracy…

Yes, we’re trekking out of Stockton again in the interest of finding non-paywalled stories. Plus, this story accomplishes the rare feat of getting me to agree with PETA. I too think the storage and ritualistic slaughter of animals in densely populated is cruel to animals, those animals being the humans who have to live in that neighborhood and deal with that shit.

I’m not one to make fun of someone’s kooky religious beliefs, if you want to stab a goat in the jugular and drink it’s blood for sustenance by all means do so. But if you’re going to do it during a loud ass party and leave the rotting, inedible remains in your curbside trash can your neighbors have room to complain. There are acres of unincorporated farm land out in Tracy for this kind of weird shit to go on, why does this have to go down in the middle of town? This isn’t an animal cruelty problem, it’s a shitty neighbor problem. Kill all the baby ducks you want but don’t be a loud jackass about it, no religion gives you the right to be a dick to your community. Take that ritual hippie bullshit back to the Bay Area where it belongs so Tracy can get back to the meth-induced brand of crazy it’s known for.


~ by Slick Diaz on April 14, 2010.

2 Responses to “Quick Links for April 14th”

  1. You mean you can’t just expect the citizens to pony up not only their tax dollars, but their spare time in an effort to repair gaping holes in the City maintenance budget through civic action? Does this mean that I have to start axing such beneficial programs such as Sister City and Sports promotion to free up money that will inevitably be gobbled up by our cadillac pensions, but should really fund the essentials? God damn lazy constituents. I know, I will raise taxes, then we can still go to Italy next year! ~Ann Johnston

  2. I don’t get it…I see sunshine lollipops and rainbows, where is all of this negative stuff happening and why don’t I know about it? Is it because I don’t pay the only news organization who holds our local news hostage? I know, it’s because I am illiterate, incompetent and had to look up the word “jaundice” before I decided whether or not to be offended.

    Guess I will just have to live off of unprofessional bloggers like you guys here at RTT, to put the high falutin language of over-educated columnists into something more sophomoric so that I can comprehend.

    Mess with the bull…just saying.

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