When asked what he’d do differently, former Stockton City Manager Dwane Milnes said he’d consult a crystal ball. That’s because ten years ago, Milnes and the Stockton City Council promised huge pensions that are now being blamed for the city’s financial strains.

During Milnes’ tenure in Stockton, 1991 to 2001, Milnes said it was becoming the norm that police could retire with almost their full salaries and free healthcare. The eventual adoption of similar retirement packages in Stockton were likely inevitable, if they wanted to continue attracting or retaining talented police officers.

Milnes is now the President of the Association of Retired Employees of Stockton, a group that is advocating for the rights of the city’s retirees.

A rift has formed between that organization and current city manager Bob Deis, who Milnes says is giving the Council partial information and skewed perceptions. The dissemination of information has given Deis what Milnes described to The Record as unduly influence over the Council.

From the Recordnet.com

If there were do-overs in life, Dwane Milnes said Monday he’d change some things he did as city manager in the 1990s that contributed to putting Stockton on the brink of bankruptcy.

Milnes, 66, said the first thing he would do is get a better crystal ball – to help him predict the skyrocketing cost of health care over the past decade and the coming of the Great Recession.

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