The guard is changing in Stockton after four years. Challenger Anthony Silva defeated Ann Johnston as voters expressed their displeasure with bankruptcy, a depleted police force, and spiking crime.

Silva, who had been the president of the Stockton Unified School District and serves as the president of the Boys and Girls Club, ran on a platform of public safety and financial responsibility. He pledged not to take a salary until the city’s books are balanced and a police force capable of controlling the violence.

Johnston’s four years as mayor were not the strongest in the city’s history. Twice, Stockton made the Forbes list for most miserable cities in the country. It also became the largest US City to ever declare bankruptcy. This year, the city set a new record for murders.

Silva’s solution to the crime wave involves a hands-on approach, where he will personally intervene with gang members to try to help them reform their life of crime. To address the city’s financial woes, Silva said that next year he wants to go to residents with a package of tax hikes. The package would be a half-cent sales tax and a half-cent utility tax for five years. Silva says that would bring in $30 million annually.

Read the full story at the Stockton Record Net.