Stockton’s mayor Anthony Silva is pushing to overhaul how City Hall operates, including injecting himself into the council-manager relationship, human resources practices, and financial controls with the authority of a so-called “Strong Mayor.” Some of his proposed practices and the language he’s using in calling for the changes are ruffling feathers with the City staff.
At a recent council meeting, Silva said that City Manager Bob Deis controls “wires” that pull on council members. Citing weekly meeting that Deis holds with each council member individually, Silva claimed that the city manager is able to manipulate votes and control outcomes of issues. Silva doesn’t want to end the meetings, instead he wants the individual meetings to happen with his office and his colleagues on the council, instead of with Deis.
Silva also said that after meeting with his fellow council members, he would like to work on the agenda with Deis, instead of having the professional staff at the City draft the agenda.
Among other changes he is seeking, Silva said he would like a role in hiring a new economic development manager and is seeking to replace the City’s Public Information Officer with his own person. According to the Stockton Record, Silva equates replacing staff with a presidential administration where much of the staff is turned-over with a new office-holder.