Reporting Andrea Menniti
STOCKTON (CBS13) – There’s a new mayor in Stockton as voters in the struggling city elected Anthony Silva by a wide margin.
He’s now taking on the tough task of leading the city out of bankruptcy, while cracking down on crime.
A day after the election, the mayor-elect is wasting no time getting to work.
“It’s exciting and at the same time, it’s hard to celebrate when you have a community in crisis,” said Silva.
He was elected to be at the helm of the city of Stockton during the worst financial and crime problems in the city’s history.
“It’s time to say ‘enough is enough.’ We have to do whatever it takes to put more police on the street,” said Silva.
His first order of business is examining how to get a half cent sales tax hike on the ballot as early as next November.
His hope is to bring in enough cash to add 200 police officers.
“It’s something we are still researching and reviewing, letting community members take a look at it, as well as attorneys,” said Silva.
The CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Stockton received hand shakes and hugs from supporters Wednesday.
Silva beat incumbent Ann Johnston by winning 57 percent of the votes.
“I have my job cut out for myself,” said Silva.
He will join two newly elected city council members, including 22-year-old Michael Tubbs. He is a recent Princeton graduate, endorsed by Oprah Winfrey, who is eager to begin serving the community.
“It’s incredibly blessing. It still hasn’t sunk in,” said Tubbs. “I do know the city faces huge challenges; but I think those challenges are real opportunities to do what we did in the campaign on a larger scale, and figure out how do we bring people together to solve crimes.”
Dealing with the financial crisis and a record breaking homicide rate, one thing is for sure, the new make up of Stockton city council will be forced to tackle major issues.
Silva says he is working on getting acclimated with the city’s budget and setting up meetings with the city manger and police chief.