Reporting Andrea Menniti
STOCKTON (CBS13) – A Stockton man who’s fed up with crime is considering extreme measures to save his neighborhood.
When Richard Smith moved from the bay area to his home in the Weston Ranch area of Stockton more than a decade ago, he saw his tax dollars at work. But after police layoffs and bankruptcy, it was a different story.
“What I see is our police substation is gone, our after school programs for children are gone,” said Smith.
Smith is now exploring an extreme last-resort option to save his neighborhood.
“If necessary, I would be willing to help Weston Ranch unincorporated — to go separate from Stockton — so we know the money that we put in Weston Ranch goes back into Weston Ranch,” he says.
Breaking away from the broke city isn’t what Smith wants to do.
“We can’t go through years and years of nothing happening anymore,” Smith said.
He’s hopeful new leadership at city hall will prevent the desperate measures.
“We are going to give the new regime a chance to do that. If necessary, if their hands are tied, we will unincorporate and Weston Ranch will become its own city, if that’s what it takes,” he said.
Other neighbors are working to restore a neighborhood patrol and fill vacant board positions.
“We just want to get the volunteers going so the city knows we are strong and we are ready to pick up where we left off,” said former board member Mitzi Stites.
Homeowners are considering hiring armed guards to patrol the area.