Reporting Andrea Menniti
STOCKTON (CBS13) – The Stockton bankruptcy trial continued today. A management consultant for Stockton wrapped up testimony saying the city cannot financially pay its debt.
Creditors are demanding Stockton do more to pay back debts of more than $300 million. The city’s human resources director also testified today.
Organizers say the revenue from the proposed tax hike would pay for a hundred new police officers. The rest of the cash would be divided up in other ways to reduce crime. There’s even a cash incentive to attract officers to live in the area.
“The morale of the police dept has been crushed a lot of officers have gone to other cities,” said Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva.
Silva and his team brought in national criminal consultant and former New York City Police Chief Bill Bratton to help come up with this 13-page sales tax initiative. Business and community members hired him — not the bankrupt city. No one would say how much it cost to bring him on board.
“One of the benefits of being in the private sector I don’t have to disclose that,” said Bratton.
At least one council member has publicly criticized Silva for not releasing details of the plan sooner.
“I would like to ask the mayor to provide the city manager within the next 24 hours with a copy of the plan,” said Stockton City Council member Kathy Miller during a previous meeting.
Tubbs was the only city council member who attended today’s unveiling, and says he learned about the meeting last minute and didn’t have a chance to read specifics.
“We will come up with one solution for the community because we can’t have two different plans. It has to be one plan to get more cops on the streets,” said Tubbs.
Politics aside, victims of violent crimes members showed support of the proposal.
“I like the plan we need to stop the violence,” said Teresa Sanchez whose granddaughter was killed. “The money is no issue because life is more important than money.”
The trial is expected to last until Thursday.
Corrections (3/27): A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed the following quote to city council member Michael Tubbs instead of council member Kathy Miller: “I would like to ask the mayor to provide the city manager within the next 24 hours with a copy of the plan.”
The title of a previous version of this story said the tax hike, which was proposed by Mayor Anthony Silva, was proposed by the Stockton city council.