STOCKTON (CBS13) — While voting to put a sales-tax measure on the ballot, Stockton city leaders proved it is still a city divided.
The big focus Tuesday was whether the council would approve a three-quarter-cent sales-tax increase on the ballot. But it seemed that just trying to get through the meeting was a challenge.
“Point of order, time limit is up. Go ahead.”
“Kathy, I’m not going to. I want to hear from the people. You kick her off.”
That’s Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva telling Councilwoman Kathy Miller he won’t stop a woman from speaking at the podium.
They’re disagreeing over how long each person can talk under the city rules, and making sure everyone has the same amount of time.
“Then I will, it’s our responsibility to make sure all the people have equal access, you don’t just enforce it sometimes,” Miller said.
“Go ahead, you do that and have fun getting elected,” Silva said overtop of her.
People who regularly attend meetings say they’re tired of council bickering.
“I just think there is way too much infighting. They need to get together. It’s out of control at times,” said Gary Malloy.
And they wanted the council to focus on whether or not to put the measure on the November ballot, which the council did on a 7-0 vote.
As a general tax, leaders would have more flexibility with how to spend the money.
Nearly two-thirds of the funds would go toward the Marshall Plan, which focuses on public safety and would add 120 police officers.
The other 35 percent would go toward recovering from bankruptcy. In total, raising $28 million in the first full year.
But not everyone wants to give money to a city that couldn’t pay its bills in the first place.
“There’s not a whole lot of citizens in this town that trust you to spend their money.”
“We’ve trusted and trusted and what we have for it is a whole lot of pain.”
But others say they want the council to let voters decide, even if they haven’t decided themselves.
“I haven’t made up my mind yet,” said Stockton resident Joni Anderson. “At one point I see the need for increasing our services, but on the other point, I don’t want to hand them a credit card for money.”