Last April, In a mayoral debate with Councilman Michael Tubbs, Stockton’s Mayor Silva said he was Stockton first black mayor. This was in response to Tubbs statement : he was surprised Stockton never had a black mayor.
Silva: “I think I said, I’m not African American, but I’m pretty darn close. Quite frankly, I could be determined to be the first African-American mayor of Stockton.
Mayor Silva’s term in office has been marked by controversy, like Trump ,Silva often has to recant stories and from time to time accuses the press of getting it wrong. Unlike Trump, Mayor Silva has a good reputation within the Black and Latino communities.
The People’s Mayor
When Anthony Silva entered the mayoral race he portrayed himself as the Peoples Mayor giving voice to those without a voice. Stockton is the second most violent city in California and was the second largest city in America to file for bankruptcy protection.
In his first ‘State of the City’ address spoke to large crowd of citizens. In his speech he proposed a new tax to hire police officers. Toward the end of his speech he put on a medieval helmet and a spiked club and challenged the crowd. Are you willing to come to war with me and fight so we can change things here in Stockton, California. Who’s willing? If you are willing, stand up and show me you are willing to fight for the city,” he said. The crowd responded positively. His critics in City Hall were not amused.
The following year,the Mayor slept under I-5 with the Homeless “to see what they go through. Again the move by the Republican Mayor proved popular with the local.
The Mayor proposed using the city’ empty warehouses as shelters for Stockton’s Homeless.
No one predicted Anthony Silva to win. With 59% of the vote, Silva handedly beat the incumbent mayor .
After six month of being in office The man some viewed as an outsider, was at war with most of the council and the city manager.
The Mayor was the subject of various investigations– about what prosecutors won’t say.
An anonymous email aired a copy of a 2005 police report involving an accusation that Silva, a former water polo coach, secretly taped girls using his restroom and changing clothes at his home.
The city made public a separate, largely redacted report of an accusation of sexual battery, in which an unidentified woman said Silva insisted that she drink alcohol and touched her buttocks inappropriately in 2011.Both complaints were investigated and no charges were filed.
Silva said the accusations contained in old police reports were false and politically motivated. He said he does not know what authorities are investigating but that he has done nothing illegal. He blamed his political opponents for fanning controversy.
“They’re trying to create an image of somebody that I’m not,”
When was that again?
In February 2015, Mayor Silva told Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones his Beretta hand gun went missing. He told reporters it went missing in a home he doesn’t live in
In January the gun was used in a shooting. In February, 13 year old Rayshawn Harris, 13, was killed with the mayor’s gun.
A month after Harris was killed ,Mayor Silva told the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office that his home had been burglarized and his Beretta handgun was taken.The gun was used in other crimes in Stockton and was recovered in June at the scene of a domestic disturbance.
Mayor Silva, was not accused of criminal wrongdoing in the gun case. But the boy’s father, Willis Harris, questioned why the mayor had waited several weeks to make a report. “I’m just really tore up right now,” said Mr. Harris, 60, in an interview. “Why didn’t he report it? My child could still be here.”
The timeline continues to haunt Mayor Silva
Candidate Silva said he would not take his mayoral salary until he balanced the budget and restored the police presence in the city. By June, he changed his mind and wanted the salary with back pay.
In a very heated City Council meeting. Silva in a disagreement with Bob Deis, the city manager about the substance of an earlier, private meeting, Silva suggested he had a recording, telling Deis, “I can play it if you want to.”
Deis accused Silva of illegally taping their conversation, and the city asked the district attorney to open a criminal investigation. Later, Silva said he didn’t tape the conversation – that he was only trying to elicit a reaction from Deis.
Deis, told reporters Silva had”devolved into what I think is the equivalent of a medieval town hall meeting. I’m waiting for a beer mug to be thrown at me, or a turkey bone.”
At a local meeting , Silva visibly angry said Stockton’s getting pounded, Stockton’s getting pounded, Stockton’s getting pounded,”. “Now I come in and I’m getting pounded, I’m getting pounded.”
For many years the Mayor has run a sleep-away camp in Amador county for a number of years, inviting at-risk youths (ages 7 to 17) for a week of bonfires and water sports. Parents pay on a sliding scale, with support from the Stockton Kids Club.
August 4, the Mayor was arrested at the camp activities that took place a year earlier. He was charged with a felony and three misdemeanors for playing strip poker with teenagers,providing alcohol to minor and illegally secretly recording underage camp counselors.
“Give us our clothes back,” one of the young women says at one point in the transcript. Another teen speaks of being “butt naked” and a third says she is “done with these (expletive) drinking bets.” “All of the participants in the strip poker game at some point were naked,” one participant, identified as an 18-year-old female, told investigators later.
The information came from came from Silva’s cellphone.
In an affidavit, filed in the superior court of Amador County, investigators said that they had confiscated Mr. Silva’s cellphone in 2015, and that they found 23 pictures and four videos from the camp. According to the document, one video features a clothed Mr. Silva being accompanied by four teenagers, including a 16-year-old boy, in various stages of undress.
The Mayor says he is innocent!
“For the past week I have been raked over the coals by the media because I owned a gun and reported it missing,” “I also find the timing of the release of the DA’s report calculated and politically motivated, because it was well known that I would be out of town and unable to respond to any questions properly,” Silva added. “Except FOX 40 who found me on a mountain in the middle of a lake on a jet ski. I gotta give it to them there.”
The Stockton Record’s longtime columnist, Michael Fitzgerald, called Silva “unfit for office.”
In September 2015, agents from the Department of Homeland Security detained, Mayor Silver at the San Francisco International Airport as he returned from China with a delegation of Northern California mayors. His laptop was seized by investigators, but he would eventually get it back.
A limousine driver sued the mayor and four other people after a ride that began at a property owned by Mr. Silva, according to court documents. The event ended with a damaged vehicle and resulted in the arrest of a passenger, who said he flew into a rage and struck his fiancée after Mr. Silva had touched her. Mr. Silva’s lawyer said the mayor reached an out-of-court settlement with the limo driver for an undisclosed amount of money.
What can we do ? He’s the Mayor!
(From The Stockton Record)
The arrest of Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva came as no surprise to some of his Spanos Park neighbors who have been disgusted by the sight of empty alcohol bottles and used condoms in front of his home following parties frequented by young people.
Three neighbors who spoke on condition of anonymity because they fear retribution shared similar stories, saying the embattled mayor’s two-story residence has been the site of numerous parties since Silva moved into the home in January 2015.
Three neighbors said they have seen people who appeared to be in their teens smoking cigarettes and marijuana in the driveway. They observed what appeared to be underage drinking. They saw discarded condoms and liquor bottles strewn about the yard. On one occasion, they even encountered a disgraced celebrity who came to see Silva carrying two bottles of alcohol.
“Nobody wants that in their neighborhood,” one of the neighbors said. “I understand if I’m living in a neighborhood with college people, there are going to be parties and it’s going to be loud. You expect that. But when you live in a neighborhood like this with a lot of families and retired people, you do not expect when you get up in the morning to go get coffee and doughnuts for your kids to find UV (vodka) bottles and used condoms like you’re living on frat row.””
Other neighbors said they witnessed incidents that aroused suspicions. They said there were times when a car would pull up in front of Silva’s home in the middle of the night. Silva would come outside, approach the vehicle for some kind of hand-to-hand exchange and then return to his residence as the car drove away.
“We’ve had people knocking on our door at midnight holding bottles of alcohol, asking ‘Is Anthony here?’ ” one neighbor said. “There have been times my husband and I have looked at each other and said ‘We should call the cops, but what good is it going to do? He’s the mayor,’ ” she said. “What are we going to say? Come arrest the mayor?”
Despite all the calls for Mayor Silva to resign. He is running for a second term against Councilmen Michael Tubbs 26, who beat Silva in the primary forcing a runoff this fall.
Silva is still popular in the neighborhoods, Tubbs is preferred by the establishment in an anti-establishment year. Silva recent controversies may be the crucial test for his followers in this city of 300,000 desperately needing some good news.