Yesterday was supposed to be a column taking on Fitzy's claim that Stockton should consider bankruptcy. But I've had a change of heart. I still think he's horrifically wrong, but that column was such an obvious bait job I thought I was listening to talk radio. I was half-expecting him to pause 10 seconds for station identification. I'm surprised he didn't end the column with "Good call, good call." Presenting bad ideas just to get a rise out of the readers doesn't look good on you Fitzy. Even if it is the magic "Open Sesame" for the bad contracts the city has, I still don't trust the people renegotiating those contracts. We're the guys who said unprecedented problems required unprecedented solutions, but that doesn't mean those extreme solutions have to be the worst ones possible. That was a shiny lure you threw out there Fitz, unfortunately we're smarter fish than that.
I know you guys are disappointed that we're not going to take a shot at the easiest target ever, but I think I know how to make it up to you. Yes, it's the long delayed...
Real Stocktonian of the Year!
Noted negative campaigner Clem Lee probably says it best, so we'll start off with his quote.
"I guess it's kind of the ultimate in symbolism, isn't it? The mayor of Ground Zero going through the same thing."
Somebody buy that man a goat because he's absolutely correct. But the irony is only a part of the reason he's getting Real Stocktonian honors. We'd previously mentioned him and Tom Morris for getting out of dodge as soon as the real shit started pouring in. This latest cutting of ties with the city just sealed the deal for Chavez. We'll go on until we get tired of documenting reasons why Chavez is a Real Stocktonian.
First, the impending foreclosure! You'd think we'd know more about foreclosures since we live in the highly-touted Ground Zero, but you'd be wrong. Mortgages involve math skills and a house, and we have neither. But considering Chavez gets something just under $200,000 in retirement pay just from the Police Chief job, it's safe to say he can probably afford his mortgage payments. Which is really the more telling part of his attempt at short selling his condo. Not only did he cut out after one term, now he's severing some of his last non-family ties to our fair city. He'll regret his decision to sell when Coachella happens and Indio is overtaken by the hipsterest hipsters to ever hipster. Where you gonna hide when a bunch of emo kids in hoodies camp out on your lawn? They don't need a hotel, hotels are way too main stream. But your lawn? Man, nobody's heard about your lawn yet, it's like it's their lawn because they found out about it first. But I digress.
Short selling your house isn't enough to be a Real Stocktonian, you also have to check out for the last few months of your job. It also helps to take forever negotiating pretty much everything. Like the seemingly simple General Plan, or that ill-advised attempt to get the city into the electricity game which only recently ended. Of course, we're ignoring the whole pissing off the police thing because I don't want to have to find all those links.
Also, to be a Real Stocktonian, the thing you're most proud of (in this case, the Strong Neighborhoods Initiative) has to be a miserable failure! Because what's $116 million if you can't pass out some of it to your pals?
Of course, the big reason we were even considering him in the first place was the fact that he decided that we apparently weren't worth it, and took off after one term. We can at least understand why Tom Morris took off. We get pissed when people fuck with our paychecks too. But Chavez only serving one term was just ridiculous. You can't get shit done in one term. Even Hopey McChangerson in the White House knows that. Chavez not seeking reelection was him giving up on Stockton. And frankly, it was the best thing he could have done for us.
He quit us out of love for Stockton! He realized he was way in over his head. Nobody told him it was gonna be this hard. You just approve more housing and the city gets money, right? Where's the money!? He was just doing what he was told! Shit, he can't even keep his lady's trap shut, how's he gonna keep the city in check? So he did what any patriot would do, take the hit and then get out of dodge! He quit us, for us. And for that we are grateful.
It takes a man to try and fix his mistakes. But it takes a real man to say "I don't want to fuck up shit any more than I already have, you guys fucking deal with it". And for that, we salute you Ed Chavez. You sir, really know what Stockton needs, somebody who's not you. And that's what makes a Real Stocktonian.