By Jemal Guillory
February 11, 2017
NOW HIRING: City of Stockton, CAMonthly Salary Range: $12,500-$13,500
Annual Salary Range: $150,000-$162,000
Tentative Interview Dates: TBD
Job Title: Secretary, Office of the Mayor
Sounds like a good gig? It sure does, but don’t be so quick to apply. The job is already taken. That’s right. Mayor Tubbs, in his first Council meeting on business, pushed to initialize funding for two new city positions. Tubbs believes he needs a PERSONAL Public Information Officer, even though the City already has one, Connie Cochran.
It is also worth noting, it will also be the 13th highest on the City of Stockton’s payroll. That’s more than all Stockton Fire and Police Captains. That’s more than every County Supervisor in California. Tubbs made it quite clear, that “Reinvent” is a code name for a possible return to “bankruptcy”. Does $1.2 million in new salaries over his mayoral term seem beneficial to Stockton residents?
What was the Council thinking when they approved this agenda item? It surely wasn’t part of the Long Term Financial Plan, and City Manager Kurt Wilson also admired the salary will put us under our projected reserve needed to stay if our bankruptcy, from here on out. That means services like police precincts, holiday fireworks, and community swimming pools must wait until additional funding is cleared.
In addition to the new PIO and “policy analyst” even though the mayor position is ceremonial and has no authority to enact policy, Stockton is now paying some 26-year-old kid, with no formal experience, a high salary for which he is not qualified. That’s right folks, you are witnessing Donald Trump politics right here in Stockton.
The 26 year old kid is not Michael Tubbs, but Cameron Burns who has been on the job since Tubbs was sworn in, just one week earlier. It is unclear what the City was paying Burns for meager tasks like grabbing coffee, snapping photo-ops, and lint rolling the Mayor’s suits. Burns was promoted to the new position Feb 1, which is quite an upgrade from the $2,000 salary as a Tubbs’ campaign consultant.
He was released on a $3,000 bond and arranged for a hearing which did not occur because disgraced and convicted former state senator Leland Yee negotiated for his charges to be dropped. It appears birds of a feather, flock together in this situation.
Even more surprising than the proposed salary, is the resume of Mr. Burns. Burns is from Carlsbad, CA, a coastal city in northern San Diego County. He graduated from Berkeley in 2013 with a B.A. in Political Economy. He was arrested in 2010 after disobeying police orders, when he joined anarchist groups blocking traffic on Oakland interstates.
It appears he really hit the tax payer jackpot once he and others from Tubbs’ campaign moved to Stockton, to “reinvent” their pockets. Also hired, or selected rather, for “policy analyst” for a figure head mayor with no authority and who issues no policies (that’s the city manager’s job who is currently paid $338,000 a year), is another personal friend of Tubbs from Stanford, Patrick Cirenza, also not from Stockton.