STAFF AND WIRE REPORT
Bob Deis won’t be leaving Stockton after all.
Deis, who quit his job as Sonoma County’s top administrator in 2009 and became city manager in Stockton one year later, has withdrawn plans to resign, The Stockton Record reported Wednesday.
As Stockton city manager, Deis has overseen painful cuts on city employees, battles with city unions and a near-complete turnover of city department heads.
The strife escalated after the union representing police officers purchased the house next door to Deis and started a noisy remodeling project, an action Deis believed was designed to intimidate him.
In August, the City Council rejected his plan to give Police Chief Blair Ulring a pay raise. One week later, Deis announced he was leaving Stockton in March just two years into his five-year contract.
But an outpouring of support from the city leaders and community members convinced Deis and his wife, Linda, to stay, The Record reported.
“That level of warmth is something that Linda and I haven’t experienced,” Deis said, adding that it reaffirmed his commitment to Stockton. “It was almost overwhelming, in the sense of being a good thing.”
Deis, 55, has declined to detail the factors that influenced his decision to quit, saying only that it was for personal reasons.
While the City Council supports Deis, he still has battles to fight, The Record reported.
The police union and Deis remain deadlocked over the terms of police officers’ pay. The two sides have sued each other, and the case is set for a hearing later this month.
Officer Steve Leonesio, president of the police union, said he always believed Deis’ threat to leave was bluster after not getting his way on Ulring’s proposed raise. He called Deis “childish.”
Leonesio is also unimpressed by Deis’ leadership of the city.
”Crime is up and revenue is down,” he said.
Mayor Ann Johnston declined to detail the nature of the City Council’s talks with Deis, who earns an annual base pay of $240,000. In an interview with The Record, she compared the relationship between Deis and the council with a marriage.
“We’re not perfect. He’s not perfect,” Johnston said. “You give and take and figure out how to move forward for the good of the city.”