The following is a press release by the Antioch Chamber of Commerce issued after public comments during the Antioch City Council meeting prior to closed session on March 14.
The Chamber is encouraging the City Council to part ways with City Manager Steve Duran.
According to Chamber CEO Richard Pagano, the following are Antioch Chamber of Commerce’s comments from today’s City Council Public Comments relative to closed session agenda items 5, 6, and 7.
Here is a copy of the Chamber’s comments:
More than two months have now passed in 2017 and the direction of the city of Antioch must begin to quickly clarify. It is time for the City Council to take the reins of policy and lead the City of Antioch rapidly to a new and more successful place.
The people who live and work in Antioch are your constituents, and all of your decisions should put the interests of these citizens, businesses, visitors, employees, etc. in the top priority. Policies and actions that focus on this simple priority would be most welcome and expected by the 2016 voters.
The City Manager has already stated publicly that he will leave during this year. However, the City of Antioch cannot remain stuck in an old operational mode for most of 2017.
As a result, we urge the City Council to rapidly remove the current City Manager. It is time to get on with making steady progress in the City of Antioch under a policy direction which is set, monitored, and corrected as needed from the City Council.
It’s not that the current City Manager is not good at his job. It’s that he’s not a good fit for our city. The downtown plan has continued to stall, and the Somersville area is littered with garbage, homeless, and vacant shopping centers. To put it another way, economic development in our community is nonexistent and action on chronic problems is far too slow.
In recent days, several articles have emerged in local newspapers. These articles suggest a very dysfunctional relationship at City Hall. The City Manager suggests that the new Mayor is somehow “meddling” and yet he is in fact, the new mayor according to citizen voting. The Mayor and the City Council should be directing City policy and yet the City Manager seems to resist this as he tries to control everything at City Hall.
Maybe this explains why it takes so long for things to happen at City Hall without openness, engagement, delegation, and enablement styles of leadership? In the article, the City Manager now appears to threaten the Mayor with a lawsuit? Really? The last thing that the City of Antioch needs is another wasted year.
Let’s cut our losses and move on.
The Antioch Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of its membership, respectfully requests that the City Council discuss and act on the termination of the city manager and establish temporary leadership.
The City of Antioch deserves a City Manager who can lead city hall – under a policy direction as set by the City Council – toward a path of economic vitality. As business owners with employees, we recognize there are times when it makes good business-sense to let an employee go.
Even if their termination comes at a potential financial loss. This is one of those situations.
The Antioch Chamber believes even with this loss we will be avoiding situations and contracts that can cost the city far more expense than this small loss will amount to in the overall budget
For more on the Antioch Chamber of Commerce, visit their website.
Editors Note: Sean Wright, the Mayor of Antioch, was endorsed by the Antioch Chamber of Commerce during the last election. Wright also served as the previous Chamber of Commerce CEO.