Although Antioch has a solid meeting packet tonight, the discussion over a potential “police tax” will take center stage as the city staff will report back some of their findings and the tax could begin to take shape.
While community advocates in Antioch want funding to go strictly to police, these supporters need to remember that the “police tax” needs a comprehensive plan for multiple reasons. First, you need widespread community support to pass any tax. Second, you need to attack the crime and pesky city issues from all angles which means not all of the revenue generated should go only to hiring officers. What I would encourage folks to begin doing is discussing how the tax will not only add officers, but will be a comprehensive tax includes not only by ensuring revenue goes towards education/outreach to youths, along with some form of economic development.
By only adding officers, Antioch would only semi-resolving 1/3 of the problem. Antioch needs to begin a culture change and that starts with education and reaching kids younger and getting them “busy” with activities such as sports and other hobbies.
While it’s unclear what decisions will be made at tonight’s meeting, they likely will be requesting more information from staff before moving forward. They also could set in motion certain aspects of the proposed tax while waiting on other information to be made available.
Here are the directions from the last meeting for staff:
- Type of Tax: sales tax, property tax, business tax or tax on certain business (landlords)
- Goals – 144 officers as a starting point
- Length of tax
- Timing of election and mode of election
- Community support and likelihood of success
One aspect of the proposed tax which was unanimous is that it appears the council does not want to approach voters until November at the very earliest. They also want polling done prior to any final decision on a tax.
The staff report provides a nice overview of everything they are looking at with this tax and further explains how Antioch collects taxes.
Other items of interest include:
Prewett Water Park Admission Fee Increase
Here is an unfriendly item as staff is recommending a $1 increase in the “after 4:00 pm, Senior and Active Military admission fee. According to the staff report, on average 161 patrons arrive at the Water Park after 4:00 pm daily (14,870 for entire 2012 season) while Senior/Military were 1,078 visits last season. A full day admission fee is $14 on weekends and $12 on weekdays. Currently, After 4pm, Senior and Military fee is $5 and good anytime. This item is expected to generate $15,500 to $16,000 in additional revenue.
My thoughts are simple, leave the seniors and military alone and only increase the “after 4pm” fee.
Assemblyman Frazier to Lease Office Space
Assemblyman Frazier is looking to get final council approval to lease office space within the Antioch Community Center and is willing to share space with the nonprofit Youth Intervention Network. Assemblyman Frazier has proposed $100 per month rent for 72-square feet.