The voters of Antioch approved Measure W Tuesday night in overwhelming support with 63.96% approval which will now add an estimated $14 million in revenue to the city.
Measure W will now replace Measure C which had a ½ cent sales tax and the city will now have a 1% sales tax for the next 20-years. The goal was to maintain fiscal stability, police patrols, 911 emergency response, youth violence prevention programs; ensuring water quality/safety; repairing streets; cleaning up parks/illegal dumping; restoring youth afterschool/summer programs; other essential services.
The vote was not even close as 10,426 voters (63.96%) supported the measure against 5,875 (36.04%) who did not support it.
Mayor Sean Wright thanked volunteers and supporters Tuesday night who put their time and energy into the Measure. He also called this a major opportunity for Antioch.
“I promise that I will push our council to increase our police force, create more youth programs and hire more code enforcement personnel to make our community cleaner,” said Wright.
Wright added that he is going to push the council to approve 1 officer per 1,000 residents ratio which would allocate funding to the Antioch Police Department for 115 officers.
It wasn’t easy for the City Council to place Measure W on the ballot after they held multiple special city council meetings to approve language and gain a majority to place it on the ballot.
In August, Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe and Councilwoman Monica Wilson voted against their own proposal at one point because Mayor Sean Wright and councilmembers Lori Ogrochock and Tony Tiscareno requested and approved a Citizens Oversight Committee and Sunset be added to the proposal–Thorpe and Wilson fought the addition. Wright, Ogorchock and Thorpe also requested that in the proposal, more funding and emphasis be placed on Police Services and Code Enforcement and agreed in concept that 80% be allocated.
At the August 8 meeting, Thorpe said he and Wilson votes were “symbolic” and were trying to make sure the Measure had the strongest possibility of passing.
The Antioch City Council will decide how to begin allocating Measure W funding during the budget cycle in early 2019.