For the second time, Antioch Mayor Wade Harper has responded to a recall notice where he explains what he has done to help reduce crime and hire more police.
Harper, who is limited to just 200 words, discussed what steps have been done to hire more police and highlighted proactive details which are netting arrests.
On January 13, after a failed first recall attempt led by Rich Buongiorno, Harper was served during the City Council meeting in public comments.
Buongiorno has noted the mayor’s lack of effort to reduce crime saying nothing has changed while more than 150 businesses have moved out of Antioch in the last two years.
Supporters of a recall will now prepare the petition for circulation and to hold a recall election the
A first recall attempt, also spearheaded by Rich Buongiorno, failed when proponents narrowly missed a November deadline for publishing a legal notice providing a copy of the notice of intent to circulate a recall petition. This time they served Harper at the Jan. 13 council meeting.
The next step in the process requires them to prepare the format of the petition for circulation, which elections officials must approve. After that, they will need to collect 8,845 signatures.
Mayor Harper Responds to Recall
As your Mayor and a retired Police Lieutenant, reducing crime continues to be my top priority. Our families deserve to feel safe, that’s why I led the effort to approve Measure C-so Antioch would have funds to hire more police officers. Our community united and we hired 10 new officers, which I personally swore in (Officer Mike Perez, Kyle Smith, J.B. Hulleman, Marcos Torres, Kenneth Krein, Scott Duggar, Amel Sahnic, Trak Keo-Vann, Ben Padilla, and Matt Allendorph). We take pride in hiring the finest crime fighting officers. Aggressive hiring will continue. The cost of this recall may be up to $198,994.50 which could fund another 2 police officers. Under my leadership, Antioch has secured another $625,000 to hire 5 additional officers and our Police Department conducts weekly crime suppression operations – one of which resulted in 87-arrests in just a five-day period. Nothing is more important than keeping our neighborhoods and children safe. But to achieve that goal, its going to take all of us working together. We ended work furloughs city-wide and I believe great days are ahead. I respectfully ask that we unite as one community, to reject this recall, so we can continue the fight together.
Here is a brief timeline of what had transpired in the first attempt which was halted over a missed deadline.
- September 23, 2014: Residents threaten a recall to Mayor Wade Harper at the city council meeting. They accused Mayor Harper of being “missing in action” and instead, first in line to take photographs with the media. One resident, simply asked the Mayor to step down. Residents also accuse the City of not fixing crime and state crime is not getting any better, but instead getting worse.
- October 14, 2014: Mayor Harper officially served with recall paperwork. Harper responding during council meeting with list of accomplishments.
- October 24, 2014, written response to the recall by Mayor Harper urges Community to come together and reject Recall effort highlighting crime is a top priority and the progress that was being made.
- November 4, 2014: The recall was halted over a missed deadline in the process. Rich Buongiorno accused the City Clerk and City Attorney of providing misinformation to the recall proponents.Simonsen explained that the Mayor responded to the Petition on October 22 and on October 23 sent a copy certified mail to Mr. Buongiorno on October 23. The 10-day clock started on October 23.“It’s 10 calendar days and the exception to the rule is if the 10th day is on a weekend, it goes to the next Monday,” explained Simonsen. “A copy of the election code was provided to Mr. Buongiorno where it clearly states he has to publish notice of intention served in October. All he had to do was take that to local newspaper and publish it.”Antioch City Manager Steve Duran stated there is not much they can do.
“I don’t think that the City Clerk can do anything but follow the rules as the State wrote them,” said Duran.
Meanwhile, Mayor Wade Harper explained there was no confusion on his part about the timeline stating he followed the rules.
“There certainly was no confusion on my part. The instructions are clear,” said Harper. “I filed my response in a timely manner. I am open to meeting with the applicant of the intent to recall to listen to his ideas about how to make our city better. I have no hard feelings.”
- January 13, 2015: Mayor Harper served with recall paperwork for the second time.