Error Leads Antioch to Hold Special Meeting to Fix Ballot Measure Language


On Tuesday night, the City of Antioch will hold a special city council meeting with just 24-hours notice to fix ballot language on a proposed November Ballot Measure that would add a 1% sales tax to the city.

The meeting is being held because the wording approved last week was more than the 75-word allowed for placement on the ballot.

The controversial proposal was approved last Tuesday in a unanimous vote asking residents to “tax themselves”. While many residents have come out in support of youth services, many have argued that the full funding should mimic Measure C and be extended for police and code enforcement services and the proposal should include an oversight committee and a sunset.

Under the proposal, Measure will Measure C funding into a “new” tax for police and code enforcement and provide them with additional revenue, however, it would also work to fund youth services, parks and quality of life services.

With Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe and Councilmember Monica Wilson proposing 60% to police and code enforcement with 20% to youth services and 20% to quality of life.

During the meeting, the Antioch Police Offices Association along with Councilmember Lori Ogorchock argued to tweak the proposed percentage spends to provide 80% to police services and Code Enforcement. Mayor Sean Wright and Councilmember Tony Tiscareno agreed. Ultimately, they pushed for an 80-10-10 split in the proposal.

At that point, Derek Cole, City Attorney, explained that the only action taken tonight could be approval of placing the measure on the ballot, they could not determine how the money would be spent until the budget cycle.

“This is not a binding document and the tax can be spent for any lawful purpose at any time. So even if you were to follow this spending priority as its written now, it can be changed at anytime going forward,” said Cole.

According to City Clerk Arne Simonsen, the cost to place the measure on the ballot is $63,950.

Antioch resident and former City Councilman Manny Soliz offered his very own proposal Tuesday to the council in under 74-words that he would prefer them adopt.

His proposal includes simply a renewal of Measure C at one-cent rate and offers a sunset of November 30, 2026. It also includes a citizens oversight committee with expenditures available for public review.

Quality of Life Measure. To maintain Antioch’s fiscal stability, police patrols, 911 response, youth violence prevention programs; ensuring water quality/safety; cleaning up parks/illegal dumping; and other essential services; shall the measure be adopted approving an ordinance to renew the sales tax at the one- cent rate, raising approximately $14,000,000 annually, with a sunset of this measure on November 30, 2026, requiring a citizen’s oversight committee, and all expenditures available for public review?

Soliz said Tuesday the council should be adopting a measure with the greatest probability of success.

“The measure adopted on the 24th has deficiencies that I think lessen its chances of approval. If we’re going to do something, why not do it correct the first time around? Measure C sunsets in 2021, if this newer measure fails we have our backs to the wall, a replacement would need passage in 2021, or we’ll really be in trouble,” said Soliz. “This is not a risk worth taking. Being a leader means trying your best to do things right the first time around. This is too important to the City to rely on the 2020 mulligan.”

If you go:
Antioch City Council
July 31, 2018 at 5:00 pm
200 H Street, Antioch CA
Full Agenda



  1. One can only now assume the City Council and Staff lied to the public when they said there was no time to discuss this and they had to vote on it that night or they couldn’t move forward with a ballot measure.

    BS!!!! If there was truly no time, they would not be allowed to make changes. They had 4 years to prepare and they wait to the last minute. If they can’t count to 75 words, I highly doubt they can manage $14 million dollars and it goes where its intended. This is embarrassing and reason enough not to move forward with a bad proposal. It is time they do the right thing, not the money grab thing.

  2. More reason just to vote no! The council has not only failed the residents, but they are failing the police department.

  3. Ugh[ As much as I thought Antioch might rebound after housing crises when purchasing a home here, no confidence it will happen under this leadership. After some nut job driver on Buchanan last night, life is too shot, or, your life will be short, if you stay here. Police Department is so understaffed. Animal Services is never given anything.

    • Agreed. I’m surprised animal services are still alive at all. What happened on Buchanan last night?

  4. The council cannot even get the wording right. So why should we vote yes on this measure ? Don’t bother trying to contact council members they never return emails, phone calls, etc.

    For this to be a “police tax” it has to pass by 2/3 majority …. Don’t let them kid you into thinking you are helping public safety by voting yes on this measure.

  5. Our youth is counting on us to make a change in our community. Every year there are less and less activities for the children to get involved in. With all of the houses being built and all the storage units being built maybe we should take a pause on those and make a youth recreation center, or upgrade our libraries, integrate vocational skills into our elementary, middle and high schools. Not every child in this world is cookie cut to be in an office, some children are better fit for jobs working with machinery or working in arts and giving them that opportunity would only allow them to grow further. If you continue to cut funding for the children now we’re going to have a very grim future.

    • There are just as many healthy activities today as there were 20 years ago! To name a few, 35 parks, ball fields, youth sports leagues( softball, baseball, soccer, football) Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Brownies, 4-H, Future Farmers of America, DeMolay, Rainbow Girls, Job’s Daughters, and there are numerous hobby organizations, two community centers, Prewett Water Park, a main County Branch Library, a Library Annex. and I am sure that there are many more that others can mention. So to say there is “nothing for youth to do” is hogwash !!

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