Letter: Antioch Resident Opposes Measure W

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The following Letter to the Editor was submitted by Antioch resident Rodney McClelland, a candidate who will appear on the City Council ballot, but has since suspended his campaign.

When I was actively campaigning for City Council I came out against Measure W.

I just like many of you have been inundated with pro Measure W advertising from the City of Antioch.

I can not support and will not vote for Measure W. For one the City has NOT delivered on the promises they made with Measure C. When we voted in Measure C we were told that it was to add police to the number we already had: not use it to be the primary funding source for police. We had 82 officers when C was passed. A month ago, we had 94 sworn in officers. That is a net gain of only 12 officers. According to some council members we have added 55 officers. Most of those 55 plus officers was to replace officers who left APD. They used Measure C funding for this. So, what happened to the city budget that had us at 82? Where did it go? Why was that funding that was already there not used to replace officers that left APD? Why, is Measure C being used to fund all police hires?

The City council also voted to approve a pay increase for cops on election night when Measure C passed? Has anyone read the Memorandum of Understanding the city has with the Antioch police? I suggest you do. It is public record. Pay attention to compensation they receive in the memorandum.  Too many questions need to be answered.  Let’s not forget that Measure C does not expire until 2021. Until it does expire, and the City honors the promises it made. How can our citizens support Measure W?

The city wants Measure W to replace C and make it a 20-year plan. Raising the Tax rate to 9.25%. Can our citizens afford that increase? Think of, a tax on a $40,000 car.

In one of the 5 council meetings the city manager stated that he and his staff conducted a survey of 800 people. Those surveyed supported Quality of Life programs, programs for kids 12 and younger, clean drinking water and maintaining police.  So, let’s think about those numbers.  Only 800 surveyed in a city of 114,000 people. That is less than 1% of our population. That is an embarrassing survey to use as a reason to put on the ballot and spend $60,000 to do so. Did they survey retirees on fixed incomes? Did they survey senior citizens? Did they survey our low-income families trying to make rent or mortgage payment every month? Or does that sector of our residents matter to the City? Where is the transparency of exactly how the money will be spent?  This sales tax revenue will go to our general fund.  Can we trust city to spend wisely when they haven’t delivered on promises already made? Yes, some council members have advocated for different ways to use the money. But none of this was voted upon by council.

This is poor leadership. What about businesses and growing our economy in Antioch with a 9.25% sales tax. If you are a contractor or home owner going to do home improvement project. Will you buy in Antioch? Or go to the Brentwood, Pittsburg, or Oakley to save money? Will anyone continue to shop Antioch? Or go to a lesser sales tax city?

Rodney McClelland
Antioch Resident


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6 COMMENTS

  1. I can see why Rodney McClelland dropped out of the city council race, he doesn’t have a clue what he is talking about. Measure C has allowed Antioch Police to hire, what does he expect the police department to do, hold officers hostage and not let them retire, go out on medicals or keep bad cops by not firing them so they can have 100+ officers? Measure C was not used for pay raises and it was not used for the latest collective bargaining agreement with the union. That is a lie and shame on McClelland for insinuating that.

    If McClelland has all these questions about Measure C, and he was running as a candidate, why didn’t he seek the answers instead of writing false statements and making bogus innuendos. I can see why he suspended his campaign, he was not prepared to be on a city council.

    Could you imagine Antioch without Measure C right now? We would be at 80 cops, very little code enforcement and have a lot more issues. It is a shame Mr. McClelland has put out such nonsense. Maybe he should schedule a meeting with the Chief Tammany Brooks or City Manager Ron Bernal to go over his questions so he doesn’t look so ignorant in the future.

  2. I am a no vote on Measure W but not for any of the reasons stated above. I think Mr. McClelland may want to go get informed before spouting off misinformation. If people are going to vote, they should do so with real information, not fake facts or accusations such as stated by Mr. McClelland.

  3. Today I am glad Mr. McClelland dropped out of the city council race. He understands very little about the City of Antioch finances and is willing to offer false claims. He asks, “what happened to the city budget that had us at 82? Where did it go”? Mr McClelland, it did not go anywhere except to pay for police services and code enforcement. Exactly as the ballot states and the voters voted for. Mr McClelland, do you know that Antioch spends about 75% of its ENTIRE revenue on police and code enforcement? That is where the money went and it’s time we increase investment in Antioch. Not only increasing police funding but also finally spending on other very important items like our youth and quality of life issues.

  4. Full disclosure, I posted this same message to the “letter in support of Measure W.

    If you believe taxing yourself into oblivion is a successful strategy, keep drinking the Democratic koolaid!!!

    Antioch has been taxing and taxing it’s residents for over 15 years to improve the quality of life and it is still the most dangerous city in east county!!

    Have you ever asked yourself why cities like Brentwood, Discovery Bay, Oakley, and even Pittsburg have thrived and Antioch remains the “toilet” of East Contra Costa County? It’s because it’s the most poorly managed city in the Delta region. You people keep electing and re-electing individuals who believe throwing more and more taxpayer money at a problem is the one and only solution and that liberal way of thinking has and continues to fail over and over.

    Your problem is you have LAZY citizens who whine and complain but don’t have the courage or will to organize and fight for the safety of your neighbors, neighborhoods, and the community at large. You complain to City Council but you don’t hold their feet to the fire 🔥 when they fail to listen to and address your concerns. You let them off the hook time and time again by giving in to their begging for more taxpayer money and what do you get in return? Nothing but excuses and broken promises. It’s called being a SUCKER!!!!

    The quarterly Quality of Life forums years ago forced the City Council to report back to the residents every three months what actions were being taken to address community concerns and when promises weren’t being kept we gave them HELL for it!!!!

    I did my part, now it’s your turn. If you want Antioch to improve get off your butts, stop hiding anonymously behind your keyboards and personally let your elected officials know that they are responsible for the destruction of your city. Or if you prefer to keep complaining and depending on someone else to get involved and do the work that ALL of you should be doing together, enjoy being the toilet paper of Antioch politicians because you have earned it!

  5. Get it together Antioch? I’m curious why your comment includes “hide behind your keyboard” and you yourself did not post your name? You stated you did your part, can you explain what that is?

    Here is the facts, it is impossible to run a city on the small amount of money Antioch brings in. We can pass blame on old city councils and handcuff the existing council or we can get to work and help them make the changes they intend to make.

    If we are willing to pay for less then we should be happy with less. Or, we can invest and bring Antioch to it’s full potential. The opportunities here are endless.

    We the citizens must stop dreaming that businesses will come as some campaign on and instead make a city that businesses beg to come to. Measure W is the right step forward to making this happen!

    Lastly, I am not a democrat and in the past 35 years have never voted for a tax increase though, I have voted every year. Why do I support Measure W? Because I’m smart enough to know nothing nice ever comes without investment and that includes a city. Our choice? Support measure W and invest in our city or don’t complain when we don’t offer what “other” much richer cities have. It’s an easy choice.

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