The following Letter to the Editor was submitted by Antioch resident Ken Turnage II.
The Antioch City Council has voted to put a measure on the ballot and they are disguising it as an extension of Measure C. This is not what is being proposed.
What is proposed is 1% tax that goes to the General Fund. Even though the presentation shows a breakdown of how monies could be spent it is not a requirement by the measure. The real Measure C was directly for Police and Code Enforcement related spending with an oversight committee and a sunset date (a day it terminate), not one of these hold true this time around.
This time around we have a Measure that just goes into the General Fund and the Council will decide how to spend this during budget discussions. If you watched or attended the City Council meeting it was very obvious who was for this tax, special interest groups thinking they will get a cut. It is horrible that something as intricate as this Measure is delivered at the 11th hour without proper time for discussion. So we now have a Measure that will be on the ballot that by nature is misleading due to using the moniker of Measure C which people understood what the true nature of that measure was.
As a citizen and business owner in Antioch I understand and agree that we need to increase many services in our community. I also agree that continuing the original Measure C is in our City’s best interest. There are many other ways for a City to help generate tax revenue besides adding tax to its citizens.
Adding a tax is just the quickest way.
Everybody wants to compare City’s population and Police staffing but they do not want to see what is the main contributing factor as to why other City’s have more Officers per 1,000 people. The two closest Cities in population are Richmond and Concord.
Richmond has Chevron money plus property tax just to cut to the quick and easy. What needs to be looked at is Concord and how they have done their City to attract business and also increase revenue. Concord has taken their areas and allowed to build up.
We as a City have a stunning and dramatic view 360 degrees on a clear day. This is not taken advantage of. We have areas in this City that are basically dead. All four sides of the intersection of Buchannan and Gentrytown/Delta Fair for one, even though strides have been made for improvement the entire corridor where our mall is located is another. As a city we need to look at rezoning these areas and pockets. We need to change our density for housing ( before it even starts the City does not have any influence on Section 8 so all you section 8 drum beaters pump the breaks) and to make these areas mixed use like we are seeing excel in Cities like Concord and Dublin. These Cities are not succeeding without additional area to grow for no reason. They have a plan and are executing it.
We as a City are in a hard place. We have many citizens that want Antioch to keep its town feel that reminds them of yesterday. At the same time we have everybody wanting Antioch to have a full City staffed Police Department as well as City programs . What needs to be decided isn’t do we need a new tax what needs to be decided is do we need to let Antioch become a City or do we try and hold on to yesterday.
In my opinion it is time to become a City instead of a town with a Cities population.
Please do your diligence and read exactly what this Measure is about. It is not an extension of Measure C, it is simply just a tax that future city councils will use at their sole discretion. There is no oversight, no earmarked money just a chart that says “well this money can be used for this”. Most importantly, there is also no sunset clause in the proposal which means voters would have to take it back to the ballot to overturn it.
I will not say vote no on this measure, but I will say vote informed and don’t just read the top line of the Measure.
Kenny Turnage II