Antioch City Council Recap: Moves Forward With Pay Raise, Cannabis, Homeless Agenda

46

The Antioch City Council had a full plate Tuesday night tackling a variety of issues from cannabis, to homeless, re-locating a veterans memorial to councilmember travel.

Here is an overview of what occurred Tuesday night.

 

City Council Salary Increase

This was the final reading of a salary 70% salary increase the City Council will see after the November 2020 election that will pay councilmembers $1,604 per month. Currently they make $941.20 per month as they have not seen an increase since 2006.

This was approved in a 4-1 vote with Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock being the dissenting vote.

 

Approves $75k to move Veterans Memorial

On Tuesday, the Antioch City Council voted 5-0 to spend $75k to relocate the Veterans Memorial currently located at the Antioch Marina. See Full Story

 

Approves Contra Costa Farms Cannabis Business

Photo by Rio Vista Farms

In a 4-1 vote with Councilwoman Ogorchock objecting, the council approved a 9.2-acre site for commercial cannabis business with Contra Costa Farms LLC. This would include cultivation, manufacturing, dispensary and delivery at 3400 Wilbur Avenue.

According to the application, the city of Antioch will see an estimated $6 million in new tax revenue and they will continue about another $1 million combined to both the school district and police department.

In total, the project will consist of a combined 211,800 square foot facility which will be completed in two phases. As part of the dispensary, the applicant proposed selling both vaping items as well as cannabis concentrates. It will also feature a 22,000 square foot indoor cultivation under grow lights. IN total, the project anticipates a total of 269 employees to run the facility.

Council Punts Decision on Immediate Recommended Actions by Homeless Encampment Task Force

This was nearly an hour long discussion on a series of recommendations by the Homeless Task Force Committee which came from their work sessions which Thorpe said they were only recommendations and just an overview.

Thorpe explained he used to think the county should be dealing with social programs and was a huge task to ask the City, but now believes the cities should step up since the Federal Government has reduced funding over the past 4-decades.

“We have a responsibility, if there is human feces, we are responsible for that. We have to deal with it. If there are encampments on the streets, we have to deal with that. To do nothing, would be the most irresponsible thing to do. The recommendations are in phases, but the comments are sometimes absent of the context of the discussions we have had,” said Thorpe.

Ogorchock explained that when she hears that the City has done nothing, that is not accurate.

“The city has been doing some things, they have Terri House, she works with the county, so we can’t say nothing has been done,” said Ogorchock.

Mayor Wright explained he had a conversation with Lavonna Martin at the County about the recommendations and said she was not involved in the list formation and had not seen them.

Thorpe interrupt Wright.

“I don’t know what kind of conversation you had with her, but I am floored by that comment,” Thorpe responded. “We had four follow up meetings with Lavonna Martin. The county is not going to give us anything for people on the street. There is no capacity at any shelter. Call 2-1-1 and see if you can get housing. It’s not about what Lavonna Martin says.”

Wright replied again saying Martin told him she was not heavily involved in the recommendations which surprised him.  He then asked Teri House to speak (CBDG grants).

She explained that should the City authorize $120k to $1 million, she has a laundry list of things should could do with that money to help the homeless as that is what she does all day in her job with the city.

“I not only sit on the council for the homeless. I already have all the relationships with all the homeless agencies. I would be thrilled to provide you the laundry list of things you can spend funds on in the next two weeks, rather than wait months,” explained House.

Wright then highlighted how under this proposal, they were duplicating work of the county noting that nothing is ever temporary and Martin confirmed that when it comes to homeless services. It will become an annual cost.

“The Concept of temporary, none of these things are temporary, if we move into any of these things we are taking on items in perpetuity. Once you take them on, they become a part of the city,” said Wright.

House agreed saying if they set up a 100-person camp, it becomes 300-person camp and they needed to work on homeless prevention.

Ogorchock said she would prefer the money go to Teri because she had all the connections already and did not want to reinvent the wheel and things could move quickly.

Motts highlighted how the Care Center is 2-3 years away from any shelter being provided which they already know will not provide sufficient beds. Motts assured the council that their proposals would work within the Continuum of Care so they are not operating outside the system.

House explained the council needed to be careful on how they set up services because that would dictate if they are operating within the existing Continuum of Care system or outside of it.

Motts replied saying their recommendations are working with the county and within the continuum of care.

Thorpe interjected saying they were not looking to duplicate anything and they were actually focused on items that were outside of housing such as shower, toilets and laundry.

Wright then explained how in speaking with Lavonna Martin, a consultant would duplicate what Thorpe and Motts were proposing because the consultant would come up with ideas that are already on the list.

“It’s a matter of how much money into it,” said Wright who explained a 100 cot program is an estimated $1.5 million annually.  Wright asked if that was what was being proposed.

“A cot? No,” said Thorpe. “A transitional shelter then permanent housing. The entry points to go through services is to get you to permanent housing. If the county isn’t going to provide them housing, then we have to provide the housing.”

He added that if the county was not going to provide housing, someone else had to.

“I want numbers, I can’t blindly say yes to these recommendations,” said Wright who wanted a laundry list of how much items would cost and where they could place money.

House explained said she could have numbers in a few weeks while Ogorchock said on some of the items, they should be permanent.

Thorpe stated this was Lavonna Martin’s model and it didn’t address people on the streets an what they were talking about tonight was engaging people on the streets and put them somewhere until they get into houses.

Wright replied saying that if the recommendation is to look forward down the road, what items they would look at would need more information and costs because he wasn’t going to accept all the recommendations under the blanket format they were in on the staff report.

Ogorchock asked Teri House to come back with the cost in a few weeks.

Bernal urged the council to take up the items at the end of October when a full staff report with costs could be prepared.

Ogorchock – I am asking Teri to bring back costs on the next few weeks. If we can get as many things off this and the balances off

The city attorney stated the way the agenda was written, no action could be taken but that they could provide direction.

Bernal said they could work to get costs and let the council decide on items with them coming back at different timelines based on information gathering because there is a lot of research that needed to be done.

Thorpe wanted the council to adopt these principals and then deal with the position as separate items.

Legal asked Thorpe if he could identify items that he wanted to move forward with and get cost identifications.

Bernal then interjected saying staff would work on getting the council more information on items on the list.

Motts then suggested they look into other programs cities are doing and the cost, such as the Tuff Shed programs, identify locations, mobile showers and portable restrooms.

“For them to take action, they need to know how much money they are spending,” said Wright.

Bernal said he would like to bring it back at end of October with real report and not something slammed together in 2-weeks.

Motts said her concern was headed into winter and the longer people are on the streets.

Wright said the soonest this is going to come back is October. Bernal wanted a full council should hear this because at the next meeting, only 3 council members would be in attendance.

Legal said with the direction, it would include cost and a full discussion for the council to decide. Parking lot approvals, locations included.

Councilwoman Monica Wilson said she had concerns that these principals and thought they would be over analyzed. If we need to move forward. Wilson wanted this expedited and if two councilmembers were absent, they should still move forward.

City Staff will come back with times at the first meeting of October with just 3 council members.

 

Council Agrees to spend  up to $100k on “Unhoused Resident Consultant”

The City Council approved a minor change to this proposal by changing the title from a “Unhoused Resident Coordinator” to an “Unhoused Resident Consultant”.

According got the Staff Report, the coordinator position would cost the City $120k per year with an hourly rate of $50 to $60 per hour.

The suggested came as Councilmember Thorpe wanted a person hired quickly instead of going through the HR Process which could take months. Thorpe wanted to give the City Manager authority to go out and find someone to look at the Council’s recommendations.

Mayor Wright challenged Thorpe saying the Lavonna Martin (Director at Contra Costa Health, Housing and Homeless Services already has reports on many of the suggested recommendations presented earlier in the evening. He then urged the council to wait and see what Teri House brings back before acting because he wanted to spend less on a consultant and more money on homeless services.

Wright continued saying he wanted to see a full on plan an costs before moving forward.

“I am not saying never, just not now,” said Wright.

Motts said she saw this position as a 30-hour per-week job where the person.

Thorpe attempted to make a motion to move the recommendation forward for a Unhouse Resident Coordinator with no salary range included. That action prompted more discussion and it then went from a coordinator position to a consultant.

Thorpe adjusted his motion to include a salary cap of up to $100k for the consultant which the council voted 3-2 in favor with Wright and Ogorchock dissenting.

 

701 Wilbur Avenue Code Enforcement Violations

The City Council gave City Manager Ron Bernal direction to investigate and recommend relocation opportunities (option 1) as well as simultaneously research rezoning the property to bring it into compliance with the current uses (Option 2).

Image via Antioch City Council Agenda

This comes after owner Joe Boseman had been renting parts of his property to RV’s for 10-years and currently makes $625 per RV each month. The City found him to be in violation of codes because the property is not a licensed RV Park—something he said was never meant to be, but rather a solution to homeless veterans.  A 60-day Notice to Vacate has been issued and will go into effect on October 1.

Mayor Wright said “I don’t want to see these people moved out on October 1, I would go with recommendation to investigate helping them find another place or research and return feasibility of rezoning to bring it into compliance.”

Councilman Thorpe said he was for the recommendations but didn’t want them to go elsewhere.

“I am convinced after visiting the location, Boseman is doing them a favor by not letting them pay outrageous non-market rate pricing,” said Thorpe. “We do have rules and ordinances, I am committed to that but we have to balance it with reality. We have to keep people where they are asking to be”.

Councilwoman Ogorchock was also for the recommendations but said they needed to work on this so it doesn’t open the door for others to do the same thing.

Mayor Pro Tem Motts said she agreed with Thorpe and called it ridiculous to think they would find another option that is feasible.

“What if we do find a place and they cant afford it, are we going to subsidize it? The most reasonable thing to do is bring the property into compliance and make it a safe place following the codes,” said Motts who suggested they work on the rezone and give an extension.

The council and city legal hinted that should the October 1 deadline come, the City manager has authority to use discretion around this item but did not elaborate further.

Mayor Wright stated “We are not moving these people out before Christmas.” which received applause from the audience.

 

Committee Appointments:

  • Standing School Committee – Motts & Ogorchock
  • Sexual Violence Prevention Ad-hoc committee – Wilson & Motts

 

Travel to Virginia for National Strategy Meeting on Ending  Human Trafficking in the Illicit Massage Industry Approved

The council approved in a 4-1 vote with Councilwoman Ogorchock dissenting spending $1,869 for Councilwoman Monica Wilson to attend the meeting in Virginia.

Wilson explained that she and police chief Tammany Brooks were invited based off the ordinance created on illicit massage parlors noting how law enforcement and policy worked together.

Ogorchock stated she appreciated Wilson’s work on this and her passion, but didn’t know what benefit it brought to the city

“It is a draft agenta, there is no agenda for this. It’s two small paragraphs and its not a conference, it is a meeting,” said Ogorchock. “I am having a difficult time with this.”

Wilson shot back saying “You can let the victims know you have a hard time with that.”

Mayor Sean Wright highlighted how they have a strategic plan with 12-items on it and this item was not on the list.

“I’ve been invited to a lot of conferences and I’ve always turned them down due to cost,” stated Wright who then asked if they had a policy in place.

City Manager Ron Bernal said they did not have a policy in place for what conferences city council may or may not attend.

Wright stated they needed a policy because council members could find a conference every month to attend if they wanted to again reiterating he has turned them down for the past 2 ½ years due to cost on the city.

Thorpe agreed saying they needed a policy to be created.

Report a typo


46 COMMENTS

  1. Great reporting. I was at the City Council meeting and this an excellent, impartial play by play of what was discussed.

    • I agree, this may not be the best written from a grammar standpoint, but having been there and observing, this is very accurate and detailed. I hope the residents of Antioch are on notice.

  2. This city council is a joke. Everyone should be dressing up like clowns at the meetings going forward. Thank you Sean Wright and Lori Ogorchock for bringing at least some form of logic to these discussions. I can’t say the same for Thorpe and Motts who appear to be asking for a lot without providing any substance or direction.

    Did Thorpe or Motts even think to talk with Teri House? Who is this Lavonna Martin person and why is she apparently having different conversations with different council members? This shows me the council is not on the same change and nothing should be agreed upon until they can agree on a direction and items including cost. Here is an idea, put the homeless at the Beede Lumber Yard if Joy wants this so bad. Put her money where her moth is.

    Does Monica Wilson ever speak or offer anything?

  3. The community really needs to get behind the idea of voting Lamar Thorpe out of his council seat in the next election. Joy Motts is useless. I have had enough of these two incompetent boobs.

    • Lori Ogorchok was OK in my estimation UNTIL she voted for the rainbow flag to be flown over City Hall to please the deviant LGBTXYZ crowd. That did it for me!

      • When I invited someone to come visit from a state far away, I pay their travel expenses. The people who invited those two should do the same.

  4. Thorpe is an out of control democratic socialist who’s grandstanding before the election. Knew his sub-committee on homeless would turn into a big pet project and main agenda. Now he’s got the City coughing up $100k on a consultant plus whatever they decide to fund based on Teri’s homework (who’s basically already our consultant). Nice strategy.

  5. Wow, I missed a serious comment! So I sure appreciate you noticing (and reporting) Joy Motts saying:

    “What if we do find a place and they cant afford it, are we going to subsidize it? The most reasonable thing to do is…”

    Actually that is exactly what we are arguing in our lawsuit. URA and Section 104(d) says 42 to 60 months’ assistance, plus the “one-for-one replacement dwelling”, when one is displaced when even a little bit of HUD money is used. And CODE ENFORCEMENT is paid for by CDBG money. And it began for the project, a project still listed, a project still being offered on an investor’s website, a project still with a permit, still on the books.

    How much has to be spelled out? This be happening to folks in apartment buildings, there would be none of this “Help the Homeless” crap.

    Our RV homes are, in HUD’s eyes, just as valid as the other kind of housing. The rules SAY so.

    • If you can’t afford to live here, why not move to an area which has a much, much lower cost of living? One should ALWAYS live where one can afford to live.

      • I agree! The cost of living here has been climbing for many years and will continue to do so. Taxpayer should not have to subsidize those who cannot afford to live here.

        • Bakersfield, CA; Fresno, CA; Brawley, CA: Bandon, OR; Chandler, AZ; Albuquerque, NM; stated bordering the Gulf of Mexico ….. none of those mentioned have snow. They have a mild, year-around climate.

          • Well, all sound nice (been to some of those places too), but seeing as how my husband is being admitted (outpatient) for evaluation Monday (9.16.19) in San Francisco’s UCSF Liver Transplant Unit, I think I will exercise my free right to live wherever is best for my life. And right now, giving the man of my dreams, my soul mate, my husband of 26 years a big hunk of my liver so we can have 30 more, that’s what has ME here in the land of hate. That’s what we call it. We are from the Deep South, we are country people, we know to survive. You really don’t think I wouldn’t rather be in Louisiana? Here is a bio link that explains us better http://www.the46thpresident.org The homeless aren’t always who you think they are.

            Excuse me, not being sarcastic or anything, truly, but y’all might try to get the point of our lawsuit, right? We thought we had a real home. We thought we were part of the community at large. We paid RENT. Utilities. I had chickens and a garden there. How are my rights different from anyone else’s?

            People in California in mobilehome parks (not an “informal RV park”) there are LAWS protecting these tenants. Why do you scale their income against the right to live in this over-priced urban hell? Why is it okay to not give poor people their rights because their home is not on a cement foundation?

            You know, I really oughta disclose the reason I am so OFFENDED at being lumped in with HOMELESS ENCAMPMENTS after paying rent 4 and half years is because I have written books about this completely acceptable bias in society.

            Available on Amazon, but there’s a free one on Academia, the largest website for the academic, where I was accepted last year because of my (free) 1900+ paper about hate comments in boxes attached to mainstream media pieces about the GRT (gypsy-Roma-Traveller) https://independent.academia.edu/RamonaMayon

    • Don’t get me started on GYPSIES (Roma) — and their methods of relieving one from their possessions! I had about all I could stand of them in St. Petersburg (Russia), Berlin (Germany), Madrid (Spain) and Rome! I watched them create distractions in front of major hotels so their kids could descend upon tourists and lift whatever they could from them …. Even keeping your valuables in places recommended by people in the travel industry didn’t help.

      • I am GRT (gypsy-Roma-Traveller). American born Scottish Traveller. Yes, there is much racism overseas. I grew up there. Dad in oil business.

        Here we are just lumped in with homeless. You know, the RV deeller status. It makes every one look right through what has HAPPENED to us. Bet if we lived in apartments, the comments on here would be not-so … mean-spirited.

  6. So we’re putting money over lives with expansion of cannabis businesses. They should check with PD on related shootings and marijuana. More crime to follow.

    • Uh oh, who let old man Frank get on the computer to post. Sounding like you’re stuck in the 1980’s. Guess what gramps, “just say no” didn’t work. Wake up and smell the failure of prohibition.

    • Frank, I have relatives who are emergency room physicians in Colorado (the first state to allow ‘recreationalj’ marijuana. While it’s highly taxed and bring in revenue, the cost of injuries from car crashes has surpassed anything they had before the use of dope was voted in. Many of the injuries are horrific. Do we really want this here?

      • Rose, I’m sure your “emergency room physician relatives” must’ve told you they do toxicology screens to test other things in the patients blood, which would explain a lot. People have been driving on weed for DECADES… just because some people can’t hold their weight, doesn’t mean the rest of the American publics liberties should suffer.

        PROHIBITION DOESN’T WORK. Read some American history for goodness sakes.

        • Yes, the do toxicology testing and what they found was DOPE ……. Marijuana ……… Weed … and in some instances alcohol! They’ve also worked on children being brought there totally zonked out. While there is some tax revenue generated, the cost of working with the patients, stitching up the cuts they’ve gotten from the auto crashes, pretty much evens out the score.

          • Stitching up cuts is the worst of it? Sounds good to me. That can be done at an outpatient urgent care, not an ER. Your scare tactics are outdated old lady. It’s 2019, and no rational-minded individuals believe them anymore. Sure weed isn’t a miracle plant, but is a lot safer than alcohol and tobacco. Those drugs have been legal for a lot longer and cause a lot more health hazards. Tell you what, we should outlaw makeup, phones, and eating in cars too because those cause crashes? See how dumb that sounds?

        • Obviously, DAIRY, you’ve had you share of DOPE and millions of your brain cells have been destroyed! Maybe you can save the few you have left.

          • The overuse of the word “DOPE” and “killing brain cells” shows your education stopped in the 1970’s. Come on lazy baby boomer, do some research for once in your life. Do you even know what a peer-reviewed source is? I know it’s hard to shut off the TV and get off the couch, but it’ll be worth it to get some education from something other than your typical nonsense.

  7. They’re blowing $75,000 to move that War Memorial? Why? What’s wrong with it sitting where it is? That money could be used for something truly useful like paying police officers’ salaries. That 70% increase in monthly pay for the council members could also be sued to hire and pay more officers. If anything, the council’s monthly pay should be DECREASED!

    • What in hell is the matter with these people? Seems like the entire city council membership is totally screwed up! They are blowing our tax dollars like crazy! Why in hell spend that money moving that monument? What’s wrong with it staying were it is? Someone needs to reign these people in! They’re going bonkers with money!

  8. Just because there are homeless congregating on our streets and open space does not mean that they are or were residents of Antioch. Most arrived here from other cities and states. Why should we alone foot the bill for these people’s shelters — be they sheds or RV’s? Why is it our job to do that? Are we going to add to Antioch’s already highly blighted scene by adding more blight to it?

  9. Why doesn’t the city add up how much Joe Boseman has collected from the RV owners per month over 10 years and fine him that total amount for code violation and use that money to purchase bus tickets for the homeless to return them to their cities of origin?

    • Here’s a thought: the City could follow the law (URA and Section 104(d) and provide the assistance required by that law to provide displaced people. That land has a development being planned for …go read the project pipeline on Antioch’s website. Look under “Approved, Awaiting Construction” …right there in black-and-white. Code Enforcement is a ruse to get around giving my friends and former neighbors what the LAW says they must. My husband and I lived there 5 years, when we figured out what was happening, we went to court: Mayon v. Bosman + City of Antioch and the Developer #C18-00168

      • The “displaced” person shouldn’t have been here in the first place if they cannot afford to live here! Why should the taxpayers pay for your relocation? Why should an individual do it out of his OWN funds? Maybe some gas money could be scrounged up for you to head out of the state. That I would support.

        • HUD rules don’t count when it’s happening to the RV dweller?

          None of us knew the owner hadn’t set up the park properly. There is one guy who has been out there 19 years. Why should he not receive benefits the federal law SAYS is available if HUD finanaced the new apartment building.

          So a question. If this story was about somebody who rent illegal apartments to 15 families, seniors, disabled, would you support that community in fighting for their rights?

          Of course you would. So you need to check your bias.

          Don’t need no gas. Living on your streets until we get our day in court. Mayon v Bosman and City of Antioch #C18-00168

          What if I am right? What if my read of the URA rules is correct? Then your hard earned taxes are going to be REALLY wasted paying off the damages being done (as we speak) to the “Wilbur Avenue RV Residents”.

          • HUD and other agencies get their money from THE TAXPAYER! HUD doesn’t produce anything to sell for profit and use that money for it’s pet projects. I don’t give a rat’s ass what the LAW says. I haven’t heard of anyone voting for such a law to be on-the-books. People are sick and tired of being fleeced by those who want to be subsidized because they can’t afford to live where they want.

            There’s a lot of things people can’t do. I want to live in Monte Carlo, Monaco where my grandmother lives, but I cannot AFFORD it.

          • Relax, sister. You’re not getting a red cent of “damages” from any of us. You don’t like it here? Then head for another state. If you have medical problems, the CLEVELAND CLINIC in Cleveland, Ohio is the best one in the world for handling transplants and they have a “Good Sam” program.

      • I don’t remember voting for such a LAW! If some misguided politician came up with this single-handedly, then that LAW should be struck down!

        • It’s been on books since 1971.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_Relocation_Assistance_and_Real_Property_Acquisition_Act_(1970)

          Question: why is it okay to y’all that people in charge of your town’s money, permits, inspection process, and general upkeep of real estate comings and goings, why is it okay with you that these people, as a group, are obviously not following the law? Old laws, not some new crap. Old, established ways that we as a country, through Congress, enacted to prevent rampant greed as progress does its thing.

          What is wrong with YOU (anybody reading this, I don’t mean Ericson in particular, really, this is a question for every reader), what on earth is WRONG with you ? How can you look the other way at how the council has looked right through us until my lawsuit changed that. Mayon v Bosman + City of Antioch #C18-00168

          I am reopening the website I built in 2018 to show the other tenants what is going on. Probably be a couple more days til I get to it. Hospital admission for my husband on Monday (outpatient status at UCSF’s Liver Transplant Unit). Address is http://www.oldwilburvineyards.wordpress.com

        • It’s been on books since 1971.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_Relocation_Assistance_and_Real_Property_Acquisition_Act_(1970)

          Question: why is it okay to y’all that people in charge of your town’s money, permits, inspection process, and general upkeep of real estate comings and goings, why is it okay with you that these people, as a group, are obviously not following the law? Old laws, not some new crap. Old, established ways that we as a country, through Congress, enacted to prevent rampant greed as progress does its thing.

          What is wrong with YOU (anybody reading this, I don’t mean Ericson in particular, really, this is a question for every reader), what on earth is WRONG with you ? How can you look the other way at how the council has looked right through us until my lawsuit changed that. Mayon v Bosman + City of Antioch #C18-00168

          I am reopening the website I built in 2018 to show the other tenants what is going on. Probably be a couple more days til I get to it. Hospital admission for my husband on Monday (outpatient status at UCSF’s Liver Transplant Unit). Address is http://www.oldwilburvineyards.wordpress.com

  10. Monica Wilson and Chief Brooks to travel to VIRGINIA on OUR dime? Forget it! The organization which invited them should pay for this!

    Why should these two go there in the first place? They can “participate” in all the discussions ONLINE … that’s how meetings are held today! The online conferences are state-of-the-art today.

  11. Instead of giving them some place to stay for nothing, how about creating jobs so they can be more productive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here