Home Antioch Antioch City Manager Issues Community Letter Highlighting Financial Conditions

Antioch City Manager Issues Community Letter Highlighting Financial Conditions

by ECT


Antioch City Manager Steve Duran sent out a “Community Letter” today to residents of Antioch updating them on what has transpired since January in the City.

Highlights of the letter include:

  • Held Community Cafes
  • Measure C passed bringing in a projected $4.48 million for police and code enforcement services
  • Update on the Downtown/Rivertown Development
  • City obtained ownership of the former Humphrey’s restaurant
  • Claims Antioch has not hired officers due to fiscal crisis
  • Antioch does not have a spending problem, they have a revenue problem
  • Antioch is one of the lowest per capita revenue ($404.36) in the County
  • Touches on Measure O

September 2014

Dear Antioch Resident,

I have been on board as Antioch’s City Manager since January 7th and this letter is to provide you with an update on the City’s recent activities and financial condition. This effort is part of the City’s Strategic Plan, as follows: “Strategy L-1: Improve community communications and trust in City government and keep the community well informed as to the activities of the City departments.” Along the same lines, we have also implemented written Weekly Reports and Monthly Reports. All these documents are on the City web site: www.ci.antioch.ca.us

The City Council and staff have been very busy the last several months. In January we held four Community Cafés as part of the citywide Strategic Plan development. These were great opportunities for the Council and staff to meet residents who don’t usually have the time to come out to a Council meeting. We gathered a lot of good information from folks on the direction they’d like to see the City head over the next few years. The Council adopted the Strategic Plan on June 10th.

The Council also adopted the fiscal year 2014/15 budget in June. This is the first year that Measure C funding is included in the budget. The Council allocated 100% of the Measure C revenue, projected at $4,489,747 for this fiscal year, to the Police Department and Code Enforcement. This is the planned use of Measure C funds for the seven year life of the measure. The breakdown for 2014/15 is $4,300,847 to Police, and $188,900 to Code Enforcement. Code Enforcement is bringing on another Code Enforcement Officer with their allocation. The Police Department’s goal is to bring the number of sworn Officer staffing up to 97 this fiscal year and to 104 within two years. Unfortunately, retirements and other separations are keeping us from gaining ground quickly. Since January 2013 we’ve hired 26 Officers, but have only gained a net of 4 due to retirements and other separations. Public safety and Police Officer hiring remain our top priorities. The budget document is also available on the City’s website.

The City is actively looking for economic development opportunities. The Downtown/Rivertown area has been primed for redevelopment for several years. With the downturn in the economy, capital investments dried up. But, now that the economy is improving, things are looking up. The City’s Strategic Plan calls for updating and implementing the 2006 Downtown Plan. The City has issued a Request for Qualifications/Proposals (RFQ/P) for City-owned sites on the east end of downtown. The vision for this location is market-rate, for-sale, transit-oriented residential development. The deadline for developer qualifications and proposals is November 3, 2014. In the meantime, the City will be conducting focus groups to get community input. Once we have a viable proposal, two community cafes are planned to get input on the specifics of the proposal.

The City, having recently obtained full ownership, is now marketing the former Humphrey’s restaurant, located at the beautiful downtown marina. We are seeking an experienced, well financed, restaurateur to renovate the building and bring a quality destination restaurant.

Also related to Downtown/Rivertown revitalization, the City was awarded a $429,000 grant from the California Strategic Growth Council for a Downtown/Rivertown Specific Plan. This plan will analyze the potential development opportunities, especially as they relate to transit-oriented development, creating jobs, and increasing economic vitality. This effort will complement the downtown east project.

Eight months into this job, the most repeated concern I have heard from people is “why can’t Antioch afford more staff, especially Police Officers?” The answer is easy; but solving the problem is hard. Antioch continues to face a severe fiscal crisis. We do not have a spending problem. We have a revenue problem. Although the citizens passed Measure C in November, 2013, revenues are still inadequate to provide acceptable levels of service to the community and we continue to be among the poorest city governments in the County. With Measure C, our budgeted General Fund revenue for fiscal year 2014/15 is $43,046,381. With a population of 106,455, that puts our per capita revenue at only

$404.36. Compare this to our neighboring cities of Brentwood at $817.35 and Pittsburg at $555.84. Comparable sized cities Concord and Richmond are at $681.68 and $1255.75 – a General Fund three times as large as Antioch’s. Since 2007, the City has cut staffing and expenses by over 30%, instituting furlough Fridays and cutting upper management salaries by 10%.

This revenue problem is why the City Council put Measure O on the November ballot. In 2013 a citizens group requested that the City Council add the rental or leasing of residential property to the business license ordinance at a rate of $240 per unit per year. At that time, the City Council decided to only bring one measure forward, and elected to move ahead with the sales tax ordinance (Measure C). This year, Measure O will ensure that residential landlords pay a Business License Tax based on the number of units rented. The rate structure is $250 per year for single family dwelling rentals, and $150 per year for multi-family rental units. In addition, the minimum Business License Tax is proposed to go from $25, where it was in the 1960’s, to $100 (except for non-professional home based businesses, which will remain at $25). Detailed information is on the City web site.

The City Council and City staff are dedicated to making Antioch the best community we can, and we want to hear from you, our residents. Of course, you can connect with the Council at any Council meeting or by e-mail. I also encourage you to contact me directly to share your thoughts or to ask any questions. I can be reached at [email protected] .

I always look forward to your feedback.


Steven Duran

City Manager

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Ann M Alcorn Sep 8, 2014 - 4:04 pm

Please please put 132 Merrill Drive, Antioch, Ca 94509 on your list of things to do. We have been dealing with this problem for many years. From the homeless living there to drug labs and drug dealings being done there. Now, after a fire, we have a demolished home. Yes, we have called many times, maybe now you can help us with this situation. Please and thank you!

RJB Sep 8, 2014 - 4:22 pm

Here is a simple answer as to why our per capita revenue is so low: Antioch has a significant amount of low income residents. The tax paying, average to higher income residents, have moved out due to the low quality of life in Antioch.

Don’t believe me? Then why is it that over 55% of the students in the AUSD are considered low income families? Just open your eyes and look out the window as you drive around town. The answer is right in front of your face.

Here’s another example: How logical does opening a Nordstrom, Gucci, or an Apple store at the Antioch mall sound?

Julio Sep 8, 2014 - 4:30 pm

I appreciate Mr. Duran’s efforts but the letter is far too long. There are facts there many on this blog have been wondering about if people will read it.

JimSimmons 42 Sep 8, 2014 - 4:34 pm

I can appreciate what he is trying to do in outreach to the community, but I am reading spin and lip service. The council is also not helping.

Chuck Sep 8, 2014 - 6:02 pm

Antioch needs industrial type jobs. The population versus job market is out of wack. Get those thugs to work doing anything so they don’t have time to thug.

Larry Sep 8, 2014 - 6:27 pm

We have way to many HUD units within our city. Out of 56 units in our HOA I have been told there are 16 units

Julio Sep 8, 2014 - 6:35 pm

Larry. The city has no control over HUD units of any kind in Antioch. It is a federal program. Talk to the LANDLORDs and tell them to stop renting to HUD. Fat chance. However until that happens we will continue to be screwed.

Julio Sep 8, 2014 - 6:37 pm

Also, Larry, why does your HOA have a clause there can be rentals? I wouldn’t have bought in there.

santafejones Sep 13, 2014 - 12:27 pm

Julio….please contact me about Jeff Belle, a convicted felon.

self employed Sep 8, 2014 - 6:36 pm

Just as your constituents do, Antioch must establish budgets consistent with income. Claiming an income problem is fiscally irresponsible. Try attracting more business (eg approving the Walmart superstore) or improving the per capita income (reduce rentals and low – income subsidies). Until then, trim budgets to meet income. Not a financial genius, but it seems you are missing the mark and do not understand our community.

Claudia Sep 8, 2014 - 7:38 pm

I appreciate that he took the time to tell us what’s going on. In my 8+ years in Antiich, this is the first communication I actually read. I really hope that we can clean up our city and hire more police if we need it, but we really need to cut down on section 8. Many families are just taking advantage of it and hurting our city, schools.

Where did Antioch go wrong??????? Sep 8, 2014 - 8:58 pm

Antioch will never be able to hire enough police officers to deal with the crime rate. APD is a revolving door and the officers that stay do so not by choice. I don’t know of one that is happy to say they work for Antioch PD. They are overworked and under appreciated. The service that is provided is substandard and that is not by choice of the officers. I don’t know if Antioch will ever be able to provide a high level of police service. This really does suck because they have a lot of very capable people that work for APD.

Joseph D Sep 9, 2014 - 6:38 am

Antioch is turning to become the Section 8 Capital in Contra Costa County The services that providied senior residents a place to meet – senior Center – are being slowly eliminated including plans for the building site – while the bulk of residents in secion 8 housing – a large group under age 60 keep increasing. My area right off James Dolon is constantly being canvassed by “buyers/owners” of already existing section 8 dwellings. Three times since this past January we have been approached to sell our single family home. .

Fed up Sep 9, 2014 - 7:28 am

Antioch doesn’t have a revenue problem.The problem is Antioch has way too many people living here for free on Sec.8 , food stamps etc…and majority of those people are the ones committing crimes and selling drugs. Measure C & O won’t even affect them. They don’t have jobs to pay the taxes for C, and the government will end up paying the hike up in rental rates from O. What’s even more ridiculous is the renovations that are proposed, that will most likely be completed before staffing APD. Renovations or not, downtown will not generate any new revenue if the city remains high in crime and under staffed for police. If you want to clean up Antioch, start with the criminals first.

Concerned Antioch resident Sep 12, 2014 - 12:44 pm

I totally agree.

Deb Sep 9, 2014 - 11:51 am

Hmmmm…. no where does this letter mention the 30% + increase in property taxes that will bring in a substantial amount for the city…..

Marty Fernandez Sep 9, 2014 - 4:26 pm

Because there isn’t any. We are bankrupt and moving deeper by the second.

Julio Sep 10, 2014 - 3:30 pm

That 30% isn’t that high. The city only gets a couple of percent. The rest goes to the County to maintain all those big buck salaries.

George Sep 9, 2014 - 5:05 pm

Facts about Antioch and the Contra Costa County Supervisors. In 1995 Antioch was a sleepy bedroom community. In 199 Antioch became the victim of greedy banks, scheming supervisors and outside investors. The banks gave loans to anyone willing to sign their loan papers from 1999 through 2008. Then in 2008 when the borrowers could not make their loan payments, the banks foreclosed over five thousand homes. The foreclosed homes (over three thousand) were bought by outside investors for 40 to 60 percent discounts. Most of the investors chose to not live in Antioch. Instead the investors rented the homes to anyone who could pay the rent. Unfortunately most of the new renters were west Contra Costa county residents who’s section eight vouchers were provided by the Contra Costa County supervisors. The supervisors chose to lower the voucher amounts to monthly amounts where the only place the voucher pay the rent was in the lower rental areas of contra costa county like Antioch, Bay Point or Pittsburg. Now the city of Antioch is asking the landlords to pay $250 per rental to enable Antioch to keep Antioch safe.

Kim Sep 11, 2014 - 9:05 pm

Well said! You have hit the problem right on target! Sad but true it is the reason for a huge percent of Antioch probkems. My court alone in the 8yrs ive lived on it has had 3 foreclosures and had investors buy them up as rentals. Not One live here either. Luckily we have not had problems and I believe its because there is NO SECTION 8 renters. Thank you Gerge for the eye opener, hope many will take note also!

Kim Sep 11, 2014 - 9:08 pm

Sorry name error George!!

Chuck Sep 9, 2014 - 6:05 pm

Too little too late. That’s why on the next ballot it is time to ” vote em out “.

DCL- Another Concerned Antioch Resident Sep 10, 2014 - 9:16 am

Another Concerned Antioch Resident:
Antioch’s problems: Here is how I see it – We have all of these problems with the ‘crime’ in the city. We must back up and take a look at what the causes are before we can just talk about what needs to be managed. Yes managed! If you don’t correct the problem, all you are really doing is putting a band-aid on it and managing it – not solving it – to get rid of it! I’d like to remark on the section 8, which is regulated by the county. Antioch needs to have its own section 8 program and get rid of Contra Costa County’s authority over Antioch. That would be a start to solving Antioch’s NON control over it! It will take time to change it, but it would be changed for the better!
Next, stop the Antioch School District from allowing out-of-the-area residents to attend our schools. The school district opened up our schools to out-of-area residents to fill our schools, which were built, because there were not enough Antioch residents in them. The school district found it needed bodies to bring in dollar revenue to pay teachers etc..
I believe these are the two big factors in correcting our crime problem in Antioch.

Julio Sep 10, 2014 - 3:28 pm

Section 8 is not regulated by the county. It is a federal program we only do what they want.
Antioch was interested in starting its own program a few years back. 3 mayors ago, and found out it would be IN ADDITION TO the federal allotment. No brainer. Don’t do it.

The school district does not truck in out side children. Contrary to what some believe. I know people involved in that investigation and It simply did not happen.

Schools are built on the simple fact x amount of homes built will require schools for so many children. Now we have too many schools, they keep talking about closing them. But when Seeno builds his hundreds of homes on Buchanan and Somersville Roads we will have a full house again because that is the Antioch School District in a Pittsburg city limit.

I Was There Sep 11, 2014 - 10:23 am

You are correct Julio. In 2006/2007 UCBN & members of the city council researched starting its own housing authority to combat and gain better control of the number of section 8 tenants moving into the city from other parts of the Bay Area who were causing substantial problems throughout the community.

After extensive talks with federal officials we were informed the cost to create a Housing Authority in Antioch would be over $1 million a year, a financial obligation Antioch could not afford. In addition, the city would a substantial NEW allotment of Section 8 vouchers. For the above reasons the idea of starting a new HA was abandoned.

Joseph D Sep 12, 2014 - 8:09 am

Sec.8 Housing Guidelines in California. The Housing Choice Vouchers are handel out to participants based on Income. In California to qualify for these vouchers an individual or family must Not Earn More than 50 percent of the meidm income for the geographic area – in this case Antioch/East Co.Co.County, and often no more than 30%. The income level vary quite dramatically from city to city. For example, if the mediam income for a particular are is $50,000, a participnat cannot earn more than $25,000 to be elibible for a Choice Voucher. HID ooficers are required to review all California participants’ income Annually to determaine if Section 8 subsidies will continue. I have now to questions for us residents of Antioch….
:1-What is currently the “mediam income” for the residents of Antioch
2-Do we know if HUD “officers” actually do the ” annual ” income requirement to review” of current participnats recipients of Vouchers for Section 8 housing?
I suspect that if these proccedure were to be folowed the Section 8 housing recipients will be eliminate by about 50 percent.

Concerned Antioch resident Sep 12, 2014 - 1:03 pm

So in other words, the higher number of Section 8 residents in Antioch the lower the city’s median income will be– thus allowing for more Section 8 residents to qualify. There’s your answer as to why Antioch has the highest number of Section 8 residents and will continue to do so.

Julio Sep 13, 2014 - 11:08 am

Joseph, the county HUD does nothing. They no longer check all of those living in the house and no longer do background checks. Years ago UCBN went after the county and demanded background checks and after a battle won. The county no longer feels it has to do background checks as it violates their rights. You and I have no rights.

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