Home Antioch Antioch Councilwoman Signs Card Room Petition, Then Votes to Place Initiative on the Ballot

Antioch Councilwoman Signs Card Room Petition, Then Votes to Place Initiative on the Ballot

by ECT

Last week, after the Antioch City Council voted 5-0 against a Card Room Initiative accusing the effort of bully tactics. Days later, Lamar Thorpe, one of the people leading the effort claimed one of the Antioch City Councilmembers were one of the 9,300 signatures in a Letter to the Editor.

Rather than accepting the Ordinance, which would have limited card rooms in Antioch to a single location, the council decided to place it on the ballot at a cost between $133,000 to $177,000.

Lamar-ThorpThorpe’s Letter stated the following:

“In December of 2015 the coalition we formed turned in more than 9,302 signatures of Antioch registered voters to enact the necessary reforms. Prior to collecting signatures, our representatives had face to face meetings and/or conference calls with members of the City council. As a matter of fact, one council member signed our petition”

In response, we sought out which council member signed the petition after all five claimed they felt bullied the city into an ordinance. Four of the five councilmembers have responded with the exception of Councilwoman Monica Wilson.

Here is what each council member had to say to our question:

Mayor Wade Harper said he didn’t sign it.

“It was not me. When you find out please let me know too”

Mayor Pro Tem Lori Ogorchuck said she did not sign it.

“Are you kidding, right?” said Ogorchock. ”Do you not think if it were me he would have blasted me? He even stated I met with them and I did. They tried to bully me then it was kinda of like a threat. I told them at that time go ahead and submit the signatures but the California Grand does not run the City of Antioch and I walked out.”

Councilwoman Mary Rocha provided the following response:

Mary RochaAre you crazy? Lamar and I do not see eye to eye. Besides if you listen to the meeting tape I spoke negative about the person in charge of the petition for the cost and asking at least for the card dealer to pay for 3,000 in house cost,” explained Rocha. “I was not aware that the rest of the Council was feeling the same about being bullied into agreeing to vote for the petition. We are now getting ready to put it on the agenda to discuss how to approach this petition and election process. I am sure the tactics use to get people to sign were not true we voted for the same issue to limit only two card rooms in our area in February. I feel it is a campaign strategy for Lamar”

Councilman Tony Tiscareno said he did not sign it:

“Not me, I didn’t sign it,” said Tiscareno. “I usually don’t sign petitions unless they can fully explain what they are trying to accomplish. If I agree, I may consider signing as long as I know where it’s coming from. In this case, none applied”

Councilwoman Monica Wilson has not yet responded to our questions, but her spokesman for her campaign for County Supervisor, Jon Colmenares did respond to the Antioch Herald admitting she signed it. During the Antioch City Council Meeting, Wilson failed to disclose that she signed the petition while stating she felt conflicted.

Here is what transpired during the council meeting:

“On one hand, I don’t want to spend the money on that election; on the other hand there are signatures out there. I had people email me about how the signatures were collected so I feel like I am being pushed into a corner on how to vote for this,” said Wilson.

Wilson suggested that the City work with the group to find some sort of agreement.
The city attorney explained to Wilson that under the law they could not.

“It’s important to remember the law is very clear about what we can do. We can either send it to an election or adopt it now,” said Derek Cole, city attorney.

The Council then voted 5-0 to spend the money to place it on the ballot to put it before the voters during the June 7 election and requires a majority vote to pass.

Editor’s Note:
We will update should Monica Wilson respond.

One idea, not brought up at the council meeting which would have benefited both the Council and Monica Wilson who signed the petition only to vote to place it on the ballot could have been to suggest the council accept the signatures (9,300) and create the ordinance that night. The caveat could have included should another card room wish to enter the city, they would pay to place it on the ballot to change the ordinance. Thus, the city could have saved up to $175,000.

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Jim Simmons Feb 16, 2016 - 6:37 am

She wants the best of both worlds I guess. Fool the public thinking card rooms are bullies only to support the effort to undermine the city by signing the petition. If Lamar Thorpe has kept his mouth shut, no one would have known. Good job to the rest of the council for not being two faced.

Old Pittsburg/Antioch Hwy Border Feb 16, 2016 - 7:48 am

The solution ECT suggested makes a good point. How can a council come to this solution when their focus is on destroying political desires of challengers gathering a war chest from less than desirable sources.

Bill Moon Feb 16, 2016 - 8:43 am

way to go Lamar, you threw your city councilwoman under the bus who is your friend and appointed you her backup council person. Monica now looks like a complete idiot and a flip flopper doing whatever is suggested to her.

Antioch Rivertown Resident Feb 16, 2016 - 8:46 am

Just another case of her following the leader versus voting on her own thoughts. She is nothing more than a political puppet playing both sides not to piss anyone off. Just talk to her and you will know what I am talking about. She says one thing then does another. Don’t be fooled by her.

At least Harper and the rest of the council stand by what they say and do. She doesn’t.

Julio Feb 16, 2016 - 8:54 am

Unfortunately Monica has let one person run her life and made terrible decisions. She cannot make a decision on her own. Not a candidate for anything for me.

Vic Feb 16, 2016 - 9:27 am

It will be interesting to see who supports this woman for her supervisor campaign. It sounds as if she has folks behind her pulling strings. Someone that is fine with charging the local taxpayers a couple hundred thousand to help a friend is not who I want representing me in Antioch or in Contra Costa.

Rich Feb 16, 2016 - 11:21 am

ECT’s alternative (not unlike the yes, no, abstain) would have been the most prudent postion to establish. Instead, it appeared, visually and verbally that feathers were ruffled and all thoughts turned from what would be best for the city and the community – to feelings of personal attack. OInce again, I guess the city has the money in their pocket(s) so let’s send it to the people.

Chris Jacobs Feb 16, 2016 - 11:28 am

What is $177k in taxpayer money to help a friend pass a gambling ordinance and create a monopoly. No big deal she is helping a friend with a favor. What a disgrace. I believe Ms Wilson put a favor of a friend before the City of Antioch’s best interest and the public should request a public apology for the error of her ways.

Dazed and Confused Feb 16, 2016 - 12:25 pm

This does not surprise me. Monica is a nice woman but has done next to nothing on the City Council except repeat what Mayor Wade Harper or Mary Rocha has said or done. Either admit her error or resign. County Supervisor appears above her pay grade.

RJB! Feb 16, 2016 - 12:32 pm

If she gets County Supervisor then it follows Obama’s new ideal where society should praise mediocrity.

Welcome to the new norm and fall of America.

Antioch – the city where the criminals are protected and the garbage elected.

Jason Bourne Feb 16, 2016 - 4:17 pm

I just don’t see how any Antioch City Council person believes they could win a regional seat. I get voter ignorance but this is silly that two are running, Antioch has become a city that no one else wants to be like. No spin on this dumb move, she screwed herself.

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