Home Antioch Antioch Mayor Elect Lamar Thorpe Announces Transition Team

Antioch Mayor Elect Lamar Thorpe Announces Transition Team

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On Friday, Antioch Mayor Elect Lamar Thorpe announced his transition team which would be private groups of individuals working to advise him. These groups will focus on different areas and consist of city council members, city staff, private citizens and advocates.

“Some have asked why a transition team, we haven’t done that in Antioch, ever,” stated Thorpe. “Because anything less would fall short for the significance of our city and the symbolism of November 3 when our city residents spoke loudly and clearly the Antioch of yesteryear is over. Antioch is Contra Costa’s second largest city and growing. Its 115,000 people call this home and its on track to be home of the third largest indoor cannabis facility in our country.”

Thorpe called Antioch a “serious” city and ready to raise its profile to match that of the residents.

“Some have called the city divided, it was not. In fact, it was maturing because people have different points of views and different perspectives and that creates conflict. But at the end of the day, we come together to resolution,” stated Thorpe. “We cannot deny that some were made to feel that their point of view did not matter. Today, I am joined by different cross sections of our community that will work collaboratively that will work together to shape an agenda for our city’s future.

Thorpe stated regardless of socioeconomic background, race or gender, they will work to make everyone feel valued in the community.  Thorpe proclaimed the doors of city hall are open and a collective vision will begin.

“The purpose of this transition team is simple, explore and debate ideas that will serve as the foundation for our legislative priorities for the next 4-years,” stated Thorpe who said they will work to maintain a balanced budget, increase community safety, promote economic growth, protect natural environment while building a sustainable city. “I have asked a few fellow citizens to help me in that process.”

Thorpe laid out areas they will focus on:

  • Neighborhood safety and blight
  • Homelessness
  • Human trafficking
  • Mental health
  • Police reform
  • Climate change
  • Environmental justice and smart growth
  • Youth programing and recreational services
  • Economic growth and downtown revitalization
  • Schools and city relations
  • Government efficiency and streamlining.

Thorpe stated in terms of neighborhood safety, he had asked Harry Thurston, an Antioch Crime Prevention Commissioner, along with City Councilmember elect Mike Barbanica, a retired police officer and local business owner, to look at new ideas.

Thorpe announced that in working on homelessness, human trafficking and mental health, Nichole Gardener will be leading that effort along with Councilwoman Monica Wilson. Also joining the team is Ricka Davis-Sheard of HealthRight 360 and co-founder of Share Community (mobile showers). Natty Flores will also be involved in this team.

Thorpe called police reform a “hot topic” in the city of Antioch, he has asked Con Johnson, a retired San Francisco Police Department Lieutenant, and Antioch city attorney Thomas Lloyd Smith to co-chair this effort.

For the Climate Change, Environmental Justice and Smart Growth team, he has asked Liz Cain and Antioch City Employee Julie Haas-Wajdowicz along with Ellie Householder, city-clerk elect.

Thorpe announced these committees because he wanted folks to get started on these issues immediately so they can get moving in the early 2021 time frame.

With more of a long-term focus, he announced the Youth Programming and Recreational Services committee would consist of Parks and Recreation Committee Chair Marie Arce and joined by Youth Services Manager for the city of Antioch Tasha Johnson. Thorpe said there is a lot of work to be done with this committee.

Outgoing City Councilmember Joy Motts will help lead the Economic Growth and Downtown Revitalization Committee.

Thorpe then moved onto the schools and city relations committee noting that the Antioch Unified School District and city have not had a great relationship for a long time and needed to make an effort to fix that.

“I see great promise with the two newly elected school board members in Dr. Clyde Lewis and Antonio Hernandez in making that happen,” stated Thorpe who said both Lewis and Hernandez would help advise Thorpe.

Thorpe explained these are just priorities for now and other areas will come up, such as COVID which they need to work on collectively.

Government efficiency and streamlining stated he would be working on this along with city manager Ron Bernal, Ellie Householder, along with the assistant city manager and city attorney—which includes restructuring some areas and improving processes within city hall.

“These are not silos, there is cross pollination for all of these issues whether its homelessness and the environment. There are huge challenges with people living on our streets that create environmental issues for our city. Literally the homeless camps that sit off the delta, are right off our intake valve that are city pumps the water and then sends it to your facets and showers. There is a lot of waste there, car batteries, oil pans and cans. There is a lot to do,” stated Thorpe. “There is a lot of cross pollination within these working groups.”
Thorpe called for more bridges to be built within the city and have more residents engaged along with repaired relationships after the campaign.

“At the end of the day, the people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly,” stated Thorpe. “This has never been about me, this has been about us as your mayor I will work to make sure everyone feels equally connected to our city.”

Thorpe then closed by addressing the men and women of the Antioch Police Department.

“It is clear that you need to send a message to your police union representatives that it is time for new leadership that is aligned with the values of the people of Antioch,” stated Thorpe.

Thorpe then closed the press conference after a couple of questions clarifying what these advisory teams were. He explained that they were not ad-hoc committees and were working in private.  There goal was to find the expertise of people within the City of Antioch and advise Thorpe.

25 COMMENTS

  1. I could not think of a bigger group of idiots to lead the city than this. Antioch, you deserve what you get under Lamar Thorpe. I am pretty sure the City Attorney and other staff should be having no part of this as this is a conflict. Multiple city council members equal a Brown Act Violation and you already have public committees for most of this. Thorpe is essentially creating more government informally for Antioch without having to provide any records or reports. Antioch should be very worried.

    • The city attorney is a friend of Lamars and on the same page. Both want a police commission. The attorney is on the Oakland police comission. That is why he w a s hired.

  2. Bond measure (AKA property tax increase for those that don’t understand the translation) or sales tax increase to pay for all of these progressive “pie in the sky” ideas begins in 3…2…1…

  3. I knew this crap was coming! What did anyone expect? I hope to hell Barbanica tears Thorpe a new one! This city is going to hell and it’s a bloody shame. After decades of incompetents running this city, we have now reached the nadir.

  4. I got a good vibe and some hope from this article and will support him as Mayor I like the idea that he says Antioch of yesteryear is over and that he is consulting many people with different areas of expertise. All for revitalizing downtown and hopefully reopening Antioch Amtrak station since Oakley is reopening their Amtrak Station. Can get to Oakland in an hour from Oakley apparently; not sure of the cost.

    • Last I checked the Amtrak fare to Oakland was almost $15. If they were interested in bringing commuters into Oakland they’d be more comparable to BART fares

  5. Lamar “Women’s Studies Expert” Thorpe. He’s so woke he knows all the buzz words like BLM, climate change, LGBTQ, police reform… OMG he’s so woke! This stuff is so lame and played out. I can’t believe my community was dumb enough to elect a dude like this.

  6. Antioch is the punchline of a worsening coco county and this collection of clowns will seal its fate. Now antiochs bullshit will spread like a cancer to neighboring towns. A safe haven for criminals since it seems as if no one wants to hold anyone accountable for crimes. And get householders ass off the show, she behaves like a petulant toddler.

  7. So all the people WE DID NOT VOTE FOR are now part of Lamar’s transition team? Smooth criminal activity if I ever heard of it.
    Julie Haas, Ron Bernal, and Mike Barbanica, please save us all from this narcissistic behavior.

  8. Maybe he could start the city clean up if he himself would remove all his election signs that are still all over the city. Guess he is following Newsome do as I say not as I do slogan.

  9. Ahhhh! So, Antioch has the third largest indoor marijuana facility in the country? WOW! Something to be proud of! Stoners galore! And then there is the “climate change” — which is a laugh. It takes CENTURIES for a climate to change! Does Thorpe think he has a magic wand and poof! It’s changed! Maybe he can direct all roads to remove the BLACK top and also do away with panels which absorb heat and both contribute to heating up the area.

    Le’s face it, the Antiochians made a big mistake in electing these stupid people and the rest of us will be paying the price.

  10. I have to laugh when I read about Thorpe’s “transition team” and focus areas. He is apparently under the delusion that he’s been elected POTUS. What exactly is the Antioch city government going to be able to do to combat climate change? What does “environmental justice” even mean? How does he expect local government to fix “mental health” and homelessness? And he’s going to do all this while improving “government efficiency and streamlining”?

    If he were smart, he’d focus on a few core areas – my suggestions would be crime and economic development (no more pot facilities, please). By trying to do everything, he will wind up doing nothing – or doing more harm.

  11. Great Job Lamar. I knew of another local official who started this official ad-hoc advisory team. In governing, partnerships are essential as they are in private business. Local or federal governments, who establish an official advisory “go-to” team early, tend to reach deeper into their communities and provide a resounding message of unity and traction. Mayor Thorpe did an admirable thing. However, only time will testify whether his “team” is a step in the right direction!

  12. So? This bunch will now be dictating how Antioch should be run? GOD HELP US! You think things were bad in the past? Just sit back and watch how this crew will finish it off!

  13. Thorpe’s “the people have spoken” phrase refers to those who “don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground” — and Antioch is now becoming a second Oakland. Isn’t that just terrific? That’s just what we need!

  14. Contrary to what Lamar said, this city is now more divided than ever. It’s sad to watch a formerly vibrant city go down the tubes.

  15. Ah….so many folks longing for the comic opera days of Angel, Ralph and Norma. Yes, those were the good ol’ days

    • We sure didn’t have homeless setting this city on fire, did we? We sure didn’t have homeless crapping on our sidewalks in full view of drivers and pedestrians, did we?

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