Home Antioch Fact Check: Antioch Herald Manipulates Measure C Debate with Slanted Review

Fact Check: Antioch Herald Manipulates Measure C Debate with Slanted Review

by ECT

yes on C photo

The Antioch Herald put out a piece recently by self-proclaimed “Watchdog” Barbara Zivica who was apparently more interested in manipulating the argument against Measure C than providing real facts to readers to engage in an honest debate.

We will save our opinion for another day, but we wanted to provide some fact checking on such a manipulative piece under the deception of being provided by a so-called watchdog.

While we do support the measure, our goal here is not to change one’s opinion, simply provide information for our readers to make an honest and educated choice on whether to vote yes or no on the measure. After all, if the anti-tax folks at the Contra Costa Times endorses Measure C, it can’t be that bad of a measure.

Ms. Zivica text is in bold with facts immediately following:

Last year the Antioch City Council decided against placing a parcel tax for additional Police Dept. funding on the November ballot. One wonders if the council would have made the same decision if there weren’t three open seats up for election, including the mayor’s seat. This year it’s a different story. The City (council) is spending more than $200,000 to get voters to approve the deceptive sales tax increase ballot Measure C.

The Antioch City Council is not spending $200,000 to get voters to approve Measure C, they are spending $200,000 to give Antioch residents a choice of how many police officers they would like to fund. The $200,000 Ms. Zivica is referring to is the cost of putting it on the ballot.

In fact, the Antioch City Council is spending a whopping $0 to get voters to say “yes”. From what we understand, the campaign of folks who call themselves Citizens for a Safe Antioch in Support of Measure C are the ones spending money and running a campaign—not the City of Antioch or the City Council.

Although it’s being heavily promoted by the council and the police chief as the solution to an understaffed police department, scrutiny of the measure reveals that any funds received from increasing the tax on all our purchases for the next 7 years, will go into the city’s General Fund and can be used for any legal governmental purpose. The measure was purposely written in this manner to enable an easier passage, requiring only 50% plus one yes votes to be approved. A specific tax measure requiring all additional sales tax revenues be directed to police services and public safety would require 2/3 voter approval which apparently the council doesn’t think would pass.

While there is nothing wrong with this paragraph in terms of facts, we ask you to consider that if you are trying to pass a tax to hire more police to solve a crime problem, would you rather try and pass a tax that requires 50% + 1 or would you go after a tax that requires a threshold of 66.6%? The answer is pretty easy.

Measure C is similar to Measure P, Antioch’s 2010 sales tax measure which, council should note, failed. Failure was attributed to opponents being worried about the impact on local businesses and wary of the fact that the money was not guaranteed to go to the police department:

The difference in Measure C to Measure P is that this time around, the Antioch Chamber of Commerce is supporting the tax which means they believe the tax will not hurt local business. The Chamber of Commerce has gone on record that to state that to help business in Antioch, the crime problem needs to be solved. More importantly, the Antioch Chamber participated in the discussion about Measure C to ensure business in Antioch would not be hurt by the tax and negotiated their own terms into the measure which the Council agreed to.

A few facts for you to consider before you vote:

Prop 30 (Governor Jerry Brown) passed in November, 2012, raising the sales tax from 7.25% to 7.5% and increasing upper income brackets, increases which applied retroactively to all income earned or received since the first of January, 2012. Another voter approved state law which also passed amended specific pension formulas for public employees (2.7% at age 55 for police officers and 2% at age 62 for other employee categories, effective January 1, 2013.

On December 27, 2012, in order to avoid the new law which would freeze the benefit level for lateral (experienced) officers, the newly sworn in Mayor and council members, urged on by the Police Chief, adopted an “urgency ordinance” amending recent negotiations which extended the existing contract with police until 2016 and specified that police hired after September 1 would have to wait until age 55 to collect the 3% retirement benefit, saving the city up to $2.5 million.

Antioch PD has hired numerous people based off this ordinance passing. This was done in order to become competitive as a city which is something Concord and Richmond have recently done to attract officers. For the record, Brentwood is contemplating doing the same thing when it begins hiring 12-additional officers. In fact, Brentwood may be offering up to $30,000 signing bonus.

The Antioch Police Department is in no position to begin hiring 20+ rookies which would add cost to the Department through training, probation, and other costs that the City does not have. It’s better to build a strong team of veterans before bringing in rookies to lean from expert officers.

The council ignored a recent comparison showing that Antioch pension benefit levels matched or exceeded 10 of 15 nearby cities and restored the 3% retirement benefit at age 50 for newly hired lateral officers, stating the move was necessary to attract more experienced officers.

This policy applies to legacy [email protected] employees. New hires fall under the reform created by the Governor. Again, this is about being competitive with other local departments who are also having hiring issues as well.

Being that the police department continues to be understaffed, it’s clear to me that, in order to assure the public’s safety, we need to adopt more proactive policing policies like those under Chief James Hyde, rather than continue the reactive policing policies practiced now, practices similar to former Chief Dave Lewis.

This is misleading as when James Hyde was Chief, staffing levels were much higher and economic times were good. It should be noted, even with reduced staff, Antioch PD is doing everything Chief Hyde did for the City. In fact, the police department is actually now doing more with less as additional programs that benefit the community have been created and maintained.  For example, here are three programs:

  • Neighborhood Watch Programs have expanded into many new neighborhoods
  • Decoy Police Car Programs
  • Looking Out For You which is the training of mailman and garbage workers

Ultimately, programs are a nice thing to have but it’s a moot point as no program can replaces boots on the ground.

NOTE: Property tax values are moving upward again. In July, County Assessor Gus Kramer told the Board of Supervisors “The increase to the local tax base for 2013-14 is over $4.87 billion. This represents a 3.45% increase in assessed value and brings the total local assessment roll to over $146 billion, just 6.92% away from the county’s record assessed value, which was set in 2008. Cities with the largest increases in assessed value are: Antioch, (7.38%), Brentwood, Clayton, Oakley and Walnut Creek.

Ms. Zivica is looking at a short-term window of time when Antioch as well as East Contra Costa County is typically the last ones to rebound—so of course this year we saw the increase whereas last year it was West County who had the growth.

For example, in 2012-2013, Antioch assessed value came in at -1.01%. Over a two year period, that number suddenly shrinks to 2.68% growth. Going back to 2011-2012, Antioch had a -7.14% change. So what does this mean? Over a 3-year period, you are still in the red which doesn’t exactly mean Antioch is out of the woods in terms of the assessment rolls as she would like you to believe. It just means she cherry picked a number to make her argument look strong than what reality states.

Ultimately, this is a slippery slope argument that can get into the weeds pretty quickly as one can make the assumption she is stating as home values go up, crime will go down.

While we assume at some point, revenue will go up which will be able to fully fund the police department, that timeline is undefined and we doubt under current staffing, Antioch PD will ever catch up to reduce crime without immediate new revenue. The question then becomes how do you fix crime in the meantime while you wait for the economy to recover?

The revenue from Measure C is one solution and its only temporary which is why the Council and Chamber of Commerce inserted a 7-year sunset clause to ensure taxpayers are not forever on the hook. Measure C simply solves the problem in the short-term as the economy recovers.

While we can appreciate Ms. Zivica apparent “review” of Measure C, she should consider ensuring the debate remains honest instead of misleading and manipulating facts by inserting her own political beliefs.

As for the Antioch Herald, some fact checking is recommended to ensure readers can make an educated opinion of the Measure that best fits what they believe is the best choice for the city.

Burk Byline

By Michael Burkholder
[email protected]

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42 comments

JimSimmons42 Oct 10, 2013 - 8:46 am

Appreciate you correcting that rag. Few people read it anyway! Ms. Zivica dislikes anything the City Council or City of Antioch does.

Karen Oct 10, 2013 - 8:48 am

Its pieces like this why Mr. Burkholder is the best in East County. Stick to the facts jack. Let voters make up an honest decision on their own.

Jill Thompson 55 Oct 10, 2013 - 9:50 am

Checking my opinion at the door, I agree with the author, lets have an honest debate. I still dont like the idea of the funds going to the general fund not not directly to PD

Kenji Freitas Oct 10, 2013 - 10:08 am

Can you show me where it says that the city council will promise to use the additional funds strictly for police services? ECT, I understand you are not an Antioch resident, and I respect your opinions, however, I am a long time Antioch resident and have seen many of the current long time city council members drag this city into the dirt and have not anything to indicate they will change. Why should we believe them now? A citizen oversight committee appointed by the liberal, soft on crime mayor? What good does that do? I’ve read on the internet how other cities have done this and used the funds for other purposes and only used a portion of what was collected for police services. They can do as they please with the general fund, and will continue to do so. While I agree that we do need more police officers, throwing money into the general fund is not the solution. Why don’t we also look at other ideas to help? Like applying for grants for gang task forces? Asking for county resources to address the growing substance abuse problem that is the root for a lot of the crime? Why not make business harder for the criminals here-how about increasing the fines for all crimes? Other cities have. How about confiscating vehicles used in drug sales and selling them at auction to raise money? Late model Cadillac Escalades would get a good price at auction. The city council has demonstrated over and over again they are incapable of thinking outside of the box. We need people that will explore new solutions.

Dale Oct 10, 2013 - 10:38 am

Again, no discussion on Rental Property Fees like some many Cities have in place.

JimSimmons42 Oct 10, 2013 - 10:41 am

Dale, it was discussed and the council opted for the sales tax! It was discussed for months.

iarchuleta2013 Oct 10, 2013 - 10:41 am

Thanks for your post Mike. I have a few comments of my own.

First, although I respect the right of tax paying citizens to have, and express opinions related to the city’s governance, it is important that our analysis and ultimate decision making be based on a totality of the facts, and all relevant information.

It’s just too easy to defer to fear and mistrust, and conveniently ignore relevant fact.

Although I would be being dishonest if I said I feel our council always uses the level of discretion, expertise, balance and good judgement that I would like them to use, I cannot say that any organization or governance team or leader has ever met all of my expectations. Therefore, if I made every decision, or argument for a position, based on my past experiences with humans, I would never be able to see a way forward.

Fortunately with respect to Measure C, crime, and police services, I have a lot of confidence in the man in charge, Chief Allan Cantando, and I do not believe for a minute that he would sit by and allow the council to redirect and/or misuse much needed public safety resources.
I also believe that the Chief has enough community support that we would be able to effectively stand with him and prevail against any attempts to mismanage our tax dollars, and our expectations.

I also agree with comments about thinking out of the box, however, I don’t think most folks know just how out of the box the Chief is, and how engaged the police department is in forging new ways to deal with youth crime, prison reentrants, community policing strategies and gangs. I think that sometimes its just easier for people to lead with fear and complain than it is to find out what is really going on.

I believe that the vast majority of Antioch residents understand the importance of increasing the police departments ability to hire officers, further community policing best practices, and make our city safe. Our economic development and quality of life depend on us making the right decision and voting to pass Measure C. Our Chief, and the men and women who are putting their lives on the line for us every single day deserve our support.

Once passed, we as citizens can stand together and make sure that our tax dollars are not mismanaged. We are not helpless, and together we can make accountability real.

Last, let me just say that I believe that we missed an opportunity to reach across the aisles and bring together differing opinions when we chose to not include a landlord fee in the mix. However, let’s not cut off our noses to spite our faces. Let’s get the police department properly staffed and continue at the same time to push for other reforms like the landlord fee.

We are not victims. We don’t need to sit around being negative. Let’s work with the broader set of realities and facts and do what is best for the future of our city. We can forget about economic vitality if we don’t keep our streets and businesses safe.

Red Oct 10, 2013 - 11:08 am

We are also rational creatures. We must choose the right measure to ensure the funds are actually directed to police hiring. A general fund tax is risky. Does the chief have control of general fund spending? Who is his boss? Does he have jurisdiction over the city council? I imagine he works for them, not the other way around. Police Chiefs are not hired to be firebrands, or dictators; they’ll comply with their superiors’ position. Even if he railed against “misappropriation” of funds “meant” for police hiring, if it’s general funds he has very little recourse, I suspect. Let’s not just jump on a merry go round and end up at the same spot we’re at now, just a little poorer.

Red Oct 10, 2013 - 10:58 am

If it was a tax committed to only hiring police, it’d blow out that 66.66% threshold. But just another general fund tax with good intentions? I smell a rat, trying to jump a 50%+1 tall fence…

Kenji Freitas Oct 10, 2013 - 11:34 am

I agree with Red. Measure P failed for the same reason. I have read about many cities (including several in CA) that have saved a LOT of money by disbanding their police departments and going to either non union and/or county services, in a lot of cases, the former city police were hired on by the county. Why can’t we look into solutions like this? Why does the city of Antioch required to continue to use union labor that it can no longer afford to pay the pensions on? I have not seen anyone on the council propose out of the box solutions along those lines.

Buy a Clue Oct 10, 2013 - 11:53 am

Why bother going half-assed?

Why not fire everyone, announce you’re going to pay Walmart wages and benefits and you’ll have a line of thousands of people applying for the jobs. Right?

Since it’s all about saving a buck for you, go big or go home.

David Lemontnt Oct 11, 2013 - 5:44 pm

Seriously, you think people are going to risk dying for minimum wage? If it weren’t for my pension I’d have left to take a job not so taxing on my health and well being, sworn officers are no different. Have fun with your police force when you have Buck from Sporting Goods (the same guy who took 2 hours to sell me a fishing license) running around your home with a gun.

larry Oct 10, 2013 - 11:37 am

Sorry, your fact check reads like another set of opinions. A poll could be done for much less than 200k, so it is in fact a spend to get the tax approved. If the tax is not approved, the money has been wasted. And she is correct on the “fee” versus a “tax, it’s a lower percentage to get it passed, the tradeoff is no guarantee the money is spent only on police.

Buy a Clue Oct 10, 2013 - 12:05 pm

Really, Larry? Because I think the county elections office will disagree with you on the cost. Since it is they who run that deal.

Proper and legal polling isn’t something you organize and run with a bunch of blue hairs and a church group.

Kenji Freitas Oct 10, 2013 - 11:57 am

So, @iarchuleata2013, if it passes and 100% of the money does not go to police services, I can go to the chief and demand that he fix it ASAP right? I don’t see how, since the council does not answer to him. Let’s see what happens.

Kenji Freitas Oct 10, 2013 - 12:07 pm

ECT, if it does pass, and the city council does not use 100% of the additional funds for police services, I hope you will be fair and report that. I’m guessing since the majority of Antioch voters are liberal sheep and do whatever the liberal politicians on the city council want, they will probably pass it.

Julio Oct 10, 2013 - 12:42 pm

There is no way the city with it’s huge deficit can pledge this money 100% to the police. They have to pay 1.5 million back to the city they borrowed first.
This will be interesting for sure. It is time the Grand Jury investigates the city and their accounting practices.

Julio Oct 10, 2013 - 4:19 pm

Also, the city is supposed to pay for this campaign through donations or pledges from different companies. Their campaign manager, who was Mr. Harpers campaign manager is due about $100,000 for this campaign. They have not collected enough to even begin paying for her.

The post card from the police officers association today stated the sales tax money will be used completely for the police department. That is a huge lie right there. The city cannot commit general fund money to just one thing like the PD.

karl dietzel Oct 10, 2013 - 10:22 pm

this are plans?

Neighborhood Watch Programs have expanded into many new neighborhoods
Decoy Police Car Programs
Looking Out For You which is the training of mailman and garbage workers

it looks more like a sponge bob episode. my mailman will be trained to watch out for criminals? he barely finds the right mailboxes. will he have a gun? come on..get real.
i don’t even comment on the garbage truck…..unbelievable

karl dietzel Oct 10, 2013 - 10:54 pm

a fact is: NOT one council person decides on anything. it takes at least 3 votes

karl dietzel Oct 10, 2013 - 11:10 pm

i strongly suggest you get the list of financial disclosures from our city clerk, if you really want to look at facts.. the ones who are donating large amount of money to this campaign are NOT residents of antioch, this are out of town real estate companies and out of town apartment associations. and if one puts one and one together…guess what…it’s just a thank you donation (pay back) for having 3 council members (harper, rocha, tiscorino) voting NOT to let antioch vote on the rental biz licenses program/ fee/ tax.

karl dietzel Oct 10, 2013 - 11:30 pm

building industry association of the bay area $ 10,000
ua local union 342 $ 2,000
roddy ranch golf management $ 1,000
buchanan crossings $ 1,000
caa contra costa/ napa solano $ 5,000
davidon homes $ 2,500
caa contra costa/ napa solano $ 4,000
nince fletcher $ 500
issue mobilization pac $ 5,000
aliquot $ 300
meritage homes of california $ 2,000
gloria martin $ 350

Buy a Clue Oct 11, 2013 - 12:01 am

Quick question, Karl: did you solicit the Clerk or did he solicit you to get those names out there?

The last part of your post is pure innuendo, but I guess that’s the way you roll.

karl dietzel Oct 11, 2013 - 2:34 am

i called and went several time to his office. it’s public. but does this changes the facts?

karl dietzel Oct 11, 2013 - 2:36 am

oh, and i send several requests by city web site too

karl dietzel Oct 10, 2013 - 11:13 pm

lets stay focused. it’s not barbara, me, or you…it’s our city council who is screwing up, not just now, no, they screw things up for many years. they are the one’s who make the decisions, they are the one’s with the spending problem.

Green Leader Oct 11, 2013 - 9:29 am

If anti-tax folks want it, then it’s a good idea? Burk, have you seen the idiots out there who say things like “anti-tax”? Good lord, you might as well say ‘flat-earth’ folks are really plugged in!’. If anti-tax folks want something, then it’s almost *certainly* a bad idea.

karl dietzel Oct 11, 2013 - 2:43 pm

@green leader, it’s NOT about “anti-tax” if our city council would have had a dedicated tax for safety, which requires a 2/3 vote, i would have been the first one to rally for it. but our council does not believe in their own cause, and if you read the partial ballot statement from our city lawyer, everyone knows that incoming monies ( if the measure passes) will go everywhere but to safety. and by the way, just because somebody has a different opinion, does not make that person to an “idiot”

Buy a Clue Oct 13, 2013 - 10:04 am

Everywhere but safety?

Karl, you are clueless to the political realities of today. In your blind ideological effort, you can’t comprehend basic math or do even rudimentary analysis of voter sentiment.

The anti-tax sentiment that you yourself have promoted has poisoned the environment to where the low information types will vote down ANY measure. 2/3 in good times is extremely difficult. In times of economic hardship it is nigh on impossible.

By defending your 2/3 wish you are in essence saying you want it to go down to defeat. It’s that simple.

Don’t bother whining that you want the process to bend to your whims. Life doesn’t work that way.

It was suggested you run for office. I say don’t bother. Clearly you can’t understand how voters think, You instead expect them to accept your views and starting thinking like you.

You would fail miserably for that reason alone. Narcissism doesn’t win elections.

Allen Payton Oct 11, 2013 - 7:28 pm

Mike,
You need to check your facts, first, my friend.
The Antioch Herald publishes the opinions of pretty much anyone who sends a guest commentary, a column or a letter to the editor. Ms. Zivica calls herself the Watchdog and provided that graphic for her column’s logo. She is not compensated by the Herald for the columns she chooses to submit and which we publish. When and if she has submitted something that I’m aware is blatantly false, I will challenge her on it, and ask her to get her facts straight before publishing. I also challenge her, from time to time, on things included in her column, which are her opinion, as I did on this latest column regarding former Antioch Police Chief Dave Lewis.
As the self-named People’s Paper, the Antioch Herald publishes a variety of articles submitted by members of the community on various topics, including public health, real estate, exercise, etc. by individuals, business owners and columnists who don’t get compensated but want to air their opinions are promote their business and/or industry.
So, let’s be clear, the Antioch Herald is doing nothing to “manipulate” the debate or anything else with regards to Measure C.
Again, in the future, be sure to check your facts before making an incorrect statement and show some professional courtesy in contacting me to check your own facts.
Allen Payton, Publisher
Antioch Herald
http://www.AntiochHerald.com

M.jumptheshark Oct 12, 2013 - 2:57 pm

The police department has been continuously down over 20+ Funded positions for nearly 2 years now. What good is extra money going to do when they can’t even hire and keeping employed to the current allocated staffing levels? The police department is continuously loosing more to attrition than they can keep up with replacing…..why is that?. What good will it do to give them 15 more positions that they won’t be able to fill any time soon?

karl dietzel Oct 12, 2013 - 7:00 pm

m.jumpteshark
my explanation is: we need to hire brand new guys (like the last 4) not so called “seasoned” which will retire in 5 years. for one reason or the other, our chief keeps forgetting that he was a kid when antioch hired him. at times it looks like to me, that we’re NOT hiring, we’re just replacing.?

Martha Oct 13, 2013 - 10:04 am

Someone this morning asked me what safeguards Measure C has to protect taxpayers.

1. All Measure C funds are REQUIRED to be spent in Antioch – and will not go outside our City.
2. All Measure C expenditures will be fully reviewed by a Citizens’ Oversight Committee, made up of Antioch citizens.
3. Measure C is a temporary 1/2 cent sales tax – which, if approved, will only authorized for 7 years.

Also, it is not a parcel tax, it is a sales tax on only non-food items you purchase. Concord and Pittsburg already have this 1/2 cent tax – so when passed, all 3 cities will have 9% sales tax.

We need Measure C!!! I’m voting Yes on Measure C! I want a safer Antioch!

karl dietzel Oct 13, 2013 - 12:17 pm

@martha
you gave me a good laugh about the “safeguards”

but the most important issue is: the money goes into the general found. there is NOT a word, that money (and how much) will be spend on safety. thank you very much for clarifying that.
you call a “oversight committee” a safeguard? lol this committee has absolutely NO say, and can’t make any spending decisions.
you call this a “safeguard” having the same sales tax as surrounding cities?

Buy a Clue Oct 13, 2013 - 12:57 pm

Winners get involved, get active and try to get on the committee to affect change.

Losers sit on the sideline throwing rocks with no VIABLE alternative answers. Your 2/3 demand in this political environment is not viable.

Fred Hoskins Oct 13, 2013 - 2:32 pm

I issued a formal complaint about our Police Chief’s attitude to all of our City Council members

For about a year I had requested a short meeting with him to discuss a number of things that I have observed (and personally experienced) taking place by a number of our “seasoned” officers

. I also told him that I had some ideas that might aid and improve the police force. The Chief is a public servant (he dose not like that title) as such I thought that he might honor my request.

I asked for a meeting for no loner than 15 min and any time at his choosing. I also and suggested that his personnel manager sit in to hear my suggestions.

The Chief told me that I knew nothing about police work,didn’t like my attitude and that I had insulted him. He said that he would never meet with me ! He referred me to Lt. Brooks.

I have no idea why or how he claims “insult”. I have always supported the efforts by our officers and respect their dedication to duty. Perhaps my position on Measure “C” (NO on “C”) is what he considers as an insult. I do not see our Chief as “A Knight in Shining Armor” I do ,or had respect for his position.

His “Political” manipulation is “self serving”, Wade Harper does anything that he asks, as does the City Manager. We are being blind-sided with fear tactics, behind the scenes manipulations, misuse of power, and being ignored.

The City paid a consulting firm $18,000 to poll 400 citizens with a biased questionnaire because they(themselves) had no way to anticipate a win or loose result if they placed the Sales Tax measure on the ballot. How well do our Council members know their constitutes ?

Do they really give any consideration to comments(input) at Council meetings ? I think not!

I will close with this: The Council had an assured win and a fair method to gain income for the Police Department . That was the “equalization” of Rental Business License’s on all properties (single or mutable owned) in Antioch. That would have brought in a “consistent amount” of money and no expiration date. Many groups and individuals supported that proposal (I heard no opposition).
Their ignorance of fair practice’s and trashing that opportunity is pure stupidity !

Argue any way you wish about Measure “C” it was and is a poor choice and it should not have been the choice.

When it fails the City will pay the $200,000+ cost for placing it on the ballot. VOTE NO ON MEASURE “C” on Nov. 5th ..
It’s also my Birthday and I will appreciate the gift.

Fred Hoskins >>[email protected]

Johnny Knightsen Oct 13, 2013 - 3:06 pm

Fred,

Having seen you in action when you speak, I would not meet with you either.

Wade Oct 13, 2013 - 10:06 pm

Happy early birthday Fred. I normally don’t read blogs. Very good spirited comments from all. I welcome all comments on this issue. Our entire city council supports Measure C. I support Measure C. We have got to make this city safe, now for ourselves and for our children. Let’s do it together. As a former Law Enforcement veteran I know what a safe city looks like. We have got to get there. City staff and citizens groups are continuing to meet on the landlord tax issue. Let’s get this measure passed and we’ll continue to look at the landlord tax. As you know the poll told us that we would fail if we placed both measures on the ballot. I realize some don’t trust the poll. In my opinion that is a valid reason for placing Measure C on the ballot by itself. Have a great weekend everybody!

Fred Hoskins Oct 14, 2013 - 3:31 pm

You have no idea of reasons behind my requests to meet with the Chief of Police. Here are just a few>>> Law being broken reported and ignored ! Statement “don’t tell me how to do my job”, “If you don’t do what I say I will arrest you” “Why should I believe you” (ignoring a request to return to site to see evidence) four more threats of arrest. This is only ONE incident
.
As for my composure addressing Council Members; I have tried contain my feelings and pray that my words will stimulate thought ! I am always loud caused because my hearing is impaired.

One on one meetings allow 2 way discussions, I listen and consider the other persons views, I ask for logic, not rhetoric, Truth, not avoidance, and respect, and I practice what I preach.

Being in Law Enforcement will carry bias which is a sad thing when you should listen to ALL of your citizens.
What are they saying ?, why ? What happened with the so called “Crime” Commission” ? (meetings cancelled !)

A number of our “seasoned” Officers need in-depth training in COMMICATION SKILLS. Authoritarian (I carry the gun) attitudes and gestures that I have encountered are appalling ! That type of approach will only alienate and in many cases rebellion. Take an approach like that with our younger generation and you may create more gangs and certainly more loss of trust (throw in disrespect) . Observations of that method by our New Officers (without having it addressed and corrected) may lead to their adoption because it is accepted. The handling of a situation should be a calm approach not a “waving” a gun method that was used in the wild west by Wyatt Earp.

Opting for a sales tax increase is/was a huge mistake. I heard the consultant read-out of the 400 persons questions. I also read the survey. Too bad they did not ask about which would be the best choice !

I would have made the survey very simple. It would have been a non-complex statement with a single question.

STATEMENT : Antioch needs to increase services within our city. We must improve Code Enforcement, Police Patrols, and Support Services (eliminated on Fridays).
There are Two Measures for a November 5th Ballot being considered. IDEA ONE: Increase Sales Tax by 1/2 cent for seven years and IDEA TWO: Apply a $20.00 per month business tax on ALL rental property in Antioch.

QUESTION : Would you approve to both measures? Only the Sales Tax increase, Only the Rental License fee. OR would you oppose both and accept services as they are today ?
.The decision made was very wrong. the survey was too complex !

I have hit the streets at ground level. I am posting signs. Everywhere I go I am getting “Thumbs-Up” and honking horns. When I have a chance to explain how and why the Sales Tax is on the Ballot, I am hearing how much (many) people do not trust our “politicians”. It appears to me there is little or no respect for the Council.
I believe that Measure “C” will not be accepted by our voters. I hope that I may bolster voter turn out on Nov. 5th…….The most important thing for me at this time is to see a large vote count. That will be a wake up call for everyone,one way or the other. I am wondering WHO CONTROLS OUR CITY ? ? .

Marty Fernandez Oct 18, 2013 - 5:20 pm

Karl wanted to be on the committee for the Sycamore corridor but instead found out that was BS. There was no committee. He lives in the area and would be perfect on the committee but Mr. Harper gave up on it.

Barbara Zivica Nov 4, 2013 - 4:19 pm

Mayor Harper is the principal officer for Citizens for a Safe Antioch who is behind all the hype. Read the measure. Says all funds go into general fund and can be used for any legal municipal purpose. It does NOT say will enable the hiring of 22 police officers. It does NOT say will bring back sworn law enforcement officers to protect students in Antioch Schools. The majority of the 42 Contra Costa cities have a 8.5% sales tax, 6 have a 9^ sales tax and 2 a 9.5% sales tax.

Fred hoskins Nov 4, 2013 - 7:03 pm

BZ :The supporters of Measure “C” have accepted thousands of dollars from firms outside of Antioch. WHY ? WHO ARE THEY ? WAS ANY OFFER OF MONEY MADE TO TRASH THE MEASURE TO APPLY EQULIZATION FOR RENTER LISCENCE FEES OF $20.00 A MONTH THAT THE COUNCIL DECIDED TO DO, EVEN AFTER CITIZENS ACCETED THE IDEA AND SUGGESTED THAT IT SHOULD BE PLACE ON THIS BALLOT ? I think that our City Council has been corrupted !

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