Letter: Antioch City Manager Says Measure W Allows for Investment in City


The following Letter to the Editor was submitted by Antioch City Manager Ron Bernal

Antioch is the heart of Eastern Contra Costa County—and for two decades, it has been my privilege to serve the community as City Manager, Assistant City Manager, Public Works Director and City Engineer.

I have been committed to listening to the community and improving the services you expect and deserve. Investments in our community allow us to provide better services to what matters most to our residents. Last year’s quality of life community survey indicated that many shared concerns about crime, homelessness, blight and the local economy. Of highest importance to those surveyed were public safety, water quality, financial stability, gang prevention, and economic development.

With Election Day just two weeks away, it is important to be an informed voter. There are several items on your November ballot including local and statewide candidates, measures and propositions. On August 9, 2018, the Antioch City Council placed Measure W on the November 6, 2018, ballot. If approved, Measure W would continue to maintain Antioch’s public safety and other quality of life services.

There have been previous Antioch ballot measures that provided funds for maintaining police, emergency response, and code enforcement services. If approved, Measure W would extend an existing, voter-approved sales tax at a one-cent rate. The intention of the measure is to increase investment in code enforcement, clean up blight, make road repairs, support youth and senior services, and attract new business and jobs to Antioch. Food purchased as groceries, and prescription medications would continue to be exempt.

Some other community-identified priorities Measure W could address if approved, include:

  • continuing to maintain 911 police response and restore the number of police officers patrolling City streets;
  • ensuring water quality and safety;
  • maintaining Antioch’s quality of life and financial stability;
  • cleaning up illegal dumping; and
  • restoring after-school and summer programs for youth.

Measure W is intended to maintain public safety by funding police patrols, 911 emergency response, youth violence, and gang prevention, traffic enforcement patrols, and preparing public safety personnel for rapid, coordinated responses to natural disasters.

Measure W funds could only be used for by the City of Antioch. Measure W funds are protected by law from the state. No funds can be taken by Sacramento. Measure W requires guaranteed annual independent audits, citizens oversight committee and public reviews to ensure funds are spent properly.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6th. If you vote by mail, you should have received your vote by mail ballot already. If you have not yet received your ballot or to request one, visit Contra Costa County Elections at www.contracostacore.us. The last day to request a vote by mail ballot is October 30th. Vote by mail ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received no later than three days after Election Day. You can also drop off your ballot to any polling place in Contra Costa County on Election Day.

Ron Bernal
Antioch Resident and City Manager


  1. If you believe taxing yourself into oblivion with Measure W is a successful strategy, keep drinking the Democratic koolaid!!!

    Antioch has been taxing and taxing it’s residents for over 15 years to improve the quality of life and it is still the most dangerous city in east county!!

    Have you ever asked yourself why cities like Brentwood, Discovery Bay, Oakley, and even Pittsburg have thrived and Antioch remains the “toilet” of East Contra Costa County? It’s because it’s the most poorly managed city in the Delta region. You people keep electing and re-electing individuals who believe throwing more and more taxpayer money at a problem is the one and only solution and that liberal way of thinking has and continues to fail over and over.

    Your problem is you have LAZY citizens who whine and complain but don’t have the courage or will to organize and fight for the safety of your neighbors, neighborhoods, and the community at large. You complain to City Council but you don’t hold their feet to the fire 🔥 when they fail to listen to and address your concerns. You let them off the hook time and time again by giving in to their begging for more taxpayer money and what do you get in return? Nothing but excuses and broken promises. It’s called being a SUCKER!!!!

    The quarterly Quality of Life forums years ago forced the Council to report back to the residents what actions were being taken to address community concerns and when promises weren’t being kept we gave them HELL for it!!!!

    Don’t be stupid people. If you want Antioch to improve get off your butts, stop hiding anonymously behind your keyboards and personally let your elected officials know that they are responsible for the destruction of your city. Or if you prefer to keep complaining and depending on someone else to get involved and do the work that ALL of you should be doing together, enjoy being the toilet paper of Antioch politicians because you have earned it!

  2. Did some “anonymous” guy just trash anonymous people. Hahahaha. That comment was a joke. Someone is mad they didn’t get their way on something.

    • Thanks Julio. By the way “Exposing Hypocrisy” I wasn’t trying to hide my identity I was trying to make a point.

      My name is Gary Gilbert and as a resident of Antioch for 13 years I fought harder then anyone else has EVER done to improve the quality of life of law abiding citizens. I didn’t hide behind a computer and complain I stood front and center in front of the entire community, City Council, and school board demanding that elected officials do something about the problems hurting Antioch and when they didn’t I held them personally and professionally accountable for their failures. I organized and led protest at council meetings; I led multiple marches against crime down Lone Tree Way; former Chief of Police Jim Hyde, Hans Ho, and Myself created the monthly cleanups that are still being done today; I organized the first and only Police Appreciation Picnic in the park for APD two years in a row. The first year over 300 people attended and the second year we had to move it to the water park because over 600 people attended. Most of all, I AM the individual that led the fight against Section 8 abuse and crime that was terrorizing Antioch neighborhoods and I did ALL of this while working a full-time job! My actions brought change to the Housing Authority and forced them to root out individuals that were physically threatening and assaulting residents. I talked the talk and I walked the walk and I backed up everything I said with ACTION! I have many friends and loved ones who still live in Antioch and regardless of where I live the welfare of that city is important to me.

      Here’s my question to you “Exposing Hypocrisy”, are YOU doing anything to help make Antioch a better place to live or are you one of the complainers who criticized and do nothing? My guess is YOU are the latter!

  3. United Citizens for Better Neighborhoods was a very productive group of people lead by Gary Gilbert for years. It is because of that groups activity we are still involved in our community to this day. Gary Gilbert taught us a lot and many many others too who are very involved in Antioch still.

  4. You will not find anyone with more heart, honor, dedication, pride in their community, and as fearless as Marty & Nancy Fernandez. These two people have given of themselves physically, financially, and emotionally to make Antioch a better place to live for everyone.

    So when I read comments from individuals who whine and complain but have never, ever sacrificed or done anything to FIGHT for the quality of life in Antioch it makes me laugh. It takes strength and courage to stand up for what is right when everyone around you talks a good game but doesn’t have the guts to confront the issues head on.

    Thank you Marty and Nancy for your unwavering spirit to improve Antioch’s quality of life. Hope to see you when I’m in town in during the week of Thanksgiving!

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