Antioch Police Officers Association Endorses Freitas for Mayor
The Antioch Police Officers Association (APOA) has announced, after interviewing the four candidates for Mayor of Antioch, that its members voted unanimously to endorse former Antioch mayor and mayoral candidate Don Freitas.
APOA president Tom Furhmann stated, “Our city is operating in the worst state budget crisis ever. Sacramento is raiding the budget we count on for essential city services like police, public safety and other essential city services. Now more than ever, we need experience and effective leadership at City Hall. Don is that leader. We don’t expect to agree with him on everything, but we know this: Don Freitas doesn’t beat around the bush. What you see is what you get. He brings proven experience and effective leadership ability – leadership that Antioch needs to successfully navigate the challenges ahead.”
A lifelong Antioch resident and career County employee, Freitas served as Antioch’s elected mayor from 2000-2008, after being elected in 1998 to the City Council, and having served 16 years on the Contra Costa Water District Board of Directors. Today, Don Freitas, who recently retired as the County’s Clean Water Manager.
“I am thrilled,” said an enthusiastic Freitas. “I was honored to serve as Antioch’s mayor from 2000 – 2008. We accomplished a lot during that time by partnering with the APOA and others. Sadly, the past four years have been a different story. Receiving the APOA’s support at this critical time means the world to me. Working together we can create stability at City Hall and restore community optimism to move our city forward.”
During his first term on the Antioch City Council Freitas voted to give the police the “three percent at fifty” retirement benefit that has been a cause of increased costs for cities and counties throughout the state. It allows current sworn officers the ability to retire at age 50 with an annual income equal to 3% multiplied by their highest year’s salary, again multiplied by the number of years worked. That benefit was changed, this year, to 3% at age 55 and is calculated on the final three year’s salary for new hires, reducing the pension costs to the city budget.
Then in 2007, during his last term as Mayor, Freitas voted to give the police a six year contract, which included two pay raises. That contract was to run through the end of this year, but the current council worked with the Police Association to adjust their compensation package, requiring they pay 9% toward their retirement, and eliminated the two pay raises allowing the city to avoid two, multimillion dollar balloon payments to cover the costs of those raises.
Two of the other three candidates running for Mayor, current Mayor Pro Tem Wade Harper and Councilman Gary Agopian, voted to implement the new, less expensive contract.
The election for Antioch mayor will be decided on the November 6th ballot. Last June, Antioch voters decided by more than 84% to keep the city’s system of electing its Mayor. “Residents want an independent, strong, effective leader. This will always be my goal if voters give me the privilege of serving as Antioch mayor once again,”said Freitas.
For more information contact Don Freitas directly at 925-778-1161 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publisher Allen Payton contributed to this article.