Mayor Harper surprises again, makes full time commitment to his new job
Last fall, a week before the November election, in an online only editorial, I shared some concerns about many of the candidates running for Mayor and City Council.
One of my biggest concerns was time commitment – would the candidate have the time to meet the demands of the position? I had that concern about Wade Harper, since at that time he was a police Lieutenant in Tracy and worked swing shift, which means he wasn’t available in the afternoons and evenings.
However, in a surprise move, after being elected Mayor, Harper has taken an early retirement and is now devoting full time to his new elected position. This is the fourth time I was surprised by one of his moves. The first one was when he was the top vote-getter in the 2010 City Council election, the second was when he announced he was running for Mayor, last year and the third time when he won.
While in a General Law City like Antioch, which has a Council-Manager form of government, where the Mayor and Council Members are policy makers and the City Manager is the full-time professional that heads the staff, the Mayor isn’t a full-time job. It surely doesn’t pay a full-time salary.
Only one city in Contra Costa County has a full-time mayor with a matching salary and that’s Richmond. But they’re a Charter City, as are the four largest cities in the Bay Area with full-time, elected Mayors – San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and Berkeley.
So, it wasn’t necessary for Harper to make the move he did and commit to working full-time for us. But, perhaps at this time in our city’s history, with the growing crime problem we face, as well as the lack of economic development and local, well-paying jobs, it will be a good thing.
It just shouldn’t become a precedent for future mayors, unless and until Antioch becomes a Charter City, which requires a vote of the people.
I wish good luck and Godspeed to Mayor Harper in his full-time efforts on our behalf.