Watchdog: Antioch residents hoodwinked on use of Measure C funds

Watchdog-LogoBy Barbara Zivica

Residents still don’t seem to comprehend that monies derived from the passage of Measure C, the half cent sales tax, are dedicated to the City of Antioch’s General Fund and can be used for any legal purpose.

Apparently, residents didn’t do their homework and were hoodwinked by the flood of mailers stating that passage of the ballot measure would enable the city to hire 22 more police officers. Now residents are asking “Where are they?”

The City Finance Director recently gave the council a budget presentation in which she hedged on the number of officers that might be hired with Measure C funds. The problem is projected revenues will be inadequate to meet projected expenditures like the hiring of more police officers.

The real problem folks is overly generous labor agreements. In fact there’s about $500,000 in pay raises/benefits for the current 82 sworn officers coming up in July that the City is going to use Measure C money to pay for rather than General Fund money. Fooled again.

Don’t be surprised if council members soon start trying to gather support for another tax measure, government’s easy solution to address overspending which results in budget deficits.

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6 Comments to “Watchdog: Antioch residents hoodwinked on use of Measure C funds”

  1. It’s easier to pass a tax increase than to enforce/collect fees that are already on the books that would bring in badly needed revenue. Even with increased funding for police not enough qualified candidates are applying.

  2. Jim Marchetti says:

    I have not personally audited the books, nor do I have a proper level of knowledge on Measure C and the associated funds, but suffice it to say that I did not support the measure, and I voted against it – it was yet another tax.

    Another tax simply tells me that the city council does not have a grasp of the way a city is funded and financed. Yes, yes, we all know there was a terrible real estate crash, and the economy, blah, blah, blah…

    Tired of hearing the excuses and would love to hear from the two council members who are up for reelection, or in the case of Tony Tiscareno, election for the first time, on exactly how they plan to take Antioch forward, making it a safer, more attractive place to live AND work.

    I challenge the candidates who want those two seats to do the same thing – tell us how, in excruciating detail, how you plan to make Antioch what it once was, many, many years ago.

    Antioch does not need any more council members who are aligned with (in bed with…) unions, no more school board members (past or present), no more people who are interested in getting to Sacramento, or Washington DC on the backs of Antioch residents (pronounced TAXPAYERS).

    I’m quite sure this election will be a complete bore and waste of time and energy. So far, I am uninspired with current and potential council members.

    Sure, sure, I could run for city council. But, I would be an epic failure. Why? Because I am not wealthy or retired or aligned (you know what THAT means already…) with unions, am not a school board member (past or present), am horribly conservative both fiscally and socially and in general, WAY too vociferous and unafraid to tell it how it is, or how I see it.

    In any case, after 12 years in Antioch, I am ready for a change, a positive change, and I am hopeful, praying in fact, that we see some candidates who are willing to buck the system, fight the fraud, waste and abuse & maybe, just MAYBE, do something that will begin to let residents know that at least someone is trying to make a change.

  3. Dale says:

    Well said!

  4. Simon says:

    Time to seriously look at outsourcing the Antioh PD.
    72% of the city budget is too much.
    We can’t afford them anymore.

    • dotherightthing says:

      And, no improvement in services…. Just the same ole “Well we are short staffed” The “Can’t” is a word that is automatically said from any Antioch City employee! Their mantra!

      Yet, there is the expectation that Antioch Citizens take pride in their city….do clean up, more neighborhood watches, School Board and Administration pursuing anti Charter School efforts rather than paying attention to the poor quality of education happening for kids. Focus on get those ‘test scores up’ don’t concentrate on the kids that aren’t learning. What about the schools that are having discipline problems? What is being done about this?

      My observation re: City Council. The same ole group. They ran a citizen’s cafe–a ruse to “make you feel good” that you are a part of this community. But then, hold meetings exclusive to some i.e.
      Antioch Chamber with Antioch Unified School District meeting re: Educational Opportunities in the Antioch Unified School District. BUT, YOU HAVE TO PAY, YOU HAVE TO RSVP AND REGISTER! This is in non-compliance with the Brown Act!!!!

      After 12 years in Antioch, I am thoroughly disgusted with the same old group that have clutches into when Antioch was a tiny town of click groups who decided how they want to keep Antioch, I suppose. Something is very deeply embedded here which causes this city not to thrive and be a good place to live. But, here is my home. I am a responsible citizen. I pay a great deal of taxes. I, too, want to see candidates come forth that have integrity, ideas and are not going to be governed by the “powers that be” from the past regiments. I don’t want any more “look good” antics! The citizens who feel this way need to be heard. Who are they? Is there really anyone who is NOT part of the same ole group?

  5. Simon says:

    The statement “residents didn’t do their homework and were hoodwinked ” is inaccurate – I wasnt’t hoodwinked and voted NO on C and so did quite a few others.

    Since Measure C is such an obvious failure, maybe we should repeal it?

    If the projected revenues are higher than expenses then maybe we should cut the expenses.

    One possibility could be to outsource the Antioch Police Department, or a least parts of it, like the SWAT team or the Police Helicopter often seen circling the Walmart and then buzzing the surrounding neighborhood.

    Antioch successfully outsourced the landscaping department back in 95 despite threats from then mayor Mary Rocha. Here we are in 2014 and Mary Rocha is back on the council again. And we have the same budget problems with no long term plan for resolving them. Maybe it’s time to outsource Mary Rocha! Permanently!

    Outsource Antioch PD.
    Recall Rocha.

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