Writer opposes Antioch’s Measure W sales tax increase, challenges proponents to debate

Editor:

Wrong is wrong no matter who supports it. Antioch’s proposed Transactions and Use (Sales) Tax Measure “W” is a trick on the voting public! The Mayor and Council Members, and other select employees, have much to personally gain by its passage! Measure “W” is really nothing more than more taxes you pay that only go into the general Fund, period, with no required funding for anything they promise (City Attorney’s analysis). The Council’s picked and controlled “Citizens Oversight Committee” cannot enforce where the money goes, nor be able to punish anyone if the money is used for other purposes.

Antioch’s public safety and lack of inadequate manpower issues can also be pointed out as contributed to by certain greedy employee groups primarily looking out for themselves and their pocketbooks. The public’s safety/”quality of life” has not been at their forefront. I’ve known for many years, and complained regularly, that our City’s public safety was being jeopardized by certain self-serving employee groups. They preferred increases to their own existing members’ wages and overall benefits, not using the money instead to pay for more Police manpower to make our city safer!

The Antioch Police Officers’ Association, in particular, when given the choice of more Police manpower, or increases in their wages and benefits, always instead chose only the latter for themselves! The APOA’s support is again therefore only very self-serving and hypocritical. Their support for passage of Measure “W” also is so that they will receive their guaranteed raise(es), as other top-level employees also expect to receive soon! They are due for another raise this month. It’s obvious why they want the voters to pass the Tax Measure “W”. Of course, the APOA supports its passage!
Voters, consider for yourselves their total reported 2017 wages / total Pay and Benefits of a Policeman;

Chief = $232,164 / $430,928
Capt. = $209,292 / $392,114
Lt. = $181,440 / $332,252
Sgt. = $143,592 / $362,904
Cpl. = $129,228 / $301,723
Off. = $114,864 / $284,948

The APOA has a very good retirement plan, for which they previously paid none of their traditional 9% share (the City paid it for them, at great expense). Then their Retirement Plan was enhanced to the costlier “3% at 50” Retirement Plan, with the City once again fully paying for their share and additional greater costs! The APOA chose for themselves, not for more manpower or your “quality of life”. That expensive one hundred million ($100,000,000+) plus unfunded pensions debt is another major reason why the City wants Measure “W” passed. Most of the Tax money will be used to cover up for the Mayor’s and Council’s incompetent decision makings!

The Mayor and Council Members have had the power to change things for the better of our community for years but, chose not to do so! The public’s safety and “quality of life” has not really improved as it should have long ago! Crime essentially has been ongoing and unmitigated for too long! They’ve just given the public ‘feel good’ lip service and made unkept promises, just to look good to you! Even when I personally spoke out at many Council meetings, and in person on a one-to-one basis with the elected Mayor and Council Member, they have chosen to ignore the facts and recorded data given to them.

The two incumbents running for re-election should not be voted for. And, the Mayor and Council Members as a whole should be ashamed and step down if all they are going to do is continue to mislead the public and fool you with this nefarious and underhanded Measure “W” just to cover for their behinds! I believe that they are nothing more than incompetent tricksters, charlatans, insincere, phony, and a disgrace to the public they claim to represent. Measure “W” is a perfect example of their attempt to betray you once again!
Norma and I hereby challenge to a public forum debate any two of the signed Proponents of Measure “W”. Let’s let the public see and hear both sides (which they coincidentally did not allow for a Rebutal Argument by us within the to-be published ballot guide).

Signed,
Ralph A. Hernandez

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7 Comments to “Writer opposes Antioch’s Measure W sales tax increase, challenges proponents to debate”

  1. Stanley Cordoba says:

    Thank you sir for your illuminating comments. I did not vote for the first measure and I am not going to vote for this one either.

  2. me says:

    Glad someone other than me has caught on; however, you didn’t go into detail about the raises in their current 5 year contract (APOA sworn):

    2016 = 4.5% straight raise
    2017 = 2.5% min/4.5% max, 2nd highest paid between 4 cities
    2018 = same as above
    2019 = same as above
    2020 = same as above

    They also have a ton of other money available like Field training officer, senior officer pay, and having a degree (which I thought was kinda required but apparently not), etc., which are also percentage based and gets lumped onto their new salaries each year. Also note that Cantando’s projected pension is $214k!!! So police do very well after they retire.

    • Ralph A. Hernandez says:

      And that isn’t even all of it. The Mayor and Council could’ve made many wise changes but didn’t. It seems they have turned over our budget to the Police! Previously Police only had about 48% of the budget but now 70% plus. If only all the facts were known the public would be shocked.

      • me says:

        They may not care Ralph. Crime is the perceived threat, so people want all money to go to getting more cops. But the problem is you won’t get more cops as promised…ever. Not with contracts like this. The raises and payouts to APOA and PD management prevents the City from ever hitting those numbers. No one factors this into the equation and then the public complains and can’t understand why and just assumes it’s because someone is mismanaging the money.

        • michael roberts says:

          They will take the tax money and waste it…look at California Transparent….the majority of 100K plus employees of Antioch are all first responders (POLICE). They don’t live in Antioch. They take their salaries and go home to Tracy, Brentwood, Patterson…the Cops families won’t live in Antioch. They hold the residents of Antioch hostage…”give us more money or we will do even less”

  3. Marty Fernandez says:

    Thank you folks for listening. The past 4 councils have given APD outrageous raises and increased the chance of bankruptcy. I have yet to find a council person in 10 years who truly understands what he/her has voted for. Our councils are directly responsible for the bankruptcy due to unfunded liabilities and it is just around the corner.

    Vote no on W. It is another one of those tricks like C was. They need to be responsible.

  4. Ralph A. Hernandez says:

    And, no one of the “FOR” signers have responded to Norma and my challenge to debate, not even the Mayor. Do you think there is a reason why not?
    They can hide all they want but the public knows!

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