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Antioch leaders share good news at annual State of the City luncheon

Friday, June 5th, 2015
Mayor Harper SOC 2015 1024x768 Antioch leaders share good news at annual State of the City luncheon

Antioch Mayor Wade Harper speaks at the annual State of the City lunch on Friday, May 29, 2015.

By Allen Payton

Antioch City Manager Steve Duran and Mayor Wade Harper shared some surprising news at the Antioch Chamber of Commerce’s annual State of the City luncheon, Friday, May 29, 2015.

The City has come into some unexpected money and will not be running a deficit, starting July 1st, this year, but a small surplus, instead. They also project a surplus for the 2016-17 fiscal year, as well.

That was just part of the positive message shared by them and Police Chief Allan Cantando, at the well-attended event, held at the Antioch Community Center at Prewett Park.

Duran was the first to address the audience.

There are now, over 108,000 people in Antioch,” he stated. “We surpassed Richmond, last year, as the second largest city in the county.”

We’re starting to get our sea legs, again. Things are getting better, but not great, yet,” Duran shared. “They [the city council] weathered the storm. We have a double-A rating by Standard & Poor’s.”

He then mentioned the budget surplus, then offered his vision for the city.

We want to position Antioch as the family friendly, business friendly place,” he said. “Everything is coming our way. The business community needs to have their voice heard.”

He encouraged those in the audience to attend the Downtown Specific Plan Update meeting on June 2 and the General Plan Update meeting to be held on June 17.

Chamber CEO, Dr. Sean Wright, in introducing Cantando, shared a story of his daughter and he greeting some prospective home buyers, recently. He shared how that one type of action can make a difference in attracting people to Antioch and changing the perception people have about our city.

It’s our job to not hide out in our homes and be scared,” he stated.

Cantando then took the podium and offered a slide show of crime statistics. He spoke of the hostage standoff with the carjacking suspect, just two days prior.

The narrative should be the Antioch Police Department stepped up and took a scary situation and everyone came out safe,” he implored.

This whole issue about perception of crime in Antioch, they’re not looking at the numbers,” Cantando stated. “People in this community are making a difference. That’s the perception I have.”

He then shared some of the statistics.

In the first quarter of 2015, compared to 2014, there’s been over a 13% reduction in violent crime, a 6% reduction in property crimes and a 7.7% reduction in Part I crimes, overall,” he shared. “They call us Little Oakland, Little Richmond. The city to our west had nine homicided in one year. We’ve had one.”

I didn’t create the stats,” Cantando said defending the numbers. “A crime analyst did.”

Adult arrests are up 30%. How can that be if crime is down?” he asked. “We may arrest more than one person in a crime.”

He went to share about a “56.8% increase in officer-on-view…officers being pro-active” and “Priority 1 response time is dropping.”

Cantando then mentioned the EBRCS communication system the city recently purchased.

We are the only city in the county who doesn’t have it,” he stated. “We’ll be online with that system by Thanksgiving.”
He then mentioned the addition of license plate readers in all police cars and body cameras.
“We’re going to be able to protect ourselves better in lawsuits,” said Cantando.

He mentioned all the things being done for youth through the Police Activities League, including “starting a Junior Giants program in partnership with Bank of America; free baseball for eight weeks for kids, in conjunction with the Leo Fontana Foundation; bowling, skating, an after school program, and etiquette classes.”

Cantando also spoke about the new Antioch Police Citizens Police Academy starting later this month.

The reality is the staff cares,” he said. “We’re talking about how we can work smarter and get the job done. We have a wonderful community.”

The city manager cares,” Cantando shared. “He understands economic development. Mr. Duran has us living within our budget, within our means.”

The city council cares,” he stated. “They choose to let staff do their jobs. Each are involved in a different way,” which he delineated.

Then Harper spoke last, offering his words of what sounded like a reelection speech.

I’m always excited aobut providing the State of the City address,” he said. “I always introduce Antioch as ‘the great city of Antioch.’”

He stated that he teaches two law enforcement classes in Antioch schools.

Harper then spoke about vision and quoted Habakuk 2:2. “Write the vision, and make it plain on tables, that he may run that reads it.”

We have already developed a vision,” he stated.

He spoke of having good communication with the citizens and the police department.

Officer complaints are down. We authorized the aggressive hiring of police officers to get to 102 and three more CSO’s [Community Service Officers], thanks to the citizens who approved two tax increases,” Harper added.

He then touched on a list of other things the city is doing, including obtaining a grant for more police officers, “dispatch has been handling calls for service for both Antioch and Brentwood,” he said. “Kudos to Public Works for 726 days without an accident.”

We want to improve our downtown area,” said Harper. “It won’t happen over night.”

We will be launching something like a Youth Commission,” he shared. “We want to hear from our youth.”

He mentioned the new Antioch Community Foundation, and being able to make “grants for local programs that benefit our youth” through a partnership with NRG, the power company with a plant on Wilbur Avenue on Antioch’s northeast water front.

Harper also mentioned the water park, and that the “improvements begin, this year, with an all-abilities play area.”

He then spoke about business and economic development.

Antioch, we are a frienly and welcoming city to business and developers,” Harper said. “We will have to remove the red tape and roll out the red carpet. We have to remain a business friendly and welcoming community.”

We have a new Smart & Final and Hobby Lobby,” he shared. “Let’s figure out how to kee our Uno’s and Schooner’s…retaining our Lowe’s and auto dealerships.”

We celebrate being Antiochians with our parades, events, celebrations and ceremonies,” Harper said in conclusion. “Lets’ make it the greatest place to live, work, play and worship. God bless the great city of Antioch.”

Wright concluded the event with a comment of his own about job creation.

We have a half job for every household,” he shared. “That needs to change. Antioch truly can be the best place to live.”

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Who needs a job? East County Career Fair in Brentwood, Thursday

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Meet with recruiters from over 45 companies

Local unemployment has reached an eight-year low, but just about everyone knows someone who’s still looking for a job. Already, 450 attendees have registered for the East County Career Fair to meet with recruiters from four dozen companies representing a variety of industry sectors, like health care, law enforcement, government, service and financial institutions.

Attendees will also have access to career counseling in this specific business climate.

WHEN: Thursday, May 28th, 10am-1pm

WHERE: Brentwood Community Center, 35 Oak Street, Brentwood

It’s great to see so many local employers hiring for positions in industries like health care, finance, manufacturing and more,” said Stephen Baiter, executive director of the Workforce Development Board. “Enabling Contra Costa County residents to find work in the communities where they live enhances their quality of life and supports overall economic development in our region.”

The career far is co-hosted by the Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County and the California Employment Development Department.

The Workforce Development Board (WDB) of Contra Costa County is a business-led advisory group that shapes and strengthens local and regional workforce development efforts. The purpose of the WDB is to align strategies and resources to help job seekers obtain the skills they need to compete in the 21st-century economy, and to help meet the workforce needs of California’s businesses.

The WDB oversees four America’s Job Center of California (AJCC)/EASTBAY Works sites, which provide businesses and job seekers with a wide range of services, including career planning, job training, and transition support at four locations across Contra Costa County – Antioch, Brentwood, Concord and San Pablo.

Employers attending include: AccentCare, BART Police Dept. ChildCare Careers, City of Brentwood, CLP Resources, Contra Costa County Employment & Human Services Dept., Contra Costa County Human Resources Dept. , Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Dolan Lumber, West, Dow Chemical, Durham School Services,Eldercare Services, F.B.I., Federal Bureau of Prisons, Hoaglandz Solar Electric System, Home Depot, Home of Chicken & Waffles, Lowe’s Home Center, Mike’s Auto Body, New York Life, REPOWER by Solar Universe, Saarman Construction, Santa Clara County Sherriff’s Office.

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New Smart & Final extra! store officially opens in Antioch

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
Smart Final Antioch Store Mgr Robert Scholl 1024x682 New Smart & Final extra! store officially opens in Antioch

Smart & Final Antioch Store Manager Robert Scholl cuts the ribbon with members of the Antioch City Council and Antioch Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 to officially open the store. It’s located at 2638 Somersville Road in the Somersville Town Centre.

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Grand opening of new farm kitchen in Brentwood, May 30 & 31

Friday, May 15th, 2015

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Keller Williams Realty East County to hold annual fundraiser at Delta Bowl, Thursday

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

RED DAY 2015 791x1024 Keller Williams Realty East County to hold annual fundraiser at Delta Bowl, Thursday

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New Smart & Final extra! store to hold Grand Opening in Antioch, Thursday, May 14

Monday, May 11th, 2015

New Smart & Final extra! store to hold Grand Opening in Antioch, Thursday, May 14

We’re excited to bring a convenient new way to shop to the neighborhood with the Grand Opening of the new Smart & Final extra! supermarket and warehouse, in Antioch.

Beginning at 7:00 A.M. on Thursday, May 14, you can save on everything from your weekly groceries to club sizes and specialty items, and grab restaurant quality produce and meats – all in one place at low prices – and with no membership fees.

Shoppers will receive a complimentary reusable shopping bag, while supplies last on May 14th, 15th & 16th. Limit one bag only per customer with purchase.

The store is located on the outside of Somersville Town Center at 2638 Somersville Road.

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Umpqua bank kicks off small business week with the Made to Grow Grant campaign

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Video contest includes $10,000 Grant, Local Spotlight Feature and Business-building Packages

Nominations are open for the inaugural Umpqua Bank (NASDAQ:UMPQ) Made to Grow Grant campaign, which will recognize small businesses that are helping to inspire thriving communities. This effort kicks off during National Small Business Week, May 4-8, 2015, and brings to life Umpqua’s ongoing commitment to help small businesses grow.  

Starting today, small business owners can enter to win Umpqua’s Made to Grow Grant grand prize by visiting facebook.com/umpquabank and sharing a short video on how $10,000 can grow their business and local community. In addition to the $10,000 prize, the winning business will also be featured in Umpqua’s Local Spotlight program, which features the products of local vendors for sale in select Umpqua stores. 

At Umpqua, we recognize the important impact small businesses have in our communities,” said Ray Davis, president and CEO of Umpqua Bank. “More than half of all Americans either own or work for a small business, which create nearly two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. Umpqua’s Made to Grow Grant campaign is an opportunity for us to celebrate and give back to small businesses in the communities we serve.”

In addition to the grand prize grant winner, five contest participants will receive their choice of a business-building package developed to address some of the issues small business owners confront most often. They include: 

  • Umpqua Bank Financial Counseling: Financial advice on all things small business. 

  • Social Media Specialist: Expert assistance on a company’s social media presence. 

  • Digital Review: A review of digital and print assets from a creative professional. 

  • Storefront Facelift: A refresh of a company’s digital or physical storefront. 

  • Logo Redesign: Hand-crafted redesign of the company’s logo.

Small businesses are an essential part of the country’s economic vitality, accounting for between 60 and 80 percent of jobs in the US, according to several sources. Umpqua Bank’s Made to Grow Grant campaign is one of multiple programs the company has developed to support the growth of small businesses. Others include Local Spotlight, as well as a comprehensive selection of business banking and lending products and services. 

Submissions for the Made to Grow Grant are due by May 20. Entries must be within Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho and Nevada to qualify. Finalists will be announced on May 27 and the winner selected by popular vote. Umpqua will announce the recipients of the grant and business-building tools on June 8. 

For more information on the Made to Grow Grant campaign or to submit your video, visit facebook.com/umpquabank. For inspiration to help your small business grow, visit umpquabank.tumblr.com.

About Umpqua Bank

Umpqua Bank, headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, and has locations across Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California and Northern Nevada. Umpqua Bank has been recognized for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by national publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fast Company and CNBC. The company has been recognized for the past eight years in a row on FORTUNE magazine’s list of the country’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” and was recently named by The Portland Business Journal the Most Admired Financial Services Company in Oregon for the tenth consecutive year. In addition to its retail banking presence, Umpqua Bank owns Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc., a nationally recognized commercial finance company that provides equipment leases to small businesses.

Umpqua Holdings also owns a retail brokerage subsidiary, Umpqua Investments, Inc., which offers services through Umpqua Bank stores and in dedicated offices throughout Oregon. Umpqua’s Wealth Management Division serves high net worth individuals and nonprofits by providing customized financial solutions and offerings. Umpqua Holdings Corporation is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. For more information, visit www.umpquabank.com.

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Antioch Chamber to host 2015 State of the City May 29

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

State of the City 2015 Antioch Chamber to host 2015 State of the City May 29

Join members of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce for the 2015 Antioch State of the City Luncheon

Scheduled for Friday, May 29th from 12pm – 2:00pm at the Antioch Community Center, the featured speaker Antioch’s Mayor Wade Harper, joined by Antioch Police Chief Allan Cantando and City Manager Steve Duran, who will share an informative presentation highlighting the exciting projects reaching fruition in our City.

This year, Mayor Harper is expected to share his vision regarding the many issues facing Antioch, potential solutions and the economic forecast for the rapidly changing face of Antioch’s local economy, and economic development.

Seating is limited and reservations are required. Food will be provided for all attendees. The price is $25 to RSVP. This event sells out quickly so RSVP early to guarantee your seat. Sponsorship opportunities are available, please contact the chamber to express your interest.

Title Sponsorship – $2500

Includes: 2 tables seating 8 per table, company logo in the program, sponsorship mention, and a promotional speaking opportunity at the event.

City Supporter Sponsorship – $1000

Includes: 1 table seating of 8, logo in the program and a sponsorship mention at the event.

Please contact the Antioch Chamber at (925) 757-1800 to express your interest or register online by clicking here.

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