Archive for the ‘Finance’ Category

Antioch Council approves $326K for outside law firms, personnel investigation since Dec. 1

Thursday, March 16th, 2023

Largest amount spent to defend city against lawsuit by natural gas pipeline companies

By Allen D. Payton

In an attempt to determine the reason the Antioch City Council voted to place City Manager Con Johnson on paid administrative leave during their meeting Tuesday night, March 14, 2023, a review of the past three months of Council Warrants, which are the City’s expenses per department the council votes on was conducted. Between Dec. 1, 2022 and March 2, 2023, almost $321,000 was spent on outside legal counsel and over $5,000 on a personnel investigation. Antioch City Attorney Warrants 12-01 thru 12-29-22     Antioch City Attorney Warrants 12-30 thru 01-12-23    Antioch City Attorney Warrants 1-13 thru 2-2-23    Antioch City Attorney & Human Resources Warrants 2-2 thru 3-2-23

Antioch City Attorney & Human Resources Warrants 02-02 thru 03-02-23. Source: City of Antioch

On Tuesday’s meeting agenda it shows in the Council Warrants report Feb. 2-March 2, 2023 under the City Attorney category, $96,252.37 was paid for Legal Services Rendered to 11 law firms, and under the Human Resources category $5,166.25 for Investigative Fees paid to Barry Aninag Investigations. Mr. Aninag’s LinkedIn profile shows his company “offers independent, impartial, and thorough investigations into allegations of employee misconduct, harassment, and hostile work environments.”

Antioch City Attorney Warrants 01-13 thru 02-02-23

The Council Warrants on the Feb. 14, 2023 agenda for Jan. 13-Feb. 2, 2023 show $41,118.43 for legal services; the Jan. 24th council meeting agenda shows $41,930.76 in legal services for Dec. 30, 2022-Jan. 12, 2023 and the Jan. 10th council meeting agenda shows $141,472.97 paid for legal services incurred Dec. 1-29, 2022.

That’s a total of $320,774.53 in legal services plus the cost of the personnel investigation in the past three months for a grand total of $325,940.78.

Antioch City Attorney Warrants 12-30 thru 01-12-23

Questions for City Attorney, Acting City Manager

That information and questions were sent Wednesday to City Attorney Smith and Acting City Manager Cortez, and copied to the council members, City Finance Director Dawn Merchant and City Treasurer Lauren Posada asking for what cases are the expenses and if any of them or the investigation is related to Johnson. Smith and Cortez were also asked if it is normal for the City to spend over $100,000 per month on average for outside legal counsel.

Councilman Barbanica, who said he spoke with City Attorney Smith who said, “the bulk of this ($108,248.82) is to Meyers Nave to defend the City against the litigation on the CRC natural gas pipeline from the 3-2 council vote to deny the renewal of the franchise agreement.”

“Which I voted against, by the way,” the councilman added.

Antioch City Attorney Warrants 12-01 thru 12-29-22

“The payments to Hanson Bridgett are for ongoing labor and employment investigations and the Telecom Law Firm is for dealing with leases related to cell towers and other telecommunications in the city,” Barbanica continued.

The total over the past three months paid to Hanson Bridgett LLP was $74,132.59 and $9,101.50 to Telecom Law Firm PC. In addition, $64,362.70 was paid to Liebert Cassidy Whitmore. According to their website the firm “provides unparalleled education, training, litigation and advisory services to California’s public agencies, educational institutions and nonprofits.”

Smith was asked which of those services they are providing to the City of Antioch.

“A city our size has an understaffed attorney’s office with two attorneys and one assistant. So, a lot of this has to be farmed out because of that. If you look at Vallejo and Richmond, they have more than double the number of attorneys and assistants than we do,” he added. “It’s a lot of money.”

Smith did not respond by publication time. Please check back for any updates to this report.



Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Senator Glazer resigns from Bay Area Transit panel

Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

State Senator Steve Glazer wants greater fiscal oversight of BART.

Says “Bay Area leaders have not stepped up to fix the fiscal oversight problems with BART…”

Only BART Board Director Allen responds applauding Glazer

By Allen D. Payton

Senator Steve Glazer, D-Contra Costa, announced that he resigned today, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023 from his position as a member of the Senate Select Committee on Bay Area Public Transit, saying Bay Area leaders have failed to support fiscal oversight of BART.

Senator Glazer is a longtime supporter of public transit and is concerned about the financial problems facing Bay Area transit systems, which are essential to the health of the regional economy. But, he said, the status quo is unacceptable.

“Bay Area leaders have not stepped up to fix the fiscal oversight problems with BART, as well as the underfunding of the Inspector General’s office,” Glazer said. “When these problems are addressed, I will join with my colleagues and support greater transit funding.”

In June 2022, an Alameda County Grand Jury found that BART’s leadership has repeatedly blocked the Inspector General’s authority and autonomy.

Just two months later, former State Auditor Elaine Howle found that the BART office “lacked the authority and independence necessary to do its job…”

The BART inspector general was created by Senator Glazer as part of a transportation bill in 2017. Senator Glazer advanced legislation (SB 827) to the governor’s desk last year that enhanced independence for the IG, conforming its auditing standards and investigations with other transportation IGs. At the request of the BART Board, Governor Newsom vetoed the bill.

Senator Glazer’s letter reads as follows:

Dear Senator Wiener,

I hereby resign from the Senate Select Committee on Bay Area Public Transit, effective immediately. The failure of Bay Area leaders to hold BART financially accountable makes my participation in this transit support committee incompatible.

I recognize and support the pressing need for the state to invest in public transit agencies throughout the Bay Area given the financial uncertainty that looms over these systems. However, there is no guarantee that these agencies will spend taxpayer dollars sensibly without adequate oversight of their expenditures. I point to the recent alarming reports from BART’s Inspector General regarding BART’s financial mismanagement and brazen defiance of voter-mandated oversight.

In June 2022, an Alameda County Grand Jury found that BART’s leadership has repeatedly blocked the Inspector General’s authority and autonomy. Specifically, the Grand Jury found that BART’s board of directors and management engaged in a “pattern of obstruction” that has impeded the Inspector General’s ability to conduct independent oversight and “stymied OIG independence and the confidentiality of investigations.”

Just two months later, former State Auditor Elaine Howle, comparing the powers and responsibilities of the BART IG to other, similar offices, found that the BART office “lacked the authority and independence necessary to do its job according to the best practices recommended by national professional organizations that set standards in the accountability field.’ She also asserted in a letter to Governor Newsom that ‘(e)nsuring the independence of the BART Inspector General is critical to the credibility and effectiveness of the office.”

As BART and other regional transit systems seek additional state funding to stave off upcoming fiscal problems, the Legislature must ensure that the same systems spend public resources responsibly.

I wish you well with your important work.


BART Director Responds

When reached for comment about Glazer’s resignation from the committee and reason for it the four BART Board directors who represent Contra Costa County, including Vice Chair and District 3 Director Mark Foley, District 1 Director Deb Allen, District 3 Director Rebecca Stutzman and District 7 Director Lateefah Simon. Only Allen responded writing, “I applauded CA Senator Glazer for standing up to Bay Area elected leaders to insist on accountability to transit riders and taxpayers. They deserve answers about how BART spends $2.5B plus annually and those answers aren’t easy to come by.

Senator Glazer and I have worked for over six years together to get answers and still continue to meet resistance in making meaningful independent oversight a permanent part of the BART culture. We have worked tirelessly over last 4 years on strengthening the role of the Office of Inspector General we created and built, while the majority of BART board directors, unions and executive staff continue to focus on the ‘more money please!’ approach. We saw it last week in BART’s annual Board Workshop and it seems Senator Glazer is seeing the same approach evolving from the Senate select Committee on Bay Area Public Transit. That will only produce more of the same failed policies we see now for BART.

I believe BART executive management and a majority of directors will continue to fight proper oversight. Unless our state leaders like Senator Glazer attach oversight strings to new funding at the state level to keep transit agencies accountable to the people who are paying for it, transit will continue to fail the riders, workers and the Bay Area.”

Please check back later for any updates to this report.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Contra Costa County provides payment details for out-of-court settlement in Thorpe sexual harassment case

Monday, September 19th, 2022

By Susan Shiu, PIO, Contra Costa County Office of Communications & Media

Former LMCHD executive director and Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe.

(Martinez, CA) – Sept. 19, 2022 – The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, in its capacity as successor agency to the Los Medanos Community Healthcare District (“District”), has approved an out-of-court settlement relating to claims submitted by Jasmine Cisneros and Jocelyn Munoz against the District and its former executive director, Lamar Thorpe. (See related article)

The liability insurance carrier for the former District, RSUI Group Inc, handled this matter and provided counsel to defend the claims.  Following a mediation session among the parties, a settlement was reached.  The settlement was fully executed on August 23, 2022.

The total amount of the settlement of both claims was $350,000, inclusive of attorneys’ fees and costs. Of the settlement amount, $321,000 was paid by the former District’s liability insurance carrier. The remaining settlement amount of $29,000 was paid from the Los Medanos Community Healthcare fund, as an insurance deductible payment.

The Board of Supervisors approved the settlement solely in its capacity as the successor agency to the District. As the successor agency, the County was required to assume all liabilities of the District, including any claims filed against it. The settlement includes a release and waiver of all claims by Cisneros and Munoz against the District, the former executive director, and the County.  The settlement also avoids potentially expensive federal court litigation relating to the claims.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Antioch City Treasurer takes council to task on spending including $12.3 million on homeless motel program

Sunday, May 8th, 2022

Antioch City Treasurer Lauren Posada speaks to the city council during public comments at the end of their meeting on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. Video screenshot.

“the City cannot continue to support each department to meet the demands while continuing to add expenses that depletes revenues” – Lauren Posada

By Allen D. Payton

During public comments at the end of the Antioch City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 26, City Treasurer Lauren Posada spoke out against the council’s spending.

Earlier in the meeting the council discussed spending $12.3 million over five years for the motel on East 18th Street to serve as transitional housing for the homeless, and the associated “wrap-around” support services.

During council discussion on the item District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock said, “I heard from Focus Strategies $12.3 million is conservative. When you look at the budget and transferring in from the state budget stabilization, 2025-26 there is no more money in the budget stabilization fund. So, our reserves will be depleted.”

Mayor Lamar Thorpe responded, “every budget assumption we get puts us in the red. We’ve been going bankrupt since the day we got here and 10 years later, we’re not bankrupt. Because these numbers don’t make all the assumptions that, as an example, generally our sales tax does better than we anticipate, so we get more money.”

“We don’t always factor in cannabis because we’re constantly getting new applications and we’re approving them, so that doesn’t take certain things into account,” he continued. “So, to look at this number as a fixed number is inaccurate. Because we never look at numbers like that because they’re assumptions, they’re not reality. They’re just assumptions so that we can plan for the future.”

A majority of council members supported the project, including Thorpe, and Councilwomen Tamisha Torres-Walker (District 1) and Monica Wilson (District 4). But Torres-Walker was not ready to move forward that night as she wanted additional information from staff and to consider other, additional locations in the city. So, combined with the opposition from Ogorchock and Mayor Pro Tem Mike Barbanica, a decision on spending $12.3 million on the motel program was postponed. (See related article) (The item is on the agenda for the council’s next meeting on Tuesday, May 10.)

Posada’s Comments (See video at 4:09:51 mark)

Asked if she had planned to share her thoughts before Thorpe made his comments that evening Posada said, “I did have a draft ready. But as the meeting went on, I did edit it. I was listening and I’m glad I waited.”

Reading from prepared remarks, Posada said, “Currently, at the City of Antioch we have under our umbrella – Administration offices, Animal Services, Community Development, Economic Development, Finance, Information Systems, Police, Public Works, and Recreation with various departments underneath. I would like to point out that Animal Services, Water Park, Youth Services, Unhoused Services and the Marina are unique entities to us as a city that we operate. All these departments require resources in order to operate effectively. We have one budget that is adopted bi-annually that we should utilize as a guideline to determine our scope or work.

I understand that year after year since 2012 has been an improvement coming off the previous housing crisis, but it would be a disservice if we continued to go off the notion that our revenues will always exceed our expenditures. There are many factors that are contributed to the budget and closing out each fiscal year – as examples we are taking into consideration the salary savings from our police department this year and the housing market continues to rise that will contribute to our projected revenues for this fiscal year. Each year is unique, but I am asking Council to be mindful of the times that we are in and listen to the warnings when they come.

Throughout this agenda packet there are comments made that I would like to bring up that concerned me regarding the fiscal impact with new budget expenditures:

‘…ongoing operations for the remainder of the regulatory period will need to be identified.’

‘This expenditure is currently unbudgeted and is proposed to be funded through the General Fund.’

‘…the need for a budget amendment would be evaluated in conjunction with the budget process and subject to City Council’s direction to staff.’

‘…budget for the Public Safety and Community Resources Department is not under consideration at this meeting. The City Council will have the opportunity to consider the budget for new positions, office space, supplies, and equipment in its upcoming consideration of the fiscal year budget.’

I am not taking the stance that I am for or against any item, but my ask is this: If we are going to pivot what we have underneath our umbrella as a City then I request that we are willing to have the difficult conversations that may come as a result of that pivot and determine funding sources upfront — the City cannot continue to support each department to meet the demands while continuing to add expenses that depletes revenues — I understand budget will be coming up midyear but it is so important to determine what is our priority and clearly outline that to our residents throughout upcoming agenda packets to alleviate frustration or misinformation if possible and most importantly for residents to be confident in decisions being made that will ultimately impact the future wellbeing of our City.

Thank you.”


Asked later about her comments Posada said, “I was trying to bring understanding in a professional way. When you look at the agenda packets there should always be a clear funding source.”

“How can we have these conversations so that they can make an educated decision?” she asked. “How does this $12.3 million affect us over the years? But that’s just one decision. We have to look at the big picture.”

“I’m striving to keep fiscal responsibility at the forefront of Council – big decisions are being made that will impact our city,” Posada added.

Posada was elected city treasurer in 2020 for a four-year term. To see the City’s financial reports, visit and to contact the city treasurer call (925) 779-7005 or email her at

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Antioch Sales Tax 8th Annual Report shows 80% of Measure W funds still spent on police through last June

Monday, March 21st, 2022

2020/21 Measure W Sales Tax expenditures. Source: Antioch Sales Tax Citizens Oversight Committee 8th Annual Report

May be lower, now with no additional officers in this or next years’ budgets, and department down to as low as 88 active sworn; will be presented during council meeting Tuesday night; provides incorrect information as to intent of measure

By Allen D. Payton

At the beginning of Tuesday night’s Antioch City Council meeting, the Sales Tax Citizen’s Oversight Committee for Measures C and W will present their 8th Annual Report on the revenue and expenditures of the current 1% sales tax approved by the voters in November 2018. The report is for the city’s Fiscal Year 2020/21 which ended last June 30. Measure W Sales Tax COC 8th Annual Report ACC032222

The report shows a total of $15,624,254 was spent on police for 80.18% of the funds from Measure W. However, since no funding for additional officers was included in this or next year’s budgets, that figure could now be less.

What is written on the Committee Observation page of the report is incomplete. It reads, “The intent of Measure W extends Measure C, voter-approved sales tax at the one-cent rate to increase investment in code enforcement, clean up blight, road repairs, support youth and senior services, and attract new business and jobs to Antioch” and cites the source for their information as the Measure W page on the city’s website –

But that fails to mention the intent was, first “Continuing to maintain 911 police response and restore the number of police officers patrolling City streets” as written on that webpage. Further, it ignores the first priority is “to provide for public safety and 911 service” written in the resolution, for which a link is provided on that page, and adopted by the city council, that was necessary to place the measure on the ballot. Finally, that comment also fails to mention the ballot language provided in the documents labeled “Ordinance” on that page, which reads, “To maintain Antioch’s fiscal stability, police patrols, 911 response…”

The presentation slide does mention police by including, “80.18% of Measure W funds are allocated to Antioch Police Department.”

While the one slide that includes the Staff Report FY 21 shows no net gain or less of sworn officers for the police department, the current active staffing is down to 88 sworn officers as of two weeks ago. Mayor Lamar Thorpe continues to ignore calls from three other council members to place the hiring of additional sworn police officers on a council agenda.

The report also shows most of the remaining $3.9 million in Measure W funds were spent on Code Enforcement at $1,587,420 and Recreation at $1,547,869.

The regular council meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. and will be held in the Council Chambers at City Hall located at 200 H Street in historic, downtown Rivertown. It can also be viewed live on Comcast channel 24, AT&T U-verse channel 99, or live stream at City Council Meeting LIVE – City of Antioch, California (  (See the complete meeting agenda.)

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Measure X Sales Tax – meeting the needs of our community?

Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

Zoom webinar Feb. 17 at 4:00 p.m. to learn about first year allocations

By Gail Murray

Measure X, a new county-wide sales tax to support health and human services for our local neighbors and families, was passed by voters in November 2020. The tax money is being collected and decisions are being made on how to allocate the money in support of the values we hold as residents of Contra Costa.

The Measure X Advisory Committee was established by the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors to help prioritize spending of Measure X dollars to support health and human services in our county. The Committee has met over many weeks, days and hours, and has produced its report. The people of Contra Costa County have unmet human service needs, and they are growing fast, as documented by the Measure X Advisory Committee. The Board has weighed these growing needs with the limited dollars available to allocate this first year.

Join us Thursday, February 17 at 4:00 p.m. for a Zoom webinar to hear about the first year of allocations. What was recommended by the Advisory Committee, what was funded, and what are the gaps still remaining? Do these allocations support our values? What can we learn from this first year of sales tax allocations?  What does this mean for the future?

This expert panel will be moderated by Shanelle Scales-Preston, Vice Mayor and Pittsburg City Council member. Panelists are Mariana Moore, Chair of the Measure X Citizens Advisory Board; Dan Geiger from Budget Justice Coalition; and Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, Chair of the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, representing District 4. 

Questions from the public will be taken in advance at During the webinar, questions may be submitted thru Zoom Q&A function. 

Click here to register for the webinar. Information on how to access the Zoom webinar will be sent to your email address 24 hours before the program.

The program is a partnership among the League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley and of West Contra Costa County, along with the Contra Costa County Library. The Library will provide closed captioning for this event. 

The program will be recorded and posted on the following sites after the meeting:

LWVDV YouTube channel

Contra Costa County Library YouTube channel


Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Contra Costa Supervisors to consider COVID-related budget issues, Measure X fund allocations during Tuesday retreat

Sunday, January 23rd, 2022

Source: CCC

Administrator to recommend delaying allocation of $59 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds; projects 6% increase in property tax revenues

To hear presentation on “The Post COVID New World Order”

By Daniel Borsuk

Citing bureaucratic red tape, Contra Costa County Administrator Monica Nino will propose the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors postpone spending $59 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds until at least January 2023 in her presentation during their retreat focused on COVID-19 era budget issues, Tuesday.

The retreat will be televised live starting at 9 a.m. on Comcast Cable 27 and WAVE Channel 32 and online.

“The challenge in lining up funds to maximize cost recovery requires constant monitoring (coordination) between departments,” County Administrator Nino stated in documents recommending the partial funding postponement.

At the same time, Nino will also recommend $53 million in American Rescue Plan funds be allocated to the Contra Costa Health Services Department to improve response to the COVID-19 pandemic during the upcoming 2022/2023 fiscal year.

Supervisors are also expected to learn that for the upcoming fiscal year, $107 million of Measure X sales tax revenues will be allocated for the budget and 15 percent of the county’s labor contracts, including the California Nurses Association contract, which will be up for renewal on June 30. The 2022/2023 fiscal year budget will mark the first time Measure X funds will be spent.

County Administrator Nino is also expected to announce property taxes are to increase six percent for fiscal year 2022/2023, 3.44 per cent for the county and 3.82 percent for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

“County property taxes declined over 11 percent between 2009 and 2012 and then grew significantly between 2014 and 2019. Projecting an increase of 6 percent for fiscal year 2022/23,” Nino’s report states.

“The budget will be built on assumption of a 6 percent increase in assessed valuation. Fiscal year 2022/23 is projected to be significantly higher than normal,’ she wrote in the background document.

At the retreat, Dan Geiger will offer a presentation by the Contra Costa Budget Justice Coalition, consisting of 34 non-profit organizations focused on county fiscal accountability issues, that will showcase how the organization will monitor the supervisors’ budgetary process especially when in the 2022/2023 fiscal year $110 million of Measure X sales funds will be added to the general fund for the first time.

During their budget discussion, Supervisors will also receive departmental presentations from the Sheriff-Coroner, District Attorney, Public Defender, Health Services Director, Employment and Human Services Director and Animal Services Director.

Contra Costa County voters passed the Measure X countywide, half-cent sales tax increase on the November 2020 ballot.

The supervisors will also receive a report on Capital Projects, the Facilities Condition Assessment and the Facilities Master Plan.

The Post COVID New World Order presentation

Supervisors will also hear a report entitled, “The Post COVID New World Order – It’s a seller’s market for now,” delivered by Dr. Christopher Thornberg of independent economic research and consulting firm Beacon Economics. Thornberg predicts unemployment in the county should be 3.4 percent by the end of 2022, which is currently pegged at 4.6 percent.

“Labor tightness sets off an investment boom,” he will predict, but the economist will also warn, “Expect a sugar crash to come, combination of a tight federal budget and inflation.”

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.                                            

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Antioch Council’s homeless subcommittee proposes spending $300K for emergency housing

Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe was joined near the Antioch Amtrak Station by members of Louie Rocha’s family and city staff for the press conference Tuesday morning, Nov. 30, 2021. Photo by Allen Payton

Plan named for Louie Rocha, a homeless resident recently killed by a train; to pay for 15 rooms at former Motel 6 in Pittsburg; requires council approval; Glover says year-long program already serving about 40 Antioch unhoused residents and there’s currently a wait list

Michael Rocha, brother of Louie Rocha speaks during the press conference on Nov. 30, 2021. Photo courtesy of Mike Burkholder.

By Allen Payton

Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe and District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica, as members of the city council’s Ad Hoc Committee on Unhoused Residents, have proposed the council approve spending $300,000 more to help homeless residents with emergency housing. Thorpe said the name would be the Louie Rocha Emergency Housing Plan, in memory of the homeless resident who died, recently after being struck by a train in downtown while walking to the public restrooms at the Antioch Marina parking lot.

That amount is in addition to the $519,000 approved by the city council in December 2019 to be spent to help the homeless. Those funds were used to hire a consultant, motel vouchers, and portable toilets that were vandalized and removed. A full accounting of the use of those funds has been requested of city staff and one council member by the Herald multiple times but it has yet to be provided. (See related article)

During a press conference, Tuesday morning, Nov. 30, 2021, near the Antioch Amtrak Station, Thorpe, was joined by members of Rocha’s family, Assistant City Manager Rosanna Bayon Moore, and the City’s Unhoused Resident Coordinator, Jazmin Ridley, to make the announcement. Barbanica was unable to attend due to a medical procedure, the mayor shared. Rocha was not related to the principal of Antioch High School with the same name nor his mother, Antioch School Board Trustee Mary Rocha.  (See press conference video)

Antioch’s Unhoused Resident Coordinator Jazmin Ridley speaks during the press conference on Nov. 30, 2021. Photo courtesy of Mike Burkholder.

The proposal requires at least three votes of council members to approve the budget expenditure. If approved, the funds will be used to pay for 15 rooms at the former Motel 6 in Pittsburg, owned by the County and purchased for $17.4 million, last year. (See related articles here and here)

The former motel is currently undergoing renovations and appears unoccupied. When asked about the matter, Supervisor Diane Burgis was not aware the former motel was closed.

12/3/21 UPDATE: Funds May Not Get 15 More Antioch Homeless Residents Off the Street

When reached for comment Supervisor Federal Glover confirmed the former motel was closed for renovations saying, “But we moved the residents to another location. We didn’t put them back on the street. We will have a grand opening next Monday.” He didn’t know when residents would move in but added, “That will be shared during the event.”

Asked if Thorpe had spoken to him about the $300,000 for 15 unhoused Antioch residents, Glover said, “no, but I believe he’s been speaking with Lavonna Martin,” who, until recently, was the Director of Health, Housing, & Homeless Services for Contra Costa County Health Services. He also shared “we’re already serving Antioch residents” and estimated that figure to be about 40 people. “We welcome partners who want to contribute financially to support the program. We had enough money from the state to purchase the motel, and the County has budgeted some funds for the ongoing costs. But we’ll be applying for grants and looking for others to contribute.” Glover also said there’s a wait list for rooms at the former Motel 6 and shared they “expect residents to be there for about a year. But hopefully some can move on, sooner. It depends on each individual.”

The $300,000 proposed by the Antioch council’s subcommittee would be used to pay for current program costs and may not result in helping 15 more unhoused residents from living on the streets.

Questions for Thorpe, Barbanica

Questions were then sent via email to subcommittee members Thorpe and Barbanica, asking if they were aware of how the $300,000 funds would be spent by the county and if the funds could instead be spent to ensure 15 additional unhoused Antioch residents would be helped off the street by using voucher at the Executive Inn on E. 18th Street or other motels in the city. They were also asked how soon the Antioch program would begin now that the Planning Commission has voted to recommend approval of the Transitional Housing Overlay District for the Executive Inn. Please check back later for any responses.

———– End of 12/3/21 update.

Thorpe’s Prepared Remarks

“A few days ago, a lifelong Antioch resident living on our streets was tragically killed by a train trying to get to a public restroom at the City’s Veteran Memorial and Marina.

Last Monday, I attended a candlelight vigil outside of City Hall in his honor and had the opportunity to speak with members of his family to offer my condolences. On Tuesday, I opened our first in-person city council meeting in his memory with a moment of silence.

His death along with many other similar deaths throughout our Country symbolizes everything that is contrary to our American values. Individualism doesn’t free ‘me’ or any of ‘you’ from the greater ‘we’ which is needed for community cohesion.

In January of 1981, three months before I was born, President Ronald Reagan famously proclaimed in his first inaugural address to the nation, ‘Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.’

President Reagan couldn’t have been more wrong.

When I was born in prison, the state government said, we’ll provide stability for this child by placing him in foster care with the appropriate support system until he’s 18. Thank God the government stepped in to help me when I had no one else to turn to. While things weren’t easy growing up poor by any stretch of the imagination, it was the stability the government created that allowed me to join and succeed in the Navy.

Later, it was the government that created the stability for me to complete college using federal grants and loans, and it was the government that provided me and my family the opportunity to purchase our first home right here in the City of Antioch.

Since President Reagan, and every U.S. president since him, including members of my own political party, have overseen major cuts and reforms in social safety net programs, which has helped push and keep many more people into poverty, housing insecurity, and homelessness.

In Antioch, we have not shied away from the issue of homelessness. Over the last two years, the City has worked on leasing the old Executive Inn on East 18th Street to provide housing with the appropriate wrap-around programs to provide temporary stability for those living on our streets to get back on their feet.

It’s been about a year and a half since we started that process. Tomorrow, the Antioch Planning Commission will be meeting to discuss this very important issue. If all goes well, the item then moves to the City Council after 30 days.

So today, I’m announcing a joint proposal by Councilmember Mike Barbanica and I called the Louie Rocha Emergency Housing Plan, which authorizes an additional $300,000.00 towards homeless services specially to secure 15 rooms from Contra Costa County at the Motel 6 in Pittsburg for individuals living along active railroad tracks in and around downtown Antioch.

In addition, today, our Police, Code Enforcement, and Abatement Departments will be meeting to produce a plan that proactively concentrates on these areas to ensure we’re moving folks from here and into housing.

This program will not work without the participation of everyone, meaning we can no longer accept that this dangerous area is acceptable for people to live in. I’m calling on all homeless advocates, ministries, and others to find new locations to do the lord’s work. It’s much, much too dangerous here.”

Ridley and Bayon Moore offered additional details about the program and Michael Rocha, Louie’s brother, thanked the mayor “for the help we’re trying to get.”

“The homeless are really difficult to work with and work around, and I’ve been dealing with it for 30 years,” Rocha stated. He then thanked Thorpe “for getting the word out.”


Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter