Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

Group of state legislators from Delta Caucus release statement on alarming Oroville Dam situation

Monday, February 13th, 2017

(SACRAMENTO) – On Monday, February 13, 2017, members of the Delta Caucus of the California state legislature, including three representing Contra Costa County, released the following statement regarding the hazardous situation at Oroville Dam after news reports that previous concerns about the safety of the dam’s current infrastructure were ignored:

“We are concerned that a clear alarm raised 12 years ago about the state of the Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway was discounted. There has been more than enough time since then for upgrades and maintenance to the structure. Instead, nearly 185,000 people have been displaced, and there are still people in harm’s way. A catastrophic failure at Oroville would result in uncontrolled releases that do considerably more harm to the surrounding communities, and threaten those further downstream, including levee-protected communities in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. For now, we have a collective responsibility to ensure that people are safe and that necessary steps are taken to prevent further compromise of the entire Oroville facility.  When the immediate threats have subsided, we need to clearly assess this disaster and its causes.  We have a duty to ensure California’s existing infrastructure is maintained and upgraded, and not sacrificed in favor of conveyance projects.”

Caucus Co-Chair Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) and Assemblymembers Tim Grayson (D-Concord) and Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon) are members of the Delta Caucus, a bipartisan group of legislators whose districts include portions of the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta. The caucus works to keep their colleagues updated on the latest scientific data, economic developments, and actions taken by the state agencies responsible for the Delta, including the State Water Resources Control Board, the Department of Water Resources, and the Delta Stewardship Council.

They and the following legislators wished to be part of this statement: Co-Chair Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa), Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) and Assemblymenbers  Susan Eggman (D-Stockton) and Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove).

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Delta Diablo wins Governor’s Award for Sustainability Leadership

Friday, January 27th, 2017
From Left to Right: Mike Bakaldin, Interim General Manager, Phil Govea, Engineering Services Director, Joaquin Gonzalez, Operations Manager holding the plaque, Amanda Roa, Environmental Programs Manager, and Robert Brothers, Environmental Compliance Specialist II.

From Left to Right: Mike Bakaldin, Interim General Manager; Phil Govea, Engineering Services Director; Joaquin Gonzalez, Operations Manager holding the plaque; Amanda Roa, Environmental Programs Manager; and Robert Brothers, Environmental Compliance Specialist II.

Delta Diablo was honored in Sacramento on Thursday evening, January 19th with a prestigious 2016 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA). GEELA is California’s highest environmental honor, administered by the California Environmental Protection Agency.

The program recognizes individuals, organizations, and businesses who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made notable, voluntary contributions in conserving California’s precious resources, protecting and enhancing our environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the state’s economy.

This award recognizes Delta Diablo for its commitment and achievements in sustainability. At Delta Diablo, sustainability is not just one project or program, but rather a mindset that is holistically expressed throughout the entire organization. This can be observed through the recycled water and renewable energy projects that we implement, the innovative technologies we pilot, and the regional coalitions we lead.

These projects and programs reflect how Delta Diablo embodies sustainability and excellence throughout the organization, achieving 12 consecutive years of 100% permit compliance, and awards at every level in the organization for public education, safety, financial reporting, human resources, labor relations, procurement, engineering, leadership and innovation. Delta Diablo is proud to help maintain sustainable facilities, practices, and communities, and desires to be a Utility of the Future to advance the state of the industry for water resource recovery, helping to create a sustainable California.

Delta Diablo’s Board of Directors’ Chair Pete Longmire confirms: “This award recognizes every aspect of Delta Diablo’s services and the efforts of all our dedicated employees across every department. It is a recognition of the daily work they do providing critical public health and resource recovery services to 200,000 people in Antioch, Bay Point and Pittsburg, as well as their leadership with several regional industry coalitions.”

Each year GEELA recipients are chosen from five categories and Delta Diablo was recognized under the “Sustainable Practices, Communities or Facilities” category.

Delta Diablo (District) provides water resource recovery services for the City of Antioch, the City of Pittsburg, and the unincorporated community of Bay Point, serving a population of nearly 200,000. The water resource recovery services consist of conventional treatment of wastewater, recycled water production and distribution, pollution prevention, energy recovery, beneficial reuse of biosolids, street sweeping, and household hazardous waste collection. For more information visit www.deltadiablo.org.

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Antioch Council begins search for new city manager, appoints Turnage to Planning Commission

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Chief Cantando: Crime continues to decrease

By Nick Goodrich

During their second meeting of the new year on Tuesday, Jan. 24, the Antioch City Council heard some good news from Antioch Police Chief Allan Cantando, approved the creation of a police tax on a new residential development, appointed Kenny Turnage to the Planning Commission and formed committee to select a search firm for a new city manager.

Police Statistics for 2016

After hearing a presentation on the state of its investment portfolio, the Antioch City Council then heard from Cantando as he gave the Antioch Police Department’s year-end review of crime for the year 2016.

“I have some very good news to report,” he told those in attendance, citing decreases in violent crime (-1.4%), property crime (-5.7%), and arrests (-2.7%) from 2015-2016.

Cantando brought attention to a “continued decrease in crime over the past three years”, as a result of the city’s renewed focus on crime and blight reduction and the hiring of additional police officers. The APD’s robust volunteer program, which contributed over 10,000 hours of work in 2016 alone, and the new “Decoy Patrol Car” program have played roles in the lower crime numbers, and aim to continue their success into the new year.

Drug seizures were once again Antioch’s biggest problem, as the APD seized over 13,000 grams of marijuana, 890 grams of meth, and smaller amounts of cocaine and heroin last year.

Since 2013, the APD has hired 46 new police officers, but undergone 30 separations—including retirements, resignations, and terminations—to bring the net increase in Antioch’s police officers to 16. The APD’s current staffing numbers sit at 97 sworn officers, with one additional recruit set to graduate and join the force in March.

That’s based on the figure of 82 sworn officers the city had on the police force in November, 2013 at the end of the Measure C campaign. However, there were 89 sworn officers in the APD at the time the ballot measure campaign bega,n and the voters were promised by then-Mayor Harper and the city council, the immediate hiring of 22 more police. Using that as a base figure the city has added a net eight officers.

“According to other police chiefs I’ve talked to, nobody’s hiring faster than we are,” Cantando told the Council. “Our numbers are really good.”

New Development Police Tax

Later in the meeting, the Council held a public hearing to formalize a new Community Facilities District (CFD) to assess a tax on new residential developments, in the amount of $445 per home per year, for more police.

New residential development in Antioch is expected to produce more calls for service for the APD due to the increase in population, and the city’s General Plan calls for new growth to cover the increased cost to the city’s police services.

This particular CFD was initiated by developer Davidon Homes for their Park Ridge subdivision, a 525-unit development located west of State Route 4 and south of Laurel Road, as part of its Development Agreement with the city. It requires Davidon do its part to cover the increased costs of police services provided by the city.

In a 5-0 vote, the Council approved the formation of the new CFD and the levying of the new development taxes. With the approval of the CFD, Davidon can now begin the process of obtaining building permits, and move forward with their subdivision.

Planning Commission Appointment

The council also appointed Antioch resident Ken Turnage to the Antioch Planning Commission, in Mayor Sean Wright’s first commission appointment. The mayor has the power to nominate people for appointments. But it requires a majority vote by the council to approve.

“This was my first opportunity to point someone in the right direction,” said Wright. “I was excited to see we had seven applicants, and so many people interested in the well-being of the city.”

Turnage, the owner of K2GC, Inc., a general contractor in Antioch, ran for city council and came in fourth in the November election. He has served on the city’s Economic Development Commission.

New City Manager Search

Wright also formally initiated the process of searching for a new city manager in the wake of former Antioch City Manager Steve Duran’s retirement.

Duran, who turns 62 next month and wants to spend more time with his family, informed Council of his intent to retire on Election Night, November 8, offering to help in the selection process as the council saw fit.

Mayor Wright called for volunteers from among the council members to form an ad-hoc recruitment committee, whose purpose will be to select the headhunting firm that will search for Antioch’s new City Manager. Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock and Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe both volunteered and will sit on the committee.

When the committee has selected a suitable firm, the firm’s contract will be brought before Council for approval. From start to finish, including the time it will take the committee to select a firm, the selection process will take about six months, at which point the city’s new City Manager will begin his or her work with Antioch.

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Supervisor Glover seeks people who want to help improve their communities

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Applications now available for advisory boards, commissions and committees

Supervisor Federal Glover has announced opportunities for District 5 residents to make decisions affecting their communities by serving on an advisory board, commission or committee in Contra Costa County.

“A lot of policies begin in theses county commission and boards,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for people who have a desire to make difference.”

Glover is seeking to fill openings on the following advisory bodies: Alcohol and Other Drugs Advisory Board; Contra Costa County Mental Health Commission; County Service Area R-10 Citizens Advisory Committee; County Service Area M-16 Citizens Advisory Committee; Crockett-Carquinez FPD Fire Advisory Commission; First 5 Contra Costa Children and Families Commission; Library Commission; Pacheco Munipal Advisory Council; and West Contra Costa Unified School District, Citizens Bond Oversight Committee.

Commissions are appointed by the Board of Supervisors based on the recommendation of the  Supervisor Glover. Interested individuals should contact his office at (925) 335-8200 to obtain an application form. Completed applications must be received in Supervisor Glover’s office by close of business Friday February 10, 2017.

Alcohol and Other Drugs Advisory Board: the mission of the Contra Costa County Alcohol and Other Drugs Advisory Board is to assess family and community needs regarding treatment and prevention of alcohol and drug abuse problems. They report their findings and recommendations to the Contra Costa Health Services Department, the Board of Supervisors and the communities they serve. The Board works in collaboration with the Alcohol and Other Drugs Services Division of Contra Costa Health Services. They provide input and recommendations as they pertain to alcohol and other drugs prevention, intervention, and treatment services. The current 3 seats that need to be filled: District V-A, District V-B, and District V-C. The Board meets the 4th Wednesday of every month at 4 p.m. at 1220 Morello Avenue, Suite 200, Martinez. The current openings have three year terms ending June 30, 2019. For additional information call Fatima Matal Sol at (925) 335-3307.

Contra Costa County Mental Health Commission: members review and evaluate the community’s mental health needs, services, facilities, and special problems; to review any County agreements entered into pursuant to Section 5650 of the Welfare and Institutions Code; to advise the governing body and local mental health director as to any aspect of the local mental health program; to submit an annual report to the Board of Supervisors; review and make recommendations regarding the appointment of a local director of mental health services; review the County’s performance outcome data and communicate its findings to the State Mental Health Commission; and assess the impact of the realignment of services from the State to the County on services delivered to clients and the local community. The current seats are for 1 District V Family Member Seat, 1 District V Member-At-Large Seat, and 1 District V Consumer Member Seat. The Committee meets the 4th Thursday of every month at 4:30 p.m. at 2730 Grant St. Classroom A, Concord. The current openings have terms ending June 30, 2018. For additional information call Karen Shuler at (925) 957-5140.

County Service Area R-10 Citizens Advisory Committee: members advise the Board of Supervisors on the desires of the community in the area of local park and recreation facilities and services. The current seat is for 1 Regular Seat. The Committee meets the 2nd Monday of every month at 7 p.m. at Lefty Gomez Field Recreation Building, Rodeo. The current regular opening has a term ending June 30, 2018. For additional information call Susan Cohen at (925) 313-2160.

County Service Area M-16 Citizens Advisory Committee: advises the Board of Supervisors and the administrative department regarding the desires of the community of Clyde in the following areas: Street lighting facilities and services, recreation and park services. The seats that are open are for 2 Alternate Members. The Board meets as needed. The current regular opening has a term ending Dec. 31, 2018. For information call Lynn Reichard-Enea at (925) 427-8138.

Crockett-Carquinez FPD Fire Advisory Commission: to review and advise on annual operations and capital budgets; to review district expenditures; to review and advise on long-range capital improvement plans; pursuant to district ordinance to serve as the Appeals Board on weed abatement matters; to advise the Fire Chief on district service matters. The seats that are open are for 3 Regular Members. The Board meets the 3rd Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at 746 Loring Avenue, Crockett.  The current regular opening has a term ending Dec. 31, 2018.  For information call Gerald Littleton at (510) 787-2717.

First 5 Contra Costa Children and Families Commission: commission shall adopt an adequate and complete County strategic plan for the support and improvement of early childhood development within the County. The seat that is open is for 1 Regular Member and 1 Alternate Member. The commission meets the 1st Monday of every month at 6 p.m. at 1485 Enea Court, Suite 1200, Concord. The current alternate opening has a term ending Dec. 31, 2018. For information, call Sean Casey, (925) 771-7316.

Library Commission: serves in an advisory capacity to the Board of Supervisors and the County Librarian; to provide a community linkage to the County Library; to establish a forum for the community to express its views regarding goals and operations of the County Library; to assist the Board of Supervisors and the County Librarian to provide library services based on assessed public needs; and to develop and recommend proposals to the Board of Supervisors and the County Librarian for the betterment of the County Library including, but not limited to, such efforts as insuring a stable and adequate funding level for the libraries in the County. There are 2 current seats available: one Regular Seat and one Alternate seat. The commission meets the 4th Thursday of every other month from 7-9 p.m. at 75 Santa Barbara, Pleasant Hill. The current regular opening has a term ending June 30, 2018. For additional information call Brooke Converse at (925) 646-6423.

Pacheco Municipal Advisory Council: role is to advise the Board on services which are or may be provided to the community by the County or other government agencies, feasibility of organizing the existing special districts serving the community in order to provide public services such as, but not limited to, water, sewer, fire and park and recreation; and to represent the community before LAFCO and the County Planning Commission and the Zoning Administrator, and to provide input and reports to the Board, County staff or any County body on issues of concern to the community. The opening is for 1 Regular Seat. The council meets the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at 5800 Pacheco Blvd., Pacheco. The current regular and alternate opening has a term ending Dec. 31, 2020. For information, call Lynn Reichard-Enea at (925) 427-8138.

Rodeo Municipal Advisory Council: role is to advise the Board on services which are or may be provided to the community by the County or other government agencies, feasibility of organizing the existing special districts serving the community in order to provide public services such as, but not limited to, water, sewer, fire and park and recreation; and to represent the community before LAFCO and the County Planning Commission and the Zoning Administrator and to provide input and reports to the Board, County staff or

any County body on issues of concern to the community. The opening is for 1 Regular Seat. The council meets the 4th Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at 199 Parker Avenue, Rodeo. The current regular term ends Dec. 31, 2020. For information, call Vincent Manuel at (925) 427-8138.

West Contra Costa Unified School District, Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee: the purpose of the Committee is to inform the public concerning the expenditure and uses of bond revenues.  The committee’s legal charge is to actively review and report on the expenditures of taxpayer’s money for school construction.  The current seat is for 1 Regular Seat.  The Committee meets once a month on the 3rd Wednesday of every month 6:00-8:30 p.m. at 1400 Marina South, Richmond.  The current regular opening has a term ending June 30, 2018.  For additional information call Luis Freese at (510) 307-4544.

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Supervisor Burgis announces committee, board and commission assignments

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Last Tuesday, January 10, 2017, County Supervisor Diane Burgis was officially sworn into office, representing District III on the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors. The district includes most of Antioch, and all of Brentwood, Oakley, Discovery Bay, Bethel Island, Byron and Knightsen in East County, as well as Blackhawk, Diablo and Camino Tassajara in the San Ramon Valley.

“It’s truly an honor to have earned the trust and confidence of the voters of District Three,” said Supervisor Diane Burgis. “I’m excited to follow in the footsteps of East County’s loyal advocate, Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho, and to work hard for my constituents defending the Delta, improving public safety and strengthening our local economy.”

During last Tuesday’s meeting each board was also appointed to various county committee and regional boards and commissions. Supervisor Burgis was appointed to the following posts:

Chair:

• Transportation, Water and Infrastructure Committee

Vice Chair:

• Airport Committee

• East County Transportation Planning (TRANSPLAN)

• Internal Operations Committee

• Legislation Committee

• Open Space/Parks & East Bay Regional Parks District Liaison Committee

• State Route 4 Bypass Authority

Commissioner:

• Delta Protection Commission

Director:

• Tri Delta Transit Authority Board

Member:

• California Identification System Remote Access Network Board

• City-County Relations Committee

• Dougherty Valley Oversight Committee

• East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy Governing Board

• East Contra Costa Regional Fee & Finance Authority

• East County Water Management Association

• eBART Partnership Policy Advisory Committee

• Northern Waterfront Economic Development Ad Hoc Committee

Alternate Member:

• Association of Bay Area Counties Executive Board

• Contra Costa Transportation Authority Board

• Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO)

• Mental Health Commission

• Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy Board

In her first term, Diane’s policy priorities include:

• Transportation infrastructure improvements and expansion

• Responsible stewardship of natural resources, open space and the Delta

• Preservation and revitalization of the county’s agricultural core

• Faster police, fire and emergency response times

• Efficient and effective delivery of county services

Prior to her election as a County Supervisor, Diane was the Executive Director of Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed and also served as:

• Ward 7 Director of the East Bay Regional Park District

• Oakley City Councilmember

• Delta Protection Commission Member

• Association of Bay Area Governments Regional Planning Committee Member

Click here for additional information about the office of Supervisor Diane Burgis.

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$1M of Measure C funds spent on administration, not more police

Monday, January 16th, 2017

Antioch Council to continue spending same amount, but not from police budget

By Dave Roberts

When 68% of Antioch voters approved the Measure C half-cent sales tax hike in 2013, the ballot measure said the money would be used to hire 22 more police, plus code enforcement officers as well as help economic development and job creation. The ballot wording didn’t mention that the money would also be used for city government administration, but that’s where more than $1 million of Measure C funds is being spent.

The sales tax had raised $13.3 million as of June 30, 2016. This has provided for the hiring of nine additional police officers and filling more than a half-dozen community service officer and code enforcement positions.

But not all of that money is devoted to public safety salaries and benefits. About 8% goes to what the city budget refers to as “internal services.” Nearly half of internal services revenue goes to the city finance department to provide payroll, accounting and purchasing services. The rest is divided among other city departments, including the city manager, attorney, clerk, human resources, city council and facilities maintenance.

The share of Measure C money going to administrative overhead for the police department has increased from 7.1% two years ago to 8.5% last year and 8% in the current fiscal year. Citywide the percentage budgeted for internal services has grown from 5.6% in 2012 to 6.3% from 2013-15 to 7.8% in 2016 and to 8.1% in 2017. The percentages are based on a formula in the city’s Cost Allocation Plan, which was adopted in 2005, and the growth in the internal services departments.

The increased cost of administration, particularly paid for with Measure C funds, created concerns at last week’s City Council meeting. Sal Sbranti, a former member of the Measure C Citizens Oversight Committee, acknowledged to the council that Measure C funds can be used for administration, but he questioned whether city administrators are taking advantage of the increased sales tax funding for public safety to beef up their own departments.

“The question deserves to be asked as to why this [administrative] allocation continues to rise at such a rate,” he said. “Every year the amount going to citywide administration goes up regardless of whether it meets Measure C guidelines or not. The committee formal report stated that due to the way the city budgets the police department for Measure C, the committee has some concerns as to whether all Measure C monies are being properly utilized to meet the objective of this measure.

“We the citizens of Antioch voted for Measure C to reduce crime, increase code enforcement, reduce 911 response times and to minimize blight. What do we get? More money spent on HR, city manager’s office, city council, city attorney – just amazing. In the last six years citywide administration has gone from $1.44 million to $3.152 million. That’s you guys approving a budget. You approved them to double their budget in six years. In the same period of time the police department only went up 52%. So who’s putting the control on citywide administration, HR, all those functions?

“Measure C is to take care of the crime in the city of Antioch. If we continue to spend money on HR, finance, the attorney and other citywide administration, at the end of the Measure C sunset [in 2021] we’ll not have the money to continue with the number of police that we have. They should not be taking Measure C money to do this. That was not what the City Council told us they were going to do. That is not what we voted on.”

Sbranti’s concerns were shared by several council members.

“I understand the Cost Allocation Plan, I understand the purpose of it,” said Mayor Sean Wright. “As somebody who worked on Measure C to help get it passed, I also understand the consternation of watching Measure C money get spent on other sources that are not helping to directly improve the safety of our community.”

Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock, who had asked that the issue be placed on the council agenda, shared the mayor’s understandings and suggested two budgeting options.

“I asked for Measure C just to go toward these officers,” she said, “and the other one was to just flat out remove the Measure C cost allocation of the citywide administration fee. Or to keep doing it the way we’ve been doing it. I do trust that [city administrators are] doing it correctly and that the percentage has not changed. I understand the math where if the funds go up, the amount is going to go up. It does make sense. I do understand what people are saying the [administration] funds should not come out of Measure C funds. I have agreed with that.”

Also concerned was Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe who questioned why administrative costs had risen so much when the police department only had a net increase of less than a dozen police officers.

City Finance Director Dawn Merchant responded, “The police department has the largest share of employees of any department in the city. So we spend more resources with police department payroll versus other departments. It’s not just payroll. We pay accounts payable invoices, any money they collect we do the billing. There are a wide variety of services that finance does.”

Thorpe was skeptical, asking “For 10 additional people?”

Merchant responded, “It’s not just 10 additional people. It’s in total for the entire police department.”

City Manager Steven Duran jumped in, saying, “It doesn’t matter if there’s 10 additional people or 10 less people. The pie that’s divided is the cost of internal services. And the formula is the Cost Allocation Plan. Whether Measure C ever existed or not, the formula stays the same. So it’s nothing that anybody does except apply the math that’s in the plan. It doesn’t matter how many hires we’ve had.

“I think one of the things that some of the detractors have been emphasizing is how much it went up since 2012. That’s because when there were layoffs and furloughs prior to that, it went down. So, for instance, the city attorney has been sharing half of an administrative person and gone without a legal secretary for several years. In this year we budgeted for a legal secretary, therefore the city attorney’s budget is going up. Therefore every other department that pays internal services, they are going to pay a little more for the city attorney – police department, water, sewer, everyone. The formula doesn’t change, and it doesn’t matter what the other departments are doing or how many they have added.”

Thorpe seemed mollified, but he took exception to Duran’s characterization of the people concerned about Measure C money going to escalating administration.

“I hear you and I hear the point that if they hired no police officers and I guess if they had no additional invoices to process, it would still be the same,” said Thorpe. “I was trying to figure out how the formula [came to be] and who decided the percentage. And you’re telling me that it’s a formula that already exists, so I’m understanding that.

“I just have to point out that these are not detractors, Mr. City Manager. These are residents who have concerns, and they bring those concerns to us. So we have to take those concerns seriously. So if it frustrates you that we ask these questions, I’m sorry. But we are going to ask these questions. So I want to make clear that there are people who have concerns out there. I ask these questions to be open and transparent so that folks understand what the process is.

“So now I understand that there’s a formula. Whether it should be applied to Measure C is a starting point that I would like to discuss. Because that seems to be a concern that residents have.”

To address that concern, Wright made a motion that was unanimously passed by the council to direct Merchant to not include the administrative cost charges in the Measure C budget.

Merchant told the council that the administrative overhead would instead be shown to come out of the general fund budget, but the money being spent on administration in the overall budget would remain the same. “The expenditure is going to be there,” she said. “It’s just whether we say it’s a part of the equation for Measure C.”

Councilman Tony Tiscareno echoed Merchant, saying, “I want to make it clear that the public needs to know that there isn’t going to be a difference in cost allocation. It’s going to be the same. It’s coming from one column to another column. The reason I didn’t question the Measure C cost allocation at the time is because it was transparent to me, I saw firsthand where the money was going, knowing the money was being spent like it was supposed to be spent. We wanted to use it for hiring police and code enforcement. And I think we’ve done so.

“But we need to be transparent about all our expenditures where the money goes. This just makes it a little simpler for me to view it. But for folks that believe that this may help extend Measure C, I’ll play. But it’s still money being spent that has to be spent.”

The council is scheduled to begin reviewing the 2017-19 budget in April and to adopt it by July.

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Burgis sworn in as new County Supervisor, announcing final term Glover becomes new Board Chair for 2017

Thursday, January 12th, 2017
Former Congressman George Miller administers the oaths of office to new Contra Costa County Supervisor Diane Burgis, left, and re-elected Supervisors Federal Glover and Candace Andersen, Tuesday, January 10, 2017 as Supervisors Karen Mitchoff and John Gioia look on. photos by Jonathan Bash

Former Congressman George Miller administers the oaths of office to new Contra Costa County Supervisor Diane Burgis, left, and re-elected Supervisors Federal Glover and Candace Andersen, Tuesday, January 10, 2017 as Supervisors Karen Mitchoff and John Gioia look on. Photos by Jonathan Bash

By Veronica Hampton

Diane Burgis became a new member of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, and re-elected Supervisor Federal Glover was voted in as Chair of the Board for this year, during the board meeting on Tuesday, January 10. During the procedures, Glover announced this will be his last term on the board.

The meeting began with the presentation of colors by veterans groups from Pittsburg and Martinez. Oakley veteran, Randy “Smitty” Smith, led the Pledge of Allegiance and county Senior Deputy Administrator Julie Enea led in the singing of the National Anthem. Re-elected District 2 Supervisor and out-going Chair for 2016, Candace Andersen opened with an inspirational thought for the day by Michelangelo.

“The greater danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it,” she said.

Former Congressman George Miller administered the oaths of office to both the new and returning Supervisors, Burgis for Supervisor for District 3, which includes portions of Antioch, Andersen who was re-elected without opposition and Glover who began his fifth term as Supervisor for District 5 which includes the other portions of Antioch.

Diane Burgis in her new seat on the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.

Diane Burgis in her new seat on the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.

Burgis, a long time resident of the county, was welcomed to the board and paid homage to her alma mater, saying “Go Bulldogs” and then thanked her family for their support. She expressed her eagerness to start working with the board and introduced members of her staff, stating she is confident with their help and support they can “help Contra Costa meets its full potential.”

Burgis recognized her predecessor, Mary Piepho, thanking her for her encouragement, saying they share the same goals for Contra Costa County.

“In my district, I want to grow our economy while protecting our natural resources, including our precious Delta, provide quality public service, [and] protect the most vulnerable amongst us, while practicing fiscal responsibility and prudence,” Burgis stated.

In her outgoing remarks as Chair, Andersen thanked the board, staff and family for their support and hard work during her term.  She stated she is “grateful” to be re-elected and welcomes collaborating with Glover, in his new role as chair, and with Burgis, as well as the other supervisors.

“I am looking forward to working with my colleagues, both new and old as we continue to serve Contra Costa County,” she said.

Anderson hopes that the county’s past accomplishments can continue to produce new accomplishments for 2017. Focus will continue on the research and resources for mental health for county inmates.

“Next Saturday, Board and County Members will travel to Sacramento to attend the Stepping Up Summit, to look at Best Practices on this issue,” Andersen shared. “With the reopening of Pittsburg Fire Station 87, focus will continue on reopening station 16 in Lafayette. The County will continue to further their alliance with AMR and continue to work on faster medical emergency response times.”

Anderson was presented a gift of appreciation by Glover and the board and he thanked her for “making a solid voice for Contra Costa and for handling difficult decisions with style and grace.”

County Clerk Joe Canciamilla swore Glover as the new Board Chair and District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff as the new Vice Chair of the Board for 2017.

The new Board of Supervisors for 2017 with Federal Glover as Chair. photo by Jonathan Bash

The new Board of Supervisors for 2017 with Federal Glover as Chair.

In his remarks, Glover announced “that this will be his last term, but it will be his best term.” He said he will continue to strive to make “one Contra Costa County,” and to maintain the county’s AAA bond rating from Standard and Poor’s. Focus will continue on developing employment opportunities.

He will continue to strive to make “one Contra Costa County,” and to maintain the county’s AAA bond rating from Standard and Poor’s. Focus will continue on developing employment opportunities.

Four years ago, Glover asked the Board to look into the revitalization of the northern waterfront in the county as a means of employment opportunities.  He will continue to pursue that but also as a means of goods movement.

“Revitalizing the waterfront will not only continue to bring us opportunity for job development but also open up an infrastructure that hasn’t been used in our waterway that will go good for goods movement that will allow us to continue roadwork that is so important,” he stated.

Glover hopes that this will eventually lead to other routes created within the state and other opportunities surrounding the Byron Airport. He then thanked the board, county and his family for their support during his term.

Glover reflected on his past health issues and thanked the county and board for their support during that time. He also thanked Miller and Canciamilla as inspirations and mentors in Glover’s political career.

Both Mitchoff and District 1 Supervisor John Gioia welcomed back their fellow board members, and Burgis, offering well wishes to each other for the New Year.  Both thanked their staff for their continued support.

Mitchoff recognized the new library opening this year in Pleasant Hill. Gioia reiterated the county’s success with the AMR alliance and faster medical response times. The Board joined together to sing Happy Birthday to Gioia and wished him well. Mitchoff stressed the importance of encouraging people to run for office.  Contra Costa County is one of the five counties, out of the 58 in the state, which have a female majority on their board.

“It is not a bad thing to put good people in office,” she stated.

During Public Comments, Marianna Moore, Director of the Ensuring Opportunity Campaign to End Poverty in Contra Costa thanked and congratulated members of the Board but also thanked Burgis for acknowledging her goal to protect the “most vulnerable amongst us.” Moore stressed the need to work together as the fear of the negative impact that will affect the county’s budgeting and programs, when the new federal administration takes over.  She stressed the need to create a sense of safety throughout the county and to continue to work as one Contra Costa County.

Debbie Toth, CEO of Rehabilitation Services of Northern California, which operates the Mt. Diablo Center for Adult Day Health Care, spoke after Moore and “echoed her sentiments” citing her major concern for the increase in senior homelessness, “that is the greatest number in poverty” and will continue to increase.

Pest Detection Specialist for Contra Costa County Department of Agriculture, Lindsay Skidmore of Lafayette, requested that when the labor contract between Local 1 and the County is reviewed, the A-2 medial plan not be removed.  Currently the new contract will not have this, leaving many without a subsidized health care plan, causing a negative impact on the income of many.

A motion was then passed to approve Glover’s nominations of Board Members to be appointed to various county committees and regional boards and commissions.

The meeting was adjourned in memory of former Danville Mayor Richard Waldo, and Richard “Brad” Nail, the former Director of Economic Development of Pittsburg.

Burgis in here new District Office in Brentwood, during a reception on Tuesday evening, January 10th. Photo by Allen Payton

Burgis in here new District Office in Brentwood, during a reception on Tuesday evening, January 10th. Photo by Allen Payton

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Wright faces first challenge as Mayor with split votes on Council committee assignments

Friday, December 16th, 2016

Council forms benefit district to pay for road, other improvements for long-planned employment area

By Nick Goodrich

During the Antioch City Council meeting, Tuesday night, December 13, Mayor Sean Wright presided over his first agenda with action items and faced his first challenge and split votes. They were a result of his choices in which council members he nominated to represent the city on various city and regional committees.

In other council action, they formed the East Lone Tree Benefit District for fees on new home developments to pay for the completion of Slatten Ranch Road, and and heard about the county’s efforts to help the homeless in Antioch.

Challenge Over Transportation Committee Appointments

Wright’s first challenge occurred at the end of the meeting, when his nominations for appointments of council members to city and regional committees resulted in a 3-2 split in votes over Wright’s assignments and a 4-1 split over Council Member Tony Tiscareno’s.

A vote was taken for the appointments for each council member. Both Tiscareno and Council Member Lori Ogorchock voted against Wright’s and Ogorchock provided the lone vote against Tiscareno’s. The appointments last for two years through December, 2018.

Wright ended up with seven committee assignments; Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe with two and two alternate positions; Council Member Monica Wilson has five assignments with three alternate positions; Tiscareno has four assignments and Ogorchock was given two.

The council split occurred when Wright chose not to reappoint Tiscareno to represent the City on TRANSPLAN and two other East County transportation committees, but nominated himself instead. TRANSPLAN is the East County division of and advisory board to the Contra Costa Transportation Authority. The other two are the State Route 4 Bypass Authority and the East Contra Costa Regional Fee & Financing Authority, which collects developer fees for transportation improvements.

During the council’s discussion of the appointments, Ogorchock took issue with the move, noting Tiscareno’s history at the position and recent success he has seen in bringing BART to Antioch. Tiscareno said that he had asked Wright to maintain his seat on the committee.

“Mr. Tiscareno has a history with the TRANSPLAN committee,” Ogorchock told Wright. “With his connections, and the history that he has, I’d request that you place him [on the committee], and then yourself as an alternate…This is lopsided. You have to have someone that’s going to be there on a regular basis, who has that history with these companies. I don’t get this. This is frustrating. I don’t know what we’re doing.”

Wright denied the request. With his removal from TRANSPLAN, Tiscareno now does not sit on any committees that meet regularly. Although he ultimately stated he was “OK” with Wright replacing him, Tiscareno worried that the new mayor was taking on more than he could reasonably handle.

“What I’m seeing here is that you’ve taken quite a bit of responsibility with these committees, and it’s leaving some of us here out of the loop,” he said. “I’m having a bit of an issue with not having any responsibility.”

Ogorchock was visibly frustrated with the appointment, leading to a few tense minutes as Wright refused to budge.

“This is very disrespectful. I don’t approve of any of this,” she said. “This is not right.”

Tiscareno also declined to serve as Wright’s alternate to the transportation committees. Instead, Wilson, who had previously served as the city’s alternate to the committees, was appointed to be the alternate, again.

Same Assignments for Past Antioch Mayors

However, previous Antioch Mayors have also nominated themselves to represent the City on the East County transportation committees, including Joel Keller, Don Freitas and Wade Harper. Neither Mary Rocha nor Jim Davis served on the transportation committees when they each served as Mayor. Harper served on the transportation committees for the first two years of his term and then appointed Tiscareno to serve on them for the past two years.

When reached for comment about the matter, Wright said, “I appointed myself to the same committees that other mayors have appointed themselves to in the past, for the betterment of Antioch.”

Ultimately, the Council split 3-2 in voting on Wright’s appointments, which included TRANSPLAN and the other transportation committees. Ogorchock and Tiscareno dissented, while Wright was supported by Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe and Councilmember Monica Wilson.

Rocha Appointed to Tri Delta Transit Bus System Board

In an unusual move, Wright nominated former Councilwoman Mary Rocha as Antioch’s other representative, along with Wilson, to the Board of Directors for Tri Delta Transit, known as the Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority, which operates the bus system in Antioch and East County. Each city gets two representatives on the board, which Rocha has been serving on, and is currently its Vice President, through next June.

See below the complete list of the council members’ committee assignments or to view the list, click here: council-appointments-dec-2016-dec-2018

Benefit District to Help Create New Employment Area

Map of the East Lone Tree Specific Plan and Benefit District area.

Map of the East Lone Tree Specific Plan and Benefit District area.

A second and final public hearing was held to formally create the East Lone Tree Benefit District, after the Council resolved during their November 8th meeting to complete the process. Plans for the District were laid out by the City Council in 1996 when it formed the East Lone Tree Specific Plan. It allows for the financing of infrastructure in the area north and east of the Highway 4 Bypass surrounding the Laurel Road interchange, and north of the Slatten Ranch Shopping Center. That area has been planned for employment since it’s specific plan’s adoption.

The formal creation of the district authorizes the levy and collection of fees on new homes to pay for certain public improvements, such as streets, water and sewer lines. The payment of fees to the city by the developer are “a condition of the approval of a subdivision map or as a condition of issuing a building permit for the purposes of defraying the actual or estimated cost of constructing public facilities which benefit the developments subject to the fees,” according to the staff report.

The fees will help pay for the estimated $36 million of cost for improvements in the area, approved in 1996. Those include construction of a portion of Slatten Ranch Road between the J.C. Penney building and Laurel Road, extending to portion that currently ends at the new eBART maintenance facility. In addition, the fees will pay for the related infrastructure including storm drain, water line, sanitary sewer, utilities, and East Antioch Creek Trail and landscaping improvements.

The first subdivision to be affected by the per home fee, will be the Park Ridge project currently underway by developer Davidon Homes. Steve Abs, representing Davidon, spoke to the council and staff to relay his thanks for their help in allowing the project to move forward.

Park Ridge was approved by the Council in 2010, he told the audience, and said the creation of the District couldn’t have come at a better time, as Davidon is gearing up to begin construction.

“We’re excited to finally move forward,” he said.

The Council approved the new benefit district on 5-0 vote.

To see the Engineer’s Report on the East Lone Tree Specific Plan, please click here: engineers-report-eltsp-phase-ii

Homeless Outreach Action Plan

The Council also voted to allocate $17,000 from the city’s Housing Successor fund toward homeless outreach services, on Tuesday.

The previous Council had adopted a Homeless Outreach plan in May of this year, committing $2.15 million to helping Antioch’s lower income residents and neighborhoods.

However, because Contra Costa County reorganized its approach to providing homeless services, the County will now oversee all homeless outreach services, to ensure that all teams operate with the same standards and protocol.

The County is contracting Anka Behavioral Health to implement outreach on evenings and weekends, and the allocation of the $17,000 represents Antioch’s part in funding their program.

For now, the contract with Anka is set to expire in June 2017, but is expected to be renewed by the County for a three-year cycle next year.

Council Committee Assignments

Mayor Wright

Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG)

Delta Diablo Sanitation District Board

Mayor’s Conference

City/School Relations Committee

Budget Committee

Lone Tree Golf Course Committee

Sycamore Corridor Committee

Transportation Committees:

TRANSPLAN

State Route 4 Bypass Authority

East Contra Costa Regional Fee and Financing Authority

Mayor Pro Tem Thorpe

East County Water Management Association

Budget Comittee

Alternate, Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG)

Alternate, Mayor’s Conference

Council Member Wilson

Chamber of Commerce Liaison

Community Facilities District CFD 89-1 Board (Mello-Roos)

Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority Board of Directors (Tri Delta Transit bus system)

City/School Relations Committee

Sycamore Corridor Committee

Transportation Committees:

Alternate, TRANSPLAN

Alternate, State Route 4 Bypass Authority

Alternate, East Contra Costa Regional Fee and Financing Authority

Council Member Tiscareno

Community Advisory Board – S.F. Bay Water Emergency Transit Authority (ferry system)

CDBG Committee (Community Development Block Grant)

Graffiti Committee

Lone Tree Golf Course Committee

Council Member Ogorchock

Community Facilities District CFD 89-1 Board (Mello-Roos)

East Bay Division (League of California Cities)

Northeast Antioch Annexation

CDBG Committee (Community Development Block Grant)

Former Council Member Rocha

Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority Board of Directors (Tri Delta Transit bus system)

 

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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