Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

DeSaulnier recognizes credit unions for offering interest-free loans to furloughed federal workers

Thursday, January 10th, 2019

Hopes other financial institutions will follow suit during government shutdown

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier

Washington, DC – Today, Thursday, January 10, 2019, on the eve of over 800,000 federal workers missing their regularly scheduled paychecks due to the government shutdown, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) sent a letter to the Consumer Bankers Association, the Credit Union National Association, and the Mortgage Bankers Association recognizing credit unions for offering interest-free loans to federal workers. The letter also highlights DeSaulnier’s hope that other financial institutions will follow suit.

“Several credit unions across the country have begun offering interest-free loans to impacted federal workers. I applaud these organizations for prioritizing customer well-being and am certain that this will be of great assistance to countless workers and families,” wrote DeSaulnier.

If the government shutdown continues into tomorrow, January 11th, over 800,000 federal workers will miss their scheduled paychecks, and the impact will be felt across the country. Eighty-five percent of the federal workforce resides outside of the District of Columbia. For instance, in California over 37,000 federal workers and their families will miss a paycheck.

“There are opportunities to prevent potentially catastrophic consequences for millions of Americans through cooperation and compassion. I will continue to work in Congress to re-open the government and ensure public employees and contractors are paid, and I appreciate those companies that are stepping up to help during this difficult time,” DeSaulnier continued.

Full text of the letters can be found here.

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Frazier reappointed as Chair of Assembly Transportation Committee

Saturday, December 29th, 2018

Also continues on Insurance and Veterans Affairs Committees

Sacramento, CA – Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D–Discovery Bay) made the following statement after Speaker Anthony Rendon (D – Paramount) reappointed him as Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee:

“I am honored that Speaker Rendon has given me the privilege to continue as Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee.  Serving as chair of this Committee has given me the opportunity to help lead California into a golden age of transportation infrastructure repair.”

“A strong economy depends on roads and highways that are safe and efficient and California is now a leader in the nation on finding transportation solutions that keep the residents of our cities, counties and state moving.  This historic infrastructure investment will put tens of thousands of Californians to work throughout the state.”

In addition to Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, Assemblymember Frazier was also reappointed to the Committees on Insurance, and Veterans Affairs, and was newly appointed to the Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services.

Assemblymember Frazier represents the 11th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vacaville and Walnut Grove.

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Supervisors promote solar energy development in rural areas, parking lots, freeway cloverleafs

Saturday, December 22nd, 2018

Forgive $5.8 million in library book late fees dating back to 1995; Honor Choice in Aging’s Debbie Toth who serves Antioch’s Bedford Center as Board Chair Recipient

By Daniel Borsuk

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors flashed the green light for Contra Costa County Development and Conservation Department (DCD) officials to conduct additional studies on how solar power can be expanded, especially in the Far East environmentally sensitive Delta areas of Bethel Island and Jersey Island.

Supervisors also allowed county planners to study the feasibility of identifying underutilized parking lots countywide that could be used as solar farms in partnership with MCE, the main electricity provider for unincorporated Contra Costa County and the cities of Concord, Danville, Martinez, Oakley, Pinole, Pittsburg, and San Ramon.

Freeway cloverleafs are also on the DCD’s list of potential new sites for renewable energy.

“Fifty to eighty percent of the county could be used for renewable energy,” Jody London, a DCD official, told supervisors.  London said solar energy represents 85 percent of the renewable energy that could be developed on rural land.  The remaining 15 percent would be energy generated from wind power or biomass.

London said the county could also expand solar energy by issuing more permits to homeowners to install solar panels on roofs.

The house rooftop option drew the support of District 3 Supervisor Dianne Burgis of Brentwood, whose district also covers Bethel Island and Jersey Island.  “I’d be open to option one,” she said.  “We have so many rooftops in Contra Costa County.  I’d like to work with MCE.”

Board chair Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill cautioned DCD staff that she was uncertain the DCD recommendation concerning 450-acre Jersey Island as a potential solar power farm might run into opposition from the island’s owner, the Ironhouse Sanitary District.

London said she would look into that issue.

“We support development of solar energy on brownfield sites, parking lots and infill areas such as freeway cloverleafs,” Bill Chilson of the Mount Diablo Audubon Society wrote in a letter to the supervisors.  The environmental organization opposes wind and solar development in the Delta agricultural and wildlife areas, Chilson wrote.

Juan Pablo Galwan, Save Mt. Diablo Land Use Manager, criticized the plan, writing:

“Advances in solar technology may increase the frequency of collocation or allow an area of land to concurrently be farmed and produce solar energy without negatively impacting or perhaps even increasing crop productivity.  However, currently the most likely scenario is that solar development removes land from most or all ties of agricultural production for the duration of lease which may last several decades.  Therefore, the county renewable energy policies should not encourage solar development on viable agricultural land.”

A $47,000 grant from the California Strategic Growth Council developed the energy study for the County.

Supervisors Approve $362,505 State Grant for 2020 Census

The county is getting ready for the 2020 census and took its first step when supervisors unanimously accepted a $362,505 County-Option Outreach Agreement grant from the state.

The grant will aid the county in developing communications and outreach strategies that will target both geographic and demographic populations who are least likely to respond to the 2020 census.

Barbara Rivera of the Contra Costa County Administrators Office said the upcoming census will be the first one where Californians can respond by going online, but this raised cyber security issues from Julia Marks of the Asian Law Caucus.  “There is a lot fear over confidentiality,” said Marks.

Choice in Aging’s Debbie Toth Honored as Board Chair Recipient

Debbie Toth, the Chief Executive Officer of Choice in Aging, was honored by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Chair Karen Mitchoff, as Board Chair Recipient for 2018.

Mitchoff, of Pleasant Hill, selected Toth, who was named CEO of Choice in Aging in 2012 that serves 600 senior citizens in residential facilities at the Bedford Center in Antioch and the Mt. Diablo Center in Pleasant Hill, for being an advocate for senior access to housing, health and transit.

Mitchoff, who was re-elected to the District 3 supervisorial seat in June, cited her personal experience with her mother as a key factor in nominating the CIA’s Chief Executive Officer for the award.

After Tuesday’s meeting, it is expected District 1 Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond will be elected as Chair of the Board   when supervisors reconvene at their next regular meeting slated for January 15, 2019.

Supervisors Forgive $5.8 Million in Library Book Late Fees Dating Back to 1995

A week after the Board of Supervisors made the historic move to eliminate the practice of collecting overdue book and material fees, they approved on a 5-0 vote to discharge about $5,800,100 from public library patron accounts.

The agenda consent item did not attract public comment.

The bookkeeping item covers uncollected fees dating back to 1995 to the present, County Librarian Melinda Cervantes wrote in a report to the Board.  “Of this amount, 73 percent is the value of materials, not cash outstanding.”  There is no financial impact on the county general fund.

Last week supervisors adopted the library commission’s recommendation to cease the collection of overdue book fines beginning Jan. 1, 2019 based on the recommendations in a policy titled Project Equitable Access with the goal of ensuring everyone has access to library materials.

To view the entire meeting agenda, click here.

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City of Antioch launches new website

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Screenshot of the City of Antioch’s new website.

The City of Antioch is excited to announce the launch of its redesigned website and new domain name at www.antiochca.gov. The site has a fresh, contemporary look and will be easier for residents and customers to navigate through with an improved search engine to help users more easily find the information they need.  

The new site’s graphics, navigation, and content provide a clear window into City governance, operations, and services while making it easy for users to access information on activities and opportunities, request services, and interact with City staff.  The site takes City Services to our local community, businesses and beyond, furthering our commitment to accessible, and efficient local government.

Website improvements also include clarifying content and adding consistent navigation at each page header. In addition, the new format is compatible with smartphones and tablets by automatically reformatting to the device being used.

“We are excited to have a website that is easier to use and provides better engagement for our residents,” said Ron Bernal, Antioch City Manager. “The new site gives us the opportunity to provide more transparency about City business and also informs our community about important topics, projects and City happenings.”

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County airport committee seeks public input on possible viewing plaza at Byron Airport

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

A Public Viewing Plaza similar to this one at Buchanan Field in Concord is being proposed for the Byron Airport. Photo credit Nate G., posted Sept. 27, 2014.

Photo courtesy of Contra Costa County.

The Contra Costa County Aviation Advisory Committee is asking for the public’s assistance in answering a one question survey to gauge interest in and support for a “public viewing plaza” at the Byron Airport, similar to the one at Buchanan Field.

The commission will discuss the matter at their next meeting on Thursday, August 9, 2018, which will be held at 10:00 a.m., 550 Sally Ride Drive in Concord, and will be deciding if there is demand for the viewing plaza, the location for it at the Byron Airport and the cost.

Are you interested in and would you support a public viewing plaza at the Byron Airport?

Leave your response in the comments section, below or on the Herald Facebook page. Thank you for your participation.

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Antioch city manager announces hiring of new economic development director

Monday, June 18th, 2018

Kwame Reed from his LinkedIn profile.

Antioch City Manager Ron Bernal announced the hiring of Kwame Reed as Antioch’s new Economic Development Director. Currently the Senior Analyst for Economic Development in Brentwood, California, Reed will start his new role with Antioch on July 2, 2018.

Reed brings over 20 years of professional experience in local and regional government agencies, with roles that include planning, redevelopment, affordable housing, project management and economic development. He is the 2018-19 Chairman of the East Bay Economic Development Alliance.

“Quality jobs, redeveloping underperforming properties and a vibrant downtown are important to our community, said City Manager Ron Bernal stated. “This newly created position shows just how serious the City Council is about economic development. Kwame is familiar with our region and its unique opportunities and challenges. His strong interpersonal skills will be key to retaining and attracting businesses and employers. Kwame and our Economic Development Project Manager Lizeht Zepeda will make a powerhouse team.”

His starting salary will be $140,448, according to Nickie Mastay, Antioch’s Administrative Services Director.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Reed has served in his current position since 2004. During part of that time, from 2008 to 2013, he owned a portrait photography business. Prior to his time with Brentwood, Reed worked for the City of Oakley as an associate planner from 2002-2004, a planner for the San Joaquin County Regional Rail Commission/ACE Train from 1999-2002 and a planner for the San Joaquin Council of Governments where he got his start in 1995.

He graduated in 1995 with a degree City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Reed has been married for 21 years, is the father of three, two boys age 19 and 14, and a daughter who is 12. He enjoys watching them play golf and basketball.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Call for Applications: San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, Independent Citizens Oversight Committee

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

Deadline Extended – Due April 18, 2018

Measure AA is expected to generate $25 million annually for San Francisco Bay restoration over the next 20 years. Funding from this voter-approved measure will allow for the restoration of thousands of acres of natural habitat for wildlife, support our local economy, improve access to public lands, address flooding issues, and create thousands of new jobs.

The San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority’s Governing Board seeks six individuals to serve on the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee. The Committee has three main roles:

  1. Annually review the Authority’s conformance with Measure AA.
  2. Review the Authority’s audits and expenditure and financial reports.
  3. Publish an annual report of its findings, which will be posted on the Authority’s website.

The Board seeks committee members from all four Bay Area regions (North Bay, East Bay, South Bay and West Bay) with special subject matter expertise. Each member of the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee must possess expertise in one or more of the following:

  • Water quality
  • Pollution reduction
  • Habitat restoration
  • Flood protection
  • Improvement of public access to the San Francisco Bay
  • Financing of these objectives.

Ineligibility Factors for Membership

No person may serve on the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee who:

  • Is an elected official or government employee;
  • Has had or could have a financial interest in a decision of the Authority; or
  • Is affiliated with an organization associated with a member of the Governing Board.

Apply to serve on the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee by April 18, 2018.

Application Submittal, Materials, and Deadline

Send your application to karen.mcdowell@sfestuary.org by April 18, 2018. Electronic signatures and scanned signatures will be accepted.

For more information, visit the SF Bay Restoration Authority’s website or contact Karen McDowell, Project Manager, SF Bay Restoration Authority or 415-778-6685.

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Rep. McNerney to host net neutrality town hall meeting in Antioch Sunday, March 4

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

From Congressman Jerry McNerney

As your representative in Congress, I take very seriously my responsibility to be your voice in Washington. So when you called, emailed and wrote letters by the thousands, expressing your concerns about the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) plan to eliminate net neutrality protections, I took action.

Prior to the FCC’s vote to repeal net neutrality, I submitted a formal request to address the full Commission. I wanted to make the case for maintaining a free and open internet, and to share some of the stories you’ve shared with me – stories of small business owners, veterans, students and so many more who rely on the internet for nearly every aspect of daily life. Unfortunately, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai denied my request.

Thankfully, there was someone on the Commission who wanted to ensure your voice and the voices of Americans across the country were heard. FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, who stood strong and voted against the repeal, submitted a written statement on my behalf and read her own compelling dissent in opposition to the repeal of these crucial protections.

Commissioner Clyburn will be joining me this Sunday, March 4th from 3:00-4:30 PM at the Antioch Community Center for a town hall on net neutrality. We’ll be discussing your concerns and talking about how we move forward in the fight for a free and open internet.

For more information or to RSVP please call (925) 754-0716 or email McNerneyRSVP@mail.house.gov.

I hope to see you there.

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