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Four candidates to challenge Tiscareno, Ogorchock for Antioch City Council

Friday, August 10th, 2018

Three of the four challengers running for the Antioch City Council against incumbents Tony Tiscareno and Lori Ogorchock in the November election. (L-R) Joy Motts from her Facebook page, Nora Foster provided by the candidate and Rodney McClelland from his Facebook page. See the photo of Prudence Capelle  in the 8/19/18 UPDATE, below.

Nine candidates pull papers, only six file

By Allen Payton

As of the filing deadline for the Antioch City Council elections in November, six candidates had filed, including the two incumbents, Council Members Tony Tiscareno and Lori Ogorchock whose seats are up for just two years. The four challengers include former Antioch School Board Trustee Joy Motts, Antioch Parks & Recreation Commission Chairman Rodney McClelland and Member Nora Foster, and Caroleve Prudence Capelle.

Three other candidates pulled papers, including Janice Lipnisky, who was in the July 4th parade as Ms. Antioch Plus Size 2018 and showed up to city hall wearing her sash and crown, Howard Kinsel and Sandi Mauricio. According to Antioch City Clerk Arne Simonsen, Lipnisky told him she has decided to run for the Antioch School Board instead, Kinsel chose not to run due to health issues, and Mauricio did not complete the filing process.

When asked why she decided not to run, Mauricio responded, “I’m going to support another candidate who would like to see the same changes in Antioch. I will run when I have more time to commit to my campaign.”

Motts announced her campaign in February when she filed an intent to run and was the only candidate to do so. (See related article.)

Nora Foster

In a response to emailed questions, Foster stated, “I have decided to run for City Council because for the last 4.5 years, I have called Antioch home. I have always wanted to make a difference in the community in which I live. I love my home, my community, and my City. My goal in running is to contribute to making Antioch a place to be envied. A place where its residences are feel safe and proud to call home.

Although there are many issues that needs attention, my main issues are:

1) Reducing/Eliminating Crime in this City,

2) Bringing businesses to our City (more than just corner stores but big businesses even high tech.),

3) Saving our hiking trails and open spaces.

I am currently a commissioner of Antioch’s Department of Park & Rec. and serving on Contra Costa County’s FACT (Family And Children Trust) committee; however, my term will expire this September. I would like to think that my role as a Park & Rec. commissioner and a committee member of these boards have helped to benefit the City and the County.

I currently hold an undergraduate degree (BS) in Organizational Behavior and a minor in Telecommunications. Additionally, I have a Master’s Degree in Social Work and have worked in the field of Child Welfare for over 10 years.”

Rodney McClelland

McClelland was one of the three leaders of the recent referendum effort to stop the city’s cannabis business district. Although it failed to get the necessary 5,100 signatures within 30 days, they did gather over 3,000 signatures from registered voters in Antioch.

When reached for comment about his background he said, “I’ve been involved with Delta Youth Soccer League and served on the Antioch Youth Sports Complex Board of Directors, as well. Interacting with the city and obtained financial aid for some of the kids. I was involved with the development of the back fields and the maintenance plan.”

In addition, McClelland said he works in sales for a wholesale distributor of parts and supplies to refrigeration, heating and air conditioning contractors.

Asked why he’s running, McClelland responded, “I was born and raised in Antioch and have seen it go through a lot of changes, both good and bad. I’m not happy with some of the decisions the current council has made, specifically with Measure C, and the cannabis issue was not well thought out and planned. I believe the police department is what we should go after for improvements. I know they’ve spent some money from Measure C. But, it’s not enough. We still don’t have enough police officers for a city our size of 119,000 people.”

“During the referendum, I met a lot of folks who were retired, and some were elderly. The greatest concern of most of them was that they don’t feel safe to leave their homes in the evening,” he shared. “It’s not that the police officers we have aren’t doing their job, it’s that we just don’t have enough officers to do the job we need them to do.”

“We need to clean up our city to improve economic development and bring in businesses in the empty spots that we have in order to thrive,” McClelland continued. We need to find more career type jobs, not just retail jobs. Everything hinges on the reputation of our city and what they see when they come into our city.”

“We need to do a better job of making Antioch more attractive to businesses and future homeowners, and current homeowners, which goes without saying,” he said. “We have all this landscaping throughout town. Maybe we need to look at something that requires less maintenance and water, and longer lasting. Something more thought out.”

“One of the other things is, we should continue to refurbish our parks. We’ve done a good job at improving our parks with the First 5 Regional Group, including Prosserville Park, Contra Loma Estates Park, and the Antioch Disk Golf, all-access playground and splash playground at Prewett Park,” McClelland stated. “We need to do more of that and bring more programs into our parks. The more programs, the more community engagement you’ll have. We need something for every age group.”

Tony Tiscareno from City of Antioch website.

Tony Tiscareno 

In Tiscareno’s campaign announcement on August 1st he said, “When I ran for election four years ago, I promised to work hard to improve crime prevention efforts, revitalize city services and make Antioch fiscally sound. I have made a positive impact in these and other areas that I care deeply about.”

In the last four years, his announcement continued, Antioch has hired more than 50 new police officers, the city ended employee furloughs and City Hall is open full time.  Staff has been hired to improve city services, including code enforcement.  And, funding was found to provide more youth and senior activities.

“My focus in the next two years is to expand Antioch’s economic growth and attract new businesses and jobs, continue to support our public safety services and hire more police officers, continue to reduce crime, and responsibly manage our budget,” he added.

Tiscareno and his wife have lived in Antioch for almost 50 years. He is a local Realtor.

Lori Ogorchock from City of Antioch website.

Lori Ogorchock

After filing her papers on Thursday, Ogorchock made a brief statement in a video on her Facebook page saying, “Hi, Lori Ogorchock, here. I just made it official. Went inside and filed my papers to run for the Antioch City Council for 2018. I need your vote on November 6th. I’m so excited to run for my seat, again. To celebrate I walked down to RiverTown Sweets to get my cookie with everything on it. I look forward to talking and walking with you, this year. Thank you.”

8/17/18 UPDATE: Ogorchock sent out an announcement about her campaign on Thursday, Aug. 16 stating, “Serving you on the Antioch City Council is my greatest honor. I’m a 45-year Antioch resident, a graduate of Antioch High and a local businesswoman. Together, little by little, we are making a difference to improve Antioch’s quality of life. We’ve hired 55+ police officers, balanced our budget, working to create a facility to support victims of domestic violence. We’ve brought BART to Antioch – now we need to lobby BART for more parking at the new station. There is much more work to do. I would be honored to earn your vote this November.”

Ogorchock is also a local Realtor.

Prudence Capelle

Prudence Capelle

8/19/18 UPDATE: Capelle has worked as a Realtor and manager of 12 apartment buildings until she retired in 2012, when she moved to Antioch after having purchased a home in Rivertown in 2010. She has served on the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy Public Advisory Committee, and as a volunteer at the Senior Center, teaching the Beginners’ Exercise Class. She is a painter and some of her work has been displayed at the Lynn House Gallery, Antioch Historical Society Museum and Antioch Library.

Capelle said, “I decided to run as a result of seeing a flyer about two seats on the Council at the Antioch Senior Center and felt that as an elder and a woman in our community, I could be a valuable addition to the City Council.” Her main issues are “the lack of cohesion and vision on the Council” and supports support the “Save the Yard” and “Stop the Tunnels” campaigns and is “very interested in community building and addressing solutions to what we can do about global warming/climate change in our city.”

The election will be held Tuesday, November 6. Any candidates who are elected will have to run for reelection, in the district where they live, in the 2020 election.

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Antioch Council united in placing revised sales tax measure on November ballot with 20-year sunset, oversight included

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

Council warned by taxpayers association that the funds will be used to pay pension liability

By Allen Payton

During a fourth special meeting of the Antioch City Council to place a sales tax increase measure on the November ballot, on Thursday, August 9, 2018, the two members who voted against the proposal during Tuesday’s meeting, reversed course and joined the other three for a unanimous vote.  (See related article). The issue was the addition of a 20-year termination, or sunset clause, for the tax and inclusion of continuing the citizens oversight of the use of the funds from the measure. Both Mayor Pro Tem Thorpe and Council Member Monica Wilson who developed the tax measure in their ad hoc committee, had opposed the inclusion of those two items. But, since state law requires a two-thirds vote of the council to place a sales tax measure on the ballot at least one of them had to switch their vote to get the necessary four votes.

The measure, if passed by the voters, will double the half-cent sales tax from Measure C passed by the voters in 2013, to a full one cent on each dollar of taxable sales in Antioch. It will increase the revenue from approximately $7 million to about $14 million per year from the additional tax.. (See related article).

Following Interim City Attorney Derek Cole’s explanation for the need of a fourth meeting and apologizing for the oversight during Tuesday’s meeting, he said, “as long as you have four votes, it can be placed on the ballot.”

Thorpe then made a motion to reconsider the council’s action from Tuesday night, and it was seconded by Wilson.

That had to pass, first or the ballot measure could not be placed on the ballot and according to Cole, “It has to come from the prevailing side, which in this case was those who voted ‘no’.”

The motion passed unanimously. Then, the council heard comments from the public

Mayor Sean Wright read a comment by Jeffrey Klingler emailed earlier in the day.

“I’m very disappointed that this resolution is again before the city council because of a technical oversight,” he wrote. “Moreover, I am particularly frustrated at how we got to this point. Because this resolution and ballot language was presented to the city council at the last minute there was limited time for open discussion and consideration of public comment (for which the structured environment of polling is not a substitute). Nonetheless, the numerous special council meetings have allowed for the necessary discussions to take place and the meeting of August 7th should have brought this issue to closure.”

“The ad hoc committee has been working for many months on the quality of life initiative and it is bewildering this issue could not have been considered much earlier,” Klinger continued. “As such, I believe the obligation for passage lies with the members of the ad hoc committee to strike the appropriate compromise. I am confident that will be the outcome.”

“I look forward to a ballot measure that will help our city move forward with the critical funding necessary for its success,” he concluded.

Resident Fred Hoskins spoke next.

“I’m going to say, unfortunately for you I only have three minutes, because I could express a lot of ideas,” he said. “I am extremely disappointed in every one of you. I can’t believe it has been initiated in the first place. I was never surveyed for anything.”

“How can we jam down the throats of the citizens of Antioch another half-cent sales tax? That’s what this is about,” Hoskins stated.

He said that he campaigned against Measure C

“I said this is not going away. I was right,” he continued. “I have never seen an objective process or projects for the advancement of this city…the land use of downtown has been put on the shelf because they’re too political. No improvements have been made to the waterfront. We have Humphrey’s that’s going to be Smith’s Landing. Great. I hope they’re successful.”

“You offer no solutions, so you as a council look for ways to tax us,” Hoskins said. “You’re sure kicking the can down the road and 20 years is a joke. It ought to be six months and you figure out how to find the revenue.”

Hal Bray, representing Contra Costa Taxpayers Association spoke next.

“We believe that you’re not being completely honest with the people of Antioch about the uses of the revenue from this sales tax,” he stated. “Your pension costs…will double in the next five years. We believe you’re already using tax revenue meant for other services, for pension costs.  We believe you need to put in place a plan to deal with these rising costs. Other cities have put in place plans, such as a 115 Trust and contracting out services.”

Regarding employee pension contributions Bray said, “We believe the cost should be shared 50-50” with employees paying half the cost of their pensions and the city paying the other half. “You could have $4.5 million more for services if you split the costs with your employees.”

“The average Social Security pension is $16,000. The average CalPers pension of a full-time worker is $70,000 and for public safety officer it is $104,000,” he shared. “We believe it’s unfair for the residents of Antioch, so the people can be paid five to six times what the average retiree gets paid. We are ready to meet when you are.”

Antioch Economic Development Commissioner Tim McCall offered the final public comments in favor of the measure.

“First, to Ms. Wilson and Mr. Thorpe, to all the staff who worked on this…I know you all worked very hard. I appreciate your hard work,” he said. “Mrs. Ogorchock, thank you for your conviction and sticking by it. Mayor Wright, thank for being willing to compromise. Mr. Tiscareno, thank you for standing strong on the 20-year sunset.”

“This will not unite Antioch. It is dividing Antioch. We need to pass this,” McCall stated. “Mr. Thorpe, I do agree with you that the original wording would be a feel good. But, the leaders have spoken and said they want a sunset clause. We’re just going to have to campaign harder. I will help you campaign.

“This city needs to be united. The council needs to be united tonight,” he continued. “Let’s not revisit this in nine years. There will be lots of discussion about how to spend this money. It would be a benefit to start that united.”

The council then took up the issue with Thorpe saying, “Thank you Mr. City Attorney for taking responsibility for this small mishap. I believe Councilwoman Wilson and I believe our votes, last time were symbolic…recognizing that we did work hard…and that we were standing by our work. Although we voted no, the next day we were right back at it, working hard to figure out how to pass it.”

He then made a motion to include the 20-year sunset and citizens oversight in the measure. It was seconded by Wilson and the council voted unanimously to place it on the November ballot.

The final ballot language is as follows:

Antioch’s Quality of Life Measure. To maintain Antioch’s fiscal stability, police patrols, 911 emergency response, youth violence prevention programs; ensuring water quality/safety; repairing streets; cleaning up parks/illegal dumping; restoring youth afterschool/summer programs; other essential services; shall the measure be adopted approving an ordinance to renew the sales tax at the one-cent rate, raising approximately $14,000,000 annually,  expiring in twenty years, with mandatory annual independent financial audits, and independent citizens oversight?

The election will be held on Tuesday, November 6 and the measure requires a simple majority of votes to pass.

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On 3-2 vote Antioch Council adds 20-year sunset clause, public oversight to sales tax measure; will hold fourth special meeting on Thursday

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

Measure requires votes of four council members to place on ballot.

By Allen Payton

During a third special meeting to deal with the one-cent sales tax measure for the November ballot, the Antioch City Council, on Tuesday voted 3-2 to add a 20-year termination, known as a sunset, and the continuation of the citizens’ oversight committee to the language. Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe and Councilwoman Monica Wilson were the dissenting votes.  The measure will double the current half-cent sales tax of Measure C to a full one-cent tax on every dollar spent on items to which the state sales tax is applied. (See related article)

But, in a perfect example of haste makes waste, even after all their discussions and actions during the three special meetings, in a last-minute effort to place the measure on the November ballot before the August 10th deadline, the council still didn’t get it done correctly and will have to return for a fourth special meeting on Thursday. That’s because it takes a two-thirds vote of the council to place a sales tax measure on the ballot, which means the votes of at least four of the five council members, not just a majority of three. (See Council Meeting Agenda, here: ACC080918)

Interim City Attorney Derek Cole took responsibility for the mistake.

“There is a provision in the state Revenue and Tax Code that requires a two-thirds vote of the council to place a transaction and use tax measure on the ballot,” he explained. “In the heat of the moment I did not properly advise the council. It was entirely an error on my part. If they don’t have a super majority they are not allowed to put the measure before the voters.”

“It still requires only a majority of voters to pass it in November,” Cole added.

That means either or both Thorpe and Wilson will have to vote in favor of placing the measure on the ballot. Thorpe was asked about that fact.

“That could potentially be an outcome and it may have been a different vote, last night had they explained that,” he responded. “Maybe we would have come up with a different resolution.”

The Thursday, Aug. 9th meeting will be held at 5:15 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall located at 200 H Street.

Council Adds Sunset Clause, Oversight to Ballot Measure Language

“The 20-year sunset was not included in the survey,” City Manager Ron Bernal stated in his opening remarks. “Therefore, we do not know how the voters will respond.”

In discussing adding the sunset clause, Mayor Sean Wright offered a nine-year termination instead of the 20-year approved by the council at last Friday’s special meeting. That was in response to Bernal stating that if the council included the sunset that the city’s consultant suggested a single digit, nine-year term.

Only one member of the public spoke on the item, Antioch resident and regular council meeting attendee, Marty Fernandez referring to the part of the ballot measure language about ensuring water quality.

“Isn’t that why our water bills went up last month?” he asked. “You need to face reality. You haven’t once mentioned unfunded liabilities and pensions. (City Finance Director) Dawn Merchant has been telling you for five years you’re going to run out of money. What’s the plan? What happens if this measure doesn’t pass?

Thorpe and Wilson served on the council appointed ad hoc committee which conducted two polls, surveying likely Antioch voters over the past year-and-a-half. They were not happy with including a sunset clause.

When asked who developed the survey questions, Wilson responded “RM3”, the consulting firm hired to perform the survey. Asked if the subcommittee members and city staff provided any input, she responded, “They took our opinion, but mainly RM3” developed the questions.

When asked why a question about a sunset clause wasn’t included Bernal responded, “the survey included normal questions. The goal was a quality of life survey and how things are going.”

“We did two surveys,” Thorpe explained. “The first one included a tax measure without a sunset. It was supported overwhelmingly. So, there was no need to refine it for the second survey.”

Before the vote on the motion by Council Members Lori Ogorchock and Tony Tiscareno, Wilson said “I believe this measure needs to go on the ballot. But, I’m opposed to this 20-year time frame.”

Thorpe went further, blasting the three council members who supported adding the sunset.

“It’s disappointing after a year-and-a-half of work, not just us, but department heads…ensured it had guard rails in it, that after all that work, it gets thrown out the window,” he stated. “This was one of Ron’s (Bernal’s) outcomes. He brought in the best and brightest in California. The Chief (of Police Tammany Brooks) was one of the main people out there asking for the public’s input.”

“I am beyond disbelief and disgust,” Thorpe continued. “I can only shake my head at the level of foolishness to endanger our ballot measure. Other than trying to people please, when the people we’re trying to please are the ones who were surveyed.”

Then he took a swipe at City Clerk Arne Simonsen who has been critic of the sales tax on social media.

“I’m also disappointed you, City Clerk have participated in some of the undermining,” Thorpe added.

Tiscareno responded, saying “I think we can get this thing passed as it is. This is an extension to Measure C. If this measure fails because of a sunset, then I’ve failed our police department.”

“I feel as confident as I did when we looked at Measure C. I truly believe we’re going to do well. All we need is 50 percent plus one,” he added. “I respect the work that you did. I just want to make sure we do what’s in the best interest of the city.”

Mayor Sean Wright also responded to Thorpe, taking him to task.

“I think it’s unfair to reprimand the council for not listening to the ad hoc committee,” he said. “The ad hoc committee is asked to do work and come back and for the council to think and deliberate on that and not to blindly follow. You may disagree with that. But, to have something put in front of me and given three days to think about and discuss what’s been worked on for the last nine months is I think a little unfair to council, to then say blindly do this and trust us because we’ve done the work without us being able to have that same amount of time. I think the past two weeks has given us an opportunity to be able to look and discuss and I think council has come to the realization and understanding what some of our constituents have asked for. They have asked for oversight…they have asked for a sunset. The truth is if we can get more and more people on board, there is not one person in the community is going to come yell at me for adding a sunset. No one is going to yell at me for putting oversight on this. So, just because it wasn’t polled…that might have been nice to have been polled and have those numbers.”

Ogorchock had earlier and at previous meetings shared the same concern of a short time period being given to the rest of the council to discuss and decide on the ballot measure and the language it should contain.

The final ballot language adopted for the measure is as follows:

Antioch’s Quality of Life Measure. To maintain Antioch’s fiscal stability, police patrols, 911 emergency response, youth violence prevention programs; ensuring water quality/safety; repairing streets; cleaning up parks/illegal dumping; restoring youth afterschool/summer programs; other essential services; shall the measure be adopted approving an ordinance to renew the sales tax at the one-cent rate, raising approximately $14,000,000 annually,  expiring in twenty years, with mandatory annual independent financial audits, and independent citizens oversight?

To watch Tuesday’s council meeting via streaming on the city’s website, click here.

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Antioch Council to hold third special meeting on Tuesday to make changes to sales tax increase ballot measure

Monday, August 6th, 2018

By Allen Payton

After holding two special meetings last Tuesday and Friday to make needed changes to the ballot language for the one-cent sales tax measure for the November election, the Antioch City Council will be holding a third special meeting Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. to discuss adding language to include a 20-year expiration date to the tax and independent citizens’ oversight. ACC080718

The tax would double the current half-cent sales tax in the city, approved with the passage of Measure C in 2013, which sunsets in April 2021 and includes the Citizens Oversight Committee. However, the current committee has basically served as a rubber stamp to reports by city staff and hasn’t challenged the council’s use of the incorrect figure of 82 sworn officers as the base, instead of the 89 that were in the city’s budget at the time Measure C was placed on the ballot. The difference means 111 sworn officers from the half-cent sales tax rather than just 104. The committee also hasn’t challenged the base figure of $25 million in the budget since 2013 for those 89 officers, which hasn’t changed each year despite those and all officers being given pay raises unanimously by the then-council on Election Night in November 2016.

To date, the City has added a net six sworn police officers from Measure C funds, as of last week (see related article), out of the 22 that the then-mayor and council members promised in their ballot argument in favor of the measure, if the voters approved the half-cent sales tax.

According to the staff report for the item on Tuesday’s council meeting agenda:

“On July 24, 2018, the City Council adopted a resolution and ordinance calling an election in November to extend the City’s transaction and use tax (Measure C) and to increase that tax from one-half cent to one cent beginning April 1, 2019.  The City Council then held two meetings regarding the extension of this tax.  At the Special Meeting held on July 31, 2018, City Council amended the resolution to call for new ballot language (specifically, to bring the number of words in that language below the maximum of 75 words).  At the Special Meeting held on August 3, 2018, City Council convened to consider an amendment to the ordinance to correct a drafting error (specifically, the omission of language increasing the transactions tax to a rate of one cent).

At the Special Meeting held on August 3, 2018, the City Council did not adopt the proposed ordinance revision but instead directed the City Attorney to bring back a revised resolution and ordinance that does the following:

Continues the codification of the Sales Tax Citizens Oversight Committee in the Antioch Municipal Code (the prior version of the ordinance deleted the code section creating this committee); and

Provide for a ‘sunset’ of the ordinance in twenty years (the prior version deleted the code section of the Antioch Municipal Code creating an expiration date for the ordinance); and

Amends the ballot language to be submitted to the voters to reflect the new sunset date and reference the independent citizen oversight committee (the prior version stated that repeal would only occur by act of the voters and did not mention the existence of the committee).”

The proposed language for the ballot measure reads as follows:

“Antioch’s Quality of Life Measure. To maintain Antioch’s fiscal stability, police patrols, 911 emergency response, youth violence prevention programs; ensuring water quality/safety; repairing streets; cleaning up parks/illegal dumping; restoring youth afterschool/summer programs; other essential services; shall the measure be adopted approving an ordinance to renew the sales tax at the one-cent rate, raising approximately $14,000,000 annually,  expiring in twenty years, with mandatory annual independent financial audits, and independent citizens oversight?”

The meeting will be held at 4:00 p.m. in the Antioch City Council Chambers at City Hall located at 200 G Street in historic, downtown Rivertown.

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Antioch Council approves nine-home in-fill project

Monday, August 6th, 2018

Rendering of one of the three elevation choices for the split-level home design at Black Diamond Ranch Unit 4.

By Allen Payton

At their July 24 meeting, the Antioch City Council approved a nine-lot neighborhood by Discovery Builders. It is located in the Black Diamond Ranch subdivision, on Torgensen Court off Markley Creek Drive, near the south end of Somersville Road, on the western-most edge of the city.

There will be three sizes of homes of one-story to split-level three-stories, with three different designs, which is unusual for a project with so few units. Homes will range in size from 2,074 to 3,122 square feet.

There were no speakers on the agenda item and following some discussion, the council approved the project.

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Antioch loses two leaders as Conleys move out of state

Sunday, August 5th, 2018

Jim and Donna Conley outside City Hall with their certificates of appreciation on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

By Allen Payton

Antioch City Treasurer Donna and current Planning Commissioner and former Councilman Jim Conley have moved out of town to Idaho and as a result, have stepped down from their positions.

Jim served on the council from 2000-2006.

Donna was first elected Treasurer in 2004, then won reelection in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Her last three races she ran unopposed.

After serving on the planning commission in the late 90’s, then running for city council and placing third, Jim was appointed to the council in 2000 to fill the seat of Don Freitas, who had been elected Mayor that year, half-way through his term. Jim was elected in 2002 for a full term.

They were honored by Mayor Sean Wright and the entire City Council at the beginning of the meeting on Tuesday, July 24.

“Jim and Donna, you guys will be missed. We appreciate your service to our community,” said Mayor Sean Wright. “I want to thank you for your dedication.”

Both choking back tears, Donna and Jim said it had been a privilege and pleasure to serve the community.

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Antioch, Deer Valley high school football preview

Sunday, August 5th, 2018

By Jesus Cano

Antioch High Panthers

Last season Willem Karnthong illustrated what being a dual threat quarterback is.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if the senior can rush and pass for 1,000 yards. Last season he threw for 1,601 and ran for 800.

Karnthong is one of the veterans of the team. He is a three-year varsity starter, similar to one his throwing options, Gaudie Campbell. Campbell has been receiving offers since his freshman year from schools like Eastern Washington, Howard and recently California State University, Sacramento.

Just like Campbell, Tommy Jenkins will be a threat in offense according to offensive coordinator Brett Dudley. Both of these players can play defensive back as well.

Dudley says Antioch’s workhorse will be senior Vinny Ballardo. Despite being a natural defensive player, he can do it all. From taking caries, lining up at receiver, to returning punts.

Jaysn Wade seems to be the front runner at running back for the Panthers. In 26 rushes, Wade averaged 9.9 yards per carry.

Defensively, Dejuan Butler is a player that has gotten notice of the University of California, Berkeley. Dudley says he really expects Butler to get national attention this season.

Antioch’s two key lineman according to Dudley are Jake Hope and Alberto Sandoval. Both of them excel on both sides of the ball. Dudley also says Kwamayne Sims will make an impact on the line, especially on defense, adding to Antioch’s 3-4 defense.

Dudley feels a lot more confident with this offensive line, compared to previous years.

“I would put what those three guys do In the weight room against any other three guys around.” Dudley said.

Antioch essentially went from a bottom of the league team, to one of the top teams in the North Coast Section.

In the past three seasons, they have at least ended at the semifinal stage on the NCS DI championship and making an appearance in the final round.

After coming up short on so many occasions, this Panther team is set out on reaching new heights in the fresh campaign.

“Our goal is to win an NCS championship,” Dudley said.

Deer Valley High Wolverines

Deer Valley High is stuck in a dry spell and is still seeking its oasis.

The Wolverines have yet to win a single league game ever since head coach Robert Hubbard’s inaugural season under the helm in 2014.

Despite that, Hubbard compares his team to the San Francisco 49ers, a team that had struggled the past couple of years but, said has maintained a winning culture.

“We are overlooked by our record,” Hubbard said. “We are always in every single game.”

Deer Valley only went 2-8 last season, but still made the playoffs.

Now they face an ongoing challenge, the small roster size. Hubbard says that roughly 25 players will be on the Deer Valley squad, causing many players to play on two sides of the field.

“The goal is to work on keeping these kids healthy.” Hubbard said

Speaking of the 49ers, Hubbard also adds that Josh Scott is the Jimmy Garoppolo of this team.

Scott has been a BVAL-All-League player since his sophomore year and was most recently awarded first team last season. He also led Deer Valley with 619 rushing yards.

Scott is going to be the workhorse of the team, will be playing on both sides of the field, and while he took over as quarterback later in the season, Hubbard hopes to move him to wide receiver. Hubbard adds that Dominic Pino is candidate to play the quarterback position to add more weapons to Deer Valley’s offense.

Hubbard highlights two other players to be key for Deer Valley, running back Patrick Robinson and two-way lineman King Matu. Along with Scott, they have been playing on varsity ever since their varsity year.

Robinson ran for 438 yards and scored six touchdowns last year.

Another returning player for Deer Valley is Jordan Pringle, who will serve as the team’s tight end.

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Antioch Police Department adds another officer to the force

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks administers the oath of office to new Officer Devon Wenger-Gomez as friends and family members look on, Monday, July 30, 2018. Photos by APD.

Chief Brooks and Officer Wenger-Gomez.

Posted on the Antioch Police Department Facebook page Monday, July 30, 2018:

“Today, we welcome lateral officer Devon Wenger-Gomez. Devon was born in Walnut Creek and grew up in the East Bay. He graduated from Freedom High School in 2010.

After graduation, Devon enlisted in the Army and was deployed to Afghanistan. When Devon returned from deployment, he served with the Fort Drum Special Reaction Team as an entry team member and sniper. To this day, Devon continues to serve our Country with the California National Guard.

Devon put himself through the Santa Rosa Junior College Police Academy and was hired by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office as a Deputy Sheriff.

Devon is grateful that he has transitioned to The Antioch Police Department and is excited to serve the community that he grew up in.

A fun fact about Devon is that he is a huge Star Wars “nerd” and has a Boba Fett tattoo. He loves going to Comic- Con with his family. Devon and his mom are both huge Star Wars fans and she’s the one who introduced him to a galaxy far, far away!”

That keeps the total number of sworn officers on the force at 95, because “We had an officer resign, last Friday, explained Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks.

That’s a net increase of six officers from the city’s Measure C half-cent sales tax which passed in 2013. A total of 22 additional officers were committed from the tax increase revenue, when there were 89 on the force and paid for by the city’s general fund budget.

“I’m hoping to make some good progress in the next few months, he continued. We have three graduating the academy in September, another one in November, and two laterals in the hiring process, right now. Plus, we have two that just started the police academy yesterday. But they won’t graduate until January of 2019.”

“Hiring is a true priority for me,” Brooks stated. “We just need to find someone not only capable of working at our pace, but willing as well.”

“It’s a hard sell to say come work for me, I can pay you the same as those other agencies, I’m just gonna work you twice as hard,” he said with a laugh. “But on the positive side, our department has a great reputation, the camaraderie is unmatched, and we really have the support of the vast majority of our community.”

“For me it’s about pride. I’m proud to be Antioch PD. Always have been. And always will be. And I try to instill that in our employees,” Brooks shared. “Getting young recruits like Wenger, who grew up and have family here, those are the ones who I see a great deal of success with, in the long run.”

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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