New Antioch Council Member Lori Ogorchock, with her husband DJ, is congratulated by County Supervisor Mary Piepho who just finished adminstering the oath of office to her, while family members look on, Tuesday night, December 9, 2014.
Mayor Wade Harper gives Councilman Tony Tiscareno the oath of office, while his wife Olivia holds the family Bible and his family members look on, Tuesday night, December 9, 2014.
As the candidate with the most votes in the November election, Ogorchock was voted in as Mayor Pro Tem by the Antioch City Council on Tuesday, December 9, 2014.
The audience at the Antioch City Council oath of office ceremonies, gave standing ovations to both Ogorchock and Tiscareno, on Tuesday night, December 9, 2014. photos by Allen Payton
By John Crowder
During the December 9 meeting of the Antioch City Council, Lori Ogorchock and Tony Tiscareno, the two candidates who received the most votes in the November 4 election, were given the oath of office as Antioch City Council Members. Because she received the most votes in the election, Ogorchock became Mayor Pro Tem.
Tiscareno was sworn in first by Mayor Wade Harper, and Ogorchock was then sworn in by Contra Costa County District III Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho.
Both Tiscareno and Ogorchock addressed the audience, comprised in large part of their supporters, following the brief ceremony.
Tiscareno began by saying, “I can finally say elected Council Member Tiscareno.” Having previously been appointed to the position, he expressed appreciation to the council for allowing him to serve for the last two years. Noting he had to run a hard campaign, he also said the campaign among the candidates was, “clean and ethical,” although, “there were some things in the press.” He thanked his wife and family, and the supporters who worked on his campaign. “My primary focus is public safety,” he said. He also expressed thankfulness that the city council does not get involved in infighting. He concluded by saying, “I’m looking forward to representing all of you.”
Ogorchock said, “Thank you to the citizens of Antioch for electing me to the city council…I’m here to represent you, and to improve this city, for all our benefit.” She introduced her family, and thanked them and her campaign workers for their support. “As you know, my top priority is community safety,” she said. She spoke about redirecting funds from the budget to increase the number of police officers and code enforcement officers. She also spoke about bringing well-paying jobs and businesses to Antioch, and about downtown redevelopment. She said that the residents of Antioch had spoken, “and I have listened.”
Several others addressed the newly appointed council members, and the council as a whole, during the meeting.
Supervisor Piepho prior to administering the oath to Ogorchock, congratulated her and offered advice. She told her, “It’s okay to disagree, but it’s not okay to be disagreeable.”
Diane Gibson-Gray who came in third in the city council race, but retains her seat on the Antioch School Board, said, “As a candidate in the last election, it was a pleasure to work with both of you.” She said that both Ogorchock and Tiscareno were, “upstanding and ethical.”
While each of the sitting council members, Monica Wilson and Mary Rocha, both congratulated Tiscareno and Ogorchock, Mayor Harper had extensive remarks. Speaking of the two new council members Harper said, “They both ran on campaigns of making our city safer.” He said that reducing crime and increasing public safety was the top priority for each of them during their campaigns, and was also the top priority of the entire city council.
Harper also said that the new council members had already begun to work, and that he hoped the new council would be able to attend a team building workshop together.
“My advice to this council is, let’s continue to have a listening ear to what the community is saying, and continue to be out there in the community talking to people,” he added. “Always put the city first, not our personal philosophies or political ideas. Always be prepared to make decisions by studying the material, by getting out there into the community, talking to people, getting to talk to staff, asking questions of staff, so that when we come forward, we’re ready to make those decisions.”
He also said that it was important to make sure the people in the city understood the reasoning behind their decisions. Harper then thanked the residents of the city for getting “two measures passed to improve our city.” He thanked the city manager for his leadership, the police chief and all department heads, and the city staff, at every level, for all their work. He expressed satisfaction with being able to put all city workers back on a full workweek. His concluding comment, was a request of the city council to, “always put this city first.”
Members of the public also spoke offering their advice to the newly elected council members.
Former Antioch Mayor Pro Tem Allen Payton congratulated both Ogorchock and Tiscareno and then paraphrased two Bible verses from the book of Proverbs. Referencing Proverbs 18:17, he said, “One person seems right, until another comes forward and questions him,” and admonished the council members to hear all sides of an issue before coming to a decision. He also referenced Proverbs 12:16b, saying, “It profits a person to overlook an insult.” Payton said it was necessary, as an elected official, to, have “an open mind, soft heart and thick skin.” Payton concluded his remarks by telling the council that it was important to remember that this is the people’s government, and “our money you’re spending” and that, though they were in leadership, it was servant leadership. “Together we can make a difference,” he said. “God bless you.”
Willie Mims, representing the NAACP East County Branch, congratulated both new members on their election. He asked them to remember that they were elected to serve the total community, “Keep the total community…in back of your mind,” he said.
During the proceedings, Mayor Harper also paid tribute to former Council Member Gary Agopian. He said, “If he was healthy, he would have run in this election, and probably would have beat both of you.” Tiscareno responded, “Not probably, but likely.” Harper continued, noting that Agopian did not give up, saying, “He served until his dying breath, and we appreciate all he did.”
With the conclusion of all business listed on the agenda, the meeting of the was adjourned to a reception in the back of the chambers, and to the next regular meeting, December 16, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. Meetings are held in the council chambers at City Hall or can be viewed online via live stream at www.ci.antioch.ca.us.