Archive for the ‘Politics & Elections’ Category

Registration opportunity remains at early voting sites in Contra Costa County beginning today

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

Antioch, Richmond and Walnut Creek locations

The voter registration deadline has passed, but you can still register and vote in one transaction. Several convenient locations will be available leading up to and during Election Day for you to register to vote and cast your ballot.

Contra Costa Elections Division offers Conditional Voter Registration as a safety net for those who were unable to complete or update their voter registration before the deadline.

“We want to make sure that everybody who is eligible to register to vote has ample opportunity to cast their ballot,” said Joe Canciamilla, Contra Costa Registrar of Voters.

The Conditional Registration steps include going to an eligible county location, filling out a form that includes your name, address, date of birth and either the last four digits of your Social Security Number or your driver’s license number, and casting your ballot.

Conditionally voted ballots are processed once our office completes the verification of the voter registrations and confirms no ballot has already been voted.

This service will be available starting today at the Elections Office during normal business hours and on Election Day from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Conditional Voter Registration will also be available at the following Regional Early Voting locations on November 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th:

Regional Early Voting will be available from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm on the weekdays and 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Saturday, November 3rd. These locations are available to all Contra Costa voters looking to cast their ballot ahead of time and avoid the Election Day rush. Any Contra Costa voter can vote at any one of the Regional Early Voting locations.

For more information, call 925-335-7800.

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Payton Perspective: Lewis, Davis for Antioch School Board, Crowder for County School Board

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

The Herald recommends Dr. Clyde Lewis, Jr., Jim Davis and John Crowder for election.

If we ever want to make things better in Antioch and our county, now is the time to elect strong leaders in education and fiscally responsible leaders, as well. If we keep electing the same kind of people over and over, who are backed by the insiders and/or employees’ unions, we’re only going to get the same results. We need to vote for candidates who will represent the parents and taxpayers, and truly put the interests of the students, first. We have three candidates from Antioch running to represent Antioch who will do just that. Two for the Antioch School Board and one for the County School Board who stand out above the crowd.

Lewis

One candidate for the Antioch School Board in this year’s election stands out above all others, and that’s Dr. Clyde Lewis, Jr. Not only has he earned a master’s degree and doctorate in education, and has been a teacher, he works in education, as well. As a plus, his children attend Antioch public schools. So, he has a personal stake in ensuring they improve. Please vote for him.

Davis

Jim Davis has served Antioch as the mayor and councilmember, and is now serving as the interim, appointed City Treasurer. Having worked in banking his entire career, Jim understands finances. He recently worked for a contractor to the Antioch school district on an energy analysis program and was able to help them save over $2 million dollars. At a time the district is experiencing declining enrollment and the resultant decline in revenue, Antioch needs a fiscal watchdog on the school board. Jim Davis is that person. While there is no conflict of interest in him serving both on the board and as City Treasurer, and being retired, he has the time, it is my hope that if he’s elected to the school board, he won’t run for election as City Treasurer in 2020.

Crowder

I’ve known John Crowder for over 20 years, since he was my son’s chess coach in elementary school. I’ve witnessed his commitment to educating students in Antioch.

He’s run a successful private academy in Antioch, and the very successful after school, Math Intensive program for students in the Antioch School District, helping advance them several grades in a matter of months.

The district he’s running to represent includes parts of Antioch.

John is for school choice, unlike his opponent, incumbent Mike Maxwell who has voted against every charter school that’s come before the board. We need to replace him with John Crowder.

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Mayor Wright explains reasons for a yes vote on Measure W

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

Dear Editor:

As a business owner and former CEO of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce I came to the office of Mayor with a mindset to search through the budget and cut out the fat.  I found a city that runs with a very lean workforce and pays our non-police employees less than surrounding communities.  Any fat had already been trimmed during the recession to avoid bankruptcy.  I sat looking at a city with a revenue problem not a spending one.

To put this in perspective- Antioch has a population of 115,000 with an annual budget of $55 million compared to our neighboring city of Brentwood with a population of 65,000 and an annual budget of $59 million.  Brentwood pays more in property taxes than Antioch residents and they have more money to improve their city as a result.  As some of our residents have moved to Brentwood- they have chosen to tax themselves with a more expensive house and higher taxes.

Measure W gives us a choice to increase our financial ability to make our community safer, create more activities for our youth after school and to improve our quality of life.   A citizen’s oversight committee will help to hold future Council’s accountable and ensure that these vital resources are utilized appropriately.

We have an opportunity to come together to support a sales tax measure to raise the funds necessary to continue moving Antioch in the right direction and help us reach our full potential.  Please join me on November 6th in voting Yes on Measure W.

Sincerely,

Mayor Sean Wright– City of Antioch

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McClelland returns to Antioch Council race touting his opposition to Measure W

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

Rodney McClelland in a photo on his Facebook page posted Aug. 24, 2018.

By Allen Payton

After withdrawing from the race for the Antioch City Council in September due to stated personal reasons, (see related article) late Monday night, Antioch Parks and Recreation Commissioner Rodney McClelland announced that he has re-entered the race with the following statement via email. He explained those personal reasons and why he’s decided to return to the campaign.

“My name is Rodney McClelland, and I am running for Antioch City Council.  As many of you know, I suspended my campaign about a month ago for personal reasons.  At that time, taking this step appeared to be the appropriate action, as family issues were absorbing all my energy and the time that I felt I needed to run an effective campaign.

In the intervening month the family matters that I was dealing with have been resolved.  In addition, I’ve been approached by many individuals who, like me, love the city of Antioch and want to see it move in a positive direction.

I am the only candidate on the ballot that opposes Measure W.  I oppose this proposed tax increase because of the harm it will do to our many residents, senior citizens among them, who are on fixed incomes and cannot afford more taxes.  I oppose it because of the history of empty promises made by career politicians in our city who take taxpayer money and use it to fund high pensions that continue to drive us toward bankruptcy.  I oppose it because it will make our city even less competitive in attracting new businesses.

I will never apologize for putting family first, and that is what I did when I suspended my campaign.  Now that those issues have been resolved, I am reentering the race.  The citizens of Antioch deserve a choice for a different path other than ‘tax and spend.’  That is the choice that I offer, and I ask for your vote on November 6.”

The top two candidates of the six, including both incumbents will serve for two years, then face election again with the mayor and other two council members in 2020, when the new district elections will go into effect.

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Guest Commentary: Antioch city manager offers reasons to support Measure W’s half-cent sales tax increase

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

By Antioch City Manager Ron Bernal

Antioch is the heart of Eastern Contra Costa County—and for two decades, it has been my privilege to serve the community as City Manager, Assistant City Manager, Public Works Director and City Engineer.

I have been committed to listening to the community and improving the services you expect and deserve. Investments in our community allow us to provide better services to what matters most to our residents. Last year’s quality of life community survey indicated that many shared concerns about crime, homelessness, blight and the local economy. Of highest importance to those surveyed were public safety, water quality, financial stability, gang prevention, and economic development.

With Election Day just two weeks away, it is important to be an informed voter. There are several items on your November ballot including local and statewide candidates, measures and propositions. On August 9, 2018, the Antioch City Council placed Measure W on the November 6, 2018, ballot. If approved, Measure W would continue to maintain Antioch’s public safety and other quality of life services.

There have been previous Antioch ballot measures that provided funds for maintaining police, emergency response, and code enforcement services. If approved, Measure W would extend an existing, voter-approved sales tax at a one-cent rate. The intention of the measure is to increase investment in code enforcement, clean up blight, make road repairs, support youth and senior services, and attract new business and jobs to Antioch. Food purchased as groceries, and prescription medications would continue to be exempt.

Some other community-identified priorities Measure W could address if approved, include:

  • continuing to maintain 911 police response and restore the number of police officers patrolling City streets;
  • ensuring water quality and safety;
  • maintaining Antioch’s quality of life and financial stability;
  • cleaning up illegal dumping; and
  • restoring after-school and summer programs for youth.

Measure W is intended to maintain public safety by funding police patrols, 911 emergency response, youth violence, and gang prevention, traffic enforcement patrols, and preparing public safety personnel for rapid, coordinated responses to natural disasters.

Measure W funds could only be used for by the City of Antioch. Measure W funds are protected by law from the state. No funds can be taken by Sacramento. Measure W requires guaranteed annual independent audits, citizens oversight committee and public reviews to ensure funds are spent properly.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6th. If you vote by mail, you should have received your vote by mail ballot already. If you have not yet received your ballot or to request one, visit Contra Costa County Elections at www.contracostacore.us. The last day to request a vote by mail ballot is October 30th. Vote by mail ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received no later than three days after Election Day. You can also drop off your ballot to any polling place in Contra Costa County on Election Day.

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Former Council Candidate, Parks Commissioner writes against Measure W sales tax increase

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

Dear Editor:

When I was actively campaigning for City Council I came out against Measure W.

I just like many of you have been inundated with pro Measure W advertising from the City of Antioch.

I can not support and will not vote for Measure W. For one the City has NOT delivered on the promises they made with Measure C. When we voted in Measure C we were told that it was to add police to the number we already had: not use it to be the primary funding source for police. We had 82 officers when C was passed. A month ago, we had 94 sworn in officers. That is a net gain of only 12 officers. According to some council members we have added 55 officers. Most of those 55 plus officers was to replace officers who left APD. They used Measure C funding for this. So, what happened to the city budget that had us at 82? Where did it go? Why was that funding that was already there not used to replace officers that left APD? Why, is Measure C being used to fund all police hires?

The City council also voted to approve a pay increase for cops on election night when Measure C passed? Has anyone read the Memorandum of Understanding the city has with the Antioch police? I suggest you do. It is public record. Pay attention to compensation they receive in the memorandum.  Too many questions need to be answered.  Let’s not forget that Measure C does not expire until 2021. Until it does expire, and the City honors the promises it made. How can our citizens support Measure W?

The city wants Measure W to replace C and make it a 20-year plan. Raising the Tax rate to 9.25%. Can our citizens afford that increase? Think of, a tax on a $40,000 car.

In one of the 5 council meetings the city manager stated that he and his staff conducted a survey of 800 people. Those surveyed supported Quality of Life programs, programs for kids 12 and younger, clean drinking water and maintaining police.  So, let’s think about those numbers.  Only 800 surveyed in a city of 114,000 people. That is less than 1% of our population. That is an embarrassing survey to use as a reason to put on the ballot and spend $60,000 to do so. Did they survey retirees on fixed incomes? Did they survey senior citizens? Did they survey our low-income families trying to make rent or mortgage payment every month? Or does that sector of our residents matter to the City? Where is the transparency of exactly how the money will be spent?  This sales tax revenue will go to our general fund.  Can we trust city to spend wisely when they haven’t delivered on promises already made? Yes, some council members have advocated for different ways to use the money. But none of this was voted upon by council.

This is poor leadership. What about businesses and growing our economy in Antioch with a 9.25% sales tax. If you are a contractor or home owner going to do home improvement project. Will you buy in Antioch? Or go to the Brentwood, Pittsburg, or Oakley to save money? Will anyone continue to shop Antioch? Or go to a lesser sales tax city?

Rodney McClelland

Antioch

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County election equipment to undergo testing to ensure accuracy

Monday, October 15th, 2018

Ballots lined up to be counted in the County Elections office on Tuesday, November 15, 2016. Photo by Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder Joe Canciamilla

In an effort to ensure that every Contra Costa ballot is counted completely and accurately, technicians from the Elections Division are in the process of programming and testing every piece of voting equipment that will be used in the November 6, 2018 General Election.

The central-count voting system for Vote-by-Mail ballots and the scanners for paper ballots located at each polling place are being tested for logic and accuracy. The ballot-marking equipment used at Regional Early Voting locations and on Election Day is also tested at this time since it interacts with those counting systems.

The series of tests starts by confirming that all machines are in working order and functioning properly, followed by a series of test ballots running through each machine to make sure they are properly programmed to pick up intended ballot marks.

There are six central count machines that will record results for approximately 2 million Vote-by-Mail ballot cards, along with about 300 ballot scanners at polling places throughout the County.

The public is always invited to check out the equipment testing in action. Those interested in observing the process should contact the Elections Division at 925-335-7805, as testing is being conducted intermittently during the next several weeks and at multiple locations.

A public demonstration of the central count voting equipment is scheduled for 10:00 am on November 2, 2018, at the Contra Costa Clerk-Recorder-Elections Office, 555 Escobar Street in Martinez. Visitors are asked to check-in at the Elections lobby. For more information, call 925-335-7800.

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Antioch Chamber of Commerce announces endorsements in council, school board races

Saturday, October 13th, 2018

The Antioch Chamber of Commerce is pleased to endorse the following candidates for the November 6, 2018 election:

Antioch City Council:

–          Incumbent, Tony Tiscareno

–          Incumbent, Lori Ogorchock

AUSD School Board Trustee:

–          Dr. Clyde H. Lewis Jr.

–          Jim Davis

We believe these candidates provide the strongest alignment with the Chamber’s mission and vision, and possess the greatest opportunity and potential to advance the City of Antioch.

Founded in 1938, the Antioch Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)(6) non-profit voluntary partnership of business and professional people working together to build a healthy economy and to improve the quality of life in our community.

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