Payton Perspective: Some requests of the new Mayor and Council

By Allen Payton, Publisher

Congratulations to those who were elected to local office in Antioch. They already know they have much work to do. So, as they roll up their sleeves, here are a few things for them to consider.

First, be gracious in victory. The all too common philosophy of some in politics of “reward your friends and punish your enemies” is no way to show leadership. With that said, the Mayor and Council should appoint the third highest vote-getter to Wade Harper’s council seat when he steps down.

Let’s not have any political game playing, like what happened four years ago when the council sidestepped Arne Simonsen, who was the next highest vote-getter in the 2008 council election and instead appointed Martha Parsons who hadn’t even run for City Council.

Listen to the will of the voters. With the current four council members, only Mary Rocha has four years of experience on the council. Both Harper and Gary Agopian have only two years experience on the council. Davis would bring some longer-term experience and knowledge to the table.

Second, find a source of revenue to fund and fill the much needed police vacancies we currently have. I believe the best way to do that is with a Rental Property Owners Business License Fee on both single family and multi-family units, instead of a city-wide tax.

Running some preliminary calculations, such a fee can generate enough annual revenue to pay for all the additional police, Community Service Officers and Code Enforcement Officers Antioch needs to bring the crime down and clean up our neighborhoods.

Then we’ll be more attractive to businesses who are looking to locate in East County with their jobs and additional revenues.

Third, it would be wise to appoint Agopian to represent the city on the regional transportation boards. We need his experience, knowledge and drive (no pun intended) to help Antioch and our region solve our traffic challenges.

Finally, get the annexation of the northeast land done, right away. That will help secure our economic future with a deep water port facility and manufacturing. Have a very Merry Christmas or a Happy Hanukkah!

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