Mayor Harper surprises again, makes full time commitment to his new job

Last fall, a week before the November election, in an online only editorial, I shared some concerns about many of the candidates running for Mayor and City Council.

One of my biggest concerns was time commitment – would the candidate have the time to meet the demands of the position? I had that concern about Wade Harper, since at that time he was a police Lieutenant in Tracy and worked swing shift, which means he wasn’t available in the afternoons and evenings.

However, in a surprise move, after being elected Mayor, Harper has taken an early retirement and is now devoting full time to his new elected position. This is the fourth time I was surprised by one of his moves. The first one was when he was the top vote-getter in the 2010 City Council election, the second was when he announced he was running for Mayor, last year and the third time when he won.

While in a General Law City like Antioch, which has a Council-Manager form of government, where the Mayor and Council Members are policy makers and the City Manager is the full-time professional that heads the staff, the Mayor isn’t a full-time job. It surely doesn’t pay a full-time salary.

Only one city in Contra Costa County has a full-time mayor with a matching salary and that’s Richmond. But they’re a Charter City, as are the four largest cities in the Bay Area with full-time, elected Mayors – San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and Berkeley.

So, it wasn’t necessary for Harper to make the move he did and commit to working full-time for us. But, perhaps at this time in our city’s history, with the growing crime problem we face, as well as the lack of economic development and local, well-paying jobs, it will be a good thing.

It just shouldn’t become a precedent for future mayors, unless and until Antioch becomes a Charter City, which requires a vote of the people.

I wish good luck and Godspeed to Mayor Harper in his full-time efforts on our behalf.


16 Comments to “Mayor Harper surprises again, makes full time commitment to his new job”

  1. karl says:

    i am surprised to, why?

    2010 harper came out of nowhere.
    then he sat 2 years at the council with barely saying a word.
    in the june 2012 election, he spend $ 120,000 to put the elimination of the 4 year elected mayor position on the ballot.(he wanted to rotate) it failed. 86% of antioch voters rejected that move.
    surprise…in the nov. election 2012, he run for the very same position he just wanted to eliminate.
    in december harper forced tescorino into office. antioch voters had no input.
    right after that he reversed his own vote to reduce the cost of pension to the city, 3/50 to 3/55 back to 3/50.
    side effect…21 none safety employees are included, and this christmas gift cost the tax payer $ 3 million, not included any benefits.
    even he is a 24 year police veteran, he has not presented any plan how to reduce crime. even he run his mayor election on the platform “tough on crime”
    his plan is/ was to ask the chief what his plan is.

    that he has taken early retirement and has a office at city hall is NOT doing it for me.
    since nov. 2012 till now, he has failed antioch.
    but hey….let’s give him 180 days as mayor. (there is nothing he can do, it takes 5 votes)

    i resent celebrations……antioch has nothing to celebrate at this time.

  2. Jackie Melane says:


    I completely agree. What has this guy done for Antioch? What was his “zero tolerance for crime” campaign about?

    He is a liar and has failed all of us miserably.


  3. Allen Payton says:

    Wow, folks. While I disagree with his vote on the pension issue in December, let’s give Wade a chance. He’s only been the Mayor for three months. While his style is a bit slower than I would like – I would have preferred he was ready to offer a solution in his first few weeks – he is taking action on police funding, now. Let’s hope the council agrees with him on the Residential Rental Property Owners Business License Fee which they should be able to implement quickly, with just a council vote.
    Allen Payton, Publisher

    • Rich says:

      More than ample time, less than mediocre after 2 years. I believe there has been more than ample time to, “let’s give Wade a chance”.

  4. Jackie Melane says:


    If wade gets that rental license ordinance to go through
    And is actually enforced. As well as revoked for trouble rentals
    Such as gang activity prostitution drug dealing.

    I will be a happy camper.

  5. Mayor Wade Harper says:

    I don’t usually post on blogs. However I think this short and sweet article is by far my favorite about my committment to the great City of Antioch. After reading the blogs, I’m sure there are varying opinions about the effectiveness of the past and current mayor (myself) and the past and current city council. But you (Antioch) have my full committment. Together we will make Antioch a safer, more prosperous city. I was blown away at our Community Forum on February 28th when a young child said, “There is nothing we can’t do if we pull together and persevere (paraphrasing)” Please know that I am spending time at City Hall making myself available to the community and staff as needed. I am meeting with citizens, returning phone calls and emails and being the representative for the community and a finder of resolutions. Again, thanks for the nice article Allen. I like a newspaper that reports fairly and accurately and gives a compliment when deserved. Keep up the good work.

  6. Jackie Melane says:

    Thank you for the post Mayor Harper

    Please clarify with specificity how your reply addresses any of the concerns from myself or Karl?
    Simply put your reply is reminiscent of the same reply you give at every council meeting.
    Such as it is up to the people on that stage and everyone in Antioch to fight our crime problem.
    You state the obvious, yet have never provided any specificity on your plan for zero tolerance for crime.

    I’m glad you can find the time to reply to an article praising you. However you never seem to find any time to address the state of emergency this city is in. I was appalled when that lady’s son was robbed at gun point at the community center and all you had to say was to get a business card from Cantando. I watched several people at almost every council meeting in tears and practically begging you for help with crime and your reply was way too disingenuous for my taste.

    Nothing has been done since your seat at Mayor. The only thing I see are empty hands asking for more money to fund a broken police force. I think you need to come up with a plan on how you plan to fight crime blight and increase our property values and quality of life before we hand you more money.


    • karl says:


      during the first or second council meeting after harper became mayor,(last november, early dec.2012) he created a crime sub committee, he and wilson are leading it.
      guess what. nothing going on, no reports, no activity.
      i went after the meeting to him, told him i would like to be actively involved and work with him and wilson. emails send out in regards that crime sub committee are unanswered.

      • Jackie Melane says:

        At this point, I think it is prudent to say that they are just putting on a dog and pony show in order to get the citizens of Antioch to “think” they are doing their job.

        How stupid do they think we are??

        Frankly, this is the kind of negligence that is running this city into the ground.

        Every council meeting is nothing but a magic show. Hocus pocus here and there to make the sheep think they are doing a great job. Toss a little glitter, add some smoke, and entertain the citizens.


        No answer from any of those clowns on stage. They seriously don’t do anything but talk about “coulda woulda shoulda” They are all scared to take action.

        Here is my opinion on the productivity of each council member:

        Wilson: Clueless, nothing to contribute. Simply, a mute. When she does speak up she often incoherent and has trouble getting to the point. How the heck did she win over so many qualified candidates?

        Rocha: Truly believes that the thugs, gangsters, drug dealers, pimps, murderers, rapists and psychos in this city are nothing but angels. In my opinion, she embraces crime. Didn’t she vote for establishing marijuana sales in Antioch?

        Harper: See Wilson. Except for the fact that he does talk. However, he only says the same thing in a different format. Its the same rhetoric over and over with nothing new. On top of that, doesn’t really care about people who beg him for help. He can’t even spare a sorrow remark for parents who’s children were robbed, shot, stabbed.

        Tiscareno: I’m not sure if he will make an impact. He seemed very logical and action oriented at first, but lately he’s been very quiet and not adding to productivity.

        Agopian: Strong communication skills. Understands our problems and truly “gets it”. Unforunately, still no real action.

        Is it that difficult to put someone with common sense up there? Or does common sense not count because they only recognize union backed people?


  7. Lakita Long says:

    I have taken the time to read the remarks, and while I appreciate living in a country where we can exercise the freedom of speech, at times, I think we speak before we think. As a professional who works with a variety of individuals I think we are so out of touch with connecting with others, that it is easy for us to become cynical, blaming and even accusatory in our speech towards another. While it may only be 3 months or if it was 6 month, I think that since he ran and we didn’t it behooves to stop, speaking ill (in the name of free speech and opinion), and really do something. Be apart of the complete solution.

    We want our youth to change their lives, and behavior but we demonstrate the exact behavior we want them to change. I am so for individualism, and what we “would like to happen”, but my experience and years on this earth has taught me a very valuable lesson and that is, if you don’t have something good to say, don’t say it at all. If you can help, then serve where you are best at.

    Whether we know it or believe it, “Words are life”, and be them men/women live or die. I choose to speak life over the Mayor of the City that I reside in, and tend to uplift, encourage, and ask hard questions, when necessary, but never tear down, before a person gets started. Politics is politics everywhere, and just because he has won, doesn’t mean he is not fighting or doing the exact thing that we accuse him of not doing.


    Lakita D. Long, Concerned Citizen
    Thinking Outloud

  8. Christopher Grisham says:


    I truly believe that your candid reply speaks only the truth about our situation. I can’t stand others in this city that choose to ignore the problems we face. This is our home, our community. We have the right to live without fear from these criminals and maintain a high standard of living just like everyone else.

    It seems that the criminals are winning in this city and there are very few that are willing to speak/write/debate about the source of our problems and what needs to be done to fix it.

    I agree, it seems as if they (local government) is scared to do anything.

    Thank you for your eye opening and refreshing candid opinion. I think we all need to face the problems head on rather than cowering in defeat.


  9. Christopher Grisham says:

    This is for Lakita,

    I read your reply man times and gave your opinion much thought…

    It surprises me that you had nothing to say about our crime as a problem. Yet, you focused a lot of your energy into upholding free speech then on the ideals of something like …”if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it at all”?

    Well, I think your out of touch with the reality we are facing in Antioch.

    You are correct we didn’t run for Mayor, but that excuse is a complete fallacy. Running for Mayor and getting our elected Mayor to do his job for the safety of our children has nothing to do with each other.

    Yes, politics is everywhere. So what’s your point? Yet, another fallacy.

    This is under the opinions section in this website right? So let me share mine… I think you are a blind supporter for Wade Harper and will take his side no matter what he does or does not do. I believe that you voted for him and would rather see him has Mayor whether or not he does a good job. How bout that for an opinion?

    I believe Jackie and Karl are more “in touch” with the reality in our city. Hence, their candid and more than likely 90% factual statements. I’m sure educated people can tell the difference between facts and opinion statements, right?



  10. H Stell says:

    Well, whether we voted for him, didn’t vote for him, like him, don’t like him, he’s in office now and deserves a chance to prove what he can do.

    The way to get the naysayers off his back is this:

    “Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.” –Gordon Hewart, in Rex v. Sussex Justices ex parte McCarthy (1924)

    In other words, the “tough on crime” agenda must not only be energetically pursued, it must be extremely public. We need to see the busts, the prosecution, the sentencing. . .there should be some venue where the “Catch of the Day” is prominently displayed. Arrests for the vandalism, the burglaries, the shootings, the various things which have made living in this city so miserable must be seen to be believed.

    If things change, and what has been promised is delivered, then the opposition will melt away.

  11. james fitzhart says:

    I dont get why this article is news especially the last snide remark. This is really grasping for negative straws. Way to hate!!!!

  12. Publisher says:

    Mr. Fitzhart,
    First, this isn’t a news article. It was an opinion piece – my opinion as Publisher and Editor. Second, if your comment “the last snide remark” is in reference to what I wrote, you’re completely misinterpreting what I wrote. It was straight forward. I wish the Mayor well in working full-time on our behalf. I commend him for making a serious commitment to helping get the crime problem in our city under control and working on much needed economic development, which will bring jobs to town and help increase the sales tax revenue to the city which will help pay for services, such as more police.
    This was not a negative column at all. Please re-read it and Mayor Harper’s comments in response. He got it.
    Thank you for reading.
    Allen Payton, Publisher

  13. Christopher Grisham says:

    H Stell,

    I think you are absolutely correct.


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