City Council makes it official, hires new city manager

Discusses Citizens Oversight Board for Measure C sales tax

By John Crowder

At the December 10th meeting the Antioch City Council unanimously approved a contract for and expressing confidence in current City Manager Jim Jakel’s successor, Steve Duran, currently the city manager of Hercules.

Steve Duran

Steve Duran

In brief remarks before leaving for the Hercules City Council meeting that same night, Duran praised the City of Antioch and the City Council.

The City Council has good chemistry,” he said. “They seem to work well together and truly put the city’s interests first.”

Duran’s compensation package includes an annual salary of $230,000, which will be discounted to $207,000 until city furloughs are discontinued, and a one-year severance package. He is slated to officially begin his assignment with the city of Antioch on January 7th.

The five council members, along with Supervisor Mary Piepho and a representative of State Senator DeSaulnier extolled the virtues of outgoing Jakel, thanking him for his leadership and service to the city during difficult financial times.

In other action, the Council approved an ordinance amending the zoning code to allow fortunetellers permission to operate in certan commercial zoning districts. Councilman Agopian cast the lone vote against the ordinance.

The Council also made progress in implementing the Measure C sales tax ordinance. Mayor Harper emphasized his desire to see the funds used solely for police, code enforcement, and similar programs. The Council then discussed the requirements for the Citizens Oversight Board, specifically the length of terms to be served on the board and a proposal that at least one member of the board have a financial background.

Later in the meeting, the Council discussed the problem of aggressive panhandling, and the need for an ordinance prohibiting it. Calling it a quality of life issue, Mayor Harper noted that action may be needed on this issue in order “to make people safer.”

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