Watchdog: Voters were hoodwinked on Measure C, should oppose Measure O

Watchdog-LogoBy Barbara Zivica

Voters in Antioch will shortly be selecting two new city council members and voting as to whether or not to update the existing business license tax and to impose a residential landlord business license tax.

Note for the record that this ballot measure comes one year after Antioch voters were persuaded to approve Measure C, touted to enable the hiring of 22 new police officers and one year after the County Assessor informed the Board of Supervisors that “The increase to the local tax base for 2013-14 is over $4.87 billion. This represents a 3.45% increase in assessed value and brings the total local assessment roll to over $146 billion, just 6.92% away from the County’s record assessed value, which was set in 2008. Richmond had the only percentage loss in assessed value at 14.61%, Cities with the largest increases in assessed value from prior year include: Brentwood (8.45%), Clayton (8.24%, Oakley (7.44%), Walnut Creek (7.38%) and Antioch (7.34%).”

It’s my belief that taxpayers were hoodwinked in regard to Measure C, a 7 year half cent sales tax increase) because, shortly after an accelerated swearing in, Mayor Harper, Councilman Tiscareno and Councilwomen Rocha and Wilson, knowing the city had a $59 million unfunded pension liability, voted to amend the signed September, 2012 contract agreement with police officers and misc. employees and restore more lucrative pension formulas for lateral sworn hires. (The rush to do so was to side step California’s new voter approved law which would become effective on January 1, 2013, setting a 2.7% retirement formula at age 57 for safety employees and 2% at age 62 for miscellaneous employees.

The reason voters should reject Measure O is because it’s another attempt to pickpocket voters in order to deal with the afore mentioned lucrative under funded spiraling pension costs.

8 Comments to “Watchdog: Voters were hoodwinked on Measure C, should oppose Measure O”

  1. Eric A. says:

    I will be voting yes on Measure O. It just makes sense to me.

  2. Bill says:

    I’m not necessarily against O but I am against deceit.

    I will not vote for Measure O unless the repeal of C is part of the package.

    • Larry L. Harrison says:

      Have patience Bill. Measure C expires after 7 years. meanwhile the City needs the money to survive. There were promises by the Council to spend the money on police only and that promise is being kept so far. But a promise is not the law that was passed. Future council(s) may redirect the funds to a higher priority if the City’s financial conditions change. That would be the logical thing to do. Meanwhile no promises are being made for O other than “city services” of which about 70% or more are police and code enforcement. I hope you will go ahead and vote for O anyway, because the chances to overturn Measure C are nil. Meanwhle we nee to start planning on how to replace the Meacure C revenue when it rides off into the sunset.

  3. Nancy Fernandez says:

    Yes on O. Barbara is weak on facts. is a good web site and has a link to Facebook. Please read it folks.

    The Committee on C meets and if you have questions maybe you should ask questions at one of those meetings. The Chief has hired 24 officers. A like number have retired with a net gain of 3. The city has used those funds correctly. No one has been lied to or duped.

    Measure C money will go away in a couple of years because it will expire. Measure O will be forever. YES on O

  4. Larry L. Harrison says:

    “Vote No on O”??? Watchdog Zivica Is Barking up the Wrong Tree.

    “Measure O on the November ballot by the Antioch City Council will levy annual business license fees on residential rentals and increase the minimum annual license fee for most other businesses to raise annual revenues by 2.4 million. Readers should visit the web site “” for additional factual information.

    Measure C is the one-half cent sales tax increase approved by voters in November 2013. The only relationship between Measures C and O is they both raise much needed revenue for the Antioch General Fund to pay for police and other city services.

    Apparently, Ms. Zivica has joined the California Apartment Association in their “No on Measure O Coalition” as one of their token “Seniors,” and has taken-up their arguments alleging Measure C money was never used to hire 22 new police officers as promised by the City Council, claiming the money was misspent and voters “hoodwinked.” She should read City Manager Steve Duran’s letter to the citizens explaining how many officers have been hired and how the 2014-2015 budget was approved in June by the Council dedicating all the revenue generated by Measure C to police services just as promised in the campaign. There have been no secret or misappropriate expenditures.

    First off, collection of the Measure C sales tax did not even begin until April this year and then went through the usual process of being sent to the State with other sales tax collected prior to being allocated back to Antioch. To date very little of the additional funds have reached the coffers of Antioch to be spent. Also, Measure C was a “General Fund” revenue measure and by law could not be dedicated to a special purpose. General Fund expenditures must be approved by the Council as included in the annual budget, or approved separately by the Council.

    Furthermore, when Measure C was passed last November, the APD hit the ground running to hire additional officers. According to City Manager Duran, 26 have been hired and several others are in training programs. But, because of retirements and other attrition the net gain has been only about 4 officers. Also, some citizens have misunderstood the schedule for the build-up of the police force and are not appreciative of the effort and time required for processing hundreds of candidate applications and the officer candidate training required to put just one additional qualified officer on the street. The current objective is to have 97 sworn officers by the end of the fiscal year and 104 within two years.

    Zivica argues the Council is “taking advantage of the voters again” with Measure O when no such case has been demonstrated. I strongly urge a “yes” vote for Measure O as recommended by the “Residents for Fairness – Yes Measure O” campaign committee.

    Larry L. Harrison

    Antioch, CA 94509
    Phone: 925-754-1033
    Member: “Residents for Fairness, Yes Measure O” campaign committee

  5. Gil Murillo says:

    Simply stated…If you have a business in Antioch, you should have a business license. Renting is a business subject to profits and losses. Business license is a cost of doing business. It’s that simple.

  6. karl dietzel says:

    to me it’s very simply. vote yes on o.

    but the very most important issue is. it is a democratic process. it is brought forward on a ballot measure, and “we the people” will decide on it, not interest group from out of town, not 5 (4 ) council members, not a city manager..”we the people” make the decision.

    • Nancy Fernandez says:

      Karl, don’t forget, WE THE PEOPLE WROTE Measure O. So in this process the people are very much a big part of it.

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