Watchdog: Overview of Antioch City Council candidates

Watchdog-LogoBy Barbara Zivica

The following eight candidates are competing to fill two open seats on the Antioch City Council. Here’s my perspective on the candidates.

Steven Bado: Research turns up little info. States his age as 40 and occupation as sales manager. He failed to attend the recent debate or respond to a press request for comment. I’ve crossed him off my list.

Karl Dietzel: Retired commercial sales rep. Have corresponded with him since Measure C hit the ballot box in 2012. An involved knowledgeable citizen. Wants the city to hire a full time economic development director and rehire community service and code enforcement officers who can perform jobs the cops have had to assume in their absence. Good candidate.

Diane Gibson Gray: Former telecommunications executive, Antioch Unified School District trustee (seated in 2008, term ends in 2016). None of the current school board members warrant my vote for a variety of reasons e.g. 2 bond measures, desire to levy a special tax for fiscal 2014-15, opposition to Dozier Libbey as a independent charter school and, after the district received nearly $9.4 million this year in supplemental funds due to more than 55% of students being low income, English learners or foster youth, board members then ratified salary and health benefit adjustments, increasing compensation for members of all three labor groups by about $3.5 million.

Jeffrey Hall Cottreil: States his occupation as campus security for AUSD. Due to the fact he, too did not show up for the debate forum or reply to a press request, I’ve crossed him off my list.

Lori Ogorchock: Realtor with a varied background in business and community service. Unable to attend the candidate forum due to a previously booked and paid for real estate conference in Texas but sent a surrogate who spoke on her behalf. Has good ideas on economic growth and responsible spending. Former Walnut Creek Reserve Police Officer who states community safety as first priority. Good candidate.

Anthony Segovia: Age 27. States he’s a financial analyst and a small business owner. I ran his name with FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) and didn’t come up with a hit. Recent press article states he’s currently on probation for two charges of insurance fraud and a grand theft. Doesn’t meet my standards for holding office.

Lamar Thorpe: Supported by the Contra Costa Labor Council and the Contra Costa Building and Construction Trades Council. Said his major accomplishment in Antioch was running Councilwoman Monica Wilson’s campaign. I found his campaign flyer stating he was born in prison, etc. a big turnoff. Now he’s denying a sexual abuse charge which occurred when he was in college. Due to lack of testimony from the victim he was only found in violation of disorderly conduct for lewd and indecent behavior, according to a Findings of Fact report. Not a good candidate.

Tony Tiscareno: former steelworker, political director for the Contra Costa Labor Council and appointed city council incumbent. When then-Councilman Wade Harper became mayor in 2012, that left his council seat vacant. The council then decided to appoint an applicant to fill the remaining two years of Harper‘s term. Nine people applied, including former Mayors Jim Davis and Don Freitas, and former Mayor Pro Tem Manny Soliz, Jr. On a 3-1 vote (Gary Agopian dissenting) the council chose Tony Tiscareno. He’s done nothing on the council to warrant my vote.

8 Comments to “Watchdog: Overview of Antioch City Council candidates”

  1. Susan Smith says:

    I’ll be voting for both Tiscareno and Diane Both have shown support for a humane solution in regards to the community cat situation. I’m not going to vote liars or animal abusers. Rescue groups have stepped up to TNR the Rivertown Cats and manage the colonies downtown. We clean up after them, take sick ones to the vet, pick up kittens and tame cats. We are spending our time and money doing work the kill shelter doesn’t have the budget to do. We need candidates who understand this. Ones who have done their homework on TNR & colony management. We have saved the city thousands of dollars. Tiscareno is the only council member who voted against the ordinance. Diane has been supportive of the work we’re doing and accomplishments we’ve made. These two have my vote. They are compassionate and knowledgeable about what Antioch needs.

    • karl dietzel says:

      hello susan,

      i read your post several times and decided to comment on this.
      off course you should vote for your cause and for your candidates,and you should have your opinion, and address all of your issues, that is your right, and that is simply part of our democracy.

      but i resend being called a liar and animal abuser by you.!
      quote: “I’m not going to vote liars or animal abusers” end quote.
      since i am a candidate, i take your post very personally.

      just for clarification.
      i am a animal lover, i do not lie, and my position on the cat problem here in antioch is this:

      i support: catch-neuter-adopt, support the no feeding ordinance.
      a solution should have been brought forward by our animal shelter department a long time ago, and a solution/ compromise worked out with the 2 main groups. i also think that the $ 500 fine/ ticket was way out of line, i guess it was simply an example setting ticket.

      please do not vote the very same people into office over and over and expect different results

      think out of the box

      vote for

      Karl Dietzel for Antioch City Council
      Nov. 4, 2014, Election

      • Susan Smith says:

        Trap neuter and adopt is not a possibility for feral cats who have just as much right to live as any cat or dog in yours or anyone else’s home. Especially if they are fixed and vaccinated. Starvation is abuse. If that offends you personally maybe you should rethink your position. By the way, we do pull the adoptable ones from the streets. It would have been nice if animal services kept their end of the deal by posting signs about dumping animals. We had a rescue offer to pay for that too along with $20,000 the city passed up in donations.

  2. Antioch Citizen says:

    Thanks for this timely and brief summary of those running.

  3. Peter D says:


    Thank you for your post. I think that it is important for citizens who want to stay informed to receive all of the objective information that they can with respect to the officials they ultimately decide to elect to office to represent the interests of the community at large. To that point, I would say that the analysis posted here with respect to the candidates lacks objectivity and is borderline harmful to the uninformed voter.

    With respect to objectivity, your analysis does not measure each candidate against a similar benchmark, but rather is a compilation of pseudo-facts and personal opinion that does not communicate a candidate’s capacity and capability to represent the citizens of this city in any meaningful way. This city of over 100,000 people does not lack for individuals with bright ideas – there are plenty of them out there. What this city lacks is leadership.

    What I would like to see from an analysis similar to the one presented here is one that is written in the spirit of the ethics of journalism, if this paper does subscribe to such methodology, in which a capacity to catalyze great ideas and bring them to fruition is measured for each candidate. This city has been crippled for decades by a constant stream of part-time, moonlighting elected officials who lack this necessary skill (organizational leadership, influence, collaboration) to moving our ever evolving city forward. Barbara, I am asking that you help break this cycle of misinformation and failed leadership by ensuring that citizens in this city have all of the relevant information to make an informed decision in November.

    Peter D.

    • Publisher says:

      Peter D.
      Thank you for reading the Herald.
      Please note this was posted under Opinion, as that is what Barbara’s columns are.
      As “the people’s paper” the Antioch Herald welcomes anyone to share their opinions on issues affecting Antioch.
      Barbara chooses to do so under her self-named title “Watchdog.”
      No journalistic requirements are necessary to do so.
      I just make sure there’s nothing included in columns or letters to the editor that can be considered slander, libel or defamation of character.
      As for your other comment about “part-time, moonlighting elected officials” all Council, School Board and Special District Board members are part-time throughout the county, except for the Mayor of Richmond, the only full-time paid elected position below the county level.
      If you want Antioch to have full-time elected officials who are paid a salary, the city would have to be converted to a charter city from a general law city. Only Richmond and San Ramon are charter cities in Contra Costa County.
      Please continue to read and hopefully you’ll be enlightened about the various candidates by the other articles in both our print edition and on our website.
      Allen Payton, Publisher & Editor

  4. Reginald Jamal Brown says:

    I voted for Karl and Lori prior to reading this article. Zivica is spot on with this article. Lori and Karl are the only ones that I have seen take action and consistently voice their strong opinions about problems and offer practical solutions.

  5. eileen says:

    Barbara, As I recall, Diane Gibson Gray was one of the two dissenting votes (along with Claire Smith) in favor of the taxpayers, at each of the three school board meetings I attended. So don’t paint them all with the same brush. If what Susan Smith says is true, that Diane is compassionate towards animals, she has my vote.

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