Letter write questions the need for Antioch recall

Dear Editor:

Rich Buongiorno…“$33K for a recall is nothing”…

Not able to be, blindly for, or against any faction or person. Nope, can’t. My thoughts and opinions were and continue to be formed via a life long habit of “going in” to learn and understand.

In late August, 1993, on our second day in Antioch, we made a first shopping trip to a local grocery store. By the entrance was a “Recall The Mayor” group. They asked us to sign their petition and my husband said, “Not interested.” Coming out of the store with a cart full of bags, we were greeted by much more aggressive calls to sign. We chose to remain silent while proceeding to the car and unloading of the groceries into it’s trunk.

Our silence set off two in the group. They followed us, waving the petition and shouting at us. I remember accusations of “being part of the problem”, “stupid irresponsible snobs” and we got into the car to “dam commuters.”

Some years later, a couple of new council members had a public TV program where they railed angrily against anything to do with Southeast Antioch. A common theme was to warn possible new citizens about “miserable, crowded schools” and unimaginable traffic. They leveled accusations, specifically naming various people and institutions in town for destroying Antioch’s quality of life. Anger and complaining was vented over “gentrification.” “Wasteful street landscaping” and unaffordable taxes were stressed.

A year or so later an uproar was raised to a new city code requiring storage of RVs and boats out of sight. Southeast residents were routinely charged with ruining Antioch’s quality of life. I subscribed to the Ledger-Dispatch to learn more about my new town. Unfortunately, the paper’s columnist, Clay Kallam, could find nothing good with the town. In disgust, I cancelled my subscription. Later I would try again and Mr. Kallum’s constant negative droning would lead to me to cancel my subscription, again.

An Antioch, “Old Timer” told me about the anger and loud complaining that resulted from the building of the new police station. I researched and read the stories about that new building on 2nd and L Streets. The opposed citizens nicknamed it “Taj Mahal.”

After 22 years in Antioch, it seems that whatever the civic problem arises, it must always be “someone’s” fault. Some one, one person. Some one isn’t doing their job. Come to think of it, during last November’s election, voter turnout was a low record for Antioch. Some one, one person must be at fault. Below is a list from aU.S. federal government website of our duties as citizens.

  • Support and defend the Constitution.

  • Stay informed of the issues affecting your community.

  • Participate in the democratic process.

  • Respect and obey federal, state, and local laws.

  • Respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others.

  • Participate in your local community.

  • Pay income and other taxes honestly, and on time, to federal, state, and local authorities.

  • Serve on a jury when called upon.

  • Defend the country if the need should arise

Could it be we are asking our leaders to do our jobs, as well as theirs? Another thought that comes to me is that if $33K for a recall is nothing, couldn’t it be better spent on, say, a season’s after school part time jobs, with students running enrichment activities on-site at our beautiful parks?

Hilda Parham


2 Comments to “Letter write questions the need for Antioch recall”

  1. Julio says:

    It is my feeling “recall” should be used if something illegal has been done. Someone might not be the brightest bulb in the box or you may not like them but that doesn’t make it a recall issue.

  2. Eileen says:

    The letter writer is saying that she hates it when outsiders – people who are just taxpayers and plain citizens – meddle in things that are none of their business, like politics. She is making an impassioned plea for apathy. But who really cares?

Leave a Reply