Watchdog: The good news and bad news for Antioch

Watchdog-LogoBy Barbara Zivica

It’s the beginning of a new year.  The President has given his State of the Union speech.  Since all I can foresee in the future is a rush of tax and fee ballot measures, I decided to look back at what’s happened so far in Antioch, both the good and the bad news.

Police Department

Good News: Lt. Diane Aguinaga promoted to Captain.

Bad News:  Department still understaffed, has put out some dubious stats and encrypted dispatch so residents can’t find out what’s happening and avoid stumbling into the middle of a bad situation.

Budget Issues

Good News:   Although prior to 2015, the city experienced multiple years of declines in property tax revenue, a significant increase in property tax revenue, well above 2015 projections, is helping stabilize the city finance.

Bad News:  City continues to face significantly reduced revenues in line with General Fund Budget expenditures in order to address budgetary difficulties brought on by the struggling economy and despite passage of Measure C  (a half cent tax increase) and Measure O (a business license tax measure which applied to all rental units).  Neither tax measure resulted in adequate police staffing or positive general fund reserves.


Good News: Gas is cheaper, housing construction is accelerating, as is industrial real estate activity.

Bad News: Food and health care costs are up.  Significant vacancies exist in some of the neighborhood shopping centers and the City’s downtown business core.


Good News:  Fernando Navarro seated on the AUSD Board after Barbara Cowan resigned.

Bad News:  School Supr. Don Gill, whose contract ran through until June 30, 2017, announced he wanted to leave June 30th, 2016.  The Board agreed, voting 4-0 to put him on paid leave until then so he could spend more time with his family in San Diego.

Jeff Belle was elected to the CCC Board of Education in 2014. His term expires November 29, 2018. Voters later learned he made several misrepresentations on his ballot statement regarding his qualifications.  In 2015 the Respiratory Care Board of California issued a Citation order stating Belle is not now, nor had ever been licensed by the Respiratory Care Board of California. He received a civil penalty in the amount of $8,200. Belle, however, still remains on the CCC Board of Education.


Good News: Several candidates will be vying for County Supervisor Mary Piepho’s seat. Those include Oakley Councilman Doug Hardcastle and East Bay Regional Parks District Director Diane Burgis.

Bad News: Antioch Mayor Wade Harper, who survived a recall effort, now wants to run for Piepho’s seat, too.

2 Comments to “Watchdog: The good news and bad news for Antioch”

  1. Gil Murillo says:

    Nice write up…

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