Antioch Council hears more complaints about blight

By Nick Goodrich

At its April 26th meeting, the Antioch City Council heard complaints from residents about blight, especially on Delta Fair Boulevard. They also added an urgency item to the agenda in order to meet requirements of the Clean Water Act.

Continued Blight on Delta Fair Blvd

The discussion revolving around homeless on Delta Fair Boulevard dragged on, as Antioch residents once again lamented the blight that has plagued that area for some time.

Resident Anthony K., who did not provide his full name, told the council that he is a new homeowner in Antioch, on Gentrytown Drive. “The area has gotten so bad, even in the last year since I moved here,” he said, speaking specifically about the shopping center.

Anthony told the council that people camping by the retaining wall, human waste, and vandalism are recurring problems. Each time Code Enforcement arrives to clean up the area, the problem returns in a matter of days.

“I refuse to shop in that shopping center,” he said. “We need something more to be done,” complained Frank Chong, a representative of 1401 Broadway LLC – which had recently purchased property in the area. “We believe there’s a major, major problem. Customers, shoppers, and citizens aren’t feeling very safe in that area.”

Chong called on the city to take lasting action, noting that people shouldn’t have to feel threatened when they visit the area. The council, despite being obligated to remain silent about items  not on the regular agenda, was sympathetic.

Mayor Wade Harper called for the situation to be put on next meeting’s agenda, promising to stay on the issue.

“I talk about it every day, I look at it every day,” he said after the meeting.

Antioch residents, especially those who frequent the area, are hoping that the constant reminders to City Council about the Delta Fair blighting will translate to a successful solution, and soon.

Urgency Item: Water Rate Increase

Before the meeting kicked off, city staff made a last-minute addition to the council’s regular agenda. The Clean Water Act mandates that Antioch must adopt an extra $25 in taxes from each residential unit, with the purpose of maintaining storm water quality, for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

The increased rate has been in effect in its current state since 2002, staff told the Council. The resolution presented to them was simply to re-establish the rates that Antioch has abided by for the last decade and half. It was flagged as an urgency addition because the deadline to establish it came on May 1st.

The staff report noted that any attempt to raise the rate from the maximum of $25 would have to be put to a vote under Proposition 218.

Approval of New Code Enforcement Manager

The approval of the new Code Enforcement Manager position was also made official on Tuesday, after being prepared and examined by staff and the council in previous meetings.

The new position is funded completely through Measure C, which is encouraging to some residents who have felt their contributions in Measure C taxes have been ineffective or possibly even ill-used.

“We will finally have a face of who’s going to handle the blight issue,” Harper stated.

The new Code Enforcement manager is expected to help in fighting blight throughout the city. Many residents, however, are hoping it starts at Delta Fair Boulevard.

6 Comments to “Antioch Council hears more complaints about blight”

  1. Nancy Fernandez says:

    “We finally have a face who is going to handle the blight problem”, Wade Harper. WAIT ONE MINUTE! We have always had a “face” to handle the blight problem. Ryan Graham and his terrific department. Had the city manager and city council NOT decided NOT TO FUND the department we would not live in this mess. Both councils Mr. Harper has been a part off have always put blight on the back burner. Now he is running for supervisor we suddenly have a “face” to our blight solution. We have always had a face to the blight problem and he sits on the city council.

  2. Nancy Fernandez says:

    Unfortunately Antioch lost one of its finest employees about a month ago due to the LACK OF FUNDING for his department. Ryan Graham left for CoCoFire and he at least can sleep at night again. It is this city council and this city manager who caused this problem and now Mr. Harper wants to play the “hero” putting a face on blight. Typical of Mr. Harper always running for office.

  3. Arne says:

    Ryan Graham was being funded by the General Fund, so why is his interim replacement (who is already working Code Enforcement under a contract) going to be funded by Measure C??

  4. Nancy Fernandez says:

    The reason is Mr. Simonsen is they make up the rules as they go along and have for a minimum of 4 years now. It needs to be completely investigated perhaps by the Attorney General. Just as the city of Bell was investigated.

  5. John says:

    Why would residents care about the blight in Antioch if most of the residents are renters! that’s the problem itself

    • Publisher says:

      Actually, John, only about 1/3 of the housing units in Antioch are rentals.
      Having rentals and renters in town doesn’t automatically result in blight.
      That’s a pretty foolish and disrespectful comment from someone who doesn’t live in Antioch.
      Why do you even care?
      Allen Payton, Publisher

Leave a Reply