Antioch Council honors Leo Fontana with Key to the City, approves community cameras

By Nick Goodrich

At the Tuesday, June 14th, the Antioch City Council met to recognize an Antioch resident for his community involvement, and approved cameras throughout the city, among other things.

The Antioch City Council opened the meeting with a proclamation in honor of Leo Fontana, longtime Antioch resident and involved community leader.

Fontana arrived in Antioch in 1942, and has since been known to be a pioneering businessman and caring resident. He served on the Antioch Parks and Recreation Commission from 1950-1963, the Planning Commission from 1968-1978, and City from 1982-1986. Some of his many other projects and activities in service to the Antioch community include Delta advocacy, the Antioch Senior Center, and the Antioch Historical Society Museum’s Sports Legends program.

Following the reading of the proclamation he was presented with a Key to the City.

“It’s a matter of recognizing your community and living to your community, and I think that’s what I try to do,” Fontana stated. “Antioch is really known as a community that has a lot of volunteers, and so I acknowledge all the volunteers, including the people that have served on the Council, and the different Commissions in the Community. They are the ones that really make the community.”

Council Approves Cameras

Later in the meeting, Police Chief Allan Cantando was once again before the council to speak on the issue of community cameras.

In previous council meetings, Cantando had proposed a plan to install a license plate reader camera system at certain Antioch intersections and on streets that have been known to be crime hotspots in the past. The council subsequently gave approval for him to move ahead with the camera request.

“These cameras, as we’ve talked about before, are going to improve our police efforts in the Sycamore corridor,” Cantando told the council members.

The camera systems, to be installed by Odin Systems, will cost the city a total of $161,171 for agreements with Odin Systems and Lear Auto and Electric.

Cantando also noted that the plan would call for fewer cameras than initially suggested by staff, saving the city some money that otherwise would have gone toward the project.

The plan will include camera installations at the corners of L Street and Sycamore Drive, Auto Center and Sycamore, and Auto Center and Mahogany Way.

“This is our first wave of community cameras, and we are going to evaluate this program after its implementation to see what our successes are, and any concerns that are identified,” he added.

Cantando, at the request of Mayor Wade Harper, explained that freeway cameras – which would cover off- and on-ramps – are being looked into by the APD, as well.

“I will bring that up toward the end, as a future agenda item,” Harper said.

City Manager Steve Duran added that the funds used to put the camera systems in place will come from Measure C, which has been a point of some tension between the council and Antioch residents in recent meetings, regarding ambiguities in the usage of funds by the city.

Placing camera systems in hotspots in an effort to help the police solve and prevent crimes could be argued an appropriate use of Measure C funds, however, as the measure emphasized bolstering police efforts.

The council approved the request for funding on a 5-0 vote, and the city will begin the process of installing the systems.

“We’ve been waiting for this, I think it’s a great idea,” said Harper. “About time.”

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