Save the Yard initiative petition effort for downtown Antioch event center fails

By Allen Payton

The signature gathering effort to place an initiative on the November ballot for an event center on the old Antioch Lumber Company lot in downtown failed to gather the necessary signatures to qualify.

In a July 19th letter from Antioch City Clerk Arne Simonsen to Jim Lanter, the lead organizer for the initiative, it was revealed that the 10% random count of the 5,149 signatures by the county Clerk-Record-Elections Department produced only 394 valid signatures, short of the 500 necessary to conduct a full count.

Joy Motts, one of the organizers of the effort shared her thoughts.

“It’s a bump in the road, here,” she said. “We’re going to fight on. It was one way we were going forward. The 500 random process is just the way it is. I would have preferred they did a 100% verification but they don’t. It’s not over for us. We’ll be moving forward, just in a different direction.”

Asked if the council approves the sale of the property to a developer, could the next effort be a referendum, she responded “The council could vote. We will do everything we can to stop that from happening. You still have over 5,000 people who signed the petitions who said they want a different alternative on that parcel. That’s a significant statement.”

“You would think the council and staff would have a conversation with us,” she added. “But they didn’t.”

When asked if more signatures can be gathered and added to those already submitted, Motts said “I’m not sure. We may have to submit all over again, once you submit them.”

Both County Clerk-Recorder Joe Canciamilla and Simonsen provided the bad news.

“They have to start all over and resubmit,” Canciamilla stated. “Once they submit their signatures they can’t add to them.”

Simonsen concurred, stating “They have to start all over again from scratch per state Elections Code 9115 (e).”

To read the letters from Simonsen and the Clerk-Recorder-Elections Department, click here:Letter to Jim Lanter dated 7-19-2016




the attachments to this post:

Letter to Jim Lanter dated 7-19-2016
Letter to Jim Lanter dated 7-19-2016

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