Former Council Candidate, Parks Commissioner writes against Measure W sales tax increase

Dear Editor:

When I was actively campaigning for City Council I came out against Measure W.

I just like many of you have been inundated with pro Measure W advertising from the City of Antioch.

I can not support and will not vote for Measure W. For one the City has NOT delivered on the promises they made with Measure C. When we voted in Measure C we were told that it was to add police to the number we already had: not use it to be the primary funding source for police. We had 82 officers when C was passed. A month ago, we had 94 sworn in officers. That is a net gain of only 12 officers. According to some council members we have added 55 officers. Most of those 55 plus officers was to replace officers who left APD. They used Measure C funding for this. So, what happened to the city budget that had us at 82? Where did it go? Why was that funding that was already there not used to replace officers that left APD? Why, is Measure C being used to fund all police hires?

The City council also voted to approve a pay increase for cops on election night when Measure C passed? Has anyone read the Memorandum of Understanding the city has with the Antioch police? I suggest you do. It is public record. Pay attention to compensation they receive in the memorandum.  Too many questions need to be answered.  Let’s not forget that Measure C does not expire until 2021. Until it does expire, and the City honors the promises it made. How can our citizens support Measure W?

The city wants Measure W to replace C and make it a 20-year plan. Raising the Tax rate to 9.25%. Can our citizens afford that increase? Think of, a tax on a $40,000 car.

In one of the 5 council meetings the city manager stated that he and his staff conducted a survey of 800 people. Those surveyed supported Quality of Life programs, programs for kids 12 and younger, clean drinking water and maintaining police.  So, let’s think about those numbers.  Only 800 surveyed in a city of 114,000 people. That is less than 1% of our population. That is an embarrassing survey to use as a reason to put on the ballot and spend $60,000 to do so. Did they survey retirees on fixed incomes? Did they survey senior citizens? Did they survey our low-income families trying to make rent or mortgage payment every month? Or does that sector of our residents matter to the City? Where is the transparency of exactly how the money will be spent?  This sales tax revenue will go to our general fund.  Can we trust city to spend wisely when they haven’t delivered on promises already made? Yes, some council members have advocated for different ways to use the money. But none of this was voted upon by council.

This is poor leadership. What about businesses and growing our economy in Antioch with a 9.25% sales tax. If you are a contractor or home owner going to do home improvement project. Will you buy in Antioch? Or go to the Brentwood, Pittsburg, or Oakley to save money? Will anyone continue to shop Antioch? Or go to a lesser sales tax city?

Rodney McClelland


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3 Comments to “Former Council Candidate, Parks Commissioner writes against Measure W sales tax increase”

  1. Ralph A. Hernandez says:

    Rodney McClelland is so right about how misleading Measure W truly is.
    The things that the public has been promised and told could be funded if it passes will not happen!
    Those things

  2. Ralph A. Hernandez says:

    Those things promised are almost the same things promised in the past within two other Measures – “O” the Residential Landlord & Business License Tax and also Measure “C” the other General Fund increasing Tax. Under Measure “C” we were supposed to hire “immediately 22 more” police officers, not replacements! Fooled the Voters again you know.
    Where exactly have those millions raised gone to? NOT to what they promised, which you can easily check on for yourselves! The City and the supporters of those Taxes cannot justify even why they haven’t kept their promises.
    They are doing it again with Measure W and the public will be stuck with 20 years of increased Sales Taxes each and every day (of the 7,300+ days involved). The items you will pay more for include candy, cosmetics, parts, appliances, furniture, cars, boats, trucks, pet foods and products, senior items, students items, baby items, clothes, jewelry, etc., etc., etc!
    There is no 1/2 cent that retailers charge, it is rounded out to the higher cent – so really you pay morethan you may realize. The City failed to tell you that.
    Rodney and many others are against this Tax increase and for good reasons. The Mayor and the other 3 signed proponents don’t even want to debate it with us (as we challenged them to do) because they apparently do not want the full truth out there before the Election. If it passes then it will be too late and they will have you hooked for 20 years! Vote “NO” on Measure “W” and do not allow yourselves to be tricked! They cannot be trusted.

  3. Loretta Sweatt says:

    As far as I’m concerned, the entire city budget can go to Law Enforcement; incorporating blight and youth with it. Antioch needs to be safe and beautiful, then real prosperity will come. I am far more afraid of the cost of being mugged, robbed, or a tragic car accident on the way to the grocery store, than I am of a penny sales tax (and I’m not a tax fan). The only people I see going to City Hall are those paying their utility bills. How much high paid staff is needed for that?

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