Antioch Council to consider choosing final redistricting map, controversial planning commission appointments during Tuesday meeting

Antioch Council redistricting Modified Draft Map A changed during the council meeting on Feb. 22, 2022. Area in red circle modified by Mayor Thorpe. Area in blue circle modified by Councilwoman Torres-Walker. Source:

Special redistricting meeting begins at 5:30 p.m.; will hear presentation from Contra Costa DA Becton; largopposition to ban on sale of certain tobacco products expected; forming another ad hoc committee for new department

By Allen D. Payton

During another special meeting/study session, this time at 5:30 p.m. the Antioch City Council is set to choose a final redistricting map before their regular, 7:00 p.m. meeting tonight, Tuesday, March 8, 2022. Prior to that, at 5:00 p.m., the council will meet in closed session for a Conference with Legal Council on two anticipated lawsuits, with which the city has “significant exposure, In addition, during the regular meeting. But the agenda doesn’t share what those “two cases” of “anticipated litigation” are. The council members and city attorney were asked early Tuesday afternoon to provide information about what are the two cases of anticipated litigation. (See meeting agenda)

At their meeting on Feb. 22 the council switched from two previous map finalists to two new map finalists, new Map 521 and Modified Map A. (See related article)

Then during their regular meeting, the council will hear a report from Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton who is running for re-election in June, and deal with the second reading of the ban on sales of certain tobacco products in Antioch, that they approved on a 3-2 vote at their meeting on Feb. 22, with Mayor Pro Tem and District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica and District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker voting no. That issue is expected to garner a large turnout of Antioch retailers, who claim the city did not notify them for last month’s public hearing. According to former Councilman Ralph Hernandez, a petition opposing the ban has gathered over 800 signatures.  Tobacco Products Sales Ban ACC030822 5G

The item reads as follows:


The second reading of the item is on tonight’s meeting’s Consent Calendar as item 5.G. Either a member of the council or public must request the item be removed from the Consent Calendar for a separate discussion and vote.

The council will also vote to approve the minutes for the past three meetings, Jan. 25, Feb. 8 and Feb. 22 which the City Clerk’s Office has failed to keep updated for each following meeting.

A post by Christian Hills on her social media page showing opposition to Thorpe’s recall and a photo of his roast fundraiser in January.

Planning Commission Appointments

In addition, the council will consider appointing three residents Mayor Lamar Thorpe has nominated for the Planning Commission, two of whom are his vocal supporters. One is Warren Lutz whose social media comments have been in opposition to most articles published that are negative about Thorpe, and in defense of the mayor. The other is Christian Hills who has posted on social media her opposition to Thorpe’s recall and attended his roast fundraiser, in January, for which he called his opponents “Karen’s” in the promotion for the event. (See related article)

According to the city’s website, Hills is currently a member of the Economic Development Commission, and the third nominee, Robert Martin, is currently Vice Chair of the Planning Commission. But no other background information about the three nominees is part of the agenda packet, including their applications, as has been past practice so the public can know their backgrounds before making comments to the council prior to a vote on their nominations.

Forming Ad Hoc Committee for New Public Safety and Community Resources Department

Finally, among other matters, the council will consider forming another ad hoc committee, this one for developing the purposes of the planned, new Public Safety and Community Resources Department, which will have nothing to do with police services. That department, with a new director at a cost of $275,069 to $327,382 per year, equal to two or three police officers, will oversee seven service areas, two new ones and five existing services that are already handled by other departments.

The department will include, but not be limited to, the existing services of Animal Control, currently part of the Police Department; Youth Services Network Manager, currently part of the Recreation Department; Code Enforcement and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program that are currently part of the Community Development Department, and , the Unhoused Resident Coordinator, which is part of the city manager’s office.

The only new services of the department will be mental health crisis response, and violence intervention and prevention, both of which could be handled by the police department.

Question for Council, City Staff Refuse to Answer Questions Won’t Provide Public Hearing Notice to Tobacco Retailers

On Wednesday, Feb. 23, an email was sent to City Attorney Thomas Lloyd Smith, Mayor Thorpe and Interim City Manager Con Johnson, copying the other four council members and Economic Development Director Kwame Reed, asking if the tobacco retailers in Antioch were noticed about the previous night’s public hearing on the ordinance which is why the owners weren’t there, to speak on the item. “Is that true? If so, why not? Is the city not required to notify those impacted by a council action, especially for public hearings? If that’s not true, how were they notified? Also, how many tobacco retailers are there in Antioch and were each of them notified?

Please provide a copy of the notification and when it was sent to them.

Also, since the ordinance affects adults, in an attempt to keep youth from smoking, is the sale of flavored marijuana/cannabis products also banned in the City of Antioch?”

The only response received was from District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock who wrote, “I am not sure if they were noticed, I can tell you that there was someone that spoke on their behalf, and he was not an owner.  There were owners that did come and speak and others on Zoom.”

Since Ogorchock’s response didn’t completely answer the Herald’s questions nor those of the public, the email was resent on Friday, Feb. 25 and having not received any responses, it was sent once more on Thursday, March 3. No additional responses were received as of Tuesday afternoon, March 8.

Viewing and Public Comments

City Council meetings are televised live on Comcast channel 24, AT&T U-verse channel 99, or live stream at City Council Meeting LIVE – City of Antioch, California (

The public has the opportunity to address the City Council on each agenda item. No one may speak more than once on an agenda item or during “Public Comments”.

Members of the public wishing to provide public comments, may do so in one of the following ways (#2 pertains to the Zoom Webinar Platform):

  1. IN PERSON Fill out a Speaker Request Form, available near the entrance doors, and place in the Speaker Card Tray near the City Clerk before the City Council Meeting begins.
  2. VIRTUAL To provide oral public comments during the meeting, please click the following link to register in advance to access the meeting via Zoom Webinar:

You will be asked to enter an email address and a name. Your email address will not be disclosed to the public. After registering, you will receive an email with instructions on how to connect to the meeting.

When the Mayor announces public comments, click the “raise hand” feature in Zoom. For instructions on using the “raise hand” feature in Zoom, visit: When calling into the meeting using the Zoom Webinar telephone number, press *9 on your telephone keypad to raise

your hand. Please ensure your Zoom client is updated so staff can enable your microphone when it is your turn to speak.

Speakers will be notified shortly before they are called to speak. When you are called to speak, please limit your comments to the time allotted (350 words, up to 3 minutes, at the discretion of the Mayor).

The City cannot guarantee that its network and/or the site will be uninterrupted.

  1. WRITTEN PUBLIC COMMENT If you wish to provide a written public comment, you may do so in one of the following ways by 3:00 p.m. the day of the City Council Meeting:

(1) Fill out an online speaker card, located at,

Or (2) Email the City Clerk’s Department at

Please note: Written public comments received by 3:00 p.m. the day of the City Council Meeting will be shared with the City Council before the meeting, entered into the public record, retained on file by the City Clerk s Office, and available to the public upon request. Written public comments will not be read during the City Council Meeting.

Please check back for any updates to this report.

the attachments to this post:

Christian Hills sm

Tobacco Products Sales Ban ACC030822 5G


ACC Agendas & Minutes 0125-0222022

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