Antioch Council to finalize $3.6M contract for mental health response program, discuss Sycamore traffic calming

Will review city manager’s, attorney’s job performance; consider rescinding city’s COVID-19 testing, vax policy but continue COVID-19 related remote meeting participation of council, board, commission, committee members; approving $180K in funding and contract for Mayor’s Apprenticeship Program; giving Chamber of Commerce $125K

By Allen D. Payton

During their regular meeting tonight, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, the Antioch City Council will consider approving hiring and paying a contractor $3.6 million for the mental health response team two-year pilot program, traffic calming measures for Sycamore Drive, and consider rescinding the policy mandating COVID-19 testing and vaccination for city staff. Plus, the council will discuss giving $125,000 to the Antioch Chamber of Commerce. During a closed session meeting beginning at 5:30 p.m. the council will review the performance of both City Manager Con Johnson and City Attorney Thomas Lloyd Smith. (See complete meeting agenda)

Consent Calendar

During the consent calendar the council will also consider under Item 5.J. rescinding the city’s COVID-19 mandatory testing and vaccination policy. But they will also consider under the next Item 5.K. continuing to “authorize remote teleconference/virtual meetings of the legislative bodies of the City of Antioch, which includes the City Council, boards, commissions, and committees.” The city staff report reads, the COVID-19 “State of Emergency is still in effect and state officials are still recommending measures to promote social distancing, especially for immunocompromised and sensitive groups.”

However, a required condition of the law, AB 361 is, “state or local officials have recommended or imposed measures to promote social distancing, or the legislative body determines by majority vote that meeting in person would present imminent risks to the health and safety of attendees.”

The following questions were sent early Tuesday afternoon to City Attorney Smith and copied to all five council members and Johnson: “Has the council continued to impose or recommend measures to promote social distancing? Has the council determined that meeting in person presents imminent risks to the health or safety of attendees? If not, how can the council continue to “authorize remote teleconference/virtual meetings of the legislative bodies of the City of Antioch” as is on the agenda, again under Item 5.K. for tonight’s meeting? Isn’t the continued practice by the council a misuse of the provisions of AB361 for the sake of convenience of the five members?”

Under Item 5.J. the council will consider hiring Rubicon Programs to provide professional services to the Mayor’s Apprenticeship Program from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2023, for an amount not to exceed $180,000, using federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

$3.6 Million Two-Year Mental Health Response Team Pilot Program Contract

Under Item 5.R. the council will consider authorizing the city manager to enter into a Professional Services Agreement with Felton Institute for a minimum two-year pilot program for Non-Police Community Crisis Intervention Response Provider for Low Level 911 Calls at a total cost not to exceed $3.6 million in ARPA allocated funds.

The program was originally projected to cost between $1.8 to $2.2 million per year when first discussed by the council last year. (See related article)

According to the city staff report, the desired impact of the program is to: reduce non-warrant arrests that result during 911 police calls for service; reduce the number of individuals transported to the emergency department for non-life-threatening issues; and reduce the number of behavioral health and lower acuity calls traditionally responded to by public safety personnel. Additionally, the purpose of the program is to provide community-focused, trauma-informed, and healing-centered call responses by well-trained non-police personnel who can increase impacted individuals’ access and connection to timely, appropriate, and safe community-based services and resources.

It is anticipated that the response team personnel will be under the managerial auspices of the City of Antioch’s newly formed Public Safety and Community Resources Department. Felton Institute and response team personnel will also work closely with the Antioch Police Department, Contra Costa County, Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel.

The overarching goal of the Felton Institute and pilot program is to provide residents with greater, safer non-police response and allow law enforcement resources to be focused on addressing major crimes, emergency response and criminal investigations.

The council voted 5-0 at their last meeting to name the program the Angelo Quinto Crisis Response Team. (See related article)

Regular Agenda

During the regular agenda under Item 8. the council will discuss supporting the Antioch Chamber of Commerce in the amount of $125,000.

Finally, under agenda Item 12. the city council will discuss and direct staff regarding Sycamore Drive traffic calming needs.

Please check back later for any updates to this report.

the attachments to this post:

Felton Institute Crisis Intervention

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