Antioch Council Members appoint Standby Council Members

Photo: City of Antioch

In case of death, going missing or being incapacitated during declaration of emergency

They’re the city’s real designated survivors

By Allen D. Payton

During their special meeting Friday afternoon, Jan. 13, 2023, the largely ceremonial appointments by the Antioch City Council of their Standby Council Members were approved, except for District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica’s who was not in attendance. (See related article)

But the appointments are serious and are for the purpose of the continuity of government if ever needed. They’re the city’s real designated survivors.

According to the staff report, each council member gets to appoint three people in order of priority to step into their role if the council member is unavailable due to being killed, missing or having an incapacitating injury in the event of a declaration of emergency. Consideration shall be given to places of residence and work such that the greatest probability of survivorship or availability exist. While not required, priority shall be given to city residents who are at least 18 years of age and are registered voters.

Standby council members may become activated during a state of war emergency, a state of emergency or a declared local emergency. No standby member shall become a member of the City Council unless there is a declared emergency described above. The mere vacancy of the regular Council Member’s office absent a declared emergency shall not activate the standby member. The first priority standby member shall serve during the emergency if his or her regular member is unavailable, meaning that the regular member is killed, missing, or so seriously injured as to be unable to attend meetings and otherwise perform duties. Any question as to whether a particular member is unavailable shall be settled by the remaining available members of the Council, including standby officers who are serving. If the first priority standby member is unavailable, the second priority shall serve, and so forth. Standby members shall serve at the pleasure of the governing body appointing them and may be removed and replaced at any time with or without cause.

The provision for standby council members allows for the continuity of government in the event of a catastrophic emergency. Standby council members are not activated in the event of a “regular” vacancy in a council seat.

Mayor Pro Tem and District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker appointed Leslie May, Kimberly Carlson and Antoine Watt.

District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock appointed former City Manager Roland “Ron” Bernal, former Mayor Donald Freitas and Sandy Hartrick.

District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson appointed Harry Thurston, Devin Williams and Susanna Williams.

Mayor Lamar Thorpe appointed Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Marie Arce, Christina Hills and Antioch School Board Area 1 Trustee Antonio Hernandez.

They will be sworn in at a future date, Assistant City Manager Rosanna Bayon Moore stated.

the attachments to this post:

Antioch City Continuity of Govt

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