Antioch Council to consider 16% salary increase, hiring part-time secretaries for council members

Site of five existing cannabis businesses and the proposed Delta Distribution. Photo: City of Antioch

Another cannabis business; reorganizing city departments, adding department head; to give performance evaluations for city manager, attorney

By Allen D. Payton

During their first meeting of the year, tonight, Tuesday, Jan. 10, the Antioch City Council will again consider hiring three part-time secretaries for themselves, increasing their own salaries and reorganizing the Public Works and Community Development Departments, which would include creating a new Engineering Department and adding another department head. They will also vote on approving a use permit for another cannabis distribution business. Prior to the regular meeting, during Closed Session, the council members will give performance evaluations to both City Manager Con Johnson and City Attorney Thomas L. Smith. (View the complete council meeting agenda packet.)

Cannabis Distribution Business

Under agenda Item 9, the council will consider approving a use permit for another cannabis distribution business named Delta Distribution at 2101 W. 10th Street. The location already houses five previously approved existing cannabis businesses, including Delta Labs, Delta Dispensary, Delta Nursery, Delta Farms and KWMA. The latter two are cultivation businesses. (See Item 9)

Reorganizing City Departments

First, City Manager Con Johnson placed Public Works Director and City Engineer John Samuelson on paid administrative leave Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. Now, he is pursuing a reorganization of both the Public Works and Community Development Departments and asking for the council’s approval.

In an automated response to an email asking about the proposed traffic calming devices on James Donlon Blvd. and Sycamore Drive, Samuelson wrote, “Thank you for contacting the City of Antioch.  I have been placed on administrative leave and I do not know if or when I might return.  Please contact Public Works at if you need assistance.”

Now, Johnson is proposing the council consider reorganize both the Public Works and Community Development Departments and create a new Engineering Department with a new head. But there are no details on the costs nor on how the Community Development Department would be reorganized. (See Item 10)

Council Pay Raises

Even though the city council voted 4-1 in 2019 for a 70% increase in their monthly stipends from $941.20 to $1,600.04 per month, the current council members will consider another 15.8% increase or $252.21 for a total of $1,852.25 per month for the part-time policy makers. Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock was the only member to vote against the 2019 pay raise, while then Councilmembers Lamar Thorpe and Monica Wilson voted in favor. Councilmembers Tamisha Torres-Walker and Mike Barbanica weren’t elected until 2020 and the increase didn’t go into effect until January 1, 2021, after that year’s election.

But the new increase can’t go into effect until January 1, 2025. According to the city staff report, “State law would permit an increase to $1,852.25 per month effective January 1, 2025 by applying the allowed five percent increase for four years (on a simple, non-compounded basis).” (See Item 11)

Council Secretaries

In addition to Mayor Lamar Thorpe having his own office and one office for the other four council members inside City Hall – even though City Treasurer Lauren Posada didn’t have her own office and was still using a cubicle in the Finance Department until she was informed on Dec. 29 that she would have one, again*, – for the first time ever, the five part-time policy makers will vote on hiring three part-time secretaries to support them. Currently the city manager’s secretary supports the council members, but the proposal is to hire one for the mayor, one for councilmembers in Districts 1 and 4 and another for councilmembers from Districts 2 and 3. Thorpe has split it up that way so that if District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica and District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock vote against the expenditure, they won’t have a part-time secretary to support them. The estimated costs are $15,000 to $21,667 for one secretary, $30,000 to $43,334 for two and $45,000 to $60,000 for three secretaries if all three are approved. (See Item 12)

*UPDATE: Posada shared Tuesday afternoon that, tonight, she and her husband were moving her back into the first-floor office she previously shared with City Clerk Ellie Householder, who has had her own office on the third floor since the completion of reconstruction inside City Hall, last year.

The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at 200 H Street in historic, downtown Rivertown or can be viewed on Comcast channel 24, AT&T U-verse channel 99, or live stream at


the attachments to this post:

6 cannabis businesses list

Delta Distribution cannabis businesses building

No Comments so far.

Leave a Reply