Antioch councilman calls for special meeting on setting future council agendas

District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica called for a special meeting as Mayor Pro Tem Tamisha Torres-Walker looks on during their meeting on Tuesday, May 23, 2023. Video screenshot.

Garners support of two councilwomen

Barbanica says he and Torres-Walker developed 7-point plan

By Allen D. Payton

At the end of the Antioch City Council meeting, Tuesday, May 23, 2023, during Council Communications, District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica called for a special meeting to discuss when and how things are placed by the mayor onto a council agenda. He garnered the support of Mayor Pro Tem Tamisha Torres-Walker and District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock. (See 3:43:43 mark of the meeting video)

Barbanica said, “last council meeting I asked for the tobacco ordinance to come back to this meeting. It did not. Mayor Pro Tem Torres-Walker and I had two meetings. I’m calling for a special meeting on Tuesday, 5-30-23 at 7 p.m.

As the councilman was speaking, Mayor Lamar Thorpe left his seat at the dais.

Barbanica continued to speak saying he wanted the meeting in order “to revamp how our agenda is handled for council to give all council members much more say in what is placed on the final agenda. We’ve put together a seven-point plan.”

Currently, the mayor sets each council meeting agenda working with the city manager.

“I agree with the special meeting to discuss the agenda,” Torres-Walker stated. “Since I’ve been on this council, I’ve had an issue with the six-month timeline for items being placed on the agenda.”

Ogorchock then said, “I’ll support that.”

“In terms of the agenda, I’ve been pretty transparent about delaying things,” Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe responded. “One of the biggest challenges is the budget. What we’ll start seeing is I was planning on calling a special meeting for a six-month review. I’ve asked the city attorney what’s a realistic timeline for staff. I’ve heard some of the concerns that staff has. So, I get it from staff, and I hear what they say with their concerns we’re frontloading items. Then we lost Con Johnson. So, I’ve been very clear I’ve slowed things down.”

“We now contract out a lot of these ordinances,” he added.

“And I understand your comments. But I made a simple request at the last meeting. The council majority supported it, but it didn’t happen,” Barbanica stated. “So, my request for a special meeting, stands, and we’re going to completely revamp how this agenda is developed so that the council majority has a greater say.”

“I’ll say, again, the ordinance is coming back,” Thorpe responded. “But I’ve got to work with staff.”

With three councilmembers supporting the call for a special meeting, it must occur, according to past advice from City Attorney Thomas L. Smith.

The special meeting has been set for next Tuesday.

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Barbanica calls for special mtg as Torres-Walker looks on 052323

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