Antioch Council to consider taking on authority to “appoint, supervise, remove” police chief at Aug. 8 meeting

How the City’s organizational structure would be if the council decides to directly hire the police chief.

Notice of Public Hearing published last Friday but not all council members were aware

By Allen D. Payton

Before starting the process to hire a new city manager, at the Antioch City Council’s August 8, 2023, meeting, they will consider taking on the authority to hire the next police chief. Last Friday, July 28, 2023, without all council members knowing of it, the City published in the East Bay Times a Notice of Public Hearing on a a proposed ordinance that “changes the organizational structure of the City’s administration by transferring, from the City Manager to the City Council, the authority to appoint, supervise, and remove the Chief of Police.”

Currently, as is done in most cities with a Council-Manager form of government, the city manager hires the police chief as well as all of the City’s other department heads.

The hearing follows the council majority’s direction to City Attorney Thomas L. Smith, during their April 11, 2023 meeting, to return with an ordinance to make the change. At that meeting, Mayor Lamar Thorpe, Mayor Pro Tem Tamisha Torres-Walker and District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson all expressed support while both District 2 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock and District 3 Councilman Mike Barbanica said they opposed it.

Regarding next Tuesday’s public hearing, both Ogorchock and Barbanica said they were unaware of the notice.  Torres-Walker and Wilson were also asked via email late Monday afternoon if they were aware of the notice and public hearing.

State law only requires government agencies to publish a public hearing notice 10 days ahead in one newspaper of general circulation. But only those who subscribe to the print edition of the Times received the notice. There is currently no option on the City Clerk’s Office Antioch Notification System webpage on the City’s website to request public hearing notices by email.

Notice of Antioch City Council Aug. 8 Public Hearing regarding the council hiring the police chief published in the East Bay Times on Friday, July 28, 2023.

Ogorchock said she was informed of the notice in the newspaper by a councilmember from another city in the county.

When asked if he was informed of the notification Barbanica said, “No, I was not. I am totally opposed to this. We should first hire a city manager and then let the city manager hire the new chief. I will hear input during the public hearing. But I have raised my opposition to this twice, now.”

“I would prefer that we are all noticed by the city attorney and city manager, that we don’t first get noticed by the media,” he added.

Thorpe who, along with the city manager, sets council meeting agendas and the notice was issued by City Clerk Ellie Householder and copied to City Attorney Smith. Thorpe was asked, “on such an important matter to the city, shouldn’t your fellow council members be informed of a public hearing without having to first learn of it from other council members in the county or the media? More importantly, shouldn’t more of the public be made aware of such a matter?”

Householder and Smith were asked why all council members weren’t provided with the notice so they didn’t have to learn of it from the media. An auto-response email from Smith shows he was out of the office Monday afternoon.

The complete notice reads as follows:

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the City Council of the City of Antioch will hold a public hearing in the CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, City Hall, 200 H Street at 7:00 P.M. or thereafter on TUESDAY, AUGUST 8, 2023, on the following matter:

The proposed Ordinance changes the organizational structure of the City’s administration by transferring, from the City Manager to the City Council, the authority to appoint, supervise, and remove the Chief of Police.

Members of the public wishing to provide public comments, may do so the following ways:

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. WRITTEN PUBLIC COMMENT – If you wish to provide a written public comment, please email the City Clerk’s Department at by 3:00 p.m. the day of the City Council Meeting

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.

If any person challenges the decision of the City in these matters in court, he or she may be limited to raising only those issues that were raised at the public hearing described in this notice, or in written correspondence, delivered to the City at, or prior to, the public hearing.

Copies of the documents relating to the draft ordinance are available for review at the City Attorney’s Office, 200 H Street, Third Floor, Antioch, CA, between the hours of 8:00am – 5:00pm. If you have any specific questions concerning these documents, you may contact the City Attorney’s Office at 925-779-7015 or Written statements in favor of or in opposition to this matter, may be emailed to:, or mailed to the City Clerk’s Office, City Hall, 200 “H” Street (P.O. Box 5007), Antioch, CA 94531-5007, prior to the hearing.

ACCESSIBILITY: In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and California law, it is the policy of the City of Antioch to offer its public programs, services and meetings in a manner that is readily accessible to everyone, including individuals with disabilities. If you are a person with a disability and require information or materials in an appropriate alternative format; or if you require any other accommodation, please contact the ADA Coordinator at the number or address below at least 72 hours prior to the meeting or when you desire to receive services. Advance notification within this guideline will enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility. The City’s ADA Coordinator can be reached @ Phone: (925) 779-6950, and e-mail:



Publication Date: 7/28/2023

cc: City Attorney’s Office


None of the other city council or staff members responded prior to publication time. Please check back later for any updates to this report.


ACCESSIBILITY: In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and California law, it is the policy of the City of Antioch to

the attachments to this post:

Notice of Antioch Public Hearing re Council hiring chief 72823

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