Antioch Council to consider directly hiring next police chief, retired police officers Tuesday

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

Nothing on agenda about search for new city manager; expected to finalize tenant anti-retaliation, harassment ordinance; spend $1.2 million more for City electric vehicle charging stations; another performance evaluation for city attorney

By Allen D. Payton

Under Item 6 on the Tuesday, August 22, 2023 meeting agenda, the Antioch City Council will consider directly hiring and overseeing the police chief, removing it from the responsibility of the city manager. The council will also consider hiring retired officers to supplement the current depleted force due to the 16 current vacancies and two investigations. In addition, the council, for the third time, attempt to finalize their decision on the tenant anti-retaliation and harassment ordinance. During closed session the council will again provide the performance evaluation for the city attorney. Finally, the council will consider spending an additional $1.2 million on electric vehicle charging stations for the City’s fleet.

No City Manager Hiring Process on Agenda

But there’s no item on the agenda regarding hiring a search firm for a new city manager. As previously reported, during the closed session before their regular meeting Tuesday, July 25, 2023, the Antioch City Council voted to give direction to the City’s Human Resources Director Ana Cortez regarding recruiting a new, permanent city manager. But no other details were provided. Mayor Lamar Thorpe said he wanted to wait and hold a press conference on the city manager recruiting process until after Acting City Manager chooses a new acting police chief. That occurred on Monday, August 7. Thorpe has not held a press conference about the matter since.

Hiring, Overseeing Police Chief Directly by Council

The staff report for Item 6. Reads “It is recommended that the City Council introduce by title only and waive further reading of the ordinance (1) amending section 2- 2.06(B)(2) of the Antioch Municipal Code removing the Chief of Police from the City Manager’s appointment, discipline, and removal power, and (2) adding a new Article 4 to Chapter 3 of Title 2 of the Antioch Municipal Code, so that the Chief is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the City Council, and setting out some general duties and responsibilities of the Police Chief.”

Under Item 2., the council will discuss District 3 Councilmember Mike Barbanica’s proposal to hire retired police officers to supplement the force.

Revised Tenant Anti-Retaliation, Harassment Ordinance Returns

Under Item 5, the council will for the third time, “introduce by title only and waive further reading of the Ordinance adding Chapters 4 and 5 of Title 11 of the Antioch Municipal Code prohibiting retaliation and harassment of residential tenants.” The council first voted to pass the ordinance 3-1-1 with District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock voting against and Barbanica abstaining, as he owns a property management company in Antioch. Then, during their last meeting, with District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson absent, upon advice of the acting city attorney that a simple majority vote of those who were in attendance would serve as the first reading, the item with amendments was continued on a 2-1 vote, with Ogorchock opposing it, again. However, on Tuesday’s agenda is the first reading, again.

$1.2 Million More for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

For the final item on the agenda, the council will consider City Council adopt a resolution approving an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2023/24 Operating Budget to increase the funding from the General Fund for the Zero Emission Vehicle Transition Project by $1,226,760 for a total amount of $1,361,814 for electric vehicle charging stations at various locations for the City’s fleet.

Another City Attorney Performance Evaluation

Prior to the regular meeting at 7:00 p.m., during closed session beginning at 6:15 p.m., the council will once again give City Attorney Thomas Lloyd Smith his performance evaluation. The item has been on multiple council meeting agendas over the year.

Public Comments

If you wish to speak about an item, you must do so in person. If the item is not on the agenda, the “Public Comments” section of the agenda is for you. Unagendized comments are provided until no later than 7:30 p.m. when the City Council moves on to agenda items. There is another opportunity for public comments at the end of the meeting.

To speak about an item on the agenda fill out a Speaker Request form, located at the entrance of the Council Chambers and place it in the tray near the City Clerk.

If you wish to provide a written public comment, you may 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.

Antioch City Council meetings are televised live on Comcast channel 24, AT&T U-verse channel 99, and streamed on the City’s website.

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