Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Antioch council to consider liquor store approval appeal, forming new, reorg two other dep’ts

Monday, March 13th, 2023

Will also consider forming Human Rights and Racial Equity Ad Hoc Committee, appeal of Planning Commission’s denial of tree removal, $110K for July 4th celebration

By Allen D. Payton

During their regular meeting Tuesday night, March 14, 2023, the Antioch City Council will consider the appeal of the Planning Commission’s approval of a new liquor store on Somersville Road and the appeal of the commission’s denial of a tree removal on W. 5th Street. The council will also consider forming a new engineering department and reorganizing the public works and community development departments.

In other council business, they will consider spending $110,000 to organize and pay for the annual Independence Day Celebration, including fireworks on the river, and forming Mayor Pro Tem Tamisha Torres-Walker’s proposed Human Rights and Racial Equity Ad Hoc Committee, with the task to form a commission of the same name.

Somersville Liquor Store Appeal

According to the staff report, on October 12, 2022, Gurmej Singh applied for a Use Permit to operate a new liquor store at 2651 Somersville Road in City Council District 2. The application was reviewed by City staff, including the Antioch Police Department, and outside agencies, and was forwarded to the Planning Commission for consideration. On February 15, 2023, the Planning Commission voted 4-3 to approve the Use Permit for the liquor store.

Then, on Feb. 21st, District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson held a press conference and called for the appeal of the commission’s decision and a 45-day urgency ordinance to halt approval of new liquor stores to give staff time to develop a permanent ban on all future liquor stores in the city. However, at the special council meeting on Thursday, Feb. 23rd with Torres-Walker absent, the proposed urgency ordinance died on a 2-2 vote.

That same day, an appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision was filed with the City Clerk by Kathryn Wade who lives about two miles away from the proposed site. In the reasons for her appeal she wrote, “we do not need another liquor store in the Somserville area. We already have three (3) liquors less than a mile between them and we need better services and businesses in that area. The liquor doesn’t bring any value to the community.”

Also, according to the staff report, The site is located within Census Tract 3072.05, which currently has three other offsale Type 21 licenses and a population of 8,483. The current ratio is one outlet for each 2,828 persons. This fourth outlet would create a ratio of one outlet for each 2,121 persons. The average for Contra Costa County is one outlet for each 1,773 persons. As such, the location is not considered unduly concentrated based on outlets per resident and a finding of public convenience and necessity is not required. the other outlets in Census Tract 3072.05 are as follows:

  • 7-Eleven at 2301 Buchanan Road
  • ampm at 2610 Contra Loma Boulevard
  • Wine & Liquor at 2958 Delta Fair Boulevard

The council can either vote to grant the appeal which will deny the use permit or deny the appeal and approve it.

City of Antioch proposed 2023 July 4th Celebration budget. Source: City staff report.

Funds for Independence Day Celebration

At their last regular meeting, with Wilson and Torres-Walker both absent, the council voted 3-0 to table spending $110,000 of City funds to pay for the costs of the annual Independence Day Celebration on July 4th. The council will consider the matter, again. But a vote to remove the item from the table should be required before the council can actually vote on the proposed expenditure.

Human Rights and Racial Equity Ad Hoc Committee

The final agenda item of the meeting will be a vote to form a new Human Rights and Racial Equity Ad Hoc Committee. According to the city staff report, the committee of two council members would “work with the city manager and the city attorney to propose an ordinance forming the…commission” of the same name, “which would work to promote mutual, respect, understanding and tolerance among all persons within the City.

The Commission would proactively engage in research, action planning, education, and community outreach to advance the rights of all persons to have an equal opportunity to live, work, and prosper within the City.

The Commission would work to build a community where relationships among diverse people are valued by all, the voices of underrepresented groups are heard, discrimination is not tolerated, and residents can work together to resolve issues concerning discrimination and alienation.

The Human Rights and Racial Equity Commission could also plan, promote, and develop community-oriented education programs and events to foster positive human relations, equal opportunity, and greater understanding and appreciation of the City’s cultural, ethnic, and racial diversity. The proposed educational programs and events developed by the Human Rights and Racial Equity Commission would be submitted to the City Council prior to the adoption of the budget for the fiscal year in which the proposed educational programs and events are planned to be held.

Access to remedies and resolutions under existing state and federal laws addressing unlawful discrimination may also be enhanced by providing a local forum to hear and work towards the advancement of human rights and racial equity goals.”

Public Comments

Members of the public wishing to speak on an item must do so in person.  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. 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.

The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 200 H Street, in historic, downtown Rivertown. It can also be viewed via livestream on the City’s website or either on Comcast local cable access channel 24 or AT&T U-verse channel 99.



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Rivertown Easter Egg-stravaganza! Saturday, April 8

Saturday, March 11th, 2023

Antioch’s historic, downtown Rivertown is located between W. 10th Street and the river and from A Street to Auto Center Drive.

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Antioch Police seek help ID’ing female armed robbery suspect of Smart & Final store

Wednesday, March 1st, 2023

Screenshots of surveillance video of armed robbery suspect and vehicle (inset) at the Smart & Final store on Feb. 23, 2023. Source: APD

By Antioch Police Department

Help us identify an armed robbery suspect:

On February 23rd, 2023, Antioch Police officers responded to Smart and Final located at 2638 Somserville Road for the report of an armed robbery. The pictured female was described as a Caucasian female, approximately 5 feet-5 feet 3 inches tall, 25-30 years old, 190-200 pounds, with brown hair. She was wearing light jeans, a “Looney Tunes” shirt and had a black fanny pack and black purse. The pictured vehicle was also associated with her and is possibly a white Chevrolet Suburban with a black roof rack.

If you know this person or have any information regarding the robbery, please contact Detective Cox at or (925)481-8147. You can also text an anonymous tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword Antioch.


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Covid Relief Grants available to Contra Costa small businesses and non-profits

Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

Deadline to apply is March 12th

Do you live in one of the following Counties of Contra Costa, Alameda or El Dorado and own a Small Business or Nonprofit? You may qualify for a $2,500 Covid Relief Grant. Chabot-Las Positas Community College District is partnering with the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) to disburse Covid-19 Relief Grants.

Grant Eligibility Rules:

Qualified microbusiness must meet and self-certify, under penalty of perjury, all of the following criteria:
1. Began its operation prior to December 31, 2019
2. Self-employed workers, independent contractors, sole proprietors, and corporations with no more than 5 employees or full time equivalent in 2019
3. Less than $50,000.00 gross revenue in 2019
4. Has fewer than 5 full-time equivalent employees now
5. Is currently operating or has a clear plan to reopen
6. Was significantly impacted by COVID-19 pandemic
7. Microbusiness was the primary source of revenue for the business owner

Note: Businesses who already received funding through this microbusiness program are not eligible for this round 2 funding.

Deadline to apply is March 12th! Check out or call 925-416-5143 to learn more and apply!


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Celebrate Antioch Foundation announces 2023 Rivertown Events

Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

Celebrate Antioch Foundation and the Rivertown Merchants announces their 2023 list of events in Antioch’s historic, downtown Rivertown in beginning in April. Some events will be hosted by or with other community partners. Download, print and post this flier on your refrigerator or save it in your phone’s photo album and add the list below to your calendar as reminders! To participate or for more information visit or

2023 Celebrate Antioch Events

  • April 8 – Easter Egg Hunt – Rivertown Merchants
  • April 22 – Keep Antioch Beautiful – Antioch Parks & Rec Department
  • May 13 – Rivertown Wine Walk & Artisan Fair – Celebrate Antioch Foundation
  • June 17-19 – Juneteenth Celebration – DVG/Celebrate Antioch Foundation
  • June 18 – Father’s Day Car Show – Celebrate Antioch Foundation
  • August 19 – Hot August Cruise Night/Movie at El Campanil Theatre – Celebrate Antioch Foundation/El Campanil Theatre
  • September 9 – Rivertown Peddler’s Faire – Celebrate Antioch Foundation
  • October 7 – Fall Fest/BBQ Cook-Off – Celebrate Antioch Foundation
  • October 28 -Rivertown Trunk or Treating Car Show – Hot Rods 4 Paws/Celebrate Antioch Foundation
  • November 11 – Veteran’s Parade – DVG – Delta Veteran’s Group
  • November 25 – Small Business Saturday – Rivertown Merchants
  • December 2 – Holiday Sip & Shop Craft Fair – Celebrate Antioch Foundation
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Antioch Council gets bad news on homeless program funding, proposed urgency ordinance to ban liquor stores dies

Thursday, February 23rd, 2023

With only four council members in attendance, no action was taken on either item during their special meeting on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023. Video screenshot

City facing $8-$10 million annual deficits over next two years; ordinance required 4/5ths vote but only garnered two, ban can return for future council meeting agenda

‘Even if it’s spread out over 15 years if it’s $5 or 6 million per year I don’t know where the funds would come from if it doesn’t come from grants” – City Finance Director Dawn Merchant

By Allen D. Payton

With District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock participating via Zoom and Mayor Pro Tem and District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker and City Manager Con Johnson absent, the Antioch City Council held a special meeting Thursday but was unable to accomplish anything. They discussed four options to help the homeless but could not reach consensus on the desired direction after hearing the city budget doesn’t have the funds. In addition, a proposed 45-day urgency ordinance banning new liquor stores in the city to give staff time to develop an ordinance permanently banning them failed with only the proponent, District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson and Mayor Lamar Thorpe supporting it. That required three votes to move forward and if it returned to a future council agenda for a vote, it would have required a four-fifths, super majority vote of council members to approve. But both Ogorchock and District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica opposed a ban.

Source: Focused Strategies

Homeless Program Options

Megan Kurtaff-Schatz, President of Focused Strategies, the city’s consultant on homeless issues, provided the presentation to the council members of an overview on strategies for them to choose from to “serve and house” homeless residents in Antioch. Unhoused Strategies presentation ACC022323

A graph in the presentation states, “Interim Housing does not decrease the unhoused population. Individuals living in temporary shelter (interim housing) are still individuals experiencing homeless.”

“What reduces homelessness is having housing available,” she said.

The charts show a current population of 475 unhoused residents in Antioch.

Kurtaff-Schatz presented three options, including Non-Congregate Bridge Housing (Interim Housing), Rapid Rehousing (rental subsidies in market housing) and Permanent Supportive Housing (Built Units). The Interim Housing choice would still result in a growing homeless population. But it would decrease with the latter two options.

Depending on the option chosen it will take between seven to 25 months to implement and the City’s commitment would last from 15 to 55 years, and Year 1 costs would be between $7 million to $12.42 million.

Source: Focus Strategies

The Built Project Upfront Commitments slide shows a total of $18.3 million to $55.3 million the city would have to make for the 15-year life of the program.

City Finance Director Dawn Merchant showed a preliminary budget for Fiscal Year 2022-23 that includes a transfer in of $9 million from the City’s Budget Stabilization Fund to cover the deficit. But the chart shows deficits of about $8.4 million in FY 2023-24 and $9.9 million in FY 2024-25.

Even with budget cuts, “we’re not going to get anywhere near zero,” she said.

“The only source of funding for any of these projects is the City’s General Fund. If we stay at the $8 to $9 million deficits, that’s pretty much going to eat up the Budget Stabilization Fund,” Merchant added.

Source: City of Antioch

Public Upset, Loses Hope on Homeless Programs

Homeless advocate and Antioch resident Andrew Becker said, “It’s concerning to me…that at the last council meeting it was clearly stated by Dignity Moves that there were other alternatives outside of the RFP process. Do you know what their response was? Nothing. I talked to Dignity Moves, yesterday and they were frankly insulted. And they’re not here, tonight and Focus Strategies is here.”

So, frankly as an advocate of who are not statistics…what are we doing here?” he asked becoming quite emotional “Terri House handles our housing grants and she’s not even here. Where is she?”

Another man spoke saying, “I was excited before. Now, I’m not excited. I’m very concerned after hearing…about the money coming from the city funds. Quite frankly, this needs to be a regional approach. Cities like Brentwood and Oakley need to provide funding for this. I don’t know where I stand with this anymore. I feel like I’ve lost hope with this city. The city has let residents down, both housed and unhoused.”

A woman named Jo who said she was one of the presenters with Dignity Moves at the council meeting a couple weeks ago said there’s still time to do the Homekey program without having to go through “the cumbersome RFP process. The city already went through the RFP process last summer. We can do that quite expeditiously…within a matter of days. Remember the Homekey program…there’s limited resources and there’s going to be limited opportunities. We are here to assist.”

A man named Punit who said he is CEO and President of California Supportive Housing spoke next saying, “I reached out to Rosanna and city manager and (Antioch’s Unhoused Resident Coordinator) Tasha (Johnson) earlier this week. We already have a site in LOI (Letter of Intent)…for Homekey. We would like to work with you guys going forward.”

Council Discussion on Homeless Programs

During council discussion on the item Barbanica spoke first asking Merchant, “Is it your opinion we cannot afford to do this?”

‘Even if it’s spread out over 15 years if it’s $5 or 6 million per year I don’t know where the funds would come from if it doesn’t come from grants,” she responded. “There are some ARPA funds the city has. But understand that’s a one-time cost. It could subsidize programs going forward. We don’t have any other funding sources at the current point.”

“That’s my concern at the current point,” Barbanica said.

“Our responsibility, here is the budget,” Mayor Lamar Thorpe said. “We can decide the priorities. We have not been deficit spending. We’ve had a balanced budget. In fact, we’ve had surpluses.”

District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson asked about the Rapid Rehousing. “Is this program eligible for Homekey?”

“No. Rapid Rehousing is typically discretionary spending,” Kurtaff-Schatz responded. “Typically, it’s county funding.”

“If we do interim, we still need to find some type of interim housing,” Wilson said. “At the end of the day we’re trying to help individuals. Permanent housing where they are stabilized.”

“Now, looking through this, how do we get to the end game?” she asked. “I still like the Homekey funding. Maybe Andrew’s right, we drug our feet too long. But we need to do something. These are the though

“Today is the first that I’ve heard of this Rapid Rehousing. It sounds very promising.”

Ogorchock said, “We have not been deficit spending. But I don’t want to go in that route. If we pursue this avenue we would be deficit spending. There’s no guarantee on the grants. I do see an opportunity to go back and work with the county. But at this point I don’t support moving forward on this due to the costs.”

Resident Leslie May was then allowed to offer additional public comments saying, “I’d like to speak to these grants. I have been working with Mr. Con Johnson in getting more money, grants from the federal government and the state. As a member of the Contra Costa County Mental Health I know the finances. The city can apply for it. I connected him with the big grant writers.”

“That money can help the City of Antioch. If we get this grant money, we can use that money to purchase places, to renovate places…to work with one of these companies. So, it is possible. But there’s things going on behind the doors that I’m trying to help. I know what the county is doing with their funds. In response to Councilwoman Ogorchock, Antioch is off the table.

“So, I’ve been working with Con Johnson on…permanent housing,” she added.

“We adopted our budget almost two years ago. The budget hasn’t changed,” Thorpe pointed out. “We did an RFP that committed $2 million. We didn’t obligate ourselves to anything. I think part of the goal…unless I’m mistaken it doesn’t obligate us”

“If the council wishes to move forward what we’re asking is for the council to make a financial commitment,” Assistant City Manager Rosanna Bayon Moore explained.

“That’s what I’m saying,” Thorpe said. “There’s a financial commitment upfront then the ongoing costs for programming. We made that commitment before. The numbers haven’t changed they’re still the same. I’m somewhat confused what happened between a few months ago and now.”

“There doesn’t seem to be consensus…support on anything moving forward,” he then stated.

“There was one comment that the City has failed. I want to remind the public that cities aren’t normally tasked with these kinds of services,” the mayor said. Then speaking about the plans with the county on land the city had owned he said, “Six years later we are still waiting on our care center. For one dollar we sold it to them. COVID happened. We do now have the Delta Landing which has been tremendous for our folks living on the streets. We have some who now have permanent housing. But we still have a lot of folks who still need housing.”

Ogorchock who is attending the California League of Cities Board of Directors meeting in Southern California then said, “I only understood this to be the Homekey process through Dignity Moves. I’m not saying I’m not interested in anything. I’m saying we can’t afford this. There are still HHAP (Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention Grant Program) funds. But the state has pushed this on the cities and we as cities don’t have the funds…nor the services to support these individuals. The state is going to have to put out more funds. Cal Cities is looking at how to funnel money to the cities instead of the counties.”

“I think the options, here…two included Homekey,” Thorpe responded. “That was today’s exercise.”

“I don’t know why we can’t still look at Rapid Rehousing,” Wilson reiterated. “I’m saying the conversation isn’t over.”

“Homelessness is going up whether we like it or not,” Thorpe responded. “This is my lifetime in the making. We’re going to continue having discussions around this. I was just hoping we’d give staff direction…that we’d pick something. What we may need to do is bring back the Standing Committee on Homelessness…because this issue is not going away.”

Urgency Ordinance to Ban New Liquor Stores

On the urgency ordinance to temporarily ban liquor stores while staff had time to prepare a permanent ordinance proposed by Wilson, City Attorney Thomas L. Smith said he provided some basic information and that staff was just looking for direction.

“I want to bring this prohibition up on new liquor stores in Antioch…and have a robust discussion,” ,” Wilson said.

“The purpose of this…is that if we develop an ordinance, I wanted to give the time and space to develop it properly,” Thorpe said. “I wanted to make sure we’re on the same page before bringing an urgency ordinance.”

Public Comments on Liquor Store Ban

During public comments Antioch resident and business owner Jim Lanter said, “When we start talking about total that’s extremely drastic for a city our size. I think it’s unfair when you start talking about prohibition, sometimes. You mentioned Sycamore shopping center. Mayor, you said you were going to clean it up. Romy’s on 18th Street has been an armpit and has been since I’ve lived here.”

“You mentioned BevBox,” he continued. “I don’t think you’ve been there since it’s been improved. They’ve cleaned it up. I think we have a policing problem. I’m gong to go to BevBox tomorrow and play your video to the gentlemen who owns that and show how you’ve lumped him in with the others. You should go by there…and see what a responsible owner, even of a liquor store, can do.”

Edgar Martinez spoke next speaking of the distance from liquor and grocery stores to schools in Antioch.

“I live in District 1. I’m concerned. Why now? I care about the health of my community, I care about my neighborhood. As city council you know we have issues with certain liquor stores in our community. But I hope this isn’t the end of this. I watched the Planning Commission meeting. Why weren’t there any questions of the police on this liquor store?”

Andrew Becker spoke next saying, “I wanted to say I agree with the previous speaker these liquor stores…are in neighborhoods that have been neglected in our community. I don’t think you can place the blame on any individual business. I am concerned that we have not heard anything about liquor stores or cannabis clubs that are passed in any other district. We as a city have a responsibility to police our community. I’m talking about the whole approach. When you’re talking about that particular area…Macy’s left in 2020. Macy’s is under lease until 2030. They’re not coming back. What could that building do for our community? That support doesn’t not come through a ban on liquor stores. It is a systemic response. Going out into the community and talking with these families…bringing in the wealth.”

Council Discusses, Splits 2-2 on Liquor Store Moratorium Urgency Ordinance

During the council discussion on the proposed liquor store moratorium Thorpe spoke first saying, “The only thing I can say is that I’m not sure…I heard words like oversaturation in areas, particularly areas that have been challenged. We make small steps overnight. It’s not going to be changed in one mayor’s term. I’ve heard things that…ban may not be the right word. Thoughtful…of where we place these.”

“The urgency ordinance…makes sense so that we not over-saturate neighborhoods,” he continued comparing the effort to the temporary moratorium on cannabis businesses. “I think that’s the councilmember’s thought, here. I support what you’re trying to do, here. If it’s an urgency ordinance to come up with a policy.”

“I’m for coming up with a policy on where we place them,” Barbanica said. “What if we have a large BevMo that wants to come into our community that wants to sell alcohol? I’m more supportive of that rather than an outright ban.”

“What we’re talking about is temporary?” he asked.

“Yes,” Thorpe responded.

“We have to think about where all businesses go,” Ogorchock said. “I have concerns about bans. We need to look at each business…even if Planning Commission approves them.”

“You bring up cannabis and it was supposed to be not within 400 feet of a school, but we changed that for downtown,” she continued.

“There is no immediate threat to the public health, safety or welfare. So, I don’t know why we need an urgency ordinance,” Ogorchock stated. Then speaking of Wilson’s press conference about the matter she said, “I believe that was in Councilman Barbanica’s district, but he wasn’t invited to it.”

“We have a six-month list for items we want on the council agenda. So, that’s disappointing,” Ogorchock added.

“Councilman Barbanica has spoken out about items in other districts,” Thorpe said. “It’s each council member’s prerogative to have press conferences.”

“This is just direction to prepare one (an urgency ordinance)”, Smith explained. “There are findings to bring the urgency ordinance. That part would require some research.”

“What is the urgency?” Barbanica asked.

“If applicants applied, they’re not caught off guard in the future,” Thorpe responded.

“We don’t have to have an urgency item. We can just bring this back for discussion,” Ogorchock shared.

The matter died due to only Wilson and Thorpe supporting having staff develop an urgency ordinance. However, a proposed ban can be brought back to a future council meeting agenda when Torres-Walker is in attendance and it could garner three votes.

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Mayor Thorpe calls special meeting Thursday, Feb. 23 to discuss moratorium on new Antioch liquor stores, expanding homeless programs

Thursday, February 23rd, 2023

In response to Wilson’s requests he will also appeal recent Planning Commission vote approving Somersville Plaza Liquor Store

Barbanica says they’re targeting his district as a political stunt

By Allen D. Payton

Following Tuesday’s announcement by District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson calling for a moratorium on new liquor stores in Antioch, Mayor Lamar Thorpe called a special council meeting for tonight, Thursday, Feb. 23 at 5:00 p.m. to discuss the matter. In addition, he issued a statement, today supporting Wilson’s call to appeal of the recent Planning Commission decision approving one. During a press conference on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023 (which the Herald was not invited to) Wilson called for the appeal and proposed the moratorium.

In a post on her official Facebook page on Tuesday, Wilson wrote, “Councilwoman Monica Wilson and community leaders proposes legislation banning liquor stores in Antioch. Calls on Mayor Thorpe on starting appeal process for recently approved liquor store.”

District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson speaks during her press conference on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. Video screenshot.

During the press conference she was joined by Parks and Recreation Commission Vice Chair and failed 2022 Antioch School Board candidate Dominique King, who spoke in support and five other people who were not introduced and did not speak. Wilson, reading from prepared remarks, asked Thorpe to “start the appeals process” of the recent 4-3 planning commission vote on Feb. 15 approving the Somersville Plaza Liquor Store proposed for 2651 Somersville Road in the small strip center located at the end of Fairview Drive which is located in District 2. (See PC agenda item 7-3 and details, here: – see commission meeting video at 1:07:20 mark)

Somersville Plaza is the proposed location for the new liquor store. Source: City of Antioch

The location is in “one of Antioch’s most underserved communities which is plagued with a host of issues from high crime to poor health outcomes,” Wilson stated.

Of the appeal she said, “This decision potentially has citywide implications concerning public safety, social detriments of health and quality of life.”

However, Wilson claimed, “While I am requesting this appeal, I have not made a decision one way or the another. As I, too, would have to listen to all interested parties including the applicant.”

“I will be proposing legislation on a prohibition on future liquor store applications in the City of Antioch,” she continued and asked Thorpe to place a 45-day urgency ordinance on the agenda for a prohibition of liquor store applications until her proposed ordinance can be considered.

“Some of the liquor stores in Antioch have become magnets for illicit activity and crime. People in our community deserve better,” Wilson added. “You don’t have to look far to see examples of what happens when these type of liquor stores like this pop up and oversaturate our most vulnerable communities.” She then mentioned Sycamore Plaza, Delta Fair shopping center, BevBox on W. 10th Street and Romi’s Liquors at W. 18th Street and Cavallo Road as her examples.

Wilson cited a study by the California Healthy Communities Data and Indicators (HCI), an effort of the California Department of Health, and said the 94509 ZIP Code scores in the 35th percentile compared to the 70th percentile for the 94531 ZIP Code. According to its website, “The goal of the HCI is to provide datasets and tools that a broad array of sectors can use for planning healthy communities and evaluating the impact of plans, projects, policy, and environmental changes on community health.”

The areas the HCI focuses on are Income Security, Food Security and Nutrition, Child Development, Education and Literacy, Housing, Environmental Quality, Accessible Built Environments, Healthcare, Prevention Efforts – specifically Childhood Fitness, and Neighborhood Safety and Collective Efficacy.

Thorpe Calls Special Feb. 23 Council Meeting, Will Appeal Commission Decision

On Tuesday, Thorpe signed and issued a Call for Special Meeting for tonight to discuss both the moratorium on liquor stores and expanding the state’s Homekey Program in the city to help Antioch’s homeless residents. On Thursday morning, Thorpe issued a statement on his campaign website regarding the appeal of the planning commission decision and the call to ban liquor stores.

“I want to thank Councilwoman Monica Wilson, Vice Chair Dominique King of the Parks and Recreation Commission, and various community members for seeking my attention to this matter.

After careful consideration, I’ve decided to move forward with the appeal of the Planning Commission’s recent decision to approve a new liquor/convenience store close to the intersection of Somerville and Buchanan Rds. The appeals hearing is set for March 14, 2023, at 7:00 pm.

In addition, I’ve scheduled a special meeting on Thursday, March 23, 2023, at 5:00 pm to discuss moving forward with an urgency ordinance that temporarily bans any new liquor store applications. Unlike more legislative decisions, an urgency ordinance requires 4 out of the 5 council members including the mayor to agree in order to move forward.

Lastly, I agree with Councilwomen [sic] Wilson on the need for comprehensive legislation that limits new liquor stores in Antioch and considers 1.) oversaturation, 2.) crime levels, 3.) the Healthy Community Index (HCI), and 4.) current operators who have played by the rules.”

However, the special council meeting is scheduled for tonight, Thursday, Feb. 23 at 5:00 p.m. as called for by Thorpe on Tuesday.

Facebook Comments on Wilson’s Proposal

In comments below Wilson’s Facebook post of her press conference, Jackie Bean Lowery wrote, “Too many liquor stores in Antioch! Enough is enough!” Resident Michelle Kuslits wrote, “Please address the additional cannabis licenses you keep approving. You can substitute ‘cannibas’ for every comment you have made about alcohol. Many, many, many residents do not approve of all the cannabis storefronts, including manufacturing and growing facilities you are approving either, yet you keep approving them. If you are going to address one, address the other as well, otherwise it is hypocritical and looks as if you are not being inclusive or equitable! Thank you!

Questions for Wilson, King Go Unanswered

Questions were emailed Thursday morning to Wilson and King about the press conference. Wilson was asked if she invited Councilman Mike Barbanica to join her since the proposed location is in his district and why a parks and recreation commissioner included. King was asked if she is considering a run for the District 2 city council seat next year.

King, who spoke during the planning commission meeting against the liquor store and said she “lives in the area”, is viewed as a potential candidate for the District 2 council seat which is currently held by first term Councilman Mike Barbanica, and Wilson including her in the press conference was a means to promote her on an issue in that district.

They were also asked who the five people were standing behind them during the press conference.

Neither responded prior to publication time at 12:45 p.m.

Barbanica Wasn’t Invited to Press Conference

Barbanica was also asked if Wilson had invited him to join her at the press conference. “No,” he responded. “This is a political attack is all it is. It started with Thorpe during the meeting a couple weeks ago where he’s targeting District 2. The public can expect to continue to see more of this as the election grows closer.”

“What Monica really should be focused on are issues including the methadone clinic that’s literally blocks from her house. I really could have used her support when I was dealing with that,” Barbanica continued. “She’s been on the council for 12 years. What has she done to resolve that issue? This is nothing more than a political stunt.”

“I would have been happy to sit down and talk with Councilmember Wilson about this had she reached out to me. But she didn’t,” he stated. “This is a serious issue about liquor stores in our city and I look forward to hearing the input and discussing it.”

Asked if he was aware of King’s interest in running for his council seat next year Barbanica said, “I’ve heard from the rumor mill about it. But I haven’t spoken to her or anyone on the council about it.”

“Why this has to be turned into a political stunt instead of people working together is beyond me,” he added. “The Parks and Recreation Commission has nothing to do with this issue. If she wants to speak out on it as a concerned citizen, I respect her opinion.”

Questions for Thorpe

Thorpe was asked why the matter of the moratorium couldn’t be placed on next Tuesday’s regular council meeting agenda and why today’s special meeting was being held at 5:00 p.m. when most Antioch residents can’t attend. He responded, “Because we were already having a meeting today so I added it to the agenda as discussed rather than having staff work on an urgency ordinance that may or may not have 4/5ths support.”

Special Council Meeting Rules for Public Comments

During special council meetings there is no opportunity for general Public Comments at the beginning or end of like during regular council meetings. However public comments can be made on agendized items.

The public has the opportunity to address the City Council on each agenda item. No one may speak more than once on an agenda item or during “Public Comments”.

Members of the public wishing to provide public comments, may do so in one of the following ways (#2 pertains to the Zoom Webinar Platform):

  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. VIRTUAL – To provide oral public comments during the meeting, please click the following link to register in advance to access the meeting via Zoom Webinar:
  • You will be asked to enter an email address and a name. Your email address will not be disclosed to the public. After registering, you will receive an email with instructions on how to connect to the meeting.
  • When the Mayor announces public comments, click the “raise hand” feature in Zoom. For instructions on using the “raise hand” feature in Zoom, visit: When calling into the meeting using the Zoom Webinar telephone number, press *9 on your telephone keypad to “raise your hand”. Please ensure your Zoom client is updated so staff can enable your microphone when it is your turn to speak.

Speakers will be notified shortly before they are called to speak. When you are called to speak, please limit your comments to the time allotted (350 words, up to 3 minutes, at the discretion of the Mayor).

The City cannot guarantee that its network and/or the site will be uninterrupted.

  1. WRITTEN PUBLIC COMMENT – If you wish to provide a written public comment, you may do so in one of the following ways by 3:00 p.m. the day of the City Council Meeting:

(1) Fill out an online speaker card, located at,


(2) Email the City Clerk’s Department at

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.

City Council meetings are televised live on Comcast channel 24, AT&T U-verse channel 99 or live stream at









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2023 Antioch Chamber Gala registration now open

Thursday, February 9th, 2023


Celebrating Antioch’s Citizens of the Year, Businesses of the Year, Non-Profit of the Year and Youth of the Year and installation of the 2023 Antioch Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

The Antioch Chamber of Commerce will host our annual awards Gala on Friday March 24, 2023 at 6:00 pm.

Tickets are $80 per person.

The Gala will take place at Lone Tree Golf and Event Center, 4800 Golf Course Road, Antioch.

Purchase your tickets here.

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