Archive for the ‘Finance’ Category

Antioch Council to vote on budgets, adding 17 positions but no more police, another cannabis business, tonight

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021

City of Antioch projected General Fund Expenditures FY 2021-22. Source: City of Antioch

General Fund revenue increases by $5.6 and $8.7 million per year

Creates new Community Resources Department

Adds 7 more Code Enforcement Officers

L Street to finally be widened to four lanes from W. 10th to W. 18th Streets

Will vote on appointing youth members to city commissions and boards

By Allen Payton

During the Antioch City Council’s regular meeting, tonight, June 22, 2021, votes will be taken on the two-year budget of $222.8 million for fiscal year 2021-22 and $179.2 million for FY 2022-23. The General Fund budget, which pays for the police department and other services, projects an increase of $5.6 million next year and $8.7 million the following year. It creates a new Community Resources Department and adds 17 more positions including seven Code Enforcement Officers, but does not include any additional funding for more sworn police officers.

In addition, the council will consider approving the city’s fifth cannabis business and appointing youth, ages 14-17, to city commissions and boards. (See complete agenda)

City of Antioch projected General Fund Revenue and Sources for FY 2021-22. Source: City of Antioch

According to the staff report on the General Fund, “Measure W…comprises over 20% of annual revenues and will generate a projected $38,000,000 over the next two years.” That’s a $1 million annual increase next year and a $2 million increase the following year over the current year’s General Fund revenue.

Antioch Five-Year Capital Improvement Program budget for Fiscal Years 2022-26. Source: City of Antioch

The council will also vote on the Five-Year Capital Improvement Program budget which includes $15 million for the widening of L Street to four lanes between W. 10th and W. 18th Street. In addition, the CIP will fund needed repairs at the Antioch Water Park, among its many projects throughout the city totaling $216.2 million. The largest expenditure is for the new Brackish Water Desalination Plant.

New Department, 17 New Positions

The budget includes formation of a new Community Resources Department to oversee existing services, including Animal Services (currently under the Police Department), Unhoused Resident Coordinator (currently under the City Manager), Youth Network Services (currently under Recreation), Code Enforcement, CDBG services and Environmental Services (all currently under Community Development).

The budget also includes “the addition of seventeen (17) new positions throughout the City to enhance City services including:

o One (1) Community Resources Director for the new department dedicated to Community Resources and Public Safety.

o One (1) Assistant City Attorney that will significantly enhance the department’s capacity.

o Seven (7) additional Code Enforcement Officers for a total of fourteen (14).

o One (1) Community Development Technician position to support the seven additional Code Enforcement Officers approved.

o One (1) additional General Laborer (for a total of 5) that will primarily address downtown needs.

o One (1) Recreation Coordinator to assist Youth Services Network Division.

o One (1) Administrative Analyst to assist the Environmental Services group.

o One (1) full-time Unhoused Resident Coordinator.

o One (1) Administrative Analyst to support CDBG and Housing activities.

o One (1) Fleet Service Technician to assist with vehicle fleet maintenance.

o One (1) Water Treatment Plant Instrument Technician to assist with the upcoming Brackish Water Desalination Plant.”

No Funding for Additional Police

However, there is no funding for additional police officers included in the budget. Although the city’s goal has been 1.2 officers per thousand population since the mid-1990’s, the proposed budget keeps the level at 1.0 officers per thousand, with 115 sworn officers and a population of 112,848 according to the city staff report.

According to the budget report, “The City Council continues to authorize one hundred fifteen (115) sworn Police Officers in FY 2022-23, as well as six ‘over-hire’ positions to address timing delays associated with attrition.”

According to Police Chief T Brooks the two new officers added to the department on Monday brings the current force to 116 sworn officers. (See related article).

The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. and can be viewed at https://www.antiochca.gov/live_stream, on Comcast Channel 24, or AT&T U-Verse Channel 99.

Annual General Fund budget comparison. Source: City of Antioch

Public Comments

If you wish to provide a written public comment, you may do so any of the following ways by 3:00 p.m. the day of the Council Meeting: (1) Fill out an online speaker card, located at https://www.antiochca.gov/speaker_card, or (2) Email the City Clerk’s Department at cityclerk@ci.antioch.ca.us.

To provide oral public comments during the meeting, click the following link to register in advance to access the meeting via Zoom Webinar: https://www.antiochca.gov/speakers. You may also provide an oral public comment by dialing (925) 776-3057. Please see inside cover for detailed Speaker Rules.

The City cannot guarantee that its network and/or the site will be uninterrupted. To ensure that the City Council receives your comments, you must submit your comments in writing by 3:00 p.m. the day of the City Council Meeting.

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

  1. Fill out an online speaker card by 3:00 p.m. the day of the Council Meeting located at: https://www.antiochca.gov/speaker_card.
  2. Provide oral public comments during the meeting by clicking the following link to register in advance

to access the meeting via Zoom Webinar: https://www.antiochca.gov/speakers

– 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: https://www.antiochca.gov/raise_hand. 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.

  1. Email comments to cityclerk@ci.antioch.ca.us by 3:00 p.m. the day of the Council Meeting. The comment will be read into the record at the meeting (350 words maximum, up to 3 minutes, at the discretion of the Mayor). IMPORTANT: Identify the agenda item in the subject line of your email if the comment is for Announcement of Community Events, Public Comment, or a specific Agenda Item number. No one may speak more than once on an agenda item or during “Public Comments”.

All emails received by 3:00 p.m. the day of the Council Meeting will be entered into the record for the meeting.

Speakers will be notified shortly before they are called to speak.

– When called to speak, please limit your comments to the time allotted (350 words, up to 3 minutes, at the discretion of the Mayor).

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Antioch councilwoman’s membership on Richmond task force recommending defunding police department by $6.3 million causes controversy

Monday, June 14th, 2021

RPSCTF Revised Proposed Reallocation of RPD funds as of June 9, 2021. Composite of task force meeting video screenshots.

Tamisha Torres-Walker serves on that city’s Re-imagining Public Safety Community Task Force along with one or two others from out-of-town; absent for first vote on recommendations, abstains on second without explanation

“Why the people of Antioch elected someone like that to represent them. Maybe she thinks she can get more done in Richmond than in Antioch.” – Richmond Mayor Tom Butt

By Allen Payton

The City of Richmond’s Re-imagining Public Safety Community Task Force is recommending reallocating $10 million from the police department’s budget and using it on other emergency response, prevention and homeless programs, instead.

Soto’s Facebook post on June 11, 2021.

In a Friday morning post on his Facebook page, KPFA radio personality and task force member, Andres Soto wrote, “The Re-imaging [sic] Public Safety Task Force of Richmond, California has come out with an analysis and proposal to reallocate more than $10.28 million from the Richmond Police Department and to invest those funds into a variety of emergency response and prevention programs.

This proposal has been met by fierce opposition from the Police Chief Bisa French, the Richmond Police Officers Association and conservative elements in Richmond, most notably groups of primarily older folks in the various Neighborhood Councils.

The Task Force has taken this input and revised some of the amounts as the Richmond City Council is set to adopt its annual budget. We will speak once again with Marisol Cantu, one of the leaders of the Re-imaging Public Safety Task Force about the process they have engaged in and the recent revisions to their recommendations.”

However, the latest recommendations, with Soto supported, is for reallocating $6.3 million from the police budget.

Tamisha Torres-Walker. Photo from her campaign Facebook page.

Antioch District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker also serves on the task force, having been appointed along with Soto and others, last October 6, prior to her election to the city council. According to the task force’s June 9th meeting, Torres-Walker participated as a member.

Staff Liaison Johann Fragd was asked why Richmond would allow a non-resident, who does not have a business or organization based in their city, to serve on one of their city’s task forces and if it’s appropriate, especially a council member from another city. She responded, “According to my records, Tamisha Walker remains an active member of the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force. According to the original direction of the Richmond City Council the Task Force will be ‘composed by members of the public, including community organizations, individuals who were impacted by law enforcement, and law enforcement.’ We have several members and persons from the Interdepartmental Team, who are not Richmond residents.”

Asked why she, as an Antioch resident and council member can or should serve on another city’s task force and if her non-profit organization, Safe Return Project, is based there, since the location is not provided on either their website or Facebook page. Torres-Walker was also asked if her participation on another city’s task force is taking time and attention away from representing District 1 in Antioch which she was elected to serve. She was absent for the task force’s May 12th meeting, when they approved the recommendations to reallocate $10.2 million from the Richmond Police Department to other services and programs. She was asked if she supported those recommendations.

Finally, during the June 9th meeting, Torres-Walker attempted to get the motion to approve the recommendation to reduce the police department cuts to $6.3 million, “to go line item by line item for each vote,” but didn’t and said, “we can go forward with the vote.”

She then abstained on the vote that approved the recommendations on a slim majority of 11 votes out of the 21 members on the task force. Torres-Walker was asked why she voted that way and if it was because she supported  some of the recommendations but not all of them.

The councilwoman did not respond prior to publication time.

Residency Challenged, Defended

Task force member Don Gosney, who claims to be “a truly hated and despised member for actually thinking that we need public safety officers” shared his concerns with the residency of Walker and Soto, and two others.

“Along with Ms. Walker and Mr. Soto, I see from my voter registration spreadsheet from August of 2020 that Luis Chacon is registered to vote in San Pablo,” Gosney wrote. “We also have Eddy Chacon on the task force (I believe he may be Luis’ brother…) and I cannot find him registered to vote in West County.  Voter registration is not an entirely reliable tool to use to determine residency but it’s a starting point.”

“When Councilmember Nat Bates tried to ascertain the residency of the task force members, the pushback was fierce,” Gosney continued. “By the way, almost immediately after we were appointed, the City Clerk sent us all the 80-page handbook on committees and board.  On Page 13 it reads:”

During the June 9th meeting, task force member  Randy Joseph complained about Torres-Walker and Soto being “attacked by the mayor” and others for not being a Richmond resident.

Member Randy Joseph (bottom left) speaks about Torres-Walker and Soto during the June 9, 2021. task force meeting. Video screenshot

“I wanted to bring up something that’s been bothering me over this last month that was going on in the City of Richmond, with people coming and attacking people on this task force for not living in Richmond and being part of Richmond,” he said. “I think that’s disgusting, especially with all the work and all the things that Tamisha Walker and Andrés Soto has put into this city and done for the city.”

“To be attacked by not only the mayor, but other community members that do not know half of the work that these two have done in the history of Richmond, is disgusting and it’s just flat out irritating,” Joseph continued. “It shows the divisive nature that people have made this up to be, to make this trite and just to generalize this process, to make this process illegitimate, to attack two people who have been Richmond community members and done so much for Richmond for so long.”

Member Marcus Njissang added echoed Joseph’s comments saying, “I just want to second what Randy just said. I don’t know what was said about Andrés but… What was said about Mrs. Walker…it made me kind of sick actually, some of the comments that were made by the mayor. Just dragging her through the mud. As a fellow task force member, I feel the same way. I thought it was despicable. That’s just my opinion. I thought that it was disgusting, and I just wanted to second what Randy was saying.”

“This is not the first time I’ve been attacked for this and other things,” said Soto. “When you stand up for the people, they always try to tear you down. But I don’t let that deter me.”

“Perhaps, not at this meeting, but if we ever want to consider a resolution condemning those kind of remarks, that’s something perhaps we can look at,” he continued. “But we have more work ahead of us right now that’s more important to worry about small little people like that.”

Task Force Recommendations

During the April 14th meeting, an overview of the Smart Budget & Resource Allocations “subgroup’s recommendation was provided by subgroup member A. Soto on a Richmond Police Department budget analysis and reallocation proposal. There is a recommendation to have a proposed amount of RPD funds roughly estimated at $10.2 million to be reallocated to other programs such as ONS, RichmondWORKS Summer Youth Program, SOS Street Teams, SOS Shower Power, and the SOS Transitional Village.”

According to their website, SOS! Richmond, which stands for Safe Organized Spaces,  “improves encampment and neighborhood living conditions through ​direct service, ​engagement, advocacy, and collaborations.”

During the task force’s May 12th meeting, (see minutes) for which Torres-Walker, Soto and other members were absent, they voted to approve the following recommendations: reallocate $2.5 million to the Office of Neighborhood Services which pays gang members $1,000 a month to not commit violent crimes in Richmond;  $1,930,150 for the Youth Works Proposal; $1,190,907 million on SOS Street Teams; $627,774 on the SOS Shower Power program; $1,585,658 on the SOS Transitional Village; and $2,455,600 on the Community Crisis Response Program for a total of $10,280,089 in reallocations from the police department budget.

Original proposed reallocation of RPD funds from the task force’s May 12, 2021 meeting.

The Richmond PD’s annual budget is currently $67.2 million. A $10.2 million cut would be over 15% and result in a reduction of 32 officers, according to the Richmond Police Officers Association (RPOA).

Richmond Police Officers Respond

In a May 16th post on the RPOA Facebook page, it reads, “The Richmond City Council is proposing a cut to the Richmond Police Department’s budget, which would mean 32 less officers out protecting our community. We’ve seen what defunding the police would mean for the city – our police department is already understaffed, and crime has increased in cities like Vallejo and Oakland after similar cuts were made to their police forces. Richmond deserves better.

Please visit www.SaferRichmond.com to ask the City Councilmembers to keep us safe. Be sure to share this with your friends, family and neighbors to sign, too.”

On that website, it reads:

Tell the City Council to Vote No on Cutting the Richmond Police

The Richmond City Council is proposing a cut to the Richmond Police Department’s budget, which would mean 32 less officers out protecting our community. We’ve seen what defunding the police would mean for the city— our police department is already understaffed, and crime has increased in cities like Vallejo and Oakland after similar cuts were made to their police forces.

Richmond deserves better.

We understand the need for reform to provide the best levels and types of services to every Richmond resident. We also support additional funding for community services and intervention programs, but we have serious concerns about the current proposal to cut funding from the police department without a clear plan on how the city will make sure our friends, family and neighbors are not placed at increased risk.

We don’t need to defund our police. We need REAL reform with REAL solutions that protect the health and safety of us all.

The Richmond community and its police are working together to make Richmond safer. We need to come together now to keep it safe. Cutting 32 police officers makes no sense. There are other options to fund new services and keep our community police officers. The City Council needs to explore these options. The City Council must vote against defunding our Police Department’s budget until a more thorough plan has been proposed to make Richmond safer for everyone.

Please use this form to ask the City Councilmembers to keep us safe. Be sure to share this with your friends, family and neighbors to sign, too.

It offers a letter for residents to add their name and information which they can email through the website or print and mail it to the mayor and council members.

Subgroups Develop Recommendations in Secret

Gosney says he was not allowed to participate in any of the subgroups. “They wanted everyone to participate in two subgroups.” Everyone else was allowed to participate, “as far as I know.”

Asked why, he said, “anybody who disagrees with their positions is bullied into silence.”

“Half of the task force I think hates me,” Gosney shared. “The other half stay silent because they’re bullied into silence.”

“They were ad hoc subgroups, so they did not have to follow the Brown Act, did not have to give public notice and not have to take any public comment,” he explained. “The first time their recommendations were presented was at the task force meeting and the public had no opportunity to know what the recommendations were before the meeting.”

“The recommendations from one of the subgroups was rejected. They didn’t explain why,” Gosney shared. “That included training police on de-escalation techniques.”

Latest Recommendations Reduce Cuts to $6.3 million

“We’ve had multiple votes and made recommendations on a piecemeal basis,” Gosney explained. “In fact, they just took another vote the other night to reduce the recommended cuts down to about $6.3 million.”

Revised Proposed Reallocation sources from June 9, 2021 task force meeting.

That occurred at the task force’s June 9th meeting. Minutes of that meeting are not yet, available as of publication time. Torres-Walker

“Our new, revised proposed allocation of monies has been reduced by almost $4 million. There would be no layoffs and no additional hiring” by the Richmond Police Department, said task force member Deborah Small. She explained that the recommendations are “to better reflect our values and priorities as a city…so that the fire department and police department don’t consume as much of the resources as they do.”

Member Marisol Cantu mentioned, “using American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds” and Soto clarified that “it’s a motion to amend the reallocation recommendation.”

Video screenshot from June 9, 2021 task force meeting recommendation from one subcommittee.

The motion was adopted on a 11-2-4-3-1 with four members abstaining, three members absent and one not voting.

Mayor Butt Explains Residency Issue, Opposes Recommendations

Asked for his thoughts on non-residents serving on his city’s task force, Mayor Tom Butt said, “The way this went down was the city council established this task force. By our charter, the mayor has the authority to make the appointments to all boards and commissions. I proposed that each of the six council members and I get three appointments. They made their recommendations and I appointed them. That’s where the 21-person task force came from. Turns out two of them were from out of town.”

Soto lives in Benicia, the mayor shared.

Regarding the task force’s recommendations Butt said, “I’m dead set against it. This whole thing has been a huge mistake. I think the vast majority of Richmond residents do not want to reduce the police force and don’t want to defund the police. But right now, the council is made up of a majority of radical progressives. It started most recently with the George Floyd’s death.”

“Nationwide it’s kind of rebounded. There were a lot of cities that went in this direction but they’ve kind of pulled back,” he continued.

“We have a police review commission and they recently voted 5-1 opposing defunding the police. And the people on that police commission are pretty progressive, yet they voted against it,” Butt stated. “There have been some social media polls run on it and it’s about 70% against and 30% for. But this is what they were elected to do and they’re probably going to do it.”

Next Door survey on task force’s proposed cuts to Richmond Police Department budget.

“As far as Tamisha goes, what they jumped on me about, I brought up the fact that there are two out-of-towners on the task force and questioned why that doesn’t make a lot of sense,” he said. “Both Tamisha and Andres have a bone to pick with police. They’ve both have had run-ins with police with Tamisha even sharing, I think on her website, that she was arrested 22 times and did time for arson.”

“They pointed out that her vast experience with law enforcement make her imminently qualified to serve on the task force and she worked in Richmond in the past,” Butt shared. “They have a re-entry facility in Richmond, and she has experience working with that. I’m not saying I agree just that’s what they said as the reason.”

“Why the people of Antioch elected someone like that to represent them,” he continued. “Maybe she thinks she can get more done in Richmond than in Antioch.”

In an online discussion, entitled “E-FORUM: City Manager Recommends Defunding Police” Butt wrote, “The biggest mistake I made, in a moment of excessive collegiality, was to agree to let each City Council member choose three members of the Reimagine Public Safety Task Force. The Richmond Charter vests the mayor with the sole power to make appointments to boards and commissions, subject to Coty Council approval. I should have paid more attention to who my colleagues were appointing.

I had hoped my colleagues would select people who represent all Richmond residents for an objective and balanced task force, but instead we got an organization dominated by anti-police radicals, including two who don’t even live in Richmond. Apparently, City Council members could not find task force members radical enough in Richmond, so they looked elsewhere. Task Force members Andres Soto and Tamisha Walker live in Benicia and Antioch, respectively, and both continue to nurse grudges against police that stem from incidents decades ago.

Soto had an unfortunate run-in with Richmond police way back in the last millennium when Isiah Turner was city manager and Joseph Samuels was police chief. that incident still defines his world view of law enforcement. Since then, the RPD world changed dramatically with Chief Chris Magnus, community policing and a precipitous drop in homicides, but Soto has never forgotten his alleged mistreatment by police, all of whom are now long gone.

Tamisha Walker lives in Antioch where she serves on the City Council, and works in Pittsburg. In her campaign pitch, Walker stated that she “… lives in District 1 and wants to make Antioch a home for her family for generations to come.” (https://www.tamishaforantioch.com/). Walker continues to nurse a grudge that dates back over a decade when, by her own account, she was arrested 22 times and jailed for committing arson. More recently, she had another run-in with Antioch police, shown in a “tearful, profanity-laced video shortly after police stopped her 23-year-old and 13-year-old sons on Dec. 29 for riding off-road vehicles on city streets. She accused the officers of overreacting and trying to run over her 13-year-old son and later handcuffing him after her older son escaped.” (https://youtu.be/pph35cdcPFI)”

Council Discussion June 15th

The Richmond City Council will make their decision on the task force’s recommendations as part of their budget hearings during the June 15th meeting. The city manager is recommending cutting $2.3 million from the police budget.

According to the mayor, the Agenda Report for item H-1 on the June 15, City Council meeting provides the City Council six options for addressing the recommendations of the Reimagine Public Safety Task Force, all but one of which, Option F, defunds police by amounts ranging from $2.3 million to $10.28 million.

Option F is the best choice, but with funding coming from ARPA instead of $1.7M from “the elimination of the budgeted use for facilities improvements and $1.6M from budgeted expenditures for vehicles.”

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Frazier bill to eliminate Los Medanos Healthcare District passes Assembly on 70-0 vote

Friday, May 14th, 2021

Source: Office of Assemblymember Jim Frazier

Would transfer tax revenue to county, eliminate Antioch Mayor Thorpe’s executive director job

On Monday, May 10, 2021, Assemblymember Jim Frazier’s (D-Fairfield) bill, AB 903, to dissolve the Los Medanos Community Healthcare District, unanimously passed the Assembly floor on a 70-0 vote. The district serves Pittsburg and Bay Point.

AB 903 will require Contra Costa County to be the successor of all rights and responsibilities of the district. AB 903 will also require the county to complete a property tax transfer process to ensure the transfer of the district’s health-related ad valorem property tax revenues to the county in order to operate the Los Medanos Area Health Plan Grant Program.

The Los Medanos Hospital closed in 1994 but the district, covering Pittsburg and Bay Point, has continued to exist, collecting property taxes and using the funds to pay for staff and provide grants to local organizations, direct service programs including a community garden and district sponsored programs including REading ADvantage for early literacy. The district’s 2020-21 Fiscal Year budget projected $1.13 million in tax revenue and $1.3 million in expenses.

“This bill effectively creates hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for badly needed healthcare services in the region. A lot of this funding comes from the savings on LMCHD’s extremely high administrative expenses, which topped 60% in some years,” said Frazier.

The Contra Costa Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) has approved of the dissolution of the existing healthcare district, and Contra Costa County already serves the communities within district boundaries.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed critical shortfalls in healthcare and health services funding across the state. Communities of color have been especially impacted by the emergency,” said Frazier. “Now more than ever, we have seen the life-changing impacts of devoting every possible dollar to serving those we represent. AB 903 effectively creates hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for badly needed healthcare services in the region.”

“Comparable programs in the county average at about 15% admin cost, and rather than lose over half the funding to wasteful administrative expenses, AB 903 dedicates those dollars to the community,” Frazier added.

Part of the administrative expenses includes Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe’s executive director position which included an annual salary of $96,000 when he was hired in 2019, plus merit-based salary increases, according to the minutes of the Dec. 16, 2019 LMCHD Board meeting. He is also provided one hour of paid personal leave time for every 30 hours worked. When reached, previously about having his position eliminated if the bill is signed into law, Thorpe said he could find another job.

Previously, LMCHD Board President Patt Young challenged Frazier and his legislation, claiming he doesn’t represent but a portion of the healthcare district and that he is “taking political orders from your top political advisor in an effort to turn our district into a political slush fund for one of your top allies on the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.” (See related article)

However, Assemblymember Tim Grayson, whose district includes most of the healthcare district, is the Principal couthor of the bill.

The bill requires passage by the State Senate and signing by the governor before it becomes law.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Contra Costa Supervisors approve $4.06 billion 2021-22 budget thanks to federal funds

Friday, May 14th, 2021

Source: CCC Administrator

Balance budget based on keeping 879 positions unfilled

By Daniel Borsuk

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 on Tuesday to approve a $4.06 billion 2021-22 budget that increases staffing especially for public health, the sheriff-coroner and district attorney. It’s an increase of $80 million from the 2020-21 fiscal year budget of $3.98 billion.

During the 2021-22 fiscal year, county officials expect to spend $1.78 billion in local general funds and yet to be determined amount of Measure X sales tax funds that voters approved last November.

Supervisors learned President Biden’s American Rescue Plan will bring to Contra Costa County’s coffers $233 million over the next 24 months of which the first $116.5 million installment will be delivered later this month.

In addition, County Administrator Monica Nino said by keeping 879 positions unfilled the action will save the county $115 million and allows the county to achieve a balanced budget.  Nino cut one position from her staff, a person who was assigned to census outreach and activities, a position that is no longer needed since the census has been completed.

Among other staffing reductions or additions, three vacant positions in the Assessor’s Office will be eliminated, but the District Attorney’s Office will pick up one new position, a District Attorney Senior Inspector for Real Estate Fraud and Prosecution.

Twenty-five unfilled Employment and Human Services positions will be eliminated in Child Welfare and Community Services, but the Sheriff-Coroner can hire 10 deputies to be assigned to acute psychiatric and mental health in detention services.

Next fiscal year, 39 new mental health workers will be hired in Health Service’s to beef up the Mental Health Community Support Unit to enhance conservatorship and guardianship issues.

Source: CCC Administrator

Public Comments, Complaints

Supervisors once again got an earful of complaints from citizens that supervisors still plan to fund Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston’s request to hire 10 deputies to be assigned to mental wards at the Martinez jail and Richmond detention center.

Speakers, including the mother of Miles Hall, who was killed by a police officer in Walnut Creek, requested supervisors not approve Sheriff-Coroner Livingston’s staffing request but to consider donating the funds to the non-profit Miles Hall Foundation.

Dan Geiger of the Budget Coalition objected to the request from the Sheriff-Coroner to hire 10 deputies because Sheriff-Coroner Livingston will have hired 24 new deputies over a two-year span.  “If the Sheriff needs 10 more sheriff deputies, he needs to find the money elsewhere in the budget,” Geiger said.

District 1 Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond responded to the sheriff-coroner’s critics by saying the county is bond by the Prison Law Office settlement to spend $250 million over 5 years to improve jail conditions for prisoners requiring mental health services.

“The reason why 10 deputies are being hired is due to the settlement to improve jail conditions and to comply with the Prison Law Office settlement,” Gioia said.

During the upcoming 2021-2022 fiscal year, Supervisor Gioia requested county officials provide reports on the potential closures of the Marsh Creek Detention Facility that houses 28 inmates and is staffed with 15 sworn and five non-sworn Sheriff’s Office employees, and on the future of juvenile hall.

Countywide Curb Ramp Project Contract Awarded to Second Lowest Bidder

Instead of approving the lowest bid, supervisors approved the second lowest bid of $1,172,074 from Sposeto Engineering Inc. when the lowest bidder, Burch Engineering & Construction, Inc. had given timely written notice to the county of a “mistake made in the filing of Burch’s bid and that it be relieved of the bid.”

Supervisors unanimously approved the Sposeto Engineering bid for the countywide curb ramp project. Burch Engineering & Construction Inc. had submitted a bid of $875,954 for the curb ramp project before alerting the county about an error in its bid.

Three other bids that were submitted for the project were Kerox Engineering Inc., $1,390,408; J.J.R. Construction Inc., $1,398,702; and FBD Vanguard Construction, Inc., $1,406,522.

Pay Respects to County Counsel Anderson and former Public Works Director Shiu

Supervisors paused to pay respects to two county employees, county counsel Sharon Anderson, who passed away on April 28 and former county Public Works Department Director Maurice Shiu, 74, who passed away recently from Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer.

Shiu, who was born in Guangzhog, China on Dec. 6, 1946, but moved with his parents to Hong Kong where upon graduation from high school  moved to the United States to attend the University of California at Berkeley where he received Bachelor’s of Science and Masters of Science degrees in Civil Engineering. He met his wife Esther at UC Berkley.

During his distinguished career at Public Works, Shiu’s major accomplishments included the Willow Pass Grade Project and the State Route 4 Bypass Project. He was president of the Contra Costa County Engineers Association.

Shiu retired in 2008.  He is survived by his wife Ester, two children – Perkin and Vanessa and his four grandchildren – Jaden, Justin, Noelle and Gabriella.

“It’s a loss to our county and our department,” said current Public Works Department Director Brian Balbas. “Maurice was very tactful and active in transportation.  He was very good at preparing me for the challenges that I face as Public Works Director.”

“He worked on the Highway 4 widening,” said District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover. “He was so brilliant on that project.  He was very helpful with me and he had a great sense of humor.”

For the past 37 years Sharon Anderson, a resident of Benicia and a graduate from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law, has been known as a dedicated and hardworking lawyer for the county. She died on April 30. The cause of death was not released.

“She was such a wonderful person,” said District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff.

Upon recognizing Anderson’s leadership and mentoring skills District 5 Supervisor Glover said the county is in great shape legally and with its successor, most likely Assistant County Counsel Mary Ann Mason.

“Sharon was so well-grounded. What I loved about Sharon was that she did not take herself so seriously,” said District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen of Danville.  “I am grateful we have Mary Ann Mason.”

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

DeSaulnier to host Congressional Grants Workshop Friday, May 14

Tuesday, May 11th, 2021

Join me as I host a Congressional Grants Workshop on Friday, May 14th from 12:30 p.m to 2:30 p.m. I have invited federal representatives from the below agencies to attend and share their expertise:

  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • Small Business Administration
  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services

Don’t miss this opportunity to find out what grants may be available to you from these federal agencies. I want to offer constituents who represent nonprofits, small businesses, and local community organizations a window into the content and availability of federal grants. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions concerning grants and find out what services and funding resources may be available to them.

To RSVP, email Grants Coordinator Taylor Kimber at taylor.kimber@mail.house.gov or call (510) 620-1000.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Antioch School Board approves contracts with 3% raise for teachers, district management

Thursday, April 29th, 2021

Mirrors raise for classified staff approved previously, approves call for bids on modernization projects at four older schools

By Allen Payton

During their meeting on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, the Antioch School Board voted 5-0 to approve a 3% pay raise for both teachers and district management staff. That matched the raise the board gave to the classified staff during their special meeting on April 7. The board also approved a call for bids for more school improvements using the remaining funds from Measure C’s bonds.

In addition, the district received the Annual Performance Review for Rocketship Delta Prep charter school. That showed an average growth for all students of 1.24 years in math and 1.03 years in English language arts.  Rocketship Delta Prep – Annual Performance Review – 2020-21

According to the district staff reports, the Board of Education and the District Administration have been engaged in contract negotiations with the California School Employees Association (CSEA), for 2020-2021. The parties reached a tentative agreement on all outstanding matters on or about March 12, 2021. Since then, CSEA ratified the tentative agreement. The new, agreed-upon language changes and provisions were presented to the board for final approval. CSEA Agreement

The Antioch Management Association (AMA) is comprised of certificated and classified management, supervisory, and confidential employees in the District. Because it is not an exclusive bargaining representative like the Antioch Education Association and the California School Employees Association, all matters regarding compensation, work year and hours, and other terms and conditions of employment for these employees are determined exclusively by the Superintendent and the Board of Education.  AMA Agreement

The District recently completed negotiations with the Antioch Education Association for the 2020-2021 school year. The terms which were agreed upon between the parties included increases in compensation and increases in the District’s monthly contribution to employee health and welfare benefits. Staff requests that the Board of Education approve equitable increases for employees in the AMA on the Certificated and Classified Management Salary Schedule with the same effective date.

That board voted that:

1) All salary schedules and associated stipends listed on those schedules be increased by 3.00% effective July 1, 2020.

2) The District’s annual contribution to health and welfare benefits be increased to the following levels effective January 1, 2021.  Employee Only: $12,096   Employee Plus 1: $17,520   Family:  $21,300

School Projects Call for Bids

The board voted 4-0, with Trustee Gary Hack unavailable during the vote, to call for bids for modernization projects at four school sites as per the Measure C – Series E Board of Education Approved Project List.

At the Board of Education Meeting held on June 24, 2020, staff submitted a list of projects to be undertaken following the sale of the Measure C bond issuance of $10,750,000 on May 12, 2020. Staff reviewed the Antioch Unified School Facilities Improvement District #1 Project List to determine project priorities and recommended the list in prioritized order. The Board approved Project List is as follows with the total estimated cost:

Antioch Middle School – HVAC to the 100, 200, and 400 wings – $1,087.210

Park Middle School – HVAC – $621,533

Muir Elementary School –Roofing – $2,803,822

Kimball Elementary School – Roofing – $2,750,492

The project list approved at the meeting on June 24, 2020, also included the Modernization of Wings 300, 500, and 900 at Antioch High School. The District bid for that project separately which was approved at the Board of Education Meeting held on August 26, 2020. That project is now underway.

Each project listed above will be bid separately and staff will request the Board to approve and award the lowest responsive and most responsible bidder for each project.

“The bids may come in higher, especially for the roofing costs, due to the increase in lumber costs,” said consultant Chris Learned.

In response to a question from Trustee Mary Rocha, he said, “You have to take the lowest, responsible bidder. There is a little leeway, but it’s hard to reject a bid.”

 

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Contra Costa Supervisors presented $4.06 billion 2021-2022 budget

Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

Source: CCC Administrator

Speakers want Sheriff’s requested $7.5 million for inmate mental health services to go to Walnut Creek’s Miles Hall Foundation

By Daniel Borsuk

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors will probably act on a proposed $4.06 billion 2021-2022 budget at a May 4 meeting and will listen to another barrage of critics of Sheriff-Coroner David O. Livingston’s proposal that a portion of $54 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) funds be diverted to an outside nonprofit mental health organization.

Contra Costa County’s proposed 2021-2022 budget surpasses the current fiscal year budget of $3.98 billion and includes $7.5 million designated for the staffing of additional sheriff deputies assigned to protect inmates requiring mental health services.

A contingent of speakers opposing Sheriff-Coroner Livingston’s request for the additional funds for inmate mental health services, argued instead for all or a portion of the $7.5 million be awarded to the Walnut Creek-based Miles Hall Foundation.  The newly established Miles Hall Foundation is named after the Las Lomas High School graduate who was slain by a Walnut Creek police officer in June 2019 while Hall was undergoing a mental health episode.

Lois Thomas of Lafayette was one of the speakers supporting the detouring some or all the $54.2 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funding designated to the Sheriff-Coroner to the non-profit Miles Hall Foundation. “Keep deputies out of mental health, “Thomas demanded.

Sheriff Livingston said the additional funding to hire 10 new deputy sheriffs arises at a time the county has a new contract with the Prison Law Office to provide improved acute mental health care while behind bars.

Even though the jails have an average daily population of 785 inmates, Sheriff Livingston said, “We have had a 43 percent decrease of inmates in our jail (about 14,000 inmates) due to COVID-19.”

County Administrator Nino prepared a chart that showed the Coroner-Sheriff’s Office, and the Contra Costa County Health Services are in line to receive over half of the county-produced general-purpose funds with health services picking up 30.5 percent of the general-purpose revenue at $162.5 million while the Coroner-Sheriff collects 19.8 percent, or $104.7 million.

Source: CCC Administrator

Supervisors were told funds from the November voter approved Measure X sales tax increase will not begin to arrive until next fall. The county has yet to hire tax auditors.  “Measure X funding is not anticipated to be received until October 2021 for the first quarter of collections starting April 2021,” Nino wrote in her budget statement.  “The amount of Measure X included in the recommended budget totals $600,000 for the new Department of Racial Equity and Social Justice and $65,000 for the sales tax auditors.”

Expenses the county will need to round up funding for the upcoming 2021-2022 fiscal year is $600,000 for the operation of the Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice, $300,000 for redistricting and $15.3 million for a new finance computer system.

With ongoing efforts to vaccinate every age-eligible county resident with the COVID-19 vaccine, Contra Costa County Health Department Director Anna Roth said one of the biggest hurdles next fiscal year will be the county’s negotiations with the California Nurses Association.  The CNA represents 812 county nurses, and the contract is set to expire on Sept. 30.

The health services are the county’s most expensive department to operate with general purpose funds at $162.5 million or 30.5 percent of overall general fund disbursements.

As for the five elected board of supervisors, the proposed budget designates $7.7 million or 1.4 percent of overall general-purpose funds to cover the salaries and expenses of themselves and support staff.

Board vice chair Federal Glover of Pittsburg said during the budget presentations one item that was missing was further analysis on the potential reuse of the Marsh Creek Detention Facility and “more discussion on the future of the Orin Allen Rehabilitation Center near Discovery Bay and juvenile hall in Martinez.”

Glover’s supervisorial colleagues and County Administrator Nino acknowledged the supervisor’s request that there will be discussion about the fate of the detention facility and juvenile hall.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Keller Canyon Mitigation Fund 2021-22 grant cycle opens

Saturday, April 17th, 2021

Amounts from $500 to $10,000 available in Bay Point, Pittsburg and Antioch

The Office of Supervisor Federal Glover is pleased to announce that the 2021–22 grant cycle for the Keller Canyon Mitigation Fund is now open. Grant applications ranging from $500 to $10,000 will be accepted via the online application portal beginning April 29, 2021 at 8:00 AM. Applications for services must fall within one of the broad categories previously approved by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors:

  • Code Enforcement
  • Community Beautification
  • Community Services
  • Public Safety (Including Public Health)
  • Youth Services

Additionally, services funded by the Keller Canyon Mitigation Fund must be offered in the mitigation area, which includes the unincorporated community of Bay Point, the City of Pittsburg, and the City of Antioch. The target area is divided into a primary area (Bay Point and Pittsburg from its western border to Harbor Street) and a secondary area (Pittsburg from Harbor Street east to the entire City of Antioch). Services may also be provided to organizations outside the mitigation area only when the beneficiaries reside within the mitigation area.

In order to apply for Keller Canyon Mitigation grant funds, organizations must be designated either a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) corporation under the Internal Revenue Code.

MANDATORY BIDDER’S CONFERENCE—THURSDAY, APRIL 29, 2021

To be eligible to apply for Keller Canyon Mitigation funds, nonprofit organizations must have at least one representative attend and remain for its duration a mandatory virtual bidder’s conference on Thursday, April 29 at 9:00 AM. The bidder’s conference is expected to last for approximately 90–120 minutes and will include detailed presentations on the grant process as well as allow for questions and answers. So we may keep a record of attendees, registration for the bidder’s conference is required.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE MANDATORY BIDDER’S CONFERENCE

Should you have any questions, please call the District 5 office at 925-608-4200 or send an email to district5@bos.cccounty.us.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter