Archive for the ‘Letters to the Editor’ Category

Former Antioch councilman labels Wilson, Torres-Walker “Thorpettes” endorses Rocha, Gibson-Gray, Ogorchock

Monday, October 3rd, 2022

Editor:

Please think about for whom you will vote in the upcoming local Antioch elections. Your votes should not just be to help place someone in elected public office. Those whom we choose should serve the public at large, honestly and with integrity. Your vote is precious and worth more than just a pat on the back, only to be forgotten and ignored thereafter.

I have been a resident here in East County for 70 years now, the past 47 plus years residing in Antioch. I have been involved in voting and its related political matters since I was 18 years old. I consider my participation in my community to be very important and with the hope that our elected leaders serve all the public equally and without favoring mostly the special interests over all of us.

I really care about what happens in our community and want our elected leaders to at least have half a brain and not be taken in by those who put aside the public for their own interests and gains. I want independent thinkers and doers elected, not some robots manipulated by evil doers.

In the governing of the City of Antioch, of late, we have been promised much by sweet-talking and smiling individuals who were elected to represent us. Some of their decision making has had some acceptable results, but there have been a number of their decisions that have placed our community into a downwards spiral with a number of consequences yet to be fully exacted upon us.

For well over ten years our public safety has been compromised to the extent that many in our city no longer are safe. Instead of spending our budget monies to at least continue and provide for the past, safer Antioch we have had our available public monies budgeted and spent on things that negatively impact our quality of life here. We are ignored when we demand more sworn police manpower and resources, which were promised but not even maintained. Instead, some of our elected officials seem to enjoy making our city less safe, take away from our business community with nonsense, and we are exposed repeatedly with irrational decision making by our city council majority.

When Lamar Thorpe initially ran for a city council seat myself and many others voted for him, giving him the opportunity to represent us as he had campaign-promised. Lo and behold he has gone on a downward spiral since then and even gotten worse once elected as the city’s mayor. Then it became clear that the elected Monica Wilson, too joined him in her votes many a time and has progressed to the point that what Lamar Thorpe wants and votes for she is there voting with him without question.

Then Tamisha Walker was shortly thereafter elected to the city council and she too seems to have similarly gone along with the other two in most of her positions and votes. The other two elected council members therefore have been relegated to fighting against the three’s lock-step voting patterns and for the most part rendered by the three others just figureheads.

The mayor, Lamar Thorpe, Monica Wilson and Tamisha Walker, it appears, have an undisclosed questionable agenda that may even be personal in nature. This lock-step alliance cannot continue. Antioch has been made the laughingstock and butt of many jokes by so many within and outside of Antioch. Lamar and his backup singers, the two ‘Thorpettes’ (Monica Wilson and Tamisha Walker) do not at times, in special interests matters especially, even abide by certain of the city’s long-established ordinances and meaningful ways, to the public’s detriment. This they have most recently again done, without explanation. It seems that whatever Thorpe sings his two ‘Thorpettes’ follow.

Friends and supporters, in this current election cycle, please vote for Mary Rocha for the Antioch School Board, Diane Gibson-Gray for Antioch City Council representing District #1, and Lori Ogorchock for Antioch City Council representing District #4. Sure, there are other candidates running but it is my opinion and recommendation to you as to whom to choose that would serve you better than the others.

Ralph A. Hernandez

Former Antioch City Council Member

Antioch

 

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

Former Antioch resident and mayoral candidate offers council election observations

Thursday, September 29th, 2022

Editor:

There is a social media page called “You know you’re from Antioch” on Facebook….great postings that speak about the wonders of a small community that almost reads like a Norman Rockwell story.

I moved to Antioch in 2008 engulfing myself into the local activities to help my community to be better, safer and be the ideal city to raise a family. If it was voicing my thoughts at City Council, Police Commission or School Board meetings, I tried to bring me and my neighbors’ voices to the table. Always acknowledged by elected or appointed leadership, the actions that was to follow was from far too few. I was fortunate to live in a neighborhood where everyone knew each other, and we were more than neighbors; we were family.

Over the years, the political forum became clearer and the levels of back door dealings more transparent. Things moved and people stood silent as it appears this was the norm. As we entered into 2016, the silo’s that existed in silence in Antioch grew even larger and more visible. It was the change that many cities were facing, but never one would think it would be as large as it was in Antioch. The generation and culture change that occurred was beyond what the city could manage. The implementation of programs yielded minimum to no results. The actions of leaders were far from being implemented, vision was clouded, and words had no substance. This became more evident as we entered the COVID era and government had to continue, but it seemed that city leaders were more divided than ever. Past political actions came to the forefront and voters led the way on who they wanted to have govern them. It was a change that now created more separatism on many scales.

Many look at the “Now” and do not realize that those elected must undo the actions of previous administrations. The discoveries or like they say, hidden skeletons, came forward and one needs to realize that they need to own or manage it if change cannot happen. Most importantly, have professional courtesy and acknowledge each other as tensions were high. It is fine to agree to disagree but do so with respect and consideration. But we are not seeing this as special interests and idealism have taken charge.

The voters of Antioch have the ability to bring a change this November. The Antioch of the old has perished and the new Antioch is having true growing pains. The key question is, who can bring your voice to the table and help Antioch to be the city of opportunity?

The community literally has the ability to vote out candidates who have been in office that really have not been able to reach across the aisle to bridge their differences. They allow and encourage the separatism of the community to exist. You need to ask those who have been in office – “What have you done to better Antioch?”

Those that are trying to be reelected will speak more about the division rather than responding to the question. If you look at existing candidates’ endeavors, you will find that many were not completed or never got off the ground. Basically, all talk and no action. And sadly, the backdoor deals continue to present themselves as one candidate posted signs that they had APOA support prior to the official APOA announcement or candidates you never see in your neighborhood, now appear and provide excuses on why they need your vote.

New candidates bring a fresh and eager way and maybe, just maybe, they can work with their peers in order to have the new Antioch be on the pathway of a community that you want to have. When looking at the candidates, I see very familiar faces as well as a new one. The realization is that many of these candidates all speak to the issues that concern many (e.g., crime, schools, safety and blight). But ask yourself, “Who has the experience – the hands-on experience?”

Review the candidates and don’t pick someone because they are your friend, or someone told you to. Examine who they are and if they have the experience necessary to really make a change.  Being on a committee or member of local community groups do not outweigh having hands-on experience. You wouldn’t take your car to be fixed by a person who sells homes or provides therapy, would you?

As a former resident of Antioch until a couple months ago, I cannot provide an opinion on who would best represent you. But I hope this read brings some thoughts into mind that your vote in this election will shift the momentum of the city and bring it forward; or take it backwards. Remember, think what is important for you and don’t allow special interests, family, friends or outside support groups decide for you. This is not about being a Democrat, Republican, liberal, Green, etc.… this is about aligning your vote to the candidate that best represents the values you have and what you want for your family or community. What is most important, is they have the experience necessary to make it so.

In heart,

Gil Murillo

Former Antioch resident of Council District 4 and 2016 candidate for 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

Writer asks why a council member can postpone a community forum with Antioch Police

Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

Dear Editor:

The community forum’s post says the purpose of the meeting is to have a conversation with the chief and officers in our department. Why is Torres-Walker able to postpone it? (See related article)

I want to talk to the chief not council members or anyone other than police. The council has their chance every council meeting or if members of the council would answer their emails other than Lori. I have never had an email returned and they have all been polite, with the exception of one email conversation with Lamar and he did not answer my question.

Thanks,Norm Machado

Antioch

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

Letter: Antioch council candidate White says Thorpe should resign 

Sunday, September 18th, 2022

Antioch City Council District 4 candidate Sandra White, Mayor Lamar Thorpe and incumbent District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson.

Shocked” that incumbent Wilson calls effort a “witch hunt”

Dear Citizens of Antioch: 

It’s no secret that the political climate in Antioch has been a contentious battleground for the last several years. We’ve had a council that has had little collaboration on the most significant issues plaguing our city, which has experienced a sharp decline in the quality of life for our residents. When I pulled papers to run for the District 4 seat election in November, I intended to focus on my race and not allow outside distractions. The negativity that has surrounded our council, especially our mayor, is something I thought I could address once I am elected to serve. 

My plans sharply shifted on Friday. I participated in a roundtable discussion with my opponents also running for election in District 4, and we were all asked the same questions. The moderator asked each member on the panel if we thought the mayor should resign, considering the recent settlement involving the Los Medanos Community Healthcare District. Whereas two women accused Lamar Thorpe of sexual harassment, unwanted sexual advances, creating a hostile work environment, and other unlawful actions, I approached this question from an HR perspective, as I handle similar cases almost daily in my career as Vice President of Human Resources and understand the analysis that takes place before it’s decided if a claim is settled or brought to trial. My response was a resounding yes. I firmly believe these women are telling the truth and that the county Board of Supervisors would not have settled if there had been no compelling evidence of Lamar Thorpe’s guilt. 

What shocked me during this discussion was my opponent’s response. When posed the same question, Councilwoman Monica Wilson stated the call for the mayor to resign is a witch-hunt, and the investigation is not completed. These types of accusations should not be made against the mayor. In an earlier statement submitted to the East Bay Times, Wilson accused fellow council members of being racist when they called for the mayor to resign. I found her responses to be alarming. Councilwoman Wilson has built both her political and personal careers on advocating for women that have been sexually exploited. How can she turn her back on these two women to try and save a political ally? How can she attempt to incite racism and further divide our city to protect Lamar Thorpe? Will she now accuse me, a fellow woman of color, of racism in calling for his resignation? 

The incident is not about race, personal allegiances or political parties. It’s about behavior and ethics. We cannot tolerate the conduct of our mayor, or his allies that continue to create division in our community. Mayor Thorpe needs to resign and allow our city to move forward and heal from the trauma he has inflicted.   

When District 4 residents vote in the November election, I hope they choose integrity over alliances and old loyalties and help bring The Change That We Need! 

Sandra White 

Candidate, Antioch City Council District 4 

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

Letters: Antioch District 1 council candidate Gibson-Gray says Mayor Lamar Thorpe needs to resign

Sunday, September 18th, 2022

Campaign photo of Antioch District 1 city council candidate Diane Gibson-Gray and Mayor Lamar Thorpe.

“Enough is enough and Antioch deserves better!”

Dear Editor: 

Lamar Thorpe initially stood out in Antioch politics using his relative youth and ethnicity and he used those distinctions to brand himself as a forward-thinking progressive candidate. He won his race.

But recently he has found himself in trouble and even though he beat the recall movement, he was arrested for drunk driving by the CHP. That issue is still pending. Now he is being asked to resign as Mayor of Antioch by two of his fellow council members, as the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to settle claims against Thorpe by two former female employees for $350,000 from when he was executive director of the now-defunct Los Medanos Community Healthcare District.  

As it happens, this is not a new issue for Mr. Thorpe. In 2007, Student Judicial Services found Student Association President Lamar Thorpe guilty of disorderly conduct for “lewd and indecent behavior,” and not guilty of sexual harassment and alcohol charges. It is evident that Thorpe’s racist and sexist behavior is not a one-time event. It is a pattern of behavior that has continued throughout his life. This speaks to his character and shows that he is not fit to represent the good citizens of Antioch in any capacity. 

Perhaps more concerning for the city of Antioch is there has been no compassion towards these two young women expressed by Mayor Thorpe’s city council voting bloc, Tamisha Torres Walker and Monica Wilson. 

Lamar Thorpe has a reputation regarding people he sees as political enemies. He has a reputation for swift retribution and holding long grudges and has no compunction at all about using the racist term “Karen” when referring to women whom he views as his enemies. In fact, he used a racist term to promote his recent recall fundraiser roast by calling proponents “Karens”. That was not the first, nor last time we have seen him use that term with a big smile on his face. 

His use of offensive language and vulgar gestures towards those he terms his ‘enemies’ create an environment of disrespect and fear. 

In conclusion, if your impression of Antioch politics has taken a bruising over the last two years, it is because you are paying attention. Now is the time to have your voice heard; ask Thorpe to resign and Torres Walker and Wilson to do the same.  

Enough is enough and Antioch deserves better! 

Diane Gibson-Gray 

Antioch

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

Writer supports African American youth organizer of Antioch Juneteenth event

Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

Dear Editor:

Here is my comment on the Juneteenth story.

I was looking forward to bringing my family to Antioch for this event. It would be nice to be part of something positive and support Antioch. We will now be going to Brentwood to celebrate Juneteenth. You should all be ashamed of how you treated this young lady. An African American woman away at college who still has time to organize this event again for Antioch, and she is treated with nothing but disrespect? We should be supporting her. We should be helping to lift her up and moving obstacles out of her way.

What lessons are we teaching our youth? Well, I will be in Brentwood celebrating Juneteenth, this young lady, and her mother that raised her right.

Bill Weber

Discovery Bay

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

Letters: Antioch resident, pastor says his apartment complex is “gang warzone”, he and family still displaced

Saturday, April 23rd, 2022

Editor:

(Note: Following is a letter to the editor which contains a copy of an article about the matter published by eastcountytoday.net)

A shooting broke out Wednesday morning in an apartment complex in the 3900 block of Delta Fair Blvd. in the City of Antioch that left multiple apartments struck by gunfire and families displaced.

The shooting occurred at approximately 9:15 am in the Delta View Apartments off Delta Fair Blvd and Fair view.

According to preliminary information, at least 3 apartments were struck by gunfire. A gas line was struck causing apartments to fill with gas. A water line was struck causing flooding.

Nothing has been released on the incident by Antioch Police, even after several requests have been made. On Friday, Antioch Public Information Officer Rolando Bonilla responded regarding the incident.

“FYI – no one was hit in this shooting so this is not something we would typically write a press release for.” 

No other information has been released by the City of Antioch even after four requests for information on the incident.

Editor’s note: Attempts at request for info on this incident:

  • Two requests to Media Access Line
  • email sent Wednesday at 2:45 pm
  • email sent Thursday at 10:34 am
  • email sent Friday at 1:46 am

The following was a statement released by Pastor Henry L. Dillihant III MSPH & Family

Date: April 21, 2022

On April 20, 2022 at approximately 8:30 am, several rounds of gunshots was fired. My wife’s sister’s house was hit as well as my house and gas main was struck by automatic rifle fire. I was called from my house to help my sister-in-law who was pinned down by gun fire. Several shooters/gang members took over the complex. While running to help my wife’s sister, passing a hail of bullets, GOD protected us, where we live turned into a war zone. I was able to retrieve them while her house was being shot into. We have had to leave our residence. We have not been back. There is some confusion on what’s going on here. Here is the situation:

  • We are victims of violent crime
  • We are victims of gang violence
  • Our housing situation is not safe
  • Family members have been traumatized and we need help
  • Because of the gas main to our unit being directly hit by gun fire, that unit filled with gas and we had to leave with the clothes on our back.
  • I was able to get some of my medication
  • My sisters-in-law house was riddled with gun fire, her gas main was struck and water pipes hit as well causing flooding and damage to a lot of her property
  • Our children suffered mental and physical damage due to the violence they witnessed and trying to remove them from the situation.
  • We are all trying to cope with this situation mentally, as best we can knowing there are still active gang members and shooters living in this community.
  • The management of this community, both the owners/facilities and parent services company have not reached out or returned telephone calls
  • The management company has however done their best to stop us from receiving help from other agency’s and denying help to our families to be placed in a safer situation
  • This is an on going dangerous situation, we have reached out to many people for help. And will do our best to keep everyone updated. There are other victims from this terrible situation, call the Antioch Police Department for assistance.

Please contact Ms. Nina Carter, community crisis specialist for information or to be of any assistance to the Dillihants and their family 1-800-377-0190.

Antioch Police: (925) 778-2441

Antioch Police Email: jstenger@antiochca.gov

Henry L. Dillihant, III, MSPH, M.H.Sc.

Antioch

 

 

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

Thorpe recall leader gives update on signature gathering progress

Friday, April 22nd, 2022

Editor:

Open letter to our Antioch community

First, the Committee to Recall Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe would like to thank those that have come out to sign, volunteered and who have donated towards the Recall Initiative. Our community is a beautiful diverse community and it’s been such an honor for us to be able to meet and speak with so many who have reached out to us and have expressed there own reasons for supporting our efforts to reclaim our city and bring back dignity and decorum to City Hall. We are all striving to Make Antioch Better.

With that said, here is the Recall Update:

We have 8,000 Signatures and 9,511 is what is required to put the initiative on the ballet. Our goal is 10,000 signatures. So, 2,000 more signatures is needed with a little less than 3 weeks to go!! Our Pro Signers as well as Volunteers are still working hard throughout the city to get us to our goal. So please now is the time get out and sign!!

Fundraising is so important as we need to purchase validated signatures from the Pro Signers, who have been instrumental in getting us to our goal.

Please consider donating to help us gather more needed signatures!!! We are hoping we can count on your support and appreciate any help you are able to provide.

(See Donation Link Below)

https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=2DSTXTBRWRH8L&fbclid=IwAR3sSyyVKjB7nnCCB4iT6LfDv-pbdR55tr5HqSjSAR5dCGCeb1buvl7CTk0

Thank You,

Kathy Cabrera

The Committee to Recall Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe (FPPC ID# Pending)

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