Archive for the ‘Supervisors’ Category

Contra Costa Supervisors on 4-1 vote approve all-electric buildings ordinance banning natural gas installations

Wednesday, January 19th, 2022

Starting June 1, 2022; 200-gallon natural gas tanks still permitted for rural users

“Many of my constituents view this ordinance as an overreach ordinance and I happen to agree with them” – Supervisor Andersen

By Daniel Borsuk

Starting June 1, Contra Costa County will be the first county in the Golden State requiring all new residential, business, commercial and hospitality developments have electricity, and outlawing natural gas installation. On a 4-1 vote Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors approved the ordinance that attracted scant public opposition. District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen was the lone opposition vote.

The new ordinance applies to all new residential, commercial, office, and hospitality developments proposed for unincorporated Contra Costa County.  It does not apply to incorporated areas, except the City of Richmond that has adopted its own electricity building ordinance.

“Many of my constituents view this ordinance as an overreach ordinance and I happen to agree with them,” said Andersen of Danville, who cast the lone opposition vote.  “It is my concern this ordinance might impact commercial development nearby the Byron and Buchanan airports.”

There was no opposition to the Board’s ordinance that was up for second reading.

“This is a good environmental policy for the county,” said District 1 Supervisor John Gioia, who championed the resolution.

“I am concerned about the equity issue.  This could raise rents of low-income housing tenants,” said Board Chair Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill, who voted in favor of the ordinance anyway.

“I am supportive of this ordinance,” commented District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis after planning department staff answered her question on whether rural constituents could still own and use 200-gallon natural gas tanks for “emergency use.”  Planning officials confirmed 200-gallon natural gas tanks will be permitted for rural users.

“While this proposed ordinance has been charactered as an electrification ordinance, its purpose is to stop new buildings from burning fossil fuels,” wrote Gary Farber on behalf of the environmental group, 350 Contra Costa. “Therefore, solar thermal space heating and water heating systems ought to be allowed and encouraged.  We look forward to working with the County on additional programs to phase out fossil fuels in transportation and all buildings, new and existing.”

The move by the Board of Supervisors occurs when there is skepticism on whether the State has an adequate supply of wind and solar renewable energy in the Golden State to meet the demand for all electric homes and businesses.  The California Clean Energy Act of 2018 established a target for renewable zero-carbon resources to supply 100 percent of electrical needs throughout the state by 2045, 23 years from now.

Retain $2,500 Campaign Contribution Limit

Even though briefly considered a recommendation boost, the Election Campaign Contribution limit from $2,500 to $4,900, Supervisors voted to retain the Election Campaign limit at $2,500.

“I feel comfortable at the $2,500 limit,” commented District 2 Supervisor Andersen.

Supervisor Glover said as much as he’d preferred to go with the State-recommended $4,900 limit, he said “I’d vote for more money, but I don’t think we should.  Elections are getting more expensive.” Glover is not up for re-election this year.

44th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Ceremony Honorees

Supervisors also recognized 44th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. honorees – Gigi Crowder, an Antioch resident, who is the Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness as the Adult Humanitarian of the Year and Pittsburg resident, Kaia Morgan, a Senior at Ygnacio Valley High School as the Student Humanitarian of the Year. (See related articles here and here)

 

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Grieving Burgis hands over Contra Costa Board of Supervisors’ gavel to Mitchoff

Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

Supervisors approve Grand Jury report on animal shelter consolidation with Antioch, countywide sidewalk obstruction ordinance, two years’ worth of ammunition for Sheriff’s Office

Contra Costa County District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis

By Daniel Borsuk

A grieving, yet stoic Contra Costa County District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis conducted on Tuesday her final meeting as Board Chair a month to the day that her husband, Richard Clayton, took his own life. Showing remarkable resilience, Burgis thanked her family, fellow board members, her staff, county employees and constituents for their support.

“We accomplished so much in 2021,” said Burgis, who wore a black dress.  “The annexation of the Contra Costa County Fire District with the East Contra Costa County Fire District will make Contra Costa County so much safer.”

Burgis, whose served on the Board’s Airports’ Committee, praised how the County has developed both the Byron and Buchanan airports, especially Byron with the startup of innovative aeronautical enterprises near the airport.

“I am so proud of our health workers,” Burgis said. “The county public health services have become a model of the state.”

Contra Costa County District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff. Official photo.

For her work, fellow board members presented Burgis with a picture of Marsh Creek, one of Burgis’ favorite environmental cleanup sites.

“That was really hard for you to do,” District 1 Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond said of Burgis after handing over the gavel to newly sworn in Chair Karen Mitchoff of Ditrict 4 in Pleasant Hill. “We’re all behind you.”

Mitchoff, who will not seek re-election to the supervisorial post that she has held since January 2011, said, “In my final year as an elected official for Contra Costa County, I am excited about what lies ahead and ready to work together to keep improving the quality of life in our county.”

An avid reader, Mitchoff noted that last year she read 60 books, mostly audiobooks.  As a gift for her fellow board members, Mitchoff gave each supervisor a copy of the historical book, “The 1619 Project,” written by Nikole Hannah-Jones.

District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover, who has served on the Board since 2000, will serve as Board Vice Chair.  Glover, who was in line to become chair this year passed on accepting the post to allow Mitchoff to take on the leadership duties in recognition of her more than 40 years of public service.

Third Grand Jury Report on Consolidating County, Antioch Animal Shelters Approved

Without hearing any public comment, Supervisors approved a third Grand Jury report, this one recommending that the County hire a consultant to study the potential consolidation of the County run animal facility in Martinez and the City of Antioch animal shelter run by the Antioch Police Department.

“Public and private animal shelters are experiencing pressure from the explosive growth in the homeless animal and abandoned pet populations,” the new Grand Jury Report states. “Community outreach and education are high priorities for both Contra Costa and Antioch Animal Services, the two public animal shelters within the county.”

The grand jury report went on to state, “The Grand Jury recommends that Contra Costa Animal Services (CCAS) engage a consulting firm for guidance on the possible redistribution of animal services that could be achieved by a gradual process of cost-sharing and shelter coordination. A comparable consolidation currently underway between Monterey County and the City of Salinas Animal Shelters provides a possible model for the integration of Contra Costa and Antioch Animal Shelter services.”

The grand jury also recommends that the two public animal shelters improve their emphasis on community outreach to comfort homeless animal overpopulation.

In addition, the report calls on both the County and City of Antioch to resolve the ongoing problem of abandoned animals left at the Antioch shelter by residents outside the City of Antioch. “Although there is an informal working relationship between CCAS and AAS personnel on this issue, a more formal agreement between AAS and CCAS would facilitate abandoned pet retrieval at both shelters.”

Animal Services Home to Home Contract Approved

In a related animal shelter issue, Supervisors passed a Home-to-Home contract that will not cost the County any funds.  Maddie’s Fund will pick up the tab to re-home pets.  The Home-to-Home Network will lessen boarding of homeless dogs and cats in County Shelter.  Home-To-Home adoptions are free.

Sidewalk Obstruction Ordinance Revised

Without hearing any public comment, Supervisors amended the County Sidewalk ordinance.  The revision permits the County Director of Public Works to “abate any sidewalk obstruction.”

“An adjacent owner shall keep the sidewalk abutting the adjacent owner’s property free and clear of all weeds, rubbish, dirt, rocks, debris, or any other obstruction that interferes with the free passage of pedestrians,” the new ordinance states

Approve Two-Year Ammo Contract for Sheriff’s Office

Supervisors approved a $450,000 contract with Dooley Enterprises, Inc. to deliver Winchester ammunition for the Sheriff-Coroner from Jan. 1, 2022 to Dec. 31 2023. The Sheriff-Coroner’s Office has used Winchester ammunitions for training and duty ammunition purposes for more than 20 years.

 

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Antioch woman is 2022 Contra Costa Humanitarian of the Year, to be honored at MLK event Jan. 18

Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

Adult Humanitarian of the Year, Gigi Crowder of Antioch

Student Humanitarian of the Year, Ygnacio Valley High senior Kaia Morgan of Pittsburg

2022 MLK Humanitarian of the Year Gigi Crowder.

Contra Costa County will commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the 44th Annual Ceremony in 2022.  The Board of Supervisors invites the public to the ceremony on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, at 11 am. This year’s theme is “One People, One Nation, One Dream.”

“Together, we will commemorate Dr. King and commit to improving the lives and future of our children and community members,” said Board Chair, Supervisor Diane Burgis. “We look forward to having you join us at the event to come together and work toward a common vision and goals of acceptance, tolerance, and respect.”

Countywide recognition will be given at the ceremony to the Adult Humanitarian of the Year, Gigi Crowder, Executive Director of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Contra Costa and a 19-year Antioch resident, and the Student Humanitarian of the Year, Pittsburg resident Kaia Morgan, a senior at Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord. Honorees will be recognized for their leadership, advocacy, and service to Contra Costa County, its residents and communities in the spirit of Dr. King’s work and achievements.

About Gigi Crowder

Gigi R. Crowder, L.E. a native of Oakland, CA. is the mother of two biological children; 30-year-old twin sons and has served as a foster mom and mentor to many more through divine interventions. Gigi served for over nine years as the Ethnic Services Manager for Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services and has worked in the Behavioral Health Care field for more than 32 years after completing her studies at the University of California, Berkeley. As a family member of several loved ones who have received private and public mental health services, she is a strong advocate for promoting culturally responsive behavioral health services for all peers and family members. She is unapologetic about focusing efforts to address the needs of African Americans who she deems as the most harmed and neglected due to systemic racism. She created, Black Minds Matter 2! which has given her opportunities to speak across the nation.

Gigi is the Executive Director for NAMI Contra Costa, having accepted this position in January 2018, after serving in a consultant role as their Fund Developer. She is also the FaithNet Coordinator and has advanced efforts statewide to reduce mental health stigma by training Faith Leaders using the Mental Health Friendly Communities training curriculum she co-designed. Gigi promotes utilizing natural resources such as those found in faith/spiritual communities and works hard to advocate for the use of community defined strategies for all, with particular focus on better addressing the needs of unserved, underserved and inappropriately served ethnic and cultural communities. Her current focus is addressing the needs of those living with mental illness who are often criminalized for living with a medical condition.

Highlights of her career are being inducted in the Alameda County Women Hall of Fame for her work in developing programs to enhance employment opportunities for individuals with psychiatric challenges, receiving the 2013 MHAAC Mental Health Achievement Award. She also received the 2016 Multi-Cultural Outreach Award from NAMI California, the 2020 “Making a Difference Award,” from the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County. Gigi is also credited for positioning NAMI CC to beat out 600 other NAMI Affiliates and win the NAMI 2021 Multicultural Outreach Award.

2022 MLK Student Humanitarian of the Year Kaia Morgan.

About Kaia Morgan

According to a tweet by the Contra Costa County Office of Education, Morgan is being honored, “for her commitment and hard work in leading the charge to change the mascot for Ygnacio Valley High” from the Warriors to something else. Following the lead of a teacher at the school, Morgan started an online petition which gathered 750 supporters.

Kaia is a senior at Ygnacio Valley High School. She is an International Baccalaureate student and a cheerleader at her high school, as well as a dancer. She became interested in confronting social issues after gaining awareness of them online and quickly became passionate about addressing injustices against minorities. In February of 2020, she was inspired by a class lesson on the harm of Native mascots to use her voice to speak out against racism on a more local level, starting with the Native mascot at her own high school. She started the Change the Mascot Committee at Ygnacio Valley High School that month, and as of December 2021, their mascot is now the wolves. Kaia currently lives in Pittsburg, CA with her loving parents and two siblings. She plans to attend college in the fall and study psychology.

This is the third year in a row a woman from Antioch has been named the county’s Humanitarian of the Year, with Velma Wilson honored, last year, and current District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker was honored the year before. See the entire list of past honorees.

To learn more about the Dr. King Ceremony, visit www.contracosta.ca.gov/5307 on the Contra Costa County website.

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Supervisors approve spending $75 million of Measure X funds for county medical center

Thursday, December 16th, 2021

Source: Contra Costa Health Services

Will provide garage, medical clinical office, and expanded radiology lab at Contra Costa Medical Center in Martinez; following crackdown, one restaurant still violating COVID-19 health orders as cases increase; appoint new Public Defender

“If you want to send me an email and still want to call me a ‘b***’ go ahead.” – Supervisor Karen Mitchoff in response to critics of her crusade to crack down on restaurants out of compliance with county health orders

By Daniel Borsuk

On a 4-0 vote, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors paved the way for officials of the over-used Contra Costa Regional Medical Center to spend $75 million of Measure X half-cent sales tax funds to construct a parking garage, a medical office complex and a state-of-the-art public health laboratory at Tuesday’s final board meeting of the year. (See CCRMC Proposed Master Plan)

With Board Chair Diane Burgis absent because of the death of her husband Richard Clayton for whom supervisors adjourned the meeting in honor of, supervisors narrowly met the super-majority requirement to tap into 2020 vote-approved sales tax measure revenues for the purpose of enhancing facilities at the over-used medical complex in Martinez.

Contra Costa Public Health Director Anna Roth pitched the three CCRMC capital improvement projects based on the fact the publicly funded medical center in the past year has treated 142,000 patients due to COVID-19, a 540 percent increase.  The center has saved the lives of about 26,000 county residents, 70 percent of whom are on Medi-Cal. Seventy percent of the CCRMC patients do not speak English, Roth noted.

She said the medical center has been crushed with a 540 percent increase in patients seeking medical care over the past 20 years while the physical components of the medical center have been unchanged. Roth also shared there has been at least one case where a pregnant woman had safely delivered her baby in the medical center parking lot because of the unavailability of parking. According to the presentation, three babies were born in the parking lot during the last year. The proposed 325-space parking structure along with valet parking would help alleviate the parking problem, she asserted.

Marianna Moore, chair of the board of supervisors’ appointed Measure X Advisory Committee, cast concern that the supervisors’ action on the medical center capital projects might be premature and negatively hit future Measure X funding of other public services.

“This is a one-time expenditure,” responded District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill. “There will be money for other projects. The longer we delay on capital improvement projects like these the more expensive it becomes.”

Upon acknowledging Measure X chairperson Moore’s comments, District 1 Supervisor John Gioia remarked “I hear the concerns of the Measure X panel for this board to be transparent and open.” Yet, he pointed out how three major local nonprofit health providers – Kaiser Permanente, John Muir and Sutter Medical – skirt regulations that county-operated medical institutions must obey.

“They get an equity worth $25 billion in tax breaks and don’t have to encounter public scrutiny that publicly operated health care operations like Contra Costa County’s have to abide by. I am proud of the public health successes in Contra Costa County, but we need help from the nonprofit health care organizations too.”

In addition to the proposed parking garage, the supervisors’ action paves the way for the medical center to have a $30 million 40,000 square foot medical-clinical office building constructed and a $5 million 5,000 square foot state-of-the-art intervention radiology suite built.

One Restaurant Remains Out of Compliance With COVID-19 Health Order, Mitchoff on the Defense

In a follow up to last week’s meeting where Supervisor Mitchoff questioned the Health Department’s code enforcement capabilities in shutting down 13 restaurants willfully out of health code compliance, Roth announced there is currently only one eatery that is still not following health code requirements.

She did not identify the business. “All but one of the establishments are now in compliance,” said Roth.

Roth said her department has added four code enforcement officers since last week when Mitchoff blew the lid off the health department’s health code performance.

“I appreciate the progress the health department has made,” said Mitchoff. “There is still one restaurant to follow up on. One restaurant will probably have to close.”

Mitchoff, who will serve as board chair next year instead of vice chair Federal Glover of Pittsburg in recognition of her public service as she has announced she won’t seek reelection in 2022, attacked her critics on her crusade to shut down out-of-compliance restaurants.

“There’s recently been vitriolic and unclear language and comments lodged at me,” said Mitchoff, whose been a frequent target of hate emails. “If you want to send me an email and still want to call me a ‘b***’ go ahead. It would be much better if those who dislike me to write letters and that everyone gets vaccinated and wears masks. I hope to start the new year with much more appreciated language.”

County COVID-19 Cases Increase

In the meantime, Roth said Contra Costa County’s vaccination rate of 76.8 percent remains above the national average of 69.9 percent.

The county’s active COVID-19 case load stands at 1,463, an increase of 18.9 percent over a two-week period. Forty-three patients were in hospitals in the county because of COVID-19.

“Ninety-seven percent of the cases in Contra Costa County are of the Delta strain,” remarked Roth. She said there have been signs of the new Omicron variant appearing in wastewater in the county, but nowhere else.

Because of wintertime conditions forcing Californians to hunker down indoors, Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano informed supervisors the State was expected to announce a new indoor public face mask order. The order would be in place through Jan. 15, 2022.

In a related action, supervisors adopted an ordinance calling for the continuation of remotely conducted meetings into January 2022.  The ordinance also applies to commissions and advisory committees.

Ordinance Temporarily Halts North Richmond Fulfillment Center Openings  

In response to increasing vehicle emission air pollution and traffic-pedestrian safety concerns issues stemming from the buildup of fulfillment centers in the unincorporated North Richmond and Richmond areas, supervisors imposed a 45-day moratorium on the opening of new fulfillment centers.

“Richmond and North Richmond have become a major destination for fulfillment centers,” said Supervisor Gioia, whose District 1 cover those areas. “We don’t want North Richmond to become a wall-to-wall fulfillment center magnet.”

The purpose of the ordinance Gioia has introduced is to compel these enterprises to deliver their products with electric vehicles.   It aims to have 33 percent of a company’s fleet of vehicles electrified immediately and by 2027 100 percent of a business’s fleet of vehicles must be electrified.

At least five fulfillment centers are either under construction or planning phase, said John Kopchick, director of the Contra Costa County Conservation and Development Department.

No one from the fulfillment center sector spoke on the ordinance regulating the electrification of vehicle fleets, but Donald Gilmore of North Richmond Recreation said the ordinance does not go far enough.

“North Richmond is significantly impacted by these warehouses and the traffic coming from them. Pedestrian safety is a pressing problem. We need more time to figure out a plan,” said Gilmore.

Appoint New Public Defender

Ellen McDonnell. Source: CCPD

Supervisors promoted Deputy Public Defender Ellen McDonnell as Contra Costa Public Defender at an annual salary of $340,510 in addition to $93,131 in pension annual compensation.  She will officially take over the role of Public Defender from the retiring Robin Lipetzky effective Jan. 1, 2022.

She started with the department in 2001 and will oversee a $36 million budget and 145 employees.

McDonnell holds a Juris Doctors degree from California Hastings College of the Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree and double major in Spanish and Italian from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

She has been a member of the California State Bar since 2011. (Read more about McDonnell in a separate article.)

 

 

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Contra Costa County Supervisor Diane Burgis announces passing of husband Richard Clayton

Saturday, December 11th, 2021

Supervisor Diane Burgis and her late husband Richard Clayton in photo posted on her Facebook page on June 19, 2021.

OAKLEY, CALIF., December 11, 2021 – Supervisor Diane Burgis lost her husband Richard Clayton this morning to suicide. He is survived by his wife, his parents, John and Carol Clayton of England, his brother Barry, (Deb) and sister, Nina (Rob), daughter Kianna and son-in-law Andrew Lee, his stepsons, Jacob, Sam, and Dusty Burgis, grandsons, Arlo, Brody and Huxley, and many beloved nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.

“Like many of us, Richard’s mental health was severely impacted by the pandemic. I would ask anyone who is suffering from a mental health crisis to reach out for help, and I’m respectfully requesting that you respect my privacy and the privacy of Richard’s family at this difficult time,” said Supervisor Burgis.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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Contra Costa Supervisors put Health Services Chief on hot seat over 13 COVID rule violating restaurants

Wednesday, December 8th, 2021

“The time has come to shut down those establishments that don’t obey the code.” – District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff

“There are no Omicron variant cases yet in our county.” – CC Health Services Director Anna Roth

Approve East County Groundwater Plan; approve $95.5 million for new West County Reentry Treatment & Housing Facility

By Daniel Borsuk

A defensive Contra Costa Health Services Director Anna Roth faced criticism from county Supervisors, especially emanating from District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff on why 13 restaurants remain open in defiance of county COVID-19 health orders. As of Sept. 22, by order of the county’s Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and other entertainment venues must require patrons show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test in order to enter. (See related article)

“There is no change in enforcement,” Roth said at Tuesday’s supervisors meeting. As of November, 99 percent of restaurants in the county are compliant. We have 13 outstanding cases.”

But Roth’s statement did not satisfy Mitchoff, the supervisor who initially unveiled the code enforcement issue with the county health services.

“The time has come to shut down those establishments that don’t obey the code,” Mitchoff said. “We have done the education. We’ve done the warning.”

None of the owners of the 13 restaurants spoke at Tuesday’s supervisors meeting. Lumpy’s Diner in Antioch, and MJ’s Downtown Café are among eating establishments that the county has tagged as out of compliance of COVID-19 health code.

One of the 13 restaurants on the county’s red tag list, the In-n-Out in Pleasant Hill has been closed for indoor dining health code violations.

District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg came to the defense of Roth and her department’s code enforcement division commenting, “I think you’re doing an outstanding job out there. The volume of people out there who are out of compliance is small. I enjoy eating inside a restaurant. I understand the stress,”

In the meantime, Roth reported that while 75.6 percent of Contra Costa County residents are fully vaccinated, twenty-seven persons are hospitalized in county hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms One patient dies daily on average from COVID-19 symptoms, she noted.

“There are no Omicron variant cases yet in our county,” said Roth.

In an interview for a KRON4 news report, County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said, “We don’t just jump right in there with a fine at the get go. We give the businesses the opportunity. Because our goal is to get to compliance for people to follow the order. Our goal isn’t to issue a bunch of fines.” The report also shared that Farnitano said only four restaurants in the county have been fined.

East County Groundwater Sustainability Plan Approved

Supervisors also approved the East Contra Costa Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan on a 5-0 vote. The $1.4 million groundwater study applies to the cities of Antioch and Brentwood, Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, Diablo Water District, Discovery Bay Community Services and East Contra Costa Irrigation District.

Even under drought like conditions, the plan found, “Groundwater conditions in the ECC Subbasin are favorable and reflect stability over the past 30 years or more. Using various analogies, the Subbasin can be described as generally full through various water-year types, including drought and is in good “health.” The favorable conditions are in part due to surface water availability that represents the largest sources of supply for municipal and agricultural uses in the Subbasin.”

Ryan Hernandez of the Department of Conservation and Planning said if the board of supervisors did not adopt the ECC-GSP, the county would be in violation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which would result in the State Water Resources Board intervening in local groundwater management.

Rendering of the entrance of the West County Re-entry Treatment and Housing Facility. Source: Contra Costa County

$95.5 Million West County Detention Facility Expansion Plan Approved

Supervisors unanimously approved a $95.5 million design-build contract with Montana-based contractor Sletten Construction Company to design and build five secure housing units, a medical treatment center, reentry program space and building, and visitation facilities at the West County Detention Facility in Richmond. It will be known as the West County Re-entry Treatment and Housing Facility. WRTH presentation CCCBOS120721

One of the objectives of the project is to reduce overcrowding by 128 inmate beds to 288 high-security inmate beds in five housing units. Ninety-six beds will still be mental health treatment beds.

Possible Relocation of Marsh Creek Shooting Range

In a related matter, supervisors approved as a consent item a report on the future use and potential relocation of the shooting range at the Marsh Creek Detention Facility possibly to the Concord Naval Weapon Station. At the low-security detention facility inmates learn wood making skills and other basic education skills.

Used also as a training facility for the Office of the Sheriff and law enforcement agencies from Contra Costa County and surrounding counties, the Marsh Creek Range Facility generates revenue for the county. The range will bring about $113,000 for fiscal year 2021-2022, wrote County Administrator Monica Nino in her report to the supervisors.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

 

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Contra Costa Supervisors vote 5-0 to finalize 2021 redistricting map

Friday, November 26th, 2021

Contra Costa Board of Supervisors approved the 2021 Redistricting Map D. Source; Contra Costa County

Only 93 people provided public input, nine alternate maps submitted

Antioch split between Districts 3 and 5 along Somersville Road, Auto Center Drivand the Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way

By Daniel Borsuk

During their final public hearing for the 2021 redistricting process on Tuesday, Nov. 23, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to approve the 2021 Redistricting Map D on Tuesday that shows Supervisor Candace Andersen’s District 2 and Supervisor Federal Glover’s District 5 gaining territory at the expense of District 3 Supervisor Dianne Burgis and District 1 Supervisor John Gioia. (See agenda item D.1)

The supervisors’ action on the final redistricting map beat the mandatory Dec. 15 deadline by 22 days after county officials conducted a series of public hearings and workshops that drew meager citizen input.

“For the six workshops a total of 21 individuals provided public comment either in person or by Zoom or phone call; and an additional 72 individuals were on the Zoom or phone call in portions of the workshops but chose not to speak,” a county document stated in defense of the public participation.  A total of nine public submissions of alternative maps were included in the process. (See related article)

No matter how uneven the county process might have been in attracting public participation, two districts – District 2 and District 5 – scored the most territory and potential political clout from the decennial redistricting process.

From CCC Board of Supervisors 2021 Redistricting Map D.

Map D keeps Antioch split in two between Districts 3 and 5, as the city currently is, but in different ways. This time the districts are split along Somersville Road and Auto Center Drive and the Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way. Herald publisher Allen Payton asked the supervisors to consider splitting Antioch along the city boundary line with Pittsburg and Highway 4, which he said makes more sense for residents to know what district they live in and to match the current and expected district boundaries for Antioch City Council District 1. Burgis said she tried to make that happen but the population figures to comply with the 5% deviation legal requirement, didn’t work.

CCC Supervisor 2011 Districts current Antioch-Pittsburg split.

After the final vote on the map, Board Chair Burgis of Brentwood put a positive spin on the two-month redistricting activity stating.

“The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors thanks the community for its participation in this decennial process,” she said. “We have been committed to a robust Redistricting and public outreach process with public hearings, a dedicated website at CoCoRedistricting.org, public workshops, and multiple ways for the public to share input, including an online mapping tool to draw maps and submit comments.  We want to thank you for staying informed and playing a role in this important process.”

“I’d like you to not vote on this today,” requested Sherrill Grower, one of three persons who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting. “I feel like this map disenfranchises the public particularly along the northern waterfront. I am not pleased with the proposed district boundaries.”

Map D with population statistics. Source: Contra Costa County

With the new map, District 4 now covers most of Walnut Creek split at Highway 24 and Interstate 680 with District 2 Supervisor Andersen representing the other portion of the city, primarily Rossmoor.

District 4 underwent the smallest population gain of the five districts with a 1.65 percent increase from 2010 to 2020, to 229,348 residents, according to Census data. Whites represent 51.7 percent of District 4’s population followed by Latinos at 22.4 percent, Asians at 15.2 percent, Blacks at 3 percent and 7.7 percent for others.

District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, who has announced she won’t seek re-election in 2022, also saw the city of Concord, which is in District 4, split with Glover’s District 5 by Highways 4 and 242 and the former railroad right-of-way.

Mainly because Andersen’s District 2 experienced the biggest population gain of any of the other districts, from 2010 to 2020 it gained more territory. Population-wise, District 2’s population rose from 218,017 in 2010 to 243,565 in 2020. Whites make up 55 percent of the district’s population followed by Asians at 28 percent, Latinos at 8.5 percent, and Blacks at 1.6 percent and others at 6.8 percent.

District 2 will now cover Tassajara Valley, Blackhawk, Diablo and Camino Tassajara, all formerly were represented by Supervisor Burgis.

District 3, which saw its population rise 2.85 percent to 203,711 from 2010 to 2020, covers most of Antioch and the other growing cities of Brentwood and Oakley and communities of Bethel Island, Knightsen, Discovery Bay, and Byron.

District 2 also contains the cities of San Ramon, Danville, Moraga, Lafayette, and Orinda. The census designated Alamo, Blackhawk, Diablo, Camino Tassajara, Saranap, and Castle Rock as contained in District 2.

In addition to the cities of Pleasant Hill and Clayton, the Contra Costa Centre, Acalanes Ridge, Shell Ridge, San Miguel and North Gate are in District 4.

Glover, who offered no comment on the final redistricting map, also gained territory. He not only retains the Northern Waterfront, an area now under planning study for future industrial and economic development from Crockett to Oakley, but District 5 now, no longer has a portion of Pinole that was formerly split by District 1’s Gioia and District 5’s Glover.

Not mentioned publicly, District 5 is due to benefit economically and demographically when bulldozers rev up at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station where the Seeno Company has won City of Concord approval to build 13,000 housing units and commercial developments on 5,046 acres on the former Naval weapons base property in north Concord. Construction should be well underway over the next 10 years.

Based on U.S. Census data, District 5’s population increased from 203,744 in 2010 to 228,463 in 2020. Thirty-five percent of the district’s population is Latino, 27.5 percent is White, 17.9 percent is Asian and 12.4 percent is Black.

Supervisor John Gioia was pleased with the redistricting results, especially when more urban-like district contains the cities of Richmond, San Pablo, El Cerrito, and Pinole. Kensington, North Richmon, East Richmond Heights, El Sobrante, Rollingwood, Tara Hills, Montalvin Manor, and Bayview are also included in District 1.

District 1’s population grew from 203,437 persons in 2010 to 224,726 in 2020, according to U.S. Census data. Latinos represent 40.9 percent of the district’s population followed by whites at 21.7 percent, Asians at 16.8 percent and Blacks at 16.8 percent

“The boundaries are very similar to our local transportation district,” observed Gioia. “There is no gerrymandering.”

Overall, Contra Costa County’s population increased 11.4 percent to 1,168,064.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

 

 

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Contra Costa Supervisors’ push to use Measure X sales tax funds to hire more Sheriff’s deputies fails on 3-2 vote

Thursday, November 18th, 2021

Requires super majority to approve; Gioia, Glover vote no

Do approve body worn cameras for sheriff deputies.

By Daniel Borsuk

Going against the spirit of the 2020 voter-approved the early education-medical services-social needs message of the Measure X sales tax measure, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday narrowly rejected a proposal to spend a chunk of the initial $212. 5 million in one-time Measure X funds for Sheriff David Livingston’s department to hire additional deputies to beef up patrols especially in under-patrolled areas of the county.

Supervisors also learned the county would draw approximately $128.4 million in ongoing Measure X tax revenue a year for at least 2027.

On a 3 to 2 vote, with District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen, and board chair District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis casting votes calling for the expenditure of $6.4 million of Measure X funds for the hiring of patrol deputies designated for the under patrolled Bay Point, Saranap, and Rodeo areas, supervisors rejected a proposal to strengthen up patrols in those under-served areas of the county.

If approved, the proposal could have decreased response time by nearly 14 minutes and 21 seconds per call.

“Police and mental health services are my top priorities,” said District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen of Danville. “Body cameras and patrols are needed.”

However, due to supervisors’ rules, locally generated tax funds require a super majority vote of four or more supervisors. As a result, Andersen’s motion to increase patrols with Measure X funds failed.

Funds for the Sheriff’s Department are allowed in the measure that passed by over 58% of the vote last November. The ballot language read, “To keep Contra Costa’s regional hospital open and staffed; fund community health centers; provide timely fire and emergency response; support crucial safety-net services; invest in early childhood services; protect vulnerable populations; and for other essential county services, shall the Contra Costa County measure levying a ½ cent sales tax, exempting food sales, providing an estimated $81,000,000 annually for 20 years that the State cannot take, requiring fiscal accountability, with funds benefiting County residents, be adopted?” CCC_2021MeasureX_FullText

District 1 Supervisor John Gioia and District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover voted against the proposal to increase patrols. The 3-2 was insufficient for supervisors to designate Measure X for the hiring of additional deputies based on board of supervisors’ rules.

“I want funding for the sheriff to be part of the general fund budget discussion, not part of Measure X,” explained Supervisor Glover of Pittsburg. Gioia gave no clear reason why he voted against increasing deputy patrols, but earlier he had talked about bringing the item before the finance committee that he and District 4 Supervisor

“I support giving more money to the sheriff,” said board chair Diane Burgis of Brentwood. “We are under-funding protective services in the Eastern area of the county.”

Supervisors did approve on a 4 to 1 vote the expenditure of $2.5 million of Measure X revenues for body worn cameras for sheriff deputies. District 1 Supervisor Gioia cast the sole opposition vote, siding with more than 60 speakers opposed to the proposed allocation of any Measure X funds to the sheriff.

“Let’s keep the spirit of Measure X,” said Pittsburg resident Francisco Flores.  “Please don’t treat this money as pork for the use of the sheriff.”

Supervisors also voted 5-0 to transfer $6 million in Measure X funds designated for Contra Costa County Health Center capital improvement projects like a parking garage to county services that are financially neglected like the county library system and childcare.

All of the 60 speakers opposed spending any Measure X tax revenue for the sheriff.

Speakers said spending Measure X money for law enforcement purposes violated the spirit of the November 2020 voter approved tax revenue measure designed to ramp up revenue for underfunded public health and social service programs and services.

“Let’s keep the spirit of Measure X alive,” said Pittsburg resident Francisco Flores, a member of the community action group ACCE.

“You must follow the funding requests of the advisory board,” pleaded Measure X Advisory Board Chair Mariana Moore.

Proposed Expenditures

Some of the county programs or capital projects proposed for Measure X funds include:

$40 million parking garage for the Contra Costa Regional Medical and Health Center in Martinez.

$17.2 million for East Contra Costa County Fire District fire station construction projects.

$5 million to modernize the psychiatric ward at the Contra Costa Regional Medical and Health Center in Martinez.

$1.2 million for the Racial Equity and Social Justice office.

$250,000 for arts and culture programs

$740,000 for the San Ramon Fire Emergency Medical Service,

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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