Before I get into the recap, I am disappointed my elected councilmembers of Oakley failed to attend the evening’s event—it led to the discussion to be mostly focused on Antioch issue since the only elected councilmember to show up from the entire District was Antioch’s Gary Apogian. I may not agree with Mr. Apogian all the time, but I tip my hat to him for engaging the community.
Now onto the recap…
Mary Nejedly Piepho, Board of Supervisor District III, hosted a town hall in Antioch Wednesday night to update the community on various issues in her newly drawn up district. What I enjoyed about the event most was it removed the left vs. right politics and focused on District III. The event structure was set up to provide brief updates on an assortment of issues—however, not much details given which was disappointing.
I do not enjoy meetings that jump from topic to topic because details are left out and it becomes a “talking point” discussion which we can get from the newspaper. By the time questions could come up, it was moved to the next topic.
The Supervisor spent the most time discussing the Delta and how she has become the “voice” at the local, state and Federal level in order to protect it from many proposed projects while mentioning a non-profit to get involved with to make a difference and fight against some of the plans lawmakers have for it. She also went into discussing that her goal was to ensure financial responsibility to stop spending more than we bring in—doesn’t everyone say that now? Time will tell. She then moved onto the Vasco widening project and other construction projects which included BART, eBART, Highway 4—again, in this format, very hit and run like and not a lot of new details were given that had not already been released in the local papers.
She then turned it over to her representatives from the following Departments where they gave updates of what they were doing—almost like a job description with little detail.
- Department of Code Enforcement – Conrad Fromme
- Department of Conservation & Development – Ryan Hernandez
- Housing Authority – Joseph Villarreal
- Highway 4 Bypass Authority – Dale Dennis
- Office of the Sheriff – Lt. Alan Johnson
- Probation Department – Todd Billicci
- Public Works Department – Julie Bueren
Overall, I found the event to be useful tool for those who are not very active in the community. For someone who seeks more detail, this and events like this are probably not ones cup of tea. This event was not set up to bring ideas to her team, but rather to inform the community of services they provide.
Prior to the event, I had never met Supervisor Piepho. I found her to be smart, enjoyable, and articulately spoken. She seemed like she legitimately wanted to help resolve issues in many areas with a hand on approach; but then again, I do not know the lady which might have been a political reflex. I do admit that compared to other Politian’s, she does excite me with how she carries herself.
Overall, she left me with a good first impression which is hard to do since I tend to question everything someone says. From what I saw tonight, she seems like she will be a good leader to the district and hope she can host similar events in the future that are more issue driven than an information dump.
I only hope my first impression is not inaccurate.
District 3 serves the cities and communities of:
Antioch, Bethel Island, Blackhawk, Brentwood, Byron, Diablo, Discovery Bay, Knightsen, Oakley