Fred Hoskins and others are attempting to build support in Antioch with a Petition they are circulating for a “Vote of No Confidence” for City Manager Jim Jakel and his managerial policies for the City of Antioch and are seeking a replacement.
As of this morning, Mr. Haskins has 100 signatures of support with hopes of reaching 2,000. According to the Petition, these are a few of the citations encouraging the removal of the City Manager.
- Violated Antioch Municipal Code with the ordinance requiring permits for out-door charitable functions on private property
- Removed most mid-management Department heads before recessionary cutbacks, thereby eliminating service to the public
- Broke the 5 year contract with Police Chief Hyde forcing an early retirement and costing the City an expensive buy-out and eliminating community enhancement programs established under Chief Hyde
- Forced the early retirement of former Finance Director, eliminating experiences over-sight on budgets
- Offering Amnesty instead of collection of business licenses leaving several businesses in the city unregulated. Lacks consumer support
- Cancelled the Rental Property Inspection Program, eliminating the department that was bringing income to the City and allowing absentee owners to diminish neighborhood values
- Failure to support local small business to encourage more sales tax revenue
- Lack of education and experience in Economics; no business degree
- No degree or education in Municipal Management
- Non-Resident of the community with no vested interest in its policies
- Failure to support strong economic growth policies or policies to encourage downtown economic downtown economic revitalization.
To read the full petition, click the graphic below to enlarge.
In looking at each of the bullet points given, each one is defendable unless an explanation was given on each bullet.
What people fail to realize is City Managers often have a reason for making the decisions they do–most of time we will never understand these decisions as they fail any sort of common sense test. But in the end, it turns out these decisions usually work out. Not that I am defending Mr. Jakel, but there probably is a method to his madness.
I will only go through a couple of these but just as an example, how did Mr. Jakel violate Antioch Municipal Code? If I was eligible to sign this petition, which my in-laws are, I will not do any of the work, Mr. Hoskins and others better tell me on the spot and state the code. To me, that seems like common sense an ordinance would be issued for out-door charitable functions whether or not it’s on private property or not.
The removal of mid-management does not mean services were eliminated, they might have been reduced, but the point is what has been eliminated? In forcing early retirements with the police chief and finance director, maybe short term it was some costs, but long term it probably did save some money. If Mr. Hoskins and others want to make an impact, include the figures rather than a simple statement. Failure to support small business is just an opinion while the lack of no degree does not mean someone cannot handle a job—it’s just a cheap shot.
The bottom line is when petitions are going around, always pay very close attention to the words being used, typically its a distortion from reality. But credit should also be given for trying to make a change but its the wrong focus in my opinion.
What people need to realize is that City Managers are only as strong as the council they serve under, if you want real change, work to replace the council first and then worry about the City Manager.