Hey Antioch, Take Notice of Walnut Creek Outreach

I came across an article this morning that I thought was fitting with East County because each City has not had a good record in public outreach and communication. But what transpired last night puts things in perspective as Walnut Creek hosted a news conference which Antioch should have had last week.

A couple of fights break out downtown with some arrests and no big deal right? Nope, the city leaders of Walnut Creek hosted a news conference at City Hall Monday evening taking a stand against violence. In stark contrast, Antioch had six teens shot a week earlier and the city leaders have remained silent! There is something just backwards about this situation and it stinks.

If Walnut Creek leaders will host a conference for a couple fights that made local news headlines, surly Antioch might want to do the same for a story that made national headlines. As a city leader, it is your duty to inform the public and take a stand against nonsense.

Antioch leaders should really begin to pay attention to how other cities are getting the message out to their residents. A statement denouncing violence might just go a long way with residents—even better would be a firm statement against violence and a plan to reduce crime would be better. Public outreach says, “We care, we got your back” and it makes residents feel better that they are getting information—it builds community pride that leaders care about residents.

Hell, Oakley recently hosted a Town Hall after residents had concerns over a safety due to a Density Bonus that was up for vote. The council had the foresight to delay its vote by 2-weeks so the outreach could occur and be reported back—it defused a messy situation with residents. Was Oakley on a smaller scale, yes, but the police were involved in the outreach event and answered questions and provided information.

It’s time for Antioch leaders to give Oakley City Manager Bryan Montgomery and Walnut Creek City Manager Ken Nordoff a call to find out how easy outreach is and its benefits.

According to Elisabeth Nardi of the Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek is adding more officers to patrol the downtown on busy weekend nights.  The article states the police chief, mayor, city manager, and councilmen were in attendance. It also stated how serious the City takes violence and how they will be using all the tools at their disposal to correct this problem.

Where is Antioch’s plan? It’s not like this was the first incident. It’s time for them to get out of their bubble of the council chambers and work with the city residents to resolve violence.

By taking a proactive approach, city leaders will gain support from the people who voted you into office. City staff will have their moral increased and people will feel better and have the impression Antioch is a city that cares.

This whole silence play by the city leaders of Antioch is a slap in the face to the good people of Antioch. Hell, they didn’t even address it at their last council meeting according to the good folks at Take Back Antioch via a Facebook post. That is sad.

This truly is a do-nothing council and it needs to change. Yes, Antioch has a problem with violence and the excuse has been budget issues but that has now worn thin. It’s time to get creative and really attack the problem.

I do not know if its arrogance, if its ignorance or just plain asleep at the wheel, but this type of silent behavior is hard to ignore at any level–go all out in support of the police and let them do their job. Motivate them with support that the council has their back.

I urge the residents of Antioch to attend your next council meeting and speak up and demand proactive measures to reduce violence. If Antioch leaders will not take a stand in a public setting, as citizens, it’s your duty to do so in a polite manner on the record. By being polite, people listen, by yelling, you are dismissed

If the leaders do not wish to take a stand with the residents, seek out replacements and work with potential candidates to make a real change and remove the dead weight. Mayor James Davis is up at the end of the year while councilmembers Brian Kalinowski, and Mary Helen Rocha are all also up for election.

If someone is on the council who wishes to run for higher office, work to oppose that person and expose them for this type of behavior. If they can’t get it done as a council member, one should not attempt to move up to higher office.

It’s time for the residents of Antioch to work together to clean house this November if this do-nothing council continues business as usual with their heads in the sand and remain silent on violence such as the one that occurred last week.

I urge this council to roll up its sleeves, get proactive against violence or you will be replaced by candidates who will.

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About burkforoakley

I call it like I see it . I love my city, I love my community and I want what is best for the people around me. Do the right thing, I will support you. Do the wrong thing, I will oppose you!
This entry was posted in Antioch, Contra Costa County. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Hey Antioch, Take Notice of Walnut Creek Outreach

  1. Councilman Gary Agopian issued the following statement in the Take Back Antioch Facebook Page… I still don’t think he gets it, people want a public response to this riff-raff going on. I would hope the Residents of Antioch get on him for his statement that he has a “real job” because the work of a councilman never stops–its a real job for the community.

    Here was his response to the 32-prior posts discussing the City’s lack of response.

    Gary Agopian: Hey everyone! I am MORE than willing to meet with any one of you and discuss your concerns and ideas. I read every comment on the post. I’m not going to get into a reactive mode, but I do have to make a few points.

    1- I live a few blocks away from the incident area, this is my home and I have the same strong feelings about crime and violence in our city as everyone here has. In fact there was a multiple shooting incident in my neighborhood a few months back, I came home and had seven APD cars on my street in front of my house! Four thugs caught (from Vallejo) standing in cuffs. So anyone thinks I am being removed or disengaged, think again. I have strong empathy to emotions expressed here.

    2- The Council makes a small stipend to pay for meeting time, thats it. Not in it for the money. I have a REAL job.

    3- Walnut Creek average house value is twice or more than that of Antioch…….always has been. That means double the property tax per home AND the retail tax base is huge. So, the starting point for staffing anything in Walnut Creek is much higher. Love to have that tax base, but we spend over 72% of all our city money on police now. I am not going to make excuses, but facts are hard to argue against. Plain and simple, we need two things……a party ordinance ( which has been suggested and is being worked on) and its time to pay for hiring more police back. Not volunteers. We need professionals. And we need to re-staff code enforcement/rental inspection. So, how do we do that? Do we wait until home values climb back up 50% (maybe 10 years?) , do we wait until we have double the retail stores (not happening in this economy for a while) or do we pony up and support a parcel tax of about $15-$20 a month per home or business to pay JUST for 30 more police and 5 more code enforcement so we can target crime and make this city the place to live? A Place that we are proud of for all people, no matter where they came from or the color of their skin, or their heritage.

    4- Our PD is doing the best they can with the resources they have. Violent crime was down last year over 7%. Homicides went from 13 to 5. Rape was less than half. Theft and burglary was up. And, that is why we need a staffed department. We have to attack all the elements on crime. By the way, we also need youth intervention and mentoring big time.

    5- Last, we need a daytime truancy curfew as the County District Attorney has suggested. Kids need to be in school, not on the streets. And, we need more police to help with that.
    about an hour ago

    http://www.facebook.com/TakeBackAntioch

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