Now that the holidays have faded into memory and the Antioch City Council set a record for the number of council meetings held in the month of December (four of them!), it is time to get down to business.
After being sworn in as the City Clerk, the following week I made my first official visit to the City Clerk office on the third floor of city hall.
Of course, I had to wait to be "buzzed in" to the sealed off area of the third floor.
I was warmly greeted by our full-time Deputy City Clerk Christina Garcia who handles all the daily routines of the city clerk's office.
I was also greeted by newly elected Antioch Mayor Wade Harper who determined that he would make the City Clerk's third floor office his office.
Of course that worked perfectly with my campaign promise to relocate the City Clerk's office back to the ground floor where it would be accessible to the public.
It took a few days due to holiday closings to acquire and sign for the keys to the former City Clerk's office, as well as the keys for the council chambers and a security card for getting into those secure areas of city hall.
And it appears that I will have to bring in my vacuum to go over the rugs since that doesn't seem to be a service covered by its cleaning contract. But that doesn't bother me at all.
Little by little I have been outfitting the ground floor City Clerk office while learning the ropes to preparing council agenda packets and getting them delivered to the Antioch Branch Library, council members and posting the agenda on the council chambers window, Senior Center and City Hall lobby.
It also involves getting the agenda and all its documents scanned and posted on the city website; along with sending out an email to those who have requested notification of the agenda being posted.
The email notification of a council agenda has saved the taxpayers' money, as opposed to the previous method of mailing it out.
If you would like to receive a notification by email of a council agenda, simply send an email to email@example.com, requesting to be added to the notification email list.
The next task was to get a telephone and computer installed in the ground floor office, which was done last week.
While I will be available at the new ground floor City Clerk's office, the Deputy City Clerk will remain on the third floor spaces until we can resolve some security issues which precipitated the clerk's office being relocated to the third floor a year ago.
The lines of people waiting to pay their water bill, obtain water service, getting a business permit or a home occupancy permit have been quite long -- and at times frustrating for those waiting to be served.
The City Clerk's position is part-time, just as that of City Treasurer, Mayor or Council Member. Yet I intend to be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day that city hall is open (currently Monday through Thursday).
Lastly, I want to thank those who have contacted me with suggestions that they would like to see on the city website and changes that could make it easier to find information and documents.
It won't happen overnight, but I will meet with the webmaster to discuss all your suggestions to make your city government as transparent as possible.
Arne Simonsen is the Antioch City Clerk. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org