Vote "No" on Antioch's Measure C general fund sales tax. It's not a dedicated police tax. This general fund tax can be used for whatever any City Council majority (three) wants.
Measure C increases your sales tax to 9 cents on the dollar for the taxable items purchased. Don't be fooled by their misrepresentations and questionable claims on their misleading signs and mailers.
The claimed police manpower shortage situation has been greatly created and contributed to by the Antioch police themselves! It's also been a result of the weak City Council majorities, city manager, city staff, unknowing volunteer groups purposely misled, and even the news media, who don't investigate or expose their pretentious charades. They've allowed this to happen, not you.
The Antioch Police Officers Association always vigorously insisted on a pay and benefit increase for themselves, not more manpower when given the choice. Once the highly paid police got what they wanted for themselves, they cried out about the lack of manpower and pushed for the need for more taxes (e.g., the APOA's president, Tom Fuhrman, signed the Argument In Favor). Do you really know what they're paid and compensated in Antioch? Well, we do.
Police recently received 9 percent in wage increases and an additional 4 percent more effective on Sept. 1, with more guaranteed yearly increases, costly multiyear contracts, and are keeping their generous "3 percent at 50" retirement package (where they can retire with 100 percent of their highest pay).
Some outrageous Antioch police and city estimated salaries' and benefits' costs are: City Manager, $350,000; Chief, $330,000; Lieutenants $285,000; Sergeants $240,000; Corporals $200,000; Officers $180,000. The public gets far less, and some with no retirement pay at all. It's disgraceful.
They're again using scare tactics to just tax you more. This tax increase is unnecessary. Increasing existing taxes isn't the solution. More taxes benefits those favoring its passage and those receiving future increased raises, benefits and extremely generous pensions. You shouldn't pay for their uncontrolled overspending and mismanagement.
Property values are continuing to increase and as adjustments are made, the city will receive more tax revenue. The state has recently raised gasoline taxes by 3.5 cents more per gallon. We have continuing increases in costs for our foods, utilities, sewer, groceries, medical and unemployment.
Antioch's already raised water, garbage rates, business fees, etc. Enough already.
City officials must do more to cut costs or get out and let others do the right things. Stop overspending, and definitely cut back excessive salaries and benefits for those overcompensated employees.
Vote "No" on Antioch's Measure C.
Ralph Hernandez is chairman of Citizens for Democracy and a former Antioch City Councilman.