Antioch needs new leaders

Dear Editor:

Change we can believe in? I don't think so.

Antioch newspapers have profiled candidates for Antioch city council and mayor. All have promised changes to revitalize Antioch, reduce crime, promote business, ensure a balanced budget, create jobs, implement reform, and be transparent and accountable.

What is happening is that some of these candidates are "reinventing" themselves by changing roles. For instance, current and past council members are now running for mayor; past and present mayors are now running for council. Some are the lead cause for Antioch's decline and state of misery, so how in the world can they expect to be elected to a "new" position so they can carry on with the same failed policies? These failed policies and mismanagement by them have caused a downward spiral in Antioch, and is the root cause of a 45 percent increase in crime, deterioration of residential and commercial property, an influx of undesirables moving here, an increase of so called "homeless" persons who are more than likely drug addicts or alcoholics, businesses moving out, abandoned vehicles, litter, garbage, and weeds everywhere, squatters, no community redevelopment, and Section 8.


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You read all the time about expressed concerns with the direction Antioch is heading, yet nothing is being done. By comparison, look at Brentwood, Oakley and Pittsburg, which are now startling examples of a strong, well-managed city government. Antioch leaders and politicians vying for your vote are a failure. Therefore, we need change we can believe in. The way to do this is to vote in a brand new mayor, and a completely new city council.

I suggest newcomers like Michael Leon for mayor; Noel Pinto, Monica Wilson and Walter Ruehlig for city council, and Arne Simonsen for city clerk.

They will bring new ideas for immediate change that will get Antioch back on track so that the city will be elevated to "the jewel of East County."

Larry Thomas

Antioch

CC Fire aware of district's fiscal challenges

Dear Editor:

As usual, the Contra Costa Times is either purposely printing incorrect information to further their agenda regarding opposition to the Contra Costa Fire District's ballot measure or someone was asleep while vetting letters to the editor. I am referring to James Nobriga's letter, which incorrectly states "the districts staff and union have not made concessions."

He is correct, we did not concede. We approached the county and proposed giving back salary, electing to pay more for retirement and increasing contributions toward our medical plan.

Our membership recognized the fiscal challenges the district is facing and approached the county before our contracts expiration. Although we are a small bargaining unit, our willingness to give back salary and pay more for benefits, saves the district substantial money. These savings will be felt for years to come.

Contra Costa Fire District gives its citizens Neiman Marcus service at Walmart prices. Compare our cost per resident with any other agency. I have been with the district for 22 years and witness daily the hard work and dedication of our line and staff personnel. We do more with less.

Speaking as a battalion chief, it concerns me greatly any reductions in staffing. I was a member of the Michele Drive Line of Duty Death Investigation Team and can with authority warn any reduction in staffing will greatly increase the chance of another occurrence. This is not a threat or hyperbole, it's the truth.

Everyone agrees adjustments to the county retirement system are needed. We can also agree each of us has a different fix. The county has made steps toward addressing the situation. Maybe not exactly what columnist Daniel Bornenstein suggests, but movement no less.

In the future, I would appreciate better vetting and maybe a second look at repetitive letters by the same persons being published.

John Kipp

Vice President, United Chief Officers Association

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