When I was growing up my dad would remind me that it is easy to sit on the outside and criticize, but if I was sincere, that I would get involved.
Antioch citizens have that opportunity by applying for the open positions on its various board and commissions -- and even some of its countywide advisory committees.
Antioch has a representative position on the Contra Costa Transportation's Citizens Advisory Committee. If you are concerned about transportation projects to impact your commute getting to and from Antioch, then here is your opportunity to get involved.
The Board of Administrative Appeals in some ways resembles a court or tribunal. It adjudicates appeals to citations issued by Code Enforcement and Animal Services, as well as other administrative decisions made by other city departments. While it is scheduled to meet once a month, it only holds public hearings when there are appeals. If you believe you can make Solomon-like decisions, then you may want to consider applying for the alternate member position that is available.
The Parks & Recreation Commission looks after all the neighborhood parks we have here in Antioch, as well as advising on the various recreation programs available. The commission provides input to the city council on the use of park bond money to upgrade and expand our recreation facilities. The commission meets monthly in the city council chambers. So if recreation is your area of interest, now is your opportunity to become directly involved.
The Economic Development Commission is seeking applicants who can help refine our ordinances and procedures to encourage more businesses to make Antioch their home. Great strides were made a decade ago to significantly reduce the number of new residential developments and place its emphasis on economic development. The results were Slatten Ranch, Williamson Ranch and Venture Capital on Lone Tree Way; a new expanded Costco and all the commercial buildings built on Verne Roberts Circle; the demolition of the old JC Penney's and the construction of Macy's and significant upgrades made to Somersville Towne Centre.
So if you are interested in helping bring more businesses and jobs to Antioch, you should consider applying.
The Planning Commission is second to the city council in the powers it yields. Commissioners must have a thorough understanding and knowledge of the city's General Plan, Zoning Ordinance, Master Fee Schedule and Municipal Code. All large residential and commercial proposals make their way to the Planning Commission, and even some smaller individual parcel projects.
The commissioners are guided by the policies established by the city council. Occasionally decisions made by the planning commission are appealed to the city council. The planning commission also sits as the city's Design review Board, which has a more limited scope dealing with exterior features of structures with existing Use or Conditional use Permits.
One member of the planning commission is also appointed as a member of the East Contra Costa Fee & Finance Authority which oversees the construction of the Highway 4 bypass. So if planning for Antioch's future is your area of interest, you should consider applying.
While not currently up for appointment, the city also has a citizen representative to the County Library Board.
Applications for each of these vacant positions are available at the City Clerk's counter on the ground floor of City Hall. Applications are also available online at www.ci.antioch.ca.us (the city website).
Some positions require the applicant to complete and file with the application a Form 700 Statement of Economic Interests.
Antioch is your city. Now is the time for you to become involved to help shape the city we all want it to be.
Arne Simonsen is the Antioch City Clerk. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.