Reaction to Antioch Proposal to Spend $1 Million to House Homeless at Motel
Jul 16th, 2020 by Contra Costa Today
On this episode, we hold an immediate reaction to a proposal by Antioch City council members Joy Motts and Lamar Thorpe that would spend $1 million on 32-rooms at the Executive Inn to house the homeless on E. 18th in the City of Antioch. We then talk about other homelessness issues in the City, go over a timeline of what the City Council has done or not done in resolving homeless issues and touch on other topics.
00:43 – Intro of Manny Soliz, Sandra White & Ken Turnage II
01:20 – Manny Soliz, a former Antioch City Council Member (1996-200) and Antioch Planning Commissioner, and formerly on Antioch Parks and Recreation Commissioner. Soliz has pulled papers to run against Joy Motts in District 1.
02:49 - Sandra White, an Antioch Crime Commissioner with a background in corporate business. She is now a candidate for Antioch City Council in District 4.
04:18 – Ken Turnage, a former Antioch Planning Commissioner who has a business owner right down the street from this proposal. He has pulled papers to run for Mayor.
*Note fore clarification purposes, neither Soliz or White were representing Antioch, but rather themselves as individuals as residents of the City of Antioch.
06:01 – We discuss the press conference held by Antioch Councilmembers Lamar Thorpe and Joy Motts to lease the Executive Inn Motel for the homeless. A 32-room facility at $1 million per year. The proposal goes before the council on July 28, 2020.
14:20 – Manny Soliz explains this idea for the Executive Inn being for the homeless is recycled from 7-years ago that has come back. Soliz further highlights loss of revenue from the rooms, the City will lose occupancy room tax ($100k approx.) which would impact Animal Services.
16:35 – Sandra White argues “why Antioch” for this homeless motel services? Now Antioch is inviting one of the largest encampments in east county to E 18th street, plus trailers and RV’s. All while defunding the Antioch Police Department. Meanwhile, Turnage argues this proposal is right next to a school.
20:24 – I argue Thorpe and Motts did not need a press conference to announce this… this was done for grandstanding and attention while working with the Contra Costa County. It has also been stated that in this whole year and a half of ad-hoc committee, neither Thorpe nor Motts have attended any of the Contra Costa County Council on Homelessness let alone a ride along with the Antioch Police Community Engagement Team who deal directly with homeless.
28:30 – What would you spend $1 million in city money on in Antioch?
36:20 – Antioch Police Community Engagement Team and their role in responding to homeless. Why not take $1 million and expand CET team with a counselor or psychologist and as a team they go out making the rounds? White, Soliz and Turnage answer if police should still respond to these types of calls. We also get into social worker safety. White argues Antioch Police should hire its own mental health professionals.
50:00 – I go over the Timeline in which the Antioch City Council has worked on homeless issues. Soliz explains why the Planning Commission had issues with proposed homeless trailer sites. In a year and a half, what has been accomplished and where is the community at?
1:06:15 – White asks why the citizens of Antioch can’t get to a place of stop debating where the homeless shelter should be located, ask why does it have to be in Antioch? What other city should take it? Turnage argues it should located on county property.
1:08:43 – Soliz give his thoughts on where we go from here on the July 28 council meeting.
1:10:39 – I ask White about economic development and where the city could be if they took all that time spent on homeless discussions and instead spent it on economic development and finding ways to help business.
1:15:10 – I ask Turnage about where the city could be if the council spent as much time on youth services/senior services as opposed to the time spent about the homeless.
1:18:50 – I ask Soliz what if the city council used their time to focus bringing the community together through celebrating culture versus talking about the homeless.
1:21:10 – Final thoughts