Currently, Antioch lies within District V, represented by Supervisor Federal Glover. The district also encompasses Oakley, Bethel Island, Pittsburg and Bay Point, as well as parts of Central County. Brentwood is part of District III, as is Knightsen, Discovery Bay, Byron and parts of Central County.
Two of the four main concepts the county is considering would split Antioch between two districts.
“My concern would be about keeping Antioch whole,” City Councilman Gary Agopian said. “I don’t really have a preference in terms of which one of these (plans) does that. … I think it’s important to have a compact, unified district with Antioch whole.”
City Council members directed City Manager Jim Jakel to write a letter to the county’s Board of Supervisors, pledging Antioch’s support for a district along the lines of the fourth proposal, which would separate the city from Pittsburg, but create a united far East County-based district with Oakley, Brentwood, Bethel Island, Knightsen, Discovery Bay and Byron.
Councilmembers felt that a unified East County made more sense than a district defined by its relation to the San Joaquin River.
“As I look at the concepts that divide Antioch, I’m not in agreement with those,” City Councilman Wade Harper said. “I also identify more with East County.”
Councilman Brian Kalinowski pointed out that the waterfront industry in Pittsburg is similar to the neighboring towns of Martinez and Concord. He also noted that considering Pittsburg’s dissociation from the East Contra Costa Regional Fee and Financing Association – a shared account for the road improvements of East County towns – it makes more sense to align with amicable partners.
“We also know that Pittsburg, in the transportation world, doesn’t feel compelled to be a regional partner,” said Kalinowski, also the chair of the local transportation improvement board TRANSPLAN. “You probably want to spend time and energy with those who are going to be a positive partner in regional issues.”
But census regulations mandate that district lines must be redrawn to reflect changes over the past 10 years. According to the census, the District V population grew by 13.6 percent, the second-biggest growth spurt in the county to District III’s 33 percent.
The county is currently considering four main proposals, but welcomes ideas from the public. On the county’s website, www.co.contra-costa.ca.us, residents are invited to create their own redistricted area and submit it for consideration.
“None of the proposals are in stone,” Jakel said. “There’s several fundamental differences in the proposals.”
The county plans to hold several workshops informing residents about the changes and gathering input. The next will be held Monday, May 16 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the City of Walnut Creek Gymnasium Classroom – 2055 Tice Valley Boulevard, part of District II.
The next workshop in District V is slated for Thursday, May 19 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Ambrose Recreational Center Dining Hall, 3105 Willow Pass Road in Bay Point. A meeting will also be held in Antioch on Monday, May 23 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Antioch Community Center Community Hall C, 4703 Lone Tree Way.