Voting

Photo courtesy of Metro Creative 

This November, elections will look differently for cities in East County.

Moving from at-large elections in both Brentwood and Antioch, those municipalities’ council seats will now be filled by elected officials from select districts. For Brentwood, that means the two positions open for councilmembers will be for District 1 (the northwest portion of the city) and District 3 (found in the southwest) and candidates must live in their respective districts to run. Councilmembers Karen Rarey and Claudette Staton’s terms end this year. The city will also elect a new mayor, as Mayor Bob vacates his longtime post.

“The nomination period for all elective offices doesn’t begin until July 13, 2020, and ends on August 7, 2020,” Brentwood City Clerk Margaret Wimberly said. “I will be accepting appointments for the issuance of nomination papers.”

Antioch will elect a new city clerk, treasurer, mayor and councilmembers for District 1 (a two-year term), District 2 (four-year term), District 3 (four-year term) and District 4 (two-year term). Districts in that city are sliced in layers, with District 1 starting north along the water and downtown area, District 2 and 3 taking up the center, and District 4 to the south, bordering open land. Ending their terms their year are Mayor Sean Wright, Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts and councilmembers Lamar Thorpe, Lori Ogorchock and Monica Wilson.

While also facing the mounting legal pressure that spurred district format elections in Brentwood and Antioch, the City of Oakley for now remains at-large. Attorney Kevin Shenkman, representing nonprofit Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, sent a letter to the city earlier this year threatening legal action if it did not voluntarily change its at-large election system — which is argued to limit representation of certain demographics within municipalities. Oakley is likely to see the change in 2022. For now, its council is set to acquire three new councilmembers this year. Vacating their seats are Mayor Kevin Romick and councilmembers Claire Alaura and Michael Krieg. As that board rotates its mayor position among councilmembers, the position for mayor is listed as a councilmember.

“I am very supportive of districts,” Oakley Councilmember Sue Higgins said. “Districts are supported by a number of my constituents. We will follow the process that many other cities and districts have already.”

In smaller unincorporated regions such as Knightsen and Discovery Bay, which have community services districts (CSD) instead of councils, the two will vote in two new directors each.

School districts in the area will also see new faces in elected governing board members. The Brentwood and Byron union school districts will each elect two as will the Contra Costa County Board of Education. Knightsen Union, Antioch Unified and the Oakley Union Elementary school districts will bring in three board members.

In addition to CSD boards, East County special districts on the ballot include the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, the Bethel Island Municipal Improvement District, Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, Byron Sanitary District and the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District.

For information on how to file as or nominate a candidate, visit cocovote.us

To review the district map for Brentwood, visit https://bit.ly/thepressnet_BrentwoodDistricts.

To review the district map for Antioch, visit https://bit.ly/thepressnet_AntiochDistricts.

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