It appears the Antioch City Council will engage in a marathon debate on Tuesday when they pick the fifth member to join the city council as nine Antioch residents applied for the position after Wade Harper was elected Mayor.
In alphabetical order, the candidates for appointment include: Jim Davis, Donald Freitas, Jonathan Hernandez, Vincent Manuel, Robert A. Miller, Manny Soliz, Tony Tiscareno, Debra Vinson and Sean Wright.
Honestly, I wasn’t expecting nine to apply, but it’s a well-rounded group and there are a couple folks who would be a solid choice. What is interesting is some candidates who ran for Mayor and City Council chose not to apply stating various reasons.
Here are my quick thoughts on each as I only think three of the nine candidates will seriously be considered:
James Davis: Served Antioch on the council and as Mayor. He has experience and he came in third during the last election. Honestly, if the council was going to nominate him, they would have done it during the last meeting instead of this political theater. I wouldn’t mind if he is selected, but I doubt he is selected.
Donald Freitas: While he previously serves as Mayor of Antioch in the past, he ran for mayor and didn’t have a good showing. This doesn’t turn out good for him.
Jonathan M. Hernandez: His claim to fame is that he put out a petition pushing Antioch to adopt a Concealed Weapon Resolution. Just as his petition won’t lead to a resolution, his application won’t be picked.
Vincent Manuel: This one is interesting because some claim he is “the choice” before the process even started. The truth is, if he is “the choice”, it’s a public relations nightmare for the council as they will have two years of hearing about a rigged council and how untrusted it would be. While Mr. Manuel has nice credentials as a Planning Commissioner, he is also Supervisor Federal Glovers “guy” and Antioch would be wise to pass. I can live with the choice, but can the council considering the rumors this would create and the reputation it would give them as a corrupt city? If he wants to serve on the council, to keep it clean, he should simply run in two years.
Robert Miller: The unknown of the bunch. This one will be more telling once the candidate statements are released.
Manuel “Manny” Louis Soliz, Jr. – the financial guy of the group.
Tony Tiscareno: Former business owner turned union advocate. He has been involved in many campaigns and has solid beliefs. I could live with this choice.
Debra Vinson: She has unsuccessfully ran for the School Board twice now and decided to throw her name in for city council. This will be another failed attempt for public office.
Sean Wright: He is a Chamber of Commerce Leader and I think for the business community’s sake, he should continue focusing on pushing the Chamber forward. With his interest now known, he could use the next two years to build up a strong following.
As for the upcoming meeting, prepare for a marathon session. As Paul Burgarino of the Contra Costa Times told me yesterday, this will be like the game Survivor as there will only be one winner. The real choice is does the council want experience, a new director, or a friend to serve along side them for the next two years? I am glad I am not in their shoes.
By Michael Burkholder