Antioch mayoral candidates engage in public spat

Antioch Mayor Don Freitas

Antioch Mayor Don Freitas

Antioch Councilman Jim Davis

Antioch Councilman Jim Davis

The gloves came off at last night’s Antioch City Council meeting between Mayor Don Freitas and his second-time challenger and  Councilman Jim Davis. (Skip to 33.13 in your media player to watch the exchange.)

It was ugly. The men called each other nasty names like “liar” and “bully.” The body language alone was cold enough to flash-freeze a side of beef.

Before you read this, put this foremost in your mind: This is the silly season. Antioch reporter Hilary Costa is working to flesh this out for tomorrow’s paper but here’s what I know.

Davis alleges that Freitas and the City Clerk Jolene Martin engaged in an illegal conversation about his much-contested ballot designation request of “vice mayor” “mayor pro tem” prior to the close of filing for candidates. The title is typically disallowed because it is a rotated position rather than an elected one.

However, several of my colleagues at the Times reviewed the election code and the confidentiality provision appears to apply to the candidate statement, not to the ballot designation.

Davis believes the mayor misused his power and pushed behind the scenes for a city-paid legal opinion on the ballot designation for his own political purposes. Davis wants the mayor to reimburse the city for the legal costs, perhaps as much as $10,000.

Freitas denies that anything illegal took place and accused Davis of hijacking the council meeting in order to drum up a campaign issue.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen

  • Freak_of_the_far_right

    Ah….. Antioch is back to its old fireworks.

    Only Allen Payton can save Antioch from getting out of control.

  • Rewgolfer

    Freitas has become the political boss of Antioch. While he’s smart and talented, he’s also supremely arrogant and power mad. He’s also pushy and abrasive
    which rubs people the wrong way. A lot of the reason he’s become the political boss of the City is linked to longevity; he’s been in office for years and has no inkling of ever leaving. But he’s also installed his pals on the City payroll, so if you tangle with Dan you tangle with them too. Personally, I think Frietas needs to get the boot. We don’t need political bosses in the suburbs, and it’s not appropriate for him to be puting his pals on the city payroll.

  • Rewgolfer

    Frietas is a county employee. At the county cronyism dominates – people hire thier friends and relatives – but that’s not supposed to be the case with a City like Antioch. A city like Antioch is supposed to hire a professional city manager to run the show, and the council provides policy direction. But Frietes is pushy and power mad, and he comes from this county backround, so he’s running the show, not the City manager. Thus you’ve got this political boss thing going on in Antioch – Freites has become a suburban version of Chicago’s Mayor Daley – – so unquestionably this blow-up at the council meeting is related to this.

  • JoeCitizen

    There comes a time when people just will not take it anymore and at least Davis said what many think but will not say. I am sure Davis will now get the brunt of the rath of Freitas. Davis beware.

  • Dave Pfeiffer

    Antioch goverment is the poster child for TERM LIMITS & PRECINCT ELECTIONS rather than city wide for Cinty Council.
    Special Projects that are poorly thought out and executed (Prewitt Park/Mello Roos, Latest Rivertown Plan/RFQ Award, EBart rather than BART).
    Having worked with City Leaders while on Economic Development Comm., experienced the “our way or highway” leadership 1st hand.
    It really is the world of “good old boy” politics as usual in Antioch!

  • While I believe Davis is right that he should have been allowed to us the title Mayor Pro Tem on his ballot designation, confronting Freitas at a council meeting was not appropriate nor was Freitas’ phone calls to the City Clerk or City Attorney, nor was his agendizing the issue at the previous council meeting as an “urgency item.” While it’s good Davis stood up to Freitas, for only the second time in memory, it was self-serving. The City of Antioch has greater issues to be addressing. That’s why we need new leadership, which is why I’m running! Visit http://www.AllenPayton.org or email me at allen@allenpayton.org for more info. Thanks!

  • JoeCitizen

    Payton Place.
    To vote for Allen would be a step backwards for Antioch. We do not need this ultra right wing evangelical conservative. Who by the way beleives wifes should submit to their husbands, and it not just beat them.