Port Hueneme News — City Hall Update


By Tom Dunn

Since December last year City Hall has gone under a number of changes in staff and policy direction. The goal was to improve the city’s financial status and improve quality of life in Port Hueneme. As one member of city staff said: “…there have been a lot of changes recently and things are starting to happen that are good.” Here is a summary of key changes that have been made.

Mayor Tom Figg – Tom was elected as a non-incumbent of a five-member City Council in 2016. Following his appointment as Mayor in December 2016, Mayor Figg introduced a far-reaching Strategic Action Plan that focuses on revenue enhancement, community engagement, beach restoration, traffic and pedestrian safety, and collaborative problem solving such as recurring shoreline erosion.

New Council Member Will Berg – Mr. Berg brings a wealth of experience from the business world including his long and successful tenure as Marketing Director at the Port of Hueneme. Drawing upon this experience and the relationships he’s formed along the way, Mr. Berg will bolster business development, stakeholder partnerships and creative problem solving.

New City Manager Rod Butler – The first of new hires dating back to December last year, Mr. Butler has already establishment himself as being an open, accessible and responsive leader. This is already showing positive and quick acting results in addressing citizen concerns, keeping the Council and community informed on current issues, and spearheading formation of an economic development program.

New City Attorney Charlie Green – The City Council appointed Charlie Green in April as the new City Attorney and last addition to the Executive Management Team. Charlie is a partner in the firm of Green de Bortnowsky, LLP, whose office is located in Calabasas. Charlie was selected on the basis of cost reasonableness, geographic accessibility and legal experience relevant to the issues confronting Port Hueneme.

Chief of Police Andrew Salinas – Chief Salinas comes from Oxnard PD as a former and well-respected Commander. He has a very good working knowledge of the Port Hueneme Police Department and fully appreciates the symbiotic relationship that exists with the community. His immediate focus is on building a team around the core values of professionalism, responsiveness, and community involvement.

Public Work Director Don Villafana – In a short period of four months, Mr. Villafana has proven himself to be a self-starter, team player and responsive staff member. He, together with the new Police Chief, have been quick to respond to citizen issues long before they fester. Examples include graffiti removal, pedestrian safety improvements, and facility upgrades at Hueneme Beach.
Finance Director Al Burrell – Mr. Burrell has been employed in various capacities within the Finance Department for a number of years. As the newly appointed Director, his immediate and most noteworthy assignment is to retool the City’s budgetary process including a two-year budget cycle, more in-depth accounting of costs and revenues, and assisting the Council in achieving a sustainable financial future.

Economic Development Consultant Steve Kinney – A Port Hueneme resident and retired CEO of the Oxnard Economic Development Corporation, Steve has been retained as a consultant to direct the City’s business retention/attraction efforts, maximize the development and reuse of City-owned properties, and assist with overall revenue enhancement initiatives.

Deputy Community Development Director Tony Stewart – Tony will be working to reorganize and enhance community development functions including permit processes, code compliance, parking enforcement, and neighborhood improvement. Working in concert with Steve Kinney, Tony’s immediate and most noteworthy assignment is to implement the City’s newly enacted medicinal cannabis ordinance.

The above-named parties, along with the City Council and Deputy City Manager Carmen Nichols, have been working very hard to devise and implement measures to restore the City’s financial health and improve quality of life for all of us. Community input, ideas and support are also needed for all at the plans and goals to be accomplished.

PortHuenemeHelloCardTom Dunn is a Port Hueneme civic activist working to restore PH financial and governmental stability. He heads the Port Hueneme Coalition of Concerned Citizens (PHCCC). He is retired- was a sales executive for major health care manufacturers and a small business owner.

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