Camarillo Council reviews New Ventura County Sheriff Website. Residents of Camarillo Express concerns as EEOC changes Employer Requirements regarding COVID-19

News

By Chris Bailey

29 May 2021, Camarillo

Aside from the standard fare of business which the Camarillo City Council must tackle every two weeks, tonight had two points of interest which stood out from the rest.

Ventura County Sheriff Commander Eric Tennessen gave an informative presentation regarding the freshly updated Ventura County Sheriff website, https://www.venturasheriff.org/. There are very interactive and useful dashboards that cover Crime and Traffic, Use of Force, RIPA(Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015), and Hiring/Training/Reporting/Accountability. They are excellent and easy to use access to information on the current Executive Staff and history of the Ventura County Sheriff, Employment(Including Volunteers), Divisions of the Department, Inmate Information, and Media Contact Points. 

Due to research regarding another story, I have recently completely reviewed the information available on the prior Sheriff website, which was at best outdated and very institutional. To be clear, what I mean by outdated is out of sync with the amount of information we have come to expect while searching a website, and out of phase with the style of website navigation users have grown accustomed to. The new website is searchable to some extent, and many of the windows in the website have drop downs which lead to additional data and references, with well thought out use of links and hyperlinks for additional information and reference. I was told by Chief Tennessen the website is also extremely flexible and adaptable to future needs. In addition, there are a number of tiles at the bottom of the Home Page which cover many areas for immediate click thru, and the FAQs(Frequently Asked Questions) has two very important links, the first being Required Public Postings and the second being a downloadable Complaint form.

Commander Tennessen is the Chief of Police in Camarillo, and was a driving force behind the new website. Team efforts as well came from Commander Bill Schierman, who has dedicated six years developing innovative data driven strategies to meet current crime trends, and Crime Analysis Unit Manager Jennifer Bramlette, who is responsible for maintaining the data and developing analysis tools for the VCSD. Look over the website at https://www.venturasheriff.org/ The Crime Analysis Unit can be found at DIVISIONS, Operations, Special Operations from the VCSD Home page.

Public comments at this meeting had a very clear focus concerning how the SARS-2(COVID-19) vaccine and the possibility of future “vaccine passports” which may affect the ability of residents in California to do business, attend any type of event, enjoy dining, or attend school from elementary to higher education. This concern is the result of communications that apparently came from Ashley Bautista, the Public Information Officer for the County of Ventura, where she stated the County does not have the intention of requiring a vaccine verification, as the vaccine is voluntary. She also has stated in writing that the State of California is currently considering legislation that would mandate no County or City could require any sort of SARS-2(COVID-19) vaccination verification in the future. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220AB327 However, she has told business owners who have inquired about vaccine verifications in their businesses that a business could make a personal decision or corporate decision to require vaccination verification. This seems to be out of step with current health code and HIPPA disclosure laws. This isn’t due to the right of an employer to ask (they can), but the right of an employee to keep private why a medical decision was made to not be vaccinated for SARS-2(COVID-19). https://www.hipaajournal.com/is-it-a-hipaa-violation-to-ask-for-proof-of-vaccine-status/ Granted, this is nuanced from individual conversation records. Given the current climate of disclosure concerning the origins of the SARS-2(COVID-19) virus, this seems understandable. Public Information Officer Ashley Bautista of Ventura County was contacted, but had not responded prior to publication. 

In an update from the EEOC that occurred on 28 March 2021, employers can now incentivize vaccinations of employees, as long as accommodations are made for employees who cannot take the vaccine for medical or religious reasons. https://www.eeoc.gov/newsroom/eeoc-issues-updated-covid-19-technical-assistance.

Though public comments, on any item of a public meeting is one way to communicate, you can also request an issue for a future agenda of the Camarillo City Council. 

A member of the public may request to have an item that is within the City’s subject matter jurisdiction be placed on the agenda. The item must be submitted in writing, with relevant backup material, to the City Manager for transmittal to the City Council for their information. Upon the request of at least two City Council Members at a City Council meeting the City Manager will place the requested item on the appropriate agenda, and staff will provide an agenda report with relevant backup material. The City Manager will advise the requesting party in a timely manner as to the disposition of the request.City Council Policy Re: Scheduling City Council Meeting Agenda Items Policy 1.04 Last Amended 08/22/18

I want to encourage every resident of Camarillo to take the time to visit the Council Chambers in the near future and watch the workings of your local government. The meeting dates and times are published on the city website at https://www.ci.camarillo.ca.us/ and the City Council meetings are held as published at the Council Chambers, in person at 601 Carmen Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010. School aged children could also learn about government by attending a council session. You can watch the Council meetings on YouTube or local television, and participate with comments as well through a Zoom format. If you are too busy, but still want to know what happened, proceedings are maintained on YouTube. There is a click through window on the Camarillo City website. All of this information, as well as agendas for future public meetings, and the minutes from past meetings are available for anyone to review on the city website. 

On to the highlights. The first was in the Discussion Items on the published agenda, the second was a fairly clear address by a number of residents who have concerns about the after effects on life, business, and personal freedom post-SARS-2(COVID-19)

Chris Bailey is a reporter-at-large of citizensjournal.us, a business owner, military veteran and long time resident of Camarillo


Get Citizensjournal.us Headlines free  SUBSCRIPTION. Keep us publishing – DONATE

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments