City Council Candidates Urged to Apply

Ventura City Council meeting, June 11

By Lori Denman-Underhill

Think you have what it takes to be on Ventura’s City Council? Interested candidates are urged to visit City Hall and pick up application paperwork in July and August.

The mayor and all council members were present for this regular meeting, held on June 11. Special presentations opened up the meeting and the mayor and the council presented a proclamation recognizing Island Packers 50 years of service to the community.

Deputy Mayor Matt LaVere read the proclamation to Island Packers and commended their efforts for numerous reasons. These included showing the wonder of the Channel Islands to community members and tourists in Oxnard. The council applauded the company as being a strong family run organization, providing an enriching and productive environment and teaching youth by providing safe and reliable transportation to the Channel Islands. Laverne said that Island Packers also provided a critical offshore transportation route during the 101 closures caused by the mudslides following the Thomas Fire.

Closed Session Report

Following the Island Packers presentation, the council said that their closed session’s items were not completed and would be reported on later.

City Council Communications

During City Council Communications it was announced that this Saturday, June 16 at 11am at City Hall, the city will be hosting the Green Building Expo. It is open and available to all Ventura residents. Information will be provided on energy efficient housing, solar, landscaping and also how to build energy efficient homes.

Consent Items

There were three items on the agenda. Public speakers commented on item one, asking if there are other bids besides the one from “Best, Best & Krieger,” for legal advice on telecommunication systems legislation and other matters. The council said that they do not do bids. The public speaker was wondering if the public can comment on this. 

The second consent item asked to adopt a resolution calling for the holding of a general municipal election on Tuesday, November 6, for the election of certain officers as required by the provisions of the City’s Charter.

Councilmember Weir said that the council should get the word out that district elections are occurring soon. She said that there are seven districts but only one, four, five and six can vote this year, including one on the west side and three on the east side. The other three districts will vote in 2020.

Council Member Christy Weir, File

There is an upcoming time period when potential city council candidates can receive information and sign up to run for city council.  July 16 through August 10 is the nomination period, when potential candidates may come to the city to get paperwork and file.

The third consent item was “AppleOne Employment Services — Approval of General Services Agreement for Temporary Staffing Services. The recommendation was to approve and authorize the city manager to execute a General Services Agreement with AppleOne Employment Services from July 1 to June 30, 2019 to provide city-wide temporary staffing services to all City departments.

Consent agenda was moved and seconded and roll was taken. They moved on to the formal items.

Formal Items

Formal items were then discussed, the first being – the Amendment of the Compensation and Terms of City Attorney’s Employment Agreement. Councilmember Nasarenko spoke on how council members evaluated City Attorney Greg Diaz.  They went over the evaluation, which was “outstanding.” Nasarenko said that Diaz gave the council legal advice on a number of issues including the move to district elections, the rebuilding in the city and emergency declarations for the Thomas Fire. The City Counsel gave a recommendation to increase Diaz’s salary. This was voted “yes” by each councilmember.

A public speaker approached the mic again and expressed his concern for “these difficult times,” regarding the vagrancy and Thomas Fire. He said that Police Chief Ken Corney is still requesting more funds.

“We can’t forget our vagrancy issue here and we need to keep an eye on where money is being spent,” the speaker said.

A formal item was discussed that would review options for the emergency ordinance banning leaf blowers in the city. The best advice given by public health officials was to keep the ban in place. While some support the ban, it has increased cost for home and business owners and for the city as well. Spreading ash by use of leaf blowers was a health issue but that may no longer be a concern.

It has been estimated that the cost for the city of not using leaf blowers is $700,000 per year. The ban was put in place until areas were cleared of ash. The mayor supported a motion for the continued ban of the blowers, until further information is given regarding health issues. It was said that the leaf blower topic is no longer a top priority for the city. In the end, the motion to extend the ban was not passed.

The next formal item was Public Works Property Administration – Annual Update.  From council direction, a change was made to the administration code when Public Works was put in charge. They also hired a new property manager and Nasarenko hopes that the City now has a better grip on how they handle their property management. They discussed various properties.

Public Communications

A speaker took to the podium and expressed concerns for himself and the community, regarding homeless drug use. This man was with West Side Community Council of Ventura and said that the recent meeting with LaVere and others was great. He received community input and that they understand that Family to Family charity gives food to the needy, but questionable things are happening in public outside the charity. He said that the homeless are doing illegal drugs out there. He asked if someone could be out there during peak times, like Family to Families ambassador, to watch the homeless.

The next speaker asked that the city to hire persons of low income for permanent employment and said that these persons can be hired to landscape plants and rid invasive species across Ventura.

These public comments were duly noted by Nasarenko.

City Council Communications/Reports

Councilmember Heitman reported from the Gold Coast Transit District that they have a grant that provides free transportation to anyone to ride the City of Ventura’s bus on Saturdays throughout the summer. Ventura based college students can use the bus for free every day this summer.

The next city council meeting will be long, due to next year’s budget being discussed. Items will be covered relating to recent events, fireworks and also waste water programs.

City Council Meeting Agendas – Ventura, CA:

Agenda, June 11, City Council Regular Meeting:

Video, June 11, Ventura City Council Regular Meeting:

Closed Session


Lori Denman-Underhill has been a professional journalist since 1996. She has worked as associate editor for the Los Angeles Daily News TODAY Magazines and has freelanced for LA Weekly, and more. She is now the Ventura reporter for Citizens Journal.

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William Hicks

Carla Bonney’s Daughters, Gary Parker and Daniel Cormode ought to apply for City Council.

William Hicks

Another person to consider might be Daniel Cormode, resident of Ventura City.

William Hicks

Too bad we don’t have another bite at the apple with Carla Bonney. We had our chance, but now she lives in Idaho.

Citizen Reporter

Is it possible to elect an actual Conservative in Ventura>

William Hicks

You could start by approaching Gary Parker. He has a knife sharpening business in downtown Ventura. Ask him to run for City Council.