price arial, find sans-serif;”>In order to better grasp the actual financial situation of the City of Oxnard, it is paramount that the true and correct information be shared with the public and city employees. When there is such a vast difference in financial and budget information from year-to-year, a second opinion is prudent. Therefore, to have a better perspective of the City’s budget and financial position, the Oxnard Mid Managers Association (OMMA) joined OPOA (Police), and IAFF (Fire) in their efforts to secure a consultant, currently conducting a forensic audit of the work prepared by the City’s outside consultants, in order to provide a clear perspective on the accuracy of those City reports.
For months, the members (leadership) of OMMA have watched as consultants hired by the City characterize the City’s finances as being on the “verge of insolvency” and furthermore, infer “illegal” activity. OMMA has openly disagreed with this assessment of the City’s finances, an opinion derived from the fact that many mid managers, as part of their daily duties and responsibilities, stay abreast of the pulse of Oxnard’s finances citywide. Mid Managers, in the City of Oxnard, are in the unique position to be intimately familiar with the ongoing financial trends and shortfalls. Terms such as “insolvency” and “illegal” are scary, but where is the substance behind those terms? These are but a few of the many unanswered questions the OMMA, OPOA, and IAFF have for the City. Moreover, a lack of concrete information is evident, which furthers the necessity to answer these financial and budgetary concerns.
When the outside consultants were brought in to do an “evaluation” of the City’s systems, staff embraced the opportunity to identify and rectify possible issues that needed to be addressed at all levels. Yet, the staff was misled as we found that the “assessment” appears to have been crafted with a specific skewed focus toward predetermined outcomes.
OMMA was alarmed by the reports being brought forward to City Council and the public. Here are a few of our concerns:
• $16 million in Measure O funding borrowed for liquidity, “to weather the next recession-it will come, it is just a matter of when.” Page viii of the FY15-16 budget document.
• $8.8 million in service cuts to residents. The specific effects of those cuts were never conveyed to residents so they could weigh in on the matter.
• No factual source documents were referenced for the City’s revenue projections in the City’s budget document. All the revenue trends indicate revenues are on the upswing: Sales tax, Housing sales, Property tax.
• What exactly does “on the verge of insolvency” mean in terms of audited fund cash balances, city investments and obligations for FY13-14 and FY14-15?
• How will the City’s impending “insolvency” affect the City’s bond ratings for the Waste Water fund? General Fund?
We encourage the residents of Oxnard to attend an important community meeting and public information forum on Wednesday to learn more about the real state of the City of Oxnard and the facts about what Management Partners has stated about the City’s financial condition.
Event: The Real State of the City
Date: Wednesday, August 26th, 2015
Time: 6:30 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.
Location: Oxnard PACC Camarillo Room 800 Hobson Way, Oxnard CA