First-ever Oxnard Community Forum exceeds expectations

Event Video included

By George Miller

We saw the very best of Oxnard last night at its first-ever Community Forum. It was designed to enhance communications between city government, residents and businesses for the purposes of building mutual understanding, trust as well as helping determine priorities for city programs and budgeting to support them. People we spoke with thought that it was anywhere from “a good start” to “mission accomplished.” Watch the event video(s), below and decide for yourself.

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Much larger than anticipated crowd showed up for the Oxnard Community Forum on 3-5-15 at Oxnard Performing Arts Center. (Photo:

Several things led to this event including: a new City Manager with his “new broom sweeping clean,” following years of weak or corrupt leadership; budget crunch which demands better resource allocation/prioritization of programs; and finally, erosion of trust due to multiple unfortunate policing incidents, including the Alfonso Limon shooting. So, as Mayor Flynn said last night, some good can come out of something bad. The forum was actually initiated, planned and executed by local civic activists Peggy Rivera and Jean Joneson, with very strong support from the Council and staff. Turnout greatly exceeded expectations of 200-250. Panel members resolved to do this more. Crowd estimates we heard varied from 200-1500. Our estimate is 400, out of a city population of over 200,000.

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Meeting format

– Introduction

– Panel discussion on “establishing trust,” which focused on how the City is serving/should better serve the community. The emphasis was on public safety.

– There was supposed to be a panel discussion on community priorities, with the public posing questions. But this did not occur, probably because insufficient time was available.  Some residents submitted unanswered questions, but can still submit them online, via: HERE

– A long break for networking, eating, and voting

– Participants were encouraged to vote on community priorities, using the same list presented by Acting City Manager Scott Whitney at the 2-24-15 Council meeting: Community and Budget Priorities (pdf 358KB) (Read Citizens Journal meeting report). City officials placed the contents of those initial  priority recommendations on large poster boards scattered around the room and gave each participant adhesive dots (6 program dots and two focus area dots), which they were to place on the programs they wanted most.

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Part of Oxnard staff report of internally developed priorities. Full doc link above.


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3-5-15 039 3-5-15 Oxnard Community Forum panel: (L-R)  Moderator Dr. Herb Gooch, Organizers Jean Joneson and Peggy Rivera, Mayor Tim Flynn, City Manager Greg Nyhoff, Police Chief Jeri Williams (Photo: Bob Jeffrys)


Trust Session

The panel fielded 12 questions from  the audience, including: What about a police review board; Why are gang coordinators police?; Why not just have independent investigators of police shootings instead of DA?; How are you shaping Oxnard with police killings, homicides, water shortages, traffic?; Will there be a police storefront at the new Fire station (#8)?; Why don’t police officers pass by my area more frequently?; How can trust be restored if staff don’t provide credible information?; Can we bring back community policing?; Why is it so hard to set policy on misuse of public funds?; Seeking trust works both ways- we would hold police to a high standard, but why don’t parents know where their children are, who they’re with, there are 100’s of stolen vehicles, gang shootings; How soon will we see police officers with body cameras?  Send more questions HERE.


 Official and KADYTV event records

Rather than write you a blow by blow account of the panel session and subsequent activities, we’ll refer you to the official City event receord and also a video created by KADYTV ….

Official event record:

Name Date Duration Agenda Minutes Video
City Council – Special Meeting March 5, 2015 01h 00m Agenda Video

Note: City video was not ready at publication time but should be available on above link soon. KADYTV video is already up and running…


Event video: Oxnard Community Forum 3-5-15:

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Oxnard Community Forum Moderator Dr. Herb Gooch, Political Science Professor at CLU- 3-5-15. (Photo:



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Oxnard City Manager Greg Nyhoff holds up city priorities ballot card with many resident votes for “Investing in Our Community. (Photo:



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Oxnard Mayor Tim Flynn at Commuinity Forum- 3-5-15. (Photo:


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Our favorite Librarians. (Photo:


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Oxnard Planning Manager Ashley Golden and Acting Assistant City Manager Scott Whitney stand by Economic Development Priorities polling place at Community Forum- 3-5-15. (Photo:


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Police Activities League and City Corps displayed their wares at Oxnard Community Forum- 3-5-15. (Photo:


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KADYTV host Peter Godinez records event sights at Oxnard Community Forum – 3-5-15. (Photo:


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Recreation Dept. at Oxnard Community Forum- 3-5-15. (Photo:

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Oxnard Utilities Dept. had lots of info available. (Photo:


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Oxnard Fire Dept. at Communtity Forum- 3-5-15. (Photo:


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Oxnard Police Dept. at Community Forum. (Photo:

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Peggy Rivera, Oxnard Community Forum Co-Organizer. (Photo:


Oxnard City Manager Nyhoff explains March 5 Community …



George Miller is Publisher of and a “retired” operations management consultant, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard.

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