In Surprise Move, Oxnard Council Adopts Starr Term Limits, BUT ….

By George Miller

The Oxnard Council adopted Aaron Starr/Moving Oxnard Forward’s term limits ballot measure at the 1-21-20 meeting. Many anticipated that the council would also attempt to litigate this like they signaled they would with three other Starr initiatives at last week’s special meeting. But in a surprise maneuver, they actually adopted the initiative as law. So, why, when they already have a competing, weaker term limits initiative as part of their own “Measure B?” It may be that this could be the shortest period an ordinance was ever in effect in Oxnard. 

Aaron Starr speaking just before the Oxnard Council vote on his term limits initiative- 1-21-20

Here’s why: 

  • In only 2 weeks, primary ballots will go out with Measure B included. In six weeks is election day.
  • Measure B calls for term limits, but the ballot language says there are no other limits in effect. But there are, as of 1-21-20. But, that wasn’t true when ballots were designed and printed. 
  • But the Council, City Attorney and City Clerk all knew that the Starr term limits initiative was in progress and likely to collect sufficient signatures, but that Measure B language wasn’t changed, possibly limited by procedures.
  • So voters, who overwhelmingly will likely not know that tighter term limits have already been passed, are then more likely to vote for Measure B, never knowing that they will be repealing more stringent term limits in doing so.
  • Voters will be deceived, Council is playing hardball?
  • It will be interesting to see what happens next. Enhancing voter awareness is at least one option.

You may recall that the Council challenged three other of the five initiatives by having an outside consultant attempt to torpedo them and are likely initiating litigation to keep them off the ballot. Aaron Starr and Alicia Percell claim that the ONLY legal options the city has are to put them on the ballot or adopt them. Watch the legal fireworks in court again over that.

Meeting AGENDA MATERIALS, VIDEO

K-4- SUBJECT: Certificate of Sufficiency of Signatures for Initiative Petition. (5/5/5)

That the City Council receive and file the certificate of sufficiency for the
initiative: “Term Limits for the Mayor and Councilmembers, Extension of Mayor’s Term from
Two Years to Four Years Starting in 2022.”
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Michelle Ascencion, (805) 385-7805

This is the last of five ballot initiatives submitted with over 8,000 signatures each, by Aaron Starr’s Moving Oxnard Forward. The above merely confirms that this was received.

Public Comments

Aaron Starr- Thanks to all who worked on this, gathered signatures.  Council voted to analyze 4 initiatives. Why was it not mentioned for this one tonight?

No Council comments

L- Public Comments on Closed Session on potential litigation.

Ray Blutel- You have performed due diligence, which reflected what staff wanted to stay. You must think voters are stupid. They are the same voters who put you where you are today.

Aaron Starr- I am disheartened that you may intend to circumvent the voters again, on this item.  Do not do this. Term limits is a very common proposal. I can’t think of how you might say this is unconstitutional. I have yet to see what the arguments were for not putting the other items on the ballot. Do not waste time and money on this.

Council went into closed session, then came back to vote on the term limits initiative.

N-1- Consideration of Action on Initiative Measure Titled: “Term Limits for the Mayor and
Councilmembers, Extension of Mayor’s Term from Two Years to Four Years Starting in 2022.”
That the City Council:
1. For the above initiative, either: a) adopt the ordinance, or b) call an election; and
2. If calling the election, adopt a resolution ordering consolidation with the November 3, 2020
statewide election and requesting the County Clerk to conduct the election and authorizing the
Board of Supervisors to canvass the returns.
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Stephen Fischer, (805) 385-7483

Per City Atty. Fischer- no 9212 analysis report was called for in December.

Public Comments

Pat Brown- Don’t like the idea of 4 year terms. (she neglected to notice that Council Members already have 4 year terms)  What if we get someone similar to Donald Trump, who will make the whole city fall apart ?

Aaron Starr- Thanks to council for not suing me on this one and following the law putting it on the ballot (but the latter did not subsequently occur).

Greg Runyon- Thought for a long time that Mayor term should be 4 years. Effort and expense of a campaign every 2 years is expensive. Should not select a blowhard as Mayor.

Council/Staff

City Atty Fischer- Recommends adoption for the ballot.  There are other initiatives in Measure B.

Ramirez- 2 terms is insufficient. Prefers Measure B but will support this. How interesting.

Mayor Pro Tem Carmen Ramirez then made a motion to ADOPT (not put on the ballot) the term limit initiative.

Vote- Approved 6-1 with Madrigal opposed.

 

Previous article on this:

Oxnard Attempts to Spike Starr Initiatives; Ponders Electrical Supply

Oxnard Attempts to Spike Starr Initiatives; Ponders Electrical Supply

By George Miller A very contentious 1-15 -20 Oxnard Council special meeting featured mostly strong opposition to the Aaron Starr-led Moving Oxnard Forward voter initiatives. Open discussion was bracketed by before and after closed sessions to discuss and determine next steps on the Russ Branson consultant’s report on 3 of the 4  initiatives. The open […]

 

George Miller is Publisher/Co-Founder of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard.


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