Oxnard approves City Mgr. contract extension, new ethics policy, Ormond Beach and Landscaping deals

By George Miller

City Manager contract extension

In a sometimes heated debate, the Oxnard City Council approved a one year extension of City Manager Greg Nyhoff’s contract from 5-31-17 to 5-31-18, as well as increasing leave time to 200 hours and reducing recoverable time to 60 days. See previous ARTICLE with terms.

Oxanrd Council debates City Manager Greg Nyhoff's contract extension, 7-12-16. Photo: Dan Pinedo/CitizensJournal.us.

Oxnard Council debates City Manager Greg Nyhoff’s contract extension, 7-12-16. Photo: Dan Pinedo/CitizensJournal.

SpeakersonNyhoffContractThe lack of any objective performance standards, objectives and metrics makes the process very weak, said Councilman Bert Perello, City Council candidates Al Velasquez (left top), Aaron Star (left-center) and resident Jim Lavery (photos by Dan Pinedo) all commented unfavorably on the renewal, with Velasquez critizing performance, Starr attacking the review timing and Lavery attacking process..

Perello opposed it on review process grounds and MacDonald wanted to defer it until January. But Flynn, Ramirez and Padilla circled the wagons, providing very firm support for Nyhoff and it squeaked through the vote. Mayoral candidate turned City Council candidate Daniel Chavez, Jr. also commented, criticizing Padilla and Ramirez’s positions.

Document: J-1 City Manager Agreement






New ethics policy easily approved (Item M-1)

The ethics policy was presented and approved unanimously. Committee Chair Steve Nash spoke briefly several times, accompanied by members Vice-Chair Jack Villa and Robert Sills. Nash described it as “one more nail in the coffin of the DA’s report,” and described it as a “zero tolerance policy.” They thanked City Attorney Stephen Fischer, who made the overview presentation of the policy. Jack Sill said “it wasn’t an easy task, starting with “large negatives” and hopefully created a positive document.”

Nash lavished praise on Fischer, departed Asst. City Manager Martin Erickson, staff liaison James Vega. Committee members are:  Chairman (Steve Nash), Vice-Chairman (Jack Villa), Subcommittee Member (Russell Dominy), Subcommittee Member (Gene G. Harter), Subcommittee Member (Travis L. Kelly), Subcommittee Member (Robert L. Sills), Subcommittee Member (Robert Stewart).


Ethics Committee Chair Steve Nash (center), members Robert Sills and Jack Villa (L and R). Source: Screenshot from meeting video.

They relied heavily upon documents from other jurisdictions and customized it for Oxnard, making it a “zero-tolerance” policy.

This initiative was driven by Councilman Bert Perello, as one of his original campaign promises, but was also strongly pushed by Mayor Flynn and other council members.

The problem of finding an ethics officer was briefly discussed. Tim Flynn thinks the audit committee person may be able to do this as well.

This will be implemented as an extension to the city procedures manual. The plan is to return within 3 months with the finished policies/procedures.

Resident Martin Jones said there needs to be specified penalties for non-compliance. He referenced the “Stark” appellate doc. and recommended that City Attorney look at it. No other speakers.

Document: M-1 Ethical Standards



La Vida newspaper won the award for city classified ads. (Item N-1)

Pat Brown claimed that it is very hard to find copies of La Vida, a primarily Spanish language publication, around town. The paper is placed on news racks around the area. She suggests also using the Ventura County Reporter, which is in English and more readily available.  La Vida is available online, too (Pat doesn’t do Internet).


Ormond Beach memorandum of understanding approved with no controversy (Item N-2)

Ashley Golden presented the case, which focuses on protection and restoration of plants, wildlife and habitat, including remediation of the Halaco Superfund site. Nothing was mentioned about the demolition of Ormond Beach powerplant, which would be done by NRG if the new Mandalay plant is approved. There is a CEC meeting next week on this. The Coastal Commission plan has been integrated into Oxnard General Plan. Public access will be allowed for. As more properties are acquired, the target area will expand. But no funding is being provided beyond the tiny amount now available, although acquisition funds seem to be forthcoming.



Lily Verdone – Nature Conservancy (top) and Karen Krauss (bottom) – speaking in regards to Ormond Beach MOU agenda. Photos: Dan Pinedo/CitizensJournal.us

This is the biggest current wetlands restoration in the state.  This is a cooperative effort among Oxnard, the Coastal Commission and The Nature Conservancy. The Navy is helping, too. A new ordinance has resulted in a large reduction in the number of dogs. Fewer showed up, some visitors asked to get their dogs out. No problems with this were discussed.

Steve Nash described Ormond Beach as the “crown jewel of Oxnard.”


Landscaping agreements with Kaneko Landscaping Services (Item N-5)

This vendor was selected to maintain eight districts (see handout link below). Bert Perello says this is the same vendor who didn’t provide services adequately, but now at TWICE the price. Tree trimming, fence repair and landscaping quality were issues. Dan Rydburg says the scope is larger and inspection will be stringent. He blamed Oxnard mismanagement, but said he wasn’t involved at the time and may not have all the facts. The vendor has doubled the price and is said to be the lowest-priced “qualified bidder.” A discussion ensued on what constitutes a “qualified bidder.” 

Michael Gleason of West Village neighborhood, who has been a prime mover in helping to reform the Landscape Maintenance District mess, says it was sneaky politics, that he was told they would pull this items from the agenda, but heard it anyway. He has recommended NOT renewing Kaneko contracts, especially for same scope of work, which they weren’t doing either.  He wants to see bid documents, vendor interaction history.

Mayor Flynn seems to think that the City must accept the lowest bidder, even if there had been previous disputes. City Attorney Fischer says disputes were not followed up on during the term of agreement. He said tightening up of specs and follow-up should help resolve that. He says contractors must be afforded due process and proper actions were not taken previously- lacked standards, inspection, etc.

Councilman MacDonald pointed out that contract allows contract termination at any time without cause. City Manager Nyhoff said contracts were not well-managed but vendors will be held accountable now.

Document: N-5 Kaneko Landscaping (pdf 29.9 MB)


City Council Meeting July 12, 2016 – 04:30 PM Agenda 



Previous article:  Oxnard Council to take up City Manager Nyhoff contract renewal again

Oxnard Council to take up City Manager Nyhoff contract renewal again

By George Miller- A while back, the Oxnard Council put the renewal of City Manager Greg Nyhoff’s three-year contract by two years to May 2019 on the agenda, but took it off at the last minute when major “headwinds” were encountered.  Some public speakers complained about Nyhoff’s performance and unions objected to harsh concessions demanded from […]


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

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OK so about the Landscape contract.

I still do not understand how Keneko can charge twice as much – and the CITY is taking on MONITORING the work… We have had people in our neighborhood talk to Keneko and the City for years about issues…

1) Can they get their lawn mower people to NOT mow over the sprinklers?
2) Can the Sprinklers be inspected and batteries changed on a schedule.
3) Can the crews communicate to each other? (Mower to report dead grass and broken sprinklers to the people who maintain them?)

I can’t wait to see how this moves forward – but accountability is falling back on the CITY and the homeowners and residents to try and communicate with a vendor who has historically refused to listen.

SO now we have a “low” bidder at twice the money but the City employees are going to improve… So the CITY is now going to listen…

Well gee golly gosh they always appeared to listen in the past! Who is holding the city accountable to holding the contractors accountable.

OH – the tax payers.

How many hours a month are required for residents to volunteer to participate in local government to make all this work?

Is there ANYONE out there that thinks this is reasonable?