Oxnard candidate forum- Council and Mayor- 10/1/14

By George Miller

This forum was held at City Hall on 10-1-14, televised by the city and also produced by Dan Pinedo of OMAC, a Citizensjournal.us correspondent. It was sponsored by the Oxnard Inter-Neighborhood Council Forum, (INCF). The event was well-moderated by Ed Castillo, a supporter of Councilman Bert Perello, but he seemingly maintained a fair and balanced stance and pushed through a large number of questions to ten candidates in two forums (City Council and Mayoral candidates)  in less than three hours.

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City Council candidates (L-R): Aaron Starr, Steve Huber, Carmen Ramirez, Dick Jaquez, Oscar Madrigal, Lina Lindemann, Bert Perello. (Photo: Citizensjournal.us)

The main drawbacks were only a minute allowed per answer, with no rebuttal time and no interaction among candidates or no public comments. Attendees were able to submit questions, which were screened, selected, then asked of the candidates. One unfortunate absence was incumbent Mayor and candidate Tim Flynn Flynn submitted a brief statement which was read aloud, leaving incumbent Councilman Bryan McDonald and Larry Stein to fight it out.

Rather than provide a blow by blow report, we’ll leave you to the video (below) and summarize some key points.

Who (more candidate info):

City Council (L-R):

– Aaron Starr, Controller of Haas Automation and Controller of the Haas Foundation (charity)

– Steve Huber- Former Commander of Naval Surface Warfare program at the base,ship commander, line and staff positions, grad. of Naval Academy.

– Carmen Ramirez- Mayor Pro-Tem, Public interest attorney, many volunteer causes

– Dick Jacquez- Retired H.S. teacher, 12 year school board member, VOLUNTEER PROJECTS

– Oscar Madrigal- Substitute Teacher and Sales Associate.

– Linda Lindemann- Retired sales manager

– Bert Perello- City Councilman, Mail Carrier, former IMCS Chair, longtime neighborhood council leader and political participant

 Mayoral Candidates:

– Larry Stein- Accountant, longtime city political participant- financial expert.

– Bryan MacDonald- City Councilman, 30 years police department (retired)

– Tim Flynn- High School teacher, Mayor, former City Councilman, former car salesman. Mayor Flynn was unavoidably prevented from participating, but had this statement read aloud:

Mayor Flynn's Statement to the INCF
Good Evening!

Due to a family emergency, I will not be able to participate in this evening's 
mayoral debate.  I am proud of my record as mayor and ask for your continued 

Two years ago you elected me as mayor to restore trust in our city's local 

In the first 30 days at the helm I guided the city council to abolish the giving 
away of multimillion dollar contracts such as those that led to the FBI's and 
District Attorney's two-year-long investigation.

I voted to recover secret retirement benefits given to select employees, refused 
to settle a lawsuit with the former city manager and called for the complete 
overhaul of city finances.

I focused the city council's attention on paving residential streets, job 
creation, hiring a new city manager and creating a one-stop shop to attract and 
support local businesses.

I also spearheaded the takeover of the city's trash facility that will save the 
rate payers $2.5 million in the first year and the revitilization of Channel 
Islands Harbor.

My immediate goals are to bring higher-paying jobs to the city, partner with 
local school districts to establish higher-performing magnet schools and finish 
paving every residential street in the city.


Thank You.

Tim Flynn, Mayor

Event video: 10-1-14 City Council Candidate debate (by Dan Pinedo)

Oxnard Council Candidates – INCF Forum 10-1-2014


For Council, of the seven candidates, four  appeared significantly stronger than the rest of the pack and are well-qualified for the position- it should be obvious after reviewing the video. All but one expressed positions consistent with big government advocacy. Aaron Starr showed significant differences, in advocating focus on core competencies, public safety and infrastructure for essential services, along with a more small government approach and strong business orientation.

All parties seem happy with the new City Manager Greg Nyhoff, although some discontent with the consultant-heavy approach was voiced.

All but Starr and MacDonald were opposed to a new cleaner, low profile Oxnard power plant to replace the antiquated ones. All but Arron Starr favored a city-controlled recycling facility. There were varying opinions on police oversight advisability, role of city in non-infrastructure and public safety efforts and what to do about money-draining enterprise projects.

For the mayoral race, we already know something about all three candidates. They all long time residents, all steeped in Oxnard and its politics. Flynn is son of the well-respected John Flynn, long time County Supervisor. He is a Teacher at Rio Mesa High School, teaching German and Political Science, former City Councilman and Current Mayor. MacDonald is a 30 year police veteran, retiring as Assistant Chief and current City Councilman. Stein is a private practice accountant, researcher of city issues and frequent speaker at Council meetings.

Attendance was a bit disappointing, but indications are that a lot of people watched it on TV. More will see it during replays and via here, the city site and Dan Pinedo’s site.

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Forum attendance was light and thinned out even more during the Mayoral forum

Oxnard Candidate Forum 10-1-14 114

Thanks to Moderator Ed Castillo for managing a big, complex session

See CJ Candidates Corner for candidate info.

Other recent recorded candidate forums:

Oxnard City Council Candidates Forum Riverpark 9-24-14- Video

Oxnard Candidate Forum 9/18/14 video

Next event at Elks lodge Oct. 8, 5 PM. We are promised longer times for candidate responses.

Also Oct 13, 7 PM Riverpark at Rio Vista Middle School.

Info on County-wide candidates/elections https://citizensjournal.us/category/can_corn/


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


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