Oxnard City Council- Drought deliberations, artistic endeavor support, human trafficking and more

By George Miller

Name Date Duration Agenda Minutes Video
City Council Meeting
February 25, 2014 04h 58m Agenda Video

Drought  (Agenda K-1)

PrayforRainResponse to the worst drought since records were kept in California was the most important topic discussed at Feb. 25th City Council meeting. Oxnard imports 40% of its water, a far lower portion than cities such as Thousand Oaks and Moorpark, which are highly dependent on outside sources. There was general agreement on the need for conservation. Council voted to formally recognize the statewide drought emergency and urge all water users for a least a 20% reduction in consumption. The city should set a visible example in its own conservation efforts. Decorative irrigation (lawns, etc) are the most obvious reduction opportunity, as are more efficient use of industrial/agricultural use and consumer home use.

The city and regional water districts have been very proactive in the development of additional water sources, particularly groundwater management and recycling. While there is a good store of water locally and by Metropolitan Water District, the duration of the drought is unknown, so it would be prudent to conserve. No major statewide capacity increases have been made since California had half the population that it does now.aqua1lg

Resident Jim Hensley recommended engineering consultant Mohammed Hasan’s inflatable tube berm technique (photo, right) for capturing heavy water runoff.  Larry Stein criticized what he said was a subsidy of water rates to some companies and wondered when GREAT project water would be available.

Rebates are available for certain conservation steps, such as eliminating traditional grass lawns., water saving household appliances, etc. Lo-tech solutions which could be implemented immediately are settings on clothes washers and dishwashers, taking shorter/less frequent showers and watering landscaping less.

The United Water Conservation District and the Fox Canyon District are two key water supply organizations Oxnard is affiliated with.

Save the Art Culture (STAC)  (Agenda S-3)

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Save the Art Culture people making their case for funding before City Council and the People. Several speakers weighed in.

There was lively discussion, complete with art-minded students carrying signs.   The http://savetheartculture.org site advertised on signs there turned out to be “under construction”  when CJ investigated, so we direct you instead to https://www.facebook.com/savetheartculture. Council voted for some funding.  Reasons given for funding were to enrich lives and culture of Oxnard students and other residents, help prevent crime through providing alternative outlets/acculturation, etc.

Representative Angelina “Gee-Gee” Ontiveros pointed out that she and 12 artists weren’t funded.

The council was sympathetic to request, but Mr. Perello complained that paperwork submitted did not name the recipients. Mayor Pro Tem Ramirez pointed out that money comes from the Arts Fund, not the General Fund. STAC was set up originally to help save art classes threatened with de-funding. They do local art events, of different forms- painting, photography, video, music, dance, etc.  The group envisions Oxnard as a thriving art center and is working to make that happen.

CJ queried one of the representatives,  Tim Freye, as to whether private funding was also sought.  We were told, not at this time.

 

Human trafficking/sexual slavery/violence against women

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Soroptimist rep describes scourge of Human Trafficking.

The Soroptimist Women’s Club drew our attention to the largely hidden abuses of human trafficking/sexual slavery/violence against women- worse than most people think.  It wasn’t clear what we were being urged to do about it, other than wearing orange on certain days. Vigilance to detect and report offenses, law enforcement and legislation might be possibilities.

MultiCultural Festival Venue Moved?

Some officials and residents are not enthusiastic about the annual Multi-Cultural Festival being moved to The Collection Mall and believe that the downtown is a more appropriate venue.

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

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