Oxnard City Council Meeting 3-2-21

By George Miller

On March 2, the Oxnard City Council voted to apply for a $27+ million loan for water infrastructure; was told that COVID vaccinations are ramping up, with mass sites available in Oxnard; filled many open commissions and committee positions, with more still open (YOU can apply); appointed its SCAG (Southern California Association of Governments- a de facto regional government) delegate Bryan MacDonald and alternate Bert Perello; approved new internal control final policies approved; multiple street paving projects. 

Interim Fire Chief +Alexander Hamilton was sworn in as the permanent Chief. City “watchdog” Larry Stein lamented that 25  items selected as city priorities do not seem to have sufficient funding. City Mgr. Nguyen strongly criticized new Measure M meeting policy that mandates prerecording presentations, necessitating watching them prior to the meeting to understand what is being debated and voted on.

Chief Hamilton, Pre-COVID, when he was still Captain Alexander Hamilton honored with Employee of Year Award by Mayor Flynn, as family  looks on.


See Meeting AGENDA PACKAGE and VIDEO. There is a lot of detail in the agenda package, including the prerecorded presentations.


E. Ceremonial Items

E-1- Oath of Office for New Fire Chief Alexander Hamilton.

The new chief, who has been in an interim role since September, was sworn in by the City Clerk and praised by several officials and NGO personnel. He commented that he will enjoy his assignment, is grateful to be here, loves it and is honored..

E-2- Presentation of a Proclamation Designating the Month of March as “Women’s History Month.

Presented to Ventura Council Member Jeanette Sanchez of the Ventura County Women’s Political Council. The Mayor highlighted the proclamation points.

E-3- Presentation of a Proclamation Designating March 6, 2021 as “Soroptimist STOP Human Trafficking and Sexual Slavery Awareness Day”

Presented to Debbie Gohike of the Soroptimists. Objective is to increase community awareness of human trafficking, which is primarily for prostitution/slavery. Most people have no idea of the extent of it: $150 billion dollar industry, 40,000,000 slaves estimated worldwide. California is the #1 state for trafficking. Police are involved in the fight against this. Announced Saturday March 6 virtual event 1 pm PT. Register online (call city hall for details)

Editor’s note: Also If you feel you or another person may be the victim of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888


F. Public Comments on Items Not On the Agenda

Angel Garcia- Thanks to VCStar Reporter Wendy Leung for many years of service, leaving for another media outlet.

Henry Alvarado Sapien- not available

Jay Campbell- not available

Larry Stein- City priorities developed did not include cost information for the public. 25  items were recommended. Measure E (1.5% sales tax increase) is supposed to provided $40 annually, but where will the rest of the funds come from? Streets alone would consume Measure E .

Joey Lucomski- 3 cyclists killed year to date. Cyclist and pedestrian deaths way up. 2019 death rate was 5x the national average. Don’t blame the victims. You can’t enforce your way around it. The problem is street design.


G. City Manager Report

G-1- COVID update report

By City Mgr. Alex Nguyen- focus is now on vaccination. County has more and larger vaccination sites, including Rose Ave- former Babies R US building, also at Center Point Mall. All require on line advance registration. Another center at Southwinds Youth Center.

Most of county COVID cases (30%) are in Oxnard due to its large population and density. 16% of city employees were infected. Some of staff repurposed to help with COVID duties. Social distancing and hand-washing are still important.


Council Comments

Lopez- Thanked staff for flexibility during pandemic. Thanks to those who supported Ormond Beach cleanup.

Mayor ProTem MacDonald- Best wishes to Wendy Leung.

Basua- Ditto. 100 people were at Ormond Beach cleanup of 3 tons of debris.

Madrigal- Got vaccinated- thanks to county and city staff. Thanks to local businesses. Lamented building code violations, infestations, lack of apt bathroom facilities, rent spikes.

Teran- Medical Examiner’s County press release talked about fatal overdose “epidemic.” 45.6% increase in 2019 fatal overdose deaths. Fentanyl was a large contributor. 31-40 year old group was largest.Call 1-844-385-9200 county helpline. Oxnard streets are hazardous for cyclists (he is one). Encouraged participation in neighborhood councils. Warned against rising harassment of “Asian” community. 3–12 District 2 6 pm Zoom meeting.

Perello- no groups in community should be picked on. Reach him at  [email protected]  805-889-3192. Agrees on bicycle hazards in Oxnard. Social distancing, hand washing are still issues. We are going into another drought cycle? Want recognition for victims of homicide. Please provide information about homicides if you know it. Ditto sex trafficking. Don’t be silent. A societal problem. This county is a leader in this.

Zaragoza- Will do homicide proclamation. Thanks to Lopez/Basua for working at Ormond Beach. City provided equipment. Vons/Albertsons helped provide vaccine shots. Encouraged vaccinations. Lamented rumors about them.

Alex Nguyen says you should continue to wear a mask after COVID19 vaccination.

Almost everyone shared memories and good wishes for departing VCStar reporter Wendy Leung. Bon Voyage! Her words:

I will be going to the Center for Biological Diversity, where I’ll be a media specialist. I first came to the Star in 2012, when I covered education with a focus on Oxnard schools. Since 2016 I’ve been covering the city of Oxnard, my favorite beat out of all the beats in my 20-year newspaper career.”- Wendy Leung

Wendy Leung. Photo: Anthony Plascencia/VC Star


H-1- Appointment of Members to Serve on the City’s Commissions and Committees

1. To Community Relations Commission: Andres Paniagua (D4);
2. To Parks and Recreation and Community Services Commission: Dr. Carlo Aaron Purther (D3)
and Paul Lemos (D6);
3. To Cultural Arts Commission: Javier Gomez (D4);
4. To Planning Commission: Ronald Arruejo (D3); and
5. To Measure O Citizen Oversight Committee: Deirdre Frank (City at large), Christopher
Taccone (D2), Dan Pinedo (D3), Ruby Durias (D4), Angel Garcia (D5), Joe Munoz (D6), Nancy
Lindholm (business organization), and Leonard Shulman (Neighborhood Council).

Alex Nguyen- Asked for reading of the names above.

Council  Comments

Perello- more nominees still going through background checks to fill more open positions.

Teran- Thanks to Deputy City Mgr Klima for reading out names/appointees volunteering their time. to help the city. More to come to fill vacancies.

Vote- 7-0  unanimously approved


H-2-Appointment of Voting Delegate and Alternate for Southern California Association of
Governments General Assembly. 

City Mgr. Nguyen- Proposed nominees: MacDonald for delegate and Perello for alternate.

No debate or other nominations.

Vote- approved 7-0 unanimous


I-K- Consent Agenda

Public Comments- none

Council/Staff Comments

K-2 includes Housing Commissioners voting

Lopez- K-9 rental assistance program- want additional info distributed. Does Housing Commissioner Ramirez have it?

Ramirez- working with state on this. Won’t have application portal or materials until mid March and could make a presentation by end of the month.

Perello- K-5 Southbank Park- Questions on K-1, 4, 6, 9. Does SCADA have any physical contact with water- need to avoid lead contact with water.

Omar Castro Water Div. Manager – It is just software

Perello- K-4 Park grant- Re: bike and skateboard jump. What about safety considerations?

Perello- K-6- drains and maintenance. Part is in Riverpark. Problem with drain there?

Jerri Copper of special districts said that drain not involved

Perello- K-9- Issues with unemployment service abuse. ERAP funds would be administered by the state? If something goes wrong, who is responsible?

Ramirez- the state.

Perello- K-4- Thanks for resident park review, suggestions. Well put together application for park which will likely be approved

Perello- K-3- FEMA grant for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors- how many units?

Hamilton- 5000 detectors and 15 with strobe lights for hearing impaired. 10 year devices.

K-9 State runs program per Housing Dept. via contractor  “Lisk.”

Vote- Unanimously approved 7-0

…  except K-2- housing items also requires Housing Commissioner votes (Vega and Andretti).

Vote- Unanimously approved 8-1, with Vega dissenting.


L-1- Adoption of City Council’s Policy for Development and Implementation of Internal Controls

Council comments

Perello- Appreciate staff work and Donna Ventura (Finance) work on this. Current Finance team is forthcoming with info, unlike previous management.

Vote- Unanimous 7-0


L-2- Award Agreement for Bryce Canyon North and South Neighborhood and Fremont North Neighborhood Street Resurfacing Project (Rebid) Specification No. PW 18­05R. (0/5/5) 

Council Comments

Teran- Hope the neighborhoods will watch presentation and learn history of this project.

Perello- long time need for this.

Vote- 7-0 unanimous


L-3- Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Loan Application.
RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council adopt a resolution authorizing the City Manager to submit an application for an amount not to exceed $27,600,000 from the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Loan program administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Council Comments

MacDonald- Is campus Park included? (potential conflict  of interest? Answer- yes. MacDonald then recused himself

Perello- are the well locations identified? Will they be included in park design? City Engr.- Yes. Consultant currently performing geological engineering for siting and coordination with Parks Commission.

Vote- Unanimous 6-0 (MacDonald recused)


L-4- Procurement of Vehicles and Trailers for the Environmental Resources Division

Vote- Unanimous 7-0


City Manager Closing Comments

City Manager Alex Nguyen hates Measure M (Voter initiative that reorganized city meetings) requirement for pre-recorded presentations only. People are not able to understand what is being voted on without watching all the presentations first.


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

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Douglas Partello

This City Council wants its dessert before having its dinner with the “Wish List” Five Year Plan. We have a crumbling infrastructure; Seawall, streets & alleys, public landscaping and parks, community and senior services gutted. The City is seeking a $27 million dollar loan now, as they kept adding to the budget deficit, year after year, and not taking care of basic needs. They are dreaming up creative ways to spend the Measure E money, when that money is already spent on increased salaries, benefits, and pensions, and unfulfilled commitments made prior. The budget has a $20 million per year blackhole with increased costs of salaries, benefits, and pensions, without adding a single staff person, or enhancing a single service.
Their answer to their fiscal mismanagement is always to put more taxes upon the citizens, like the NBS campaign to switch LMDs over to CFDs(Community Facility District). Don’t be fooled! All roads lead to CFDs with NBS. Westport @ Mandalay Bay and portions of Seaward pay up tot $3,700 per year for their CFDs!! And they are not stopping at public landscaping to abdicate their responsibility to provide basic services. They want to include streets, medians, and sidewalks in the CFDs. Before the voters give them more money to do the job they have not done in decades, we better see the secret portion of the LMD audit they are hiding. Where are you now Mr. Perello, MacDonald, and Madrigal on that agenda item?


Madrigal never answers emails. Is he still on the city council?