Oxnard City Council: Oxnard finances lamented, Tourism promotion; Harbor management and more

By George Miller

Council meeting topics covered were:  3-5-15 Oxnard Community Forum/priorities survey; Oxnard financial situation,  Economic Developmenmt Corp. of Oxnard (EDCO): Simplifying some building permits; Tourism promotion; Harbor management agreement; $200,000 legal expense for opposing new power plant; Street paving status- Channel Islands; Free tax preparation assistance at Oxnard College 3/7 … and more.

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Some Rose Park Neighborhood Council members honored by Oxnard Mayor Flynn (Photo: CitizensJournal.us)

 

Name Date Duration Agenda Minutes Video
City Council Meeting March 3, 2015 08h 00m Agenda Video

 

Rose Park Neighborhood council was honored (photo, above) by the City for its outstanding performance and dedicated participation.  Chairman Rafaelo and one other spoke.

There was moment of silence for Metrolink Engineer Glenn Steele who died this week at Mt. Sinai Medical Center.  Meanwhile, still another gang-related murder occurred in Colonia over the weekend- likely a case of mistaken identity.

Reminder: Oxnard Community Forum meeting Thurs. 3/5 5:30-8 PACC 5:30-8 PM at Oxnard Performing arts Center, 800 Hobson Way. To discujss buiolding trust and community priorities for the budget.  City Manager Greg Nyhoff thanked Peggy Rivera and Jean Joneson for their efforts in making this meeting happen.

See: Oxnard City Manager Nyhoff explains March 5 Community …

Councilman Bert Perello released a very strong written statement, which he read portions of out loud,  about the sorry state of Oxnard finances and advocated belt-tightening and prioritization measures.  He had strong support from the Council.  Perello said to make sure that the 3/5/15  community meeting doesn’t become a “wish list” meeting and set unrealistic resident expectations. The general fund will likely be nearly depleted- large deficits staring us in the face.  What is the loan repayment program? Analyze Measure O, utilities, workers comp and other funds.  Successor agency fund  integration with the General Fund is needed for transparency. Perello wants 5, 10 and 15% reduction scenarios produced by each deopartment, in case major cuts are forced, which he seems to think will be. He wants a “balanced, results-oriented budget with no gimmicks, smoke and mirrors.”

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Channel Islands Harbor management agreement-  is still in dispute. Another 4 month extension of old contract was recently agreed to. It has been 51 years since the last contract was signed/approved. Channel Is Harbor Association is a private group working on ideas for a new contract.  It supposedly meets the third Thursday of the month at 7 PM at the Seabridge Yacht Club, but two attempts by this reporter to attend were unfruitful, as no meeting was held there. There are major areas of disagreement in maintenance, operations, development priorities and approach.  The oral report by Matthew Winegar was quite vague and unsupported by written materials.  Some, such as former City Council candidate and Haas Automation Controller Aaron Starr recently advocated that the City take over the harbor from the County. Others want Oxnard to have more ofa say in how ythe harbor is run and developed. There is some heavy opposition to that.  We were not told what the plan is to bring the negotiations to a conclusion or when that might occur, but it will be on the Council agenda again at the 3-17-15 meeting, where a proposed new contract will be presented for discussion and vote.

Puretec (KJH properties) get bond financing with very favorable terms with city assistance. Elizabeth Callahan of EDCO was able to help make this happen. Puretec makes ultra-pure water for industrial, pharmaceutical and other uses, using Oxnard water.

Document: Staff Report (pdf 570KB)

Convention & Tourism Bureau made a presentation, by President Susan Smith,  on its aggressive actions to bring business into Oxnard.  Cooperation with local tourism-related businesses and attractions- hotels, restaurants, wineries, tour firms. Industry associations and networked tourist bureaus  from VC to Europe and South America.

Document: J-3 OCVB Annual Report (1,768 KB)

New, simplified procedure for permitting outside structures– sheds, etc.  The procedure is: NO permits needed if compliant! City Mgr. also announced promotion of Ashley Golden, who made the presentation, to planning Mgr. and she was congratulated on this new initiative. Further discussion was approving and then focused more on implementation, including on-line  guides, placing brochures of requirements in locations such as Home Depot, Lowes, etc.

Document: Staff Report (pdf 1,603KB)

http://oxnard.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=46&clip_id=2996&meta_id=147590

PowerPlantModernCouncil approved $200,000 for litigation over stopping power plant. This is only about 5 weeks worth of legal work, over 3 years.  Some parallel efforts to negotiate with NRG might be advisable. A Council memebr and City Manager both said that they have had meetings with NRG.

Document: Staff Report (pdf 2,215KB)

Another $240K contract was approved for consultant Renne Sloan for HR services.

Document: Staff Report (pdf 1,756KB)

Council approved another contract with Kosmont  Cos. for up to $295/hr + travel for property management services related to Development Successor agency. Bert Perello was unhappy with the fact that travel time is being billed at full rate.

Assignment and Assumption Agreement (pdf 3,969KB)

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Channel Island area street resurfacing is planned soon. It will cover the Mandalay Bay area which has awful roads. Harbor Blvd project is awaiting reliable 60+ degree weather required by the process used. Hobson Park West area is next.

Document: Staff Report (pdf 231KB)Staff Report (pdf 239KB)

Police Dept- Chief Jerry Williams applying for highly competitive grant of $700,000 for police body cameras. This is nowhere near enough for fully equipping and supporting dept. deployment, but a good PoliceBodyCamerastart! So, we’re competing with other areas.

Document: Smart Policing Initiative (pdf 179KB)

Free income tax preparation assistance at Oxnard College 3/14, 3-7 PM- Board of Equalization, for those with less than $53,000 annual income.

 

 

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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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