Oxnard City Council/Mayor election recommendations

 

Editorial

By George Miller

Oxnard logoWe have gotten to know something about all incumbents and candidates and see good in all of them. To whittle down to election recommendations, We first ranked candidates in order of competence and knowledge, at least in our humble opinions. Then we looked at where they might take the city. The latter analysis injects some political preferences, which our readers may or may not agree with. The beauty of our electoral system is that YOU, the reader, get to decide who and what you vote for, if eligible and registered to vote. All we ask is that you be informed. We hope that if you have not been watching City Council meetings and debates, or engaging in civic affairs otherwise, that you would at least read our Candidates Corner, News and other news media, to make informed decisions.

The top four candidates are all intelligent, informed,organized, civic minded, analytical and energetic. It seems necessary to move the direction of the council a bit to improve results, but only two seats are open and one we don’t think should be changed.

 

City Council Recommendations

Bert Perello- While we differ somewhat politically and did not support him in the special election which brought him onto the city Council in 2013, he has earned our respect via his inquiring mind, aggressive anti-corruption and pro-resident stance, unequaled on the Council. He may have come on too strong initially and didn’t always have his ducks in a row.  But, he has learned and grown in the last year, is finding his feet and maturing his style.  He also well-utilizes advice from confidantes and members of the public who come to him, although some of that could use improved vetting. He is very analytical and thorough. Some people don’t know that he worked hard and with success for eighteen years, on neighborhood councils, as President of his Neighborhood Council and finally as President of the Inter-Neighborhood Council. He was a frequent speaker on the other side of the dais before getting on the Council.  Although he is a letter carrier for the Post Office, he looks and acts more like the Chairman of the Board at Council meetings. Who knows what other talent is hiding among ordinary people in Oxnard? http://perello4performance.com   Facebook

Aaron Starr- He is the ONLY candidate who spent his entire career in private industry. We need much more of that on the Council. He has a very important job, as Controller of Haas Automation, a nearly billion dollar manufacturer of computer-controlled machine tools- one of the largest in the world and far and away the largest in the USA.  He is also Controller of the HAAS Foundation, a charitable trust. Aaron brings a no-nonsense approach, rooting out waste, focusing government on what it does best- public safety and infrastructure. He recognizes that some things are done best by government, but other things should be left to The People, private organizations and businesses. He’s also very strong on finance, accounting, budgets, systems and procedures, something that the City Manager says we need improvements to. We ask voters to help make this change to the Council.  http://starrforoxnard.com    Facebook

 

There are other highly qualified candidates, however we had to pick our two top ones. In addition to our recommendations, Steve Huber is an outstanding individual with many years of US Navy service, including a ship command and USN Commander of Naval Surface Warfare, success in process improvement, as well as private sector activity. Incumbent Mayor Pro-Tem Ramirez is an outstanding public servant, public interest attorney, highly intelligent, informed, influential, energetic and giving to the community. It is only because we want to see some policy changes that we recommended others.

 

Mayoral Preference

This recommendation is even tougher. There are three intelligent, committed, informed candidates: incumbent Mayor Tim Flynn, Councilman Bryan MacDonald and private practice accountant Larry Stein.  We eliminated Larry Stein from our short list because if he really wanted the job he would be talking and acting differently. He is not showing the demeanor and bearing of a Mayor at City Council meetings and he knows it. Mr. Stein would be better as something like Treasurer. He has spoken and written with insight on water, financial and human resource issues. Google Larry Stein’s articles in this publication or watch old city council meetings on video and see for yourself.

That leaves Flynn or MacDonald, both savvy guys who know what’s going on and have the mental horsepower and ability to do things.

Mayor Tim Flynn, the son of respected Ventura County former politician John Flynn, is a political enthusiast, former car salesman, current high school political science and German teacher, Councilman and now Mayor.  He is highly committed to the betterment of Oxnard and has a dynamic, energetic, participatory leadership style. He bends over backwards to make sure peoples’ views are heard, but at the end of the day, he has his views that he pushes. He has demonstrated a bias toward more government involvement in things. Flynn is concerned about public safety issues and the public’s perception and support of police. He opposes a review board but supports police body cameras. http://www.flynnformayor.com/

Councilman MacDonald is a bit less oriented toward government involvement. He opposed the approach to MRF takeover, but didn’t oppose it.  He was sympathetic to NRG taking down the old power plants and putting up a single smaller, shorter, cleaner one, but backed down when he saw popular sentiment against it. He objects to how meetings are run, criticizing endless debate without resolution (golf course, budget priorities, etc.) and meetings that ran into the wee hours, until strong public protest helped rein it in. He’s a very strong advocate for public safety (30 years on the police force, retiring as Assistant Chief), is not in favor of a review board.  http://www.macdonald4mayor.net/

They could both do the job, Both are fine men. We could live with either one, but there are tradeoffs for each one. Neither one really wants to go where we want.

 

We encourage you to read our Candidates Corner section in Citizensjournal.us as well as news reports on city council meetings.

 

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

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2 Responses to Oxnard City Council/Mayor election recommendations

  1. Steve Nash October 10, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Mr. Starr could easily be the smartest one in the room. Is this enough to entrust a public office to him? I don’t know. I do know this . . . he has been in absentia in volunteering, participating in and offering solutions out of the bit of a mess our City has found itself in these past four years. Silence speaks volumes in this case. As a Johnny-come-lately what is it he offers besides a keen acumen for numbers? How could he possibly fit a Council member’s duties and obligations into what must otherwise be a full-time (and then some) occupation with Haas? This is the wrong candidate at the wrong time for Oxnard.

    Reply
    • Citizen Reporter October 10, 2014 at 7:43 pm

      Hmm. Steve, you don’t think that being a key part of a team that built a thriving business bringing 1300 jobs and a $billion a year into Oxnard isn’t doing more than many civic activists? Think again. The Council ought to represent multiple viewpoints/walks of life/talents. The fact that he’s now in a place where he can do both could be very good for Oxnard. Go talk to him- he’s way more than just a number cruncher, as you are more than just a water technician, or Tim is way more than just a teacher, or Carmen is way more than just a lawyer or Bryan is way more than just a cop, or Bert is way more than just a mailman. Starr also plays a key role in the charitable Haas Foundation.

      Reply

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