Oxnard Council 2-13-18- Recall election progress; “5 and Below” is in; City Manager Report; Las Cortes Dev. Progress

By George Miller

At the 2-13-18 Oxnard Council meeting. City Clerk Michelle Ascension reported what was being done and what it would cost to make the 5-1-18 Council recall election happen on time and correctly (Council approved expenditures, plan), while Mayor Tim Flynn lashed out at recall initiator and local financial executive Aaron Starr, who was not present. Also, we learned  that the Las Cortes public to private housing rebuild and relocation plan is way behind schedule for various reasons, including state regulations and more. A new “5 or Less” store for the Esplanade Mall was approved, after related culture shock and business reality was received and digested.


City Council Meeting Feb 13, 2018 – 04:30 PM 02h 21m Agenda   Video



The Graffiti action team members were congratulated for outstanding results


General Council Comments

Councilman Madrigal- Flu season bad, La Reina HS (Thousand Oaks) student just died of it.

Carmen- Valentines Day. In Mexico they also celebrate family and friendship. Attended air pollution meeting. Oxnard in highest CA asthma area- hazmat and pesticides in sky- encourage community involvement. Dissed Trump admin for Medicare lifetime cap, ending food stamps, ending public housing, CDBG and other worth programs. (Editor advises readers to do own research on these.)

Brian MacDonald- Kiwanis Luncheon Thurs

Bert Perello- Subcommittee (Perello/Ramirez) on City Mgr recruitment– seeking recruiting firm- 4 proposals . WBCP stood out (Wendy Brown). Whitney likes- within CM approval level- propose to move ahead administratively.  Likes State bank idea. Claims better loan rates,

Flynn- Channel Islands Harbor Task Force met last week. 60 attended plus staff members. Services agreement w/county scaled back- taking care of CIH parks and roadways.  Had harbor Charette-  6:30 pm,  2-22-18 meeting on  it at PACC, Oxnard Room.

Public comment

Woody Thomas- re; Chief Scott Whitney- doing fine job as interim City Manager- wants to make him permanent, promote Benites or Eric to OPD Chief.


Recall Election status

Per City Clerk Michelle Ascension:

77 days until election (as of 2-13-18)

Nomination deadline is 2-15-18

16 candidates, 4 qualified so far

2 not yet qualified.

call 385-7803 for appointment

Secy of State will conduct random drawing for candidate ballot placement

Vendor contract vote $385,000 tonight (see agenda)

Oxnard also elected to 100% verify recall petition signatures.

Recruiting temporary election help and determining voting precinct boundaries, polling place locations.

Vote by mail ballots (AKA “Absentee ballots”) will be sent out just as in any other election- planned to mail out by 4-2-18. To register to [email protected]


Candidate status as of 2-16-18 per City Clerk:


Navarro, Modesto (Morey) Mayor Retired
Starr, Aaron Mayor Oxnard Businessman/Accountant
Stein, Lawrence Mayor Accountant Tax Preparer
Sumpter, Robert Lee Mayor (none)
Chavez, Daniel Jr CM Madrigal Bus Operator
Petris, Enrique CM Madrigal Contract Administrator
Ragan, John CM Madrigal (none)
Casanova, Ambrosio CM Ramirez Supervisor USAF
Velasquez, Alfred CM Ramirez Retired Teamster


Filed, not yet qualified

Lopez, Miguel Mayor University Academic Director
Garcia, Angel CM Madrigal University Student
Martinez, Miguel CM Madrigal Construction Manager
Cryder, Kari CM Perello Oxnard Small Businesswoman
Castanon, Francine CM Ramirez Veterans Coordinator/Businesswoman


Pulled, did not file

For Mayor: Jason Corona

For CM Perello: Elizabeth White


Pulled, decided not to file

For CM Madrigal: Alejandro Gonzales, Richard Jaquez


Information Consent Agenda

These are approved without discussion by default, unless a council member pulls some for discussion. Pulled for discussion  by Councilman Perello- J1B, J2, J4

J1B- Bert- reduce significant overdraft- every year? How do we identify overdraft.

Utilities Director Thien- Fox Cyn district working on sustainable plan- hope to adopt by 10-18. Groundwater is severely overdrafted- will be stepped reduction  to recovered within 20 years

J-2- Bert. Monies city holding in custody. What is total amount? What is Misc UB/OL? (Misc, monies through misc billing and occupational businesses licenses. $333,637 was total amount, There is more for smaller amounts- about $100 more. abut 14% paid out, approx 26K.

J4- Bert Perello- P. 16- PA can approval annual increase up to 15%, otherwise need additional approvals. Is there a dollar limit? Pub Woks Director- 15%. Bert- what if that is $15MM, for example.  You’d have to put a limit on it. Mac Donald didn’t seem to understand the idea of a dollar limit vs %?  Not at this time. Flynn- why nt buy full load (half the proice). Thien- can’t keep taht much. Biodegradable. May have to expand facility to accommodate.

Approved unanimously, except no on J4. by Perello


Agenda 3 -Amendment to Esplanade Shopping Center Agreement Affecting Real Property, to bring it into line with Successor Agency requirements’

Kimberly Horner, Eco Dev. Director: Esplanade Mall is dated, volume down.

The AARP- Agreement affecting real property. now prohibits sales of items below $5.  Want to modify  agreement to allow “Five and Below” store to relocate there, in former Golfsmith location, across from BJ’s.

Public comment

Jackie Tedeshi- Questions- Why pick this location? What about security, parking is already challenging. Where else in VC are company locations? planning others in Oxnard? Horner says parking is adequate, no other loc’s planned.

Madrigal- Thought it was an ice cream store :-). Let down by nature of store. How are they able to move Home Depot over to that spot? Horner- HD moved and is  now one of highest performing stores in CA. Management told Madrigal that city owes them money for the move. He is all for the motion. Horner- was a $2MM tax sharing deal- CDC was to pay Home Depot based on property tax revenues. It involved paying for maintenance.

Ramirez- Is there a revenue cannibalization issue on new businesses? Will it impact dollar stores, etc.?  Horner- Not direct competitors. Such concerns are usually covered in leases. Ramirez:Why was the regulation implemented? Horner- to help make it a first rate shopping center. Such stores are now much more popular- power leases. Ramirez- what is is lease duration., Horner- don’t know. Brian Bricksmore- developer- 10 years lease, signed, tenant not in yet.

Councilman MacDonald- Impressed with Five and Below- had never heard of them. Said we need to have a competitive business community. Supports

Councilman Perello- Thrift/99 cent stores were initially unpopular- not now. Will such stores drive down rents? People tend to jump from one popular mall to another.  Wants a Trader Joe’s here. Will support, but have concerns. Horner- we have always courted Trader Joe’s for 15 years, Want sales tax producing stores- food is mostly not- needs special approval.

Whitney: ask developer if it will drive rents down. Bricksmore says 30-45% more project revenue than Golfsmith- good for other retailers. 5 and below stores tend to be accompanied by better retailers. Have them in 25 of their locations nationwide. Five and Below is new to CA in the  last 5-6 months- one of fastest growing- 650 locations.

Mayor Flynn- Mixed feelings. Old regs are outdated with retailing/online changes. Should make such a policy change citywide. Not questioning  their credibility, but will rents and type of tenants be as stated? Need corroborating information. Council needs to revisit this. Downtown feels outmaneuvered and unable to compete with larger retailers. Will support,. Generates  a lot of sales tax revenue.

MacDonald- re: Aldi is a German company. The owning bros split up- one kept Aldi, one founded trader Joe’s !

Approved unanimously


K-1 Relocation Plan for Las Cortes (public) Housing

Arturo Casillas- Housing Director- This has been going on for years. City is financing relocation cost for residents moving out for renovations then back in. Will be converted from public to private (Section 8) ownership. 10 years for this project so far. He was gone for years and project had made almost no progress. Within 6 months, 116 apartments will have been built . 144  units- total to be built in this phase. Urban Housing Communities. 260 units + 4 manager units total, will cease to be public housing and move to Section 8 (welfare subsidies) rentals. Units will be 700 to 1450 sq ft with garages and recreation facilities, including senior center, pathways, laundry facilities, private ownership and management and more.

Tenants can move into new units or take Section 8 vouchers. Moving costs are paid. Tenants ill not receive anything if moving out of area. Some families’ incomes are over the Section 8 limits. They will receive subsidies and assistance in moving to market rate units, or other public housing.

Councilman Madrigal- when will project  be completed? Director Casillas doesn’t remember- some redesign/approval changed it. But, per Mark Irving- Urban Housing Communities- 144 units will be done between April and August- unable to get old power lines removed. Phase 2- the tax credit CA entity applied a new ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) rule to the project- this mandated a changed design. Design in progress. Phase 3 will provide another 120 units. Last phase is delayed due to changes. Casillas forecast 2020 or 2021 at the earliest.

Mayor ProTem Ramirez- How many units of public housing will left after this? Casillas- 780-260= 520.  Much misunderstanding about what the city can and can’t do- why aren’t they building more housing? Casillas- City doesn’t build housing- it provides zoning, lacks resources to build. This was done privately with some city funding and tax credits. Casillas- 260 units, zero $ from General Fund., There is an attempt by feds to eliminate housing funds. Casillas- going to tax credits nationwide because housing funding is decreasing – now all is proposed to be eliminated.,

MacDonald- relocation effort is most daunting. Impressed with qualitative renovation improvement. Other projects in progress.

Perello- Extremely impressive project- looks first class. (ed: Why are we building “first class housing” for indigent, while working families have to settle for less?). What are ADA requirements? Irving- 45 units must accessible, 38 more adaptable, 5% required, can do more. Big change occurred when they applied ADA code 11B, meaning town homes were formerly 11A code. Upgraded- accessible units must be proportional to overall and dispersed throughout the site, 2 story accessible units would need elevators- not financially feasible, so next phase will require 10% accessible units. 2, 3, 4 bedroom units, will have to be single story, which affects layout, design, parking. Stacked flats design is needed. This is major. Need land for 53 units.

Interest rates have since gone up 125 basis points, affect financing. Tax credits have dropped due to Trump tax cuts. A lot of “headwinds” right now. Trump’s incentive to bring cash back into this country- can it also be used to bring cash into projects such as this. Perello- are their time limits? Casillas: No, only if they no longer meet income limits, In other words, there is no incentive to get them out of subsidized housing- ever. Waiting list- approx 1000!

Flynn- This will really improve quality of life for residents., People grew up and had fond memories of it, but project had to be done, Oxnard is already a densely populated city, Such projects need to be dense to make them affordable and because we lack space. We have a “donut” around the city where development is severely restricted. How will this affect transportation/traffic? Affordable housing is a “bottomless pit,” with no idea what unmet needs exist. Relying upon state quotas, when council should be driving this.

Casillas-  original development was 540 units planned (too much), now 380. Not public housing, but “affordable. These are definitely affordable. Approx 30% of tenant income would go toward rent.


Approved unanimously 7-0 (including Housing Authority votes)


K-2 SUBJECT: Approval of Contracts and Payments Pertaining to the City of Oxnard Special Election. (10/30/15)

RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council:
1. Approve and authorize the Mayor to execute a contract for a not-to-exceed amount of $375,000 (Agreement No. A-8056) with Martin & Chapman for election services;
2. Authorize the Interim City Manager to execute a contract with Gladwell Governmental Services for a not-to-exceed amount of $9,900 (Agreement No. 8191-18-CC) for election consulting services; and
3. Approve payment to the County of Ventura for recall petition signature verification services in the amount of $82,061.98.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Michelle Ascencion Phone: 385-7805

City Clerk Michelle Ascension- Martin & Chapman contract\ for election services, Gradwell goivt svce,plus payment to county for 100% signature verification. First such “standalone” election in the county.


M&C since 1956 in CA and NV. Printing, translation and mailing of ballots. They know requirements, how to do this. Poling place supplies, equipment and rosters. Signature verification (for vote by mail) and tabulation equipment. Coordination w/county for data access. M&C will use county data for our election requirements. Will provde election training, management svces.

Gladwell Govt Svcs- since 1989- over 100 elections, will provide election work plan- how (M&C provides what)). Guidance to precinct consolidation, recruitment, training of poll staff. Make sure vote counting and canvassing happen.

County provide data to martin and Chapman and use some equipment (will reduce costs).

City Clerk’s office good at maps, analysis, drawing precinct boundaries, w/; guidance from Gladwell. Setting poling place locations/precinct or maybe combine some. Recruiting poll workers, staff.  County providing list of past ones. Public outreach, advertising to get word out. Publish legally required announcements. Need extra help to do all this and on time., Confident we can provide fair and ensures people will be able to participate per their rights.

Public comenbt

Lydia Kaplka- Taxpayer paying for this. Starr ran 2X and lost 2X. Nit saying he;s asore loser and bully but one woukd do areacll. reacll targets are heart of Council Alsways saw table asking do you want to pay higher rates? Didn’t tell fulkl story., FDidn’t matter. Aaron should pay for this, not us. H eis quick to sue, do things like this. Tjusiis the bestr council in the 15 ytears she’s been here. Honest, paying the price of tyhsi recall becausa eof what not honest councuils did.


Council comments

Madrigal- Tx for City Clertk

Ramirez- Tx Ms Kaplan. Miss your late husband. Tx City Clerk staff, for consummate professional in doing this. Wish there was some way we could avoid paying for this. Commuted to fighting for seats. Not fighting for us but for City.

MacDonald- Asked if don’t approve election $, do we have tro hold election> Yes, legally required. Thanks for City Clerk/staff efforts.

Perello- Tx to City Clerk/staff. Tx to Kaplan. What if recount required. Why are appeals to LA County Superior Court? Due to svces. co, location. Atty- a recount beyond contract scope- additional cost. Perello- individual must finance until proven right. Atty- City could be potentially able to recover costs, Poll workers don’t have to be Oxnard residents.

Mayor Flynn- Thanks to City Clerk. Election being held because of unwillingness to compromise. Civil War shows what happens when we don’t compromise. Starr was asked publicly if infrastructure fees were eliminated could he support rates. He couldn’t make decision, had to ask his wife who said no. Flynn said we did everything we could for compromise, but Starr decided if it didn’t go 100% his way, he wouldn’t bend. I don’t think a person belongs in a public office. If he wouldn’t compromise, he shouldn’t be in public office. Extreme solutions to solve problems. Now we have a special election.

Election job openings- 805-385-7803, [email protected]

Approved unanimously

Tx Sherri Klima


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

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