Oxnard Council: $2MM+ after-school program grant; new Senior Center; $1.5MM emergency sewer repairs; 311 system; 5-9-17

By George Miller

On 5-9-17, the council accepted a $2MM+ after-school program grant; new Senior Center proposal; 311 system presentation/promotion; $1.5MM change order for emergency wastewater sewer line/manhole repairs; half million dollar replacement of most of the Performing Arts HVAC system


Item B- Oxnard 311 System

This is an automated computer system for reporting and tracking problems/requests to the city. Reputedly, it has helped the city bettre communicate wit residents and better respond to their reports/requests. One can download app from Google or Apple and start making  requests.

Nearly everyone involved feels that the system is working well and has great expansion potential into more areas. The only regret is that only a couple of thousand residents are actually using it so far and that efforts should be made to bring more people in on it.

Illegal dumping (over 2445, 3 days target to handle), graffiti, abandoned cars and potholes seem to be the most common reports.

Mayor Flynn praised IT Director Keith Brooks and IT Dept. for performance of the 311 system in helping to improve city services. Flynn also asked and was told that not all requests end up on 311. Would it be a good idea to enter requests sourced by other means into 311 also?

Public speakers

Public speaker/activist Larry Stein noted that his complaints via other means are consistently addressed. He described reporting multiple shots fired in Lemonwood with no apparent response. He noted that someone was found shot 6 hrs later. Councilman Perello says you should call 911 about gunshots, not 311.

Jack Villa reports good feedback on the 311 system, says the word needs to get out about it. he put in a plug for getting involved in INCO (Inter-Neighborhood Council.

Dan Pinedo endorsed 311- said we have used it, it works, but need to expose more residents to it. He says that “hot spots” identified may be skewed to where residents are using 311.

Harold Ceja, Vice Chair of Colonia Neighborhood Council. – Feels good about 311.

Daniel Chavez, Jr.- Likes this innovative program. He said 2332 users is not much, considering there are 207,000 residents- need to promote.

Jackie Tedeshi, Southbank Chair  and 2nd VP INCO Chair- Getting great feedback on 311. Is there a privacy issue? Are there average time/targets for categories?  Need 311 presentations by neighborhood. Can do on smartphone, laptop or computer.

Abel Magama, Exec. Dir. Oxnard Downtown District- Likes 311- “It’s a Godsend.”  Great reporting and tracking tool. Thanks to implementers and those who handle requests. Need junk pickups twice yearly.

Council comments

Councilman Madrigal- personally uses and recommends 311, with good results. Shows city cares/wants to improve. When will it be in Spanish and other languages. (It’s already available- must change operating system language setting on phone).

Mayor Pro Tem Ramirez- Oxnard 311 Complimented at CA League of Cities meeting. Potential is way beyond potholes- to robberies, etc. (She says that robberies occur when kids are out of school).

Councilman MacDonald- Same question as Madrigal- tricky to reset language. 311 is “phenomenal.”

Councilman Perello- Thank you very much, Mr. Schaeffer and Brooks. Please come up with answers to questions posed by tonight’s public speakers. Alleys don’t show up on GPS. People “playing games” with illegal dumping- catch dumpers. Agrees that more active neighborhood councils tend to use 311 more. Portola Square a bad dumping area. Less that 1% using 311 app- target 10%.

Mayor Flynn- Very good to see a program working- very pleased. Can we apply 311 to more areas? Finally starting to catch up with technology. How can we use statistics/quantification to eliminate targeted problems?

City Manager Greg Nyhoff- Appreciate comments, tonight’s presentation was to market 311 for wider use.  There is so much more it can be used for. Abandoned vehicle turnaround time is 72 hrs. He called Todd Housley (Env. Svcs. up)

…… Housley introduced several employees who helped implement the system via pickups. Will use it where they can.

Ramirez- What about mattresses? Housley- usually costs $6. Sometimes free when there are grants- recyclable.

Perello- Do crews pick up targets of opportunity, even if not reported? Housley- yes.


Flynn- wants to get answers for all questions posed tonight, for answering next week.


E- Public Comments for items not on agenda

Jack Villa, INCO Chair- College Estate council election Wednesday

East Village 630 May 30 Rio Rosales Cafeteria

INCO – El Rio West- Rio Vista Elementary Cafeteria DATE.

Larry Stein- Staff shouldn’t be reading PowerPoints (“PDF’s” he said) verbatim- should be summarizing. Staff are often not available to answer public questions on agenda items.

Joseph Cantouri- Service for resident requests has improved. Wished he had known about 311.

Manuel Toledo- (translate)- Comes as nephew of Francisco Ensales. Please allow him to keep his trailer at Campo Vanessa (5th and Rose)  campground vs. removal notice in 15 days. Says he has permission.

Steve Nash- Walter Fuller, protector of public access to Ormond Beach 20+ years, at no charge. Implores that we compensate him. He’s ready to leave. Risk of increased vehicle break-ins.

Al Velasquez- Protested excessive wastewater rate increase for next 6 years. 72% of residents petitioned  (voted) against increase. Please mail protest from mailing received from city. Had 35% increase. Now 5+%/yrs, total of 70%+. Also proposed a 14% water rate increase, too. Now, refuse collection  increase may be coming up next. But you’re suing Mr. Starr and continuing with ridiculous increases.

Irene Avila- Re: Proposed slumlord/safe families/housing initiative. Opposed to it, as property owner. Only going to harm tenants due to rents being raised.  SLO passed similar program- failed big time. People lost jobs on city council. Piddling complaints resulted.  Thinks parking problem is not relevant to this.

Pat Brown- Utility rates going up more now because they weren’t being raised in past. Council feared not being re-elected.

City Manager Nyhoff- 5-17-17, 10:30 AM. Police Memorial ceremony. Wastewater increases large, but delayed way to long, much deferred repair, capital improvement work

(Brought PD Chief Whitney up to announce new South District Commander Denise Shadinger.

(L-R): New Oxnard PD South District Commander Denise Shadinger. Police Chief Scott Whitney. Photo: Dan Pinedo/CitizensJournal.us

This section By Dan Pinedo
Denise Shadinger is a Hometown Hero- She was promoted to the rank of police commander on May 6, 2017. She is the Department’s first female commander. We currently have 7 commanders. 
  • Grew up in Southwinds
  • Went to Haycox Elementary School, Blackstock Jr High, and Hueneme HS
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management 
  • Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership 
She has 21 years experience at the Oxnard Police Department:
  • Field Training Officer
  • *First Female K9 Handler
  • Narcotics Detective
  • Sexual Assault and Child Crimes Detective
  • Patrol Sergeant
  • Internal Affairs Sergeant in Professional Standards


Council comments

Councilman Madrigal- Future Leaders of America meeting. Requested improvement in A-G requirements. Attended Oxnard Scholars program & El Concilio Latino Leaders awards. May 1 National declaration day for students on the way to a 4 year university

Mayor Pro Tem Ramirez- Police Dept doing great job w/officer retention, public trust, sees progress for women’s employment by city. Only 22 % of graduating Latino students, who comprise 75% of grads, are eligible to attend colleges. She was in an excellent school system and a relative taught her how to read early. Tomorrow recognize Oxnard School board. Public education very important.

Councilman MacDonald- Groundbreaking for new transit center by auto center. Friday is VC Transportation Commission meeting.

Councilman Perello- Attended Frank school w/Madrigal. Many proud parents. Council meeting staff reports should be available at Library. “not transparent”. Policy and Procedures committee needs to get active. Wants info on Visitor’s and Tourism Bureau- $300K/yrs. Now receiving $600-700K without a contract- requested info. Re: rent control – should be on agenda. Wants Council districts for accountability. Wed 5 PM Council Chambers- Cultural Arts Comm. meets.

Mayor Flynn- Encouraged by public asking for info for meetings. Committee meetings held long before Council meetings enable committees, public, to vet way in advance, look at other alternatives. Budget to be approved by 7/1. Priority-based budgeting to start Sept. Need to plan out council/committee schedule a year in advance.

Perello- Handed out list of question on refuse services 2 weeks ago . No answers received yet. Asst. City Mgr. Ruth Osuna: answers are in process.


J-3- Information Consent items

#3- Replacement of Performing Arts Center HVAC(Air conditioning)

$245,000 needed.

Perello- won’t handle whole facility, but a big portion of it

Document: J3 Staff Report (PDF 10Mb)

#4- Metering. Perello: Did this org, treat us OK on warrantee issues last time? Water staffer- this RFP will go out to multiple companies. Would do bettre job with warrantee issues.


Vote- unanimous


K-1- Development of new senior center

Oxnard Senior Services Commission

Ingrid Hardy officiated.  Proposed location for new center is at 2500 West 5th St. $25K Measure O funds to be appropriated. Congratulated active commission members for making things happen. Measure O has senior services as a priority. 14,500 sq. ft. center proposed.  Now Wilson, Palm Vista and now new proposed center.  187,000 sq ft. lot. Being in the airport zone may create a problem- requires a hearing. Senior commission members found, vetted site, worked on on conceptual design,  explained advantages of site- low population density, good land, near targeted demographic, on city-owned land. Plan to raise money independently, to not place a strain on the city. By 2025, 60,000 Oxnardians will be seniors, existing facilities are inadequate.

Public speakers

Woman speaker (Oxnard Shores)- Many beach area retirees came from out of county or out of state, bring retirement money, skills. Senior center here would be the crowning glory and big attraction.  Will fund raise. Some risks- airport, etc. Please consider voting in  favor, support community needs.

Daniel Chavez, Jr.- Sr. Commission extremely active in community- it shows, in services, events. Were other sites reviewed? Airport is a concern. Old H.S. removed because of airport?

Al Velasquez- HS not shut down due to airport- it was earthquake and infestation-challenged. Before spending money, have they consulted with aeronautical commission? Find out where you stand with the state.

Council comments

Madrigal- Fully support it. Were other alternatives, but all things considered, this might be the best. airport issue may be concerning, but Boys and Girls club and a K-8 school are there.

Ramirez- We have Wilson Center and S. Oxnard Center. What would be the status of those. Hardy- still will remain operational. New center accommodate future growth/needs. Ramirez- Wilson center has significant structural needs- not budgeted. Hardy: Facility renderings will look different than previous ones, provide vision. Ramirez- Senior activities critical- avoid isolation.   Ramirez- not ignore other city areas

MacDonald- Transporttaion Commission is the land use authority for city.  City can overrule commission objections with 4/5 vote. Sphere of influence of facility would cover 1/4 of city. How come Camarillo Airport has many facilities nearby but we have objections here in Oxnard? We own property already. Let’s use it. May be protests. I’m prepared to deal with them. Not inconsistent w/development near other airports.

Perello- Lots of houses in the area, sold w/disclosure. Life is full of risks. I am chair of Oxnard Airport Authority. Juan Sorios school  and Boys/Girls Club are there. Are seniors so much more important than children? (laughter). Can we use FAA analysis from past projects? Self-funding project- donations. Can we segregate this money? Set up non-profit? Agree with previous speakers/council. I think this is the best site- support it.

Pat Brown- 67 years old- don’t consider myself a senior- spend all my time helping out- no compensation, including Camarillo Airport. Much air travel and airports- no accidents. This is a good spot. Glad they are interested in raising the funds. Not easy.

Mayor Flynn- Opposed to airport area site. Commend Sr. Commission for hard work and dedication. No question that we need Sr. Center, particularly west of Ventura Road. Spoke w/airport director, noted inconsistencies, exceptions, slippery slope. Disagrees with Velasquez, says it was airport given as reason for HS shutdown and state paid for half of cost. Would also set precedent for Teal Club Road school projects. Some neighbors want airport shut down.  FAA grant money makes it impossible to shut down airport. Also won’t develop around Pt. Mugu due to airport encroachment. Have space elsewhere. Should have been vetted on committee level. Will come before airport commission. As airport commissioner, he will vote against it.

MacDonald- School districts are state-affiliated, not city level. He moves recommended actions

Vote was 4-1, Flynn opposed.


K-2- Agreement with the Oxnard School District to Receive Grant Funds from the State After School Educational and Safety Grant to Operate the Oxnard Scholars After School Program FY 2017-2018 (10/30/10)

Terrell Harrison- Recreation Director

RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council approve and authorize the Mayor to execute an agreement with the Oxnard School District (OSD) (A-7959) for the City to receive an amount not to exceed $2,305,000. Primary Services shall not exceed Two Million Dollars ($2,000,000) and “Additional Services” for summer school not to exceed One Hundred Five Thousand ($105,000), and Intercession not to exceed Two Hundred Thousand ($200,000).
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Ingrid Hardy Phone: 385-7993

Document: K2 Staff Report (PDF 12Mb)
Document: K2 Presentation (PDF 1Mb)
Per Terrell Harrison- Program would encompass 20 schools, administered youth sports and in-kind matching funds, comprised of use of Oxnard facilities, staff. It includes homework assistance, literacy, math improvement, art enhancement, recreation, physical activity, nutrition education and more.
Would employ up to 220 staff level, serving over 2000 students daily. Summer  program included. The city would be the biggest youth employer in Ventura County. Includes partnership with multiple agencies, events.
Council comments 
Perello- re: financial impact- $130,000 in in kind matching funds- facilities, management/staff time. Are other schools benefiting from this? Who’s paying?
MacDonald- We would be using facilities anyway. No fiscal impact.
Madrigal- Was in similar program in Boys and Girls Club-administered after school project- it was beneficial- he’s in favor.
Public Speakers
Roger Poirier- Introduced new commission- several touted the program- Fantastic program. District has used other operators, but administered by Rec. Dept. Seems to be working OK.  Benefits kids, city. Some kids become teachers, coaches.

Parks and Recreation Commission

Al Velasquez- Commended Terrell Harrison for outstanding job. Al said that he grew up in single parent household, with no programs like this, but had Oxnard Boys Club- very valuable to him. Kids need a place to go in their formative years. Will keep a lot of kids out of trouble. $130,00 in kind funding a drop in the bucket when your spending hundreds of thousands fighting NRG and Aron Starr.
Mayor ProTem Ramirez- Congratulate all involved in this. Only 22% of graduating seniors eligible to go to a 4 year university and this program helps get those numbers up. It takes a village. Would like to see some performance statistics from Terrell, which would help get more grant money.
Councilman MacDonald- A no-brainer. Absolutely in favor- move the recommended action.
Councilman Perello- Every parent has opportunity to get kids in program (100+ kid waiting list in each school). Kids have expectations placed on them in program. Second the motion. He had 4H when younger.
Councilman Madrigal- Asked about employee requirements- need some college credits or pass a test. He knows people in program who care and help the kids. Should involve other district kids outside Oxnard.
Flynn- Attended program, demonstration- it was magic. Kids playing music, physical education, operating computers- no question about the value. But how to evaluate efficacy of program and how it aids academic achievement, producing hardworking families, diverting from antisocial behavior.  Address parental involvement, overseeing kids’ activities, homework, etc. How to end violence in Oxnard. Expensive- $800/student. For 16,000 students, it would cost $7MM+ (only 2+ MM allocated). Need for all students. Now 10%. To Sr. Commission. Could we recruit 5,00 of the 60,00 seniors to volunteer in the schools?
Vote- unanimous.
K-3-  Non-Scheduled Repairs of Wastewater and Storm Drain Systems (10/15/10)
SUBJECT: Change Order No. 1, Task Order No. 54, Task Order No. 55, Task Order No. 56, and Task Order No. 63 to Contract No. A-7721 with Sam Hill and Sons, Inc. for Project Specification No. 14-12 –
RECOMMENDATION: That City Council:
1. Approve and authorize the Mayor to execute Change Order No. 1 to Contract A-7721 with Sam Hill & Sons, Inc. in the amount of $1,500,000 and to extend the Contract expiration date from October 21, 2017, to October 20, 2019, for Project Specification No. 14-12 Non-Scheduled Repairs of Wastewater and Storm Drain Systems;
2. Approve and authorize the City Manager to execute Task Order No. 54, Task Order No. 55, Task Order No. 56 and Task Order No. 63 to Contract No. A-7721; and
3. Approve a Budget Appropriation in the amount of $1,500,000.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Daniel Rydberg Phone: 385-8055


Oxnard Wastewater Manager Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller, Wastewater Manager, says they awarded a contract to Sam Hill. Heavy rains placed strain on area around Union Pacific tracks, creating a sinkhole. Corroded pipes. Did temporary fix. North of 5th near Mercantile, 2nd or 3rd track. Sewer line runs perpendicular under track on an easement. UP will repair tracks, bed. Oxnard to do repair under their oversight. temp repair done Feb 6 for $159K. Another failure failure Wooley and Mercantile under a dead end private track- failure of concrete structure and manhole- $261K cost.  Central trunk under Oxnard Blvd. is in bad shape.

Now they propose replacing 6 manholes + 150 ft of pipelines lines + concrete structures.  $1.5MM for that+ other work, including non-scheduled emergency repairs. This work is emergency/urgent.

Public comment

Alicia Percell- Since 2009, your staff has been asking for money to work on this. $14MM has been taken out of wastewater fund for “infrastructure fees.” Work should have been done long ago. Rates were raised in 2009, partially for that, but work was never done. rates raised in 2012, partly for that, never done.

Aaron Starr-  Look at Sam Hill contract in packet. Note labor cost.  Labor rates in excess of $100/hr. How did this happen? Does our process result in this?

Pat Brown-  Objecting to people questioning every penny (seemingly referring to Percell and Starr). They should get some rest or do something else. Things turn out to be more complicated. People who like to push pencils around and do figures sometimes aren’t very good at this.

Al Velasquez- Piggybacking on what Mr. Starr said: How do you calculate your bids? Union vs. non-union rates. Even with benefits, that’s a lot. Do project managers verify whether bid union or non union? Sam Hill is not union. Even union operating engineers with benefits don’t get that. (Are rates fully burdened?). Need to scrutinize.

Woody Thomas- City failed to do preventive maintenance, putting everyone in community at risk of toxic chemicals. Nyhoff arrived and started to reform this mess. Many violations of Brown Act. tyranny, stealing money, etc. I won’t just take your word. Trusts MacDonald, Ramirez.

Council comments

Perello- Is this a change order? Around the clock overtime? Expensive. This all indicates that proposed rate increases are insufficient. How abut pipes between Wooley Road and Oxnard Blvd. We NEED to have people who look at every penny.

MacDonald- No comments

Ramirez- What else might be waiting for us? (other needed repairs). Miller- previous studies identify other areas. This area was prioritized. Other projects to address areas before they fail. Have over 435 miles of sewer pipe- 7100 manholes.  Ramirez- much deferred maintenance here and in other cities. No drastic failures yet. Emergencies cost more. Oroville Dam a good example. Operators knew it needed repair. Then rains came. Urgent now. Totally appreciate service provided.


Flynn- Re: consultant cost vs city workers. Rydberg (Public Works Director) had said contractors can cost double. Are they out of the ballpark? Rydberg: this is a public works project. Has wage standards. There are multiple bidders. Emergency, unscheduled work w/long hrs. overtime, holidays, nights, weekends,  is much more expensive. Flynn: what else are we going to find? Do we have an equivalent of  a PSI index (road evaluation) for sewer system? What is status of system? Rydberg: we have ages and conditions of pipe. Concrete badly deteriorates with hydrogen sulfide. Manholes are worst. About 100 in jeopardy. Steel plates over the worst ones to avoid collapse. Built into 2 year budget. Others relatively good. Most issues are with the plant. Have identified cast iron pipe needing to be replaced – nearing end of 15 yer program to do that.

Director Ng: Need a quick-turnaround emergency contractor to handle such jobs. We put out for bid, specifying response requirements. Sam Hill was lowest bidder to do such work.

Vote- Unanimous


K-4 Public works on-call sidewalk, curb and gutter services

Removed from agenda


D- Ceremonial Items

Commendation to the Santa Clara High School Boys Soccer Team for Winning the CIF Southern Section and Runner-Up for the State Regional Division 5

Santa Clara High School Boys Soccer Team honored at 5-9-17 Oxnard Council meeting. Photo: Dan Pinedo/CitizensJournal.us

Presentation of a Proclamation Designating the Week of May 7-13, 2017 as “Public Service Recognition Week.”

City Council Meeting May  9, 2017 – 05:00 PM Agenda


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

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