Oxnard Council Advances Anti-Gun, Anti-Drilling Agendi, Will Appeal Losing Case Against Aaron Starr Wastewater Rate Rollback

By George Miller

At the first Oxnard Council meeting of the year on January 8, activist members were already advancing their very political agenda, mostly pushed by Mayor Pro-Tem Carmen Ramirez.

  1. Agreed to agendize opposing VC Fairgrounds gun shows (if voted on, it would have no legal effect, as Oxnard has no jurisdiction).
  2. Passed a resolution against oil/gas drilling offshore of California (no legal effect).
  3. Approved their legislative agenda.
  4. Voted to extend the moratorium on new gun stores to September, in order to have time to study, write, debate and approve a new restrictive ordinance.
  5. Voted (in closed session- Item C) to appeal their losing case: Oxnard vs Aaron Starr, where they tried to invalidate Measure M rollback of a wastewater rate increase passed overwhelmingly by voters.  Other related cases were also discussed in the session, but Council/City Attorney had no statement on these.

The Council also honored Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer’s 70th anniversary (2 photos below):

Oxnard Council honors Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer’s 70th anniversary team at 1-8-19 Oxnard Council meeting (photo by Dan Pinedo/CitizensJournal.us)

Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer’s 70th anniversary team at 1-8-19 Oxnard Council meeting (photo by Dan Pinedo/CitizensJournal.us)

Meeting agenda, Meeting video

 

Oxnard City Manager Alexander Nguyen introduced the new CFO Kevin Riper, who possesses outstanding financial qualifications/background.

New Oxnard new CFO Kevin Riper (Photo by Dan Pinedo/CitizensJournal.us)

 

Item F- Public Comments on Items not on the Agenda

Woody Thomas- bug infestations in his public housing building. Implored the city to do something about it. Threatened legal action if it doesn’t. He is a nattily attired clean freak, so it really bugs him (sorry, couldn’t resist that).

Larry Stein- Where are the financial statements required by City Council ordinances? Says they haven’t been available since Management Partners (consultants) showed up. He is concerned about poor internal controls. New ERP/financial software that management wants will not fix this problem.

George Miller- Deadline to opt out of the “Clean Power Alliance” looming. Your council voted you into it at 100% clean power option by default. Only one of the four required notifications had been received at the Miller Household. They are rather confusing, self promotional. The overwhelming majority of Oxnardians we talked to said they had not seen notices (no surprise, because they don’t stand out and are difficult to understand or maybe haven’t been sent), so no wonder CPA brags that opt-outs are only 1%.  Your electric bill will immediately go up 9% (maybe a lot more later) in the next billing cycle if you don’t do something- call 888-585-3788. Have your SCE billing account info available, try to follow the voice mail prompts to opt out by telephone.

 

Item H-1

SUBJECT: City of Oxnard 2019 Federal and State Legislative Program. (10/15/5)
RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council:
1. Receive and file the report;
2. Adopt a Resolution approving the 2019 Legislative Program for the City of Oxnard; and
3. Take such additional, related action as may be desired.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Alexander Nguyen Phone: (805) 385-7430
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Elisabeth V. Paniagua of EP Consultants presentation (see link above).
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The City has an active program to monitor and attempt to influence or take advantage of legislation at the state and federal level. The program slowed due to lack  of resources/manpower but is said to be back on track now.
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There are 13 target areas which they only stated in summary, but hardly went into any of their positions, some of which are quite controversial. Read staff report via the link above for at least some more details.
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2019 Priority Areas Details
1. Community Services: Parks- facilities, youth programs, grants.
2. Economic Development: ED growth, jobs, EDA grants.
3. Finance: Finance and tax reform to benefit city.
4. Housing: Homeless assistance, housing options for all, grants.
5. Labor Relations: Public benefit system reform to reduce costs.
6. Land Use: Earthquake prevention and unpermitted oversight.
7. Local Control: Protect local control across all items.
8. Military Bases: NBVC, RDP-21, Air National Guard
9. Public Safety: Crime reduction, fire prevention, staffing, grants.
10. Sustainability: Prevent contamination, Halaco, Ormond, grants.
11. Telecommunications: PEG TV, Fiber Master Plan, grants
12. Transportation: Streets-pedestrian, roads, bridges, grants.
13. Water: Recycled water, supply, conservation, stormwater,
flood prevention, seawalls, CI.
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Some key things NOT mentioned above:
– Dismantling the shut down power plants, which the city failed to even negotiate on
– Vets assistance
– School safety
– Re-establishing redevelopment program, taxation.
– Ability to better control public employment compensation
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Oxnard is quite proud of its results in  getting funding ($9.5MM) for the wastewater plant and additional interest free loans. Grants are an especially import goal for this perennial funds-starved city.
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There was little debate and no public opposition, so the measure easily sailed through a 7-0 unanimous vote approving it. It’s helpful when not many specifics are mentioned. Most of the detail is focused on extracting cash from Sacramento and Washington. Nearly all is concerned with spending more money and little to save money, so it is inherently focused on expanding government and maximizing Oxnard’s share of the loot. It also seeks more local authority in spending the loot and regulating.
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The two major lobbying organizations for state and federal affairs teams were introduced at the meeting:
MMO Partners- Federal affairs
 John O’Donnell
 Kyriakos Pagonis
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Michael J. Arnold Associates-  State affairs
  Michael J. Arnold and others
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Nothing was said about what/how  they are paid and how they are evaluated.
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Council/staff comments:
Ramirez- Credit for Wastewater funding is also shared by Sen. Jackson and Assemblywoman Limon, not Just Assemblywomen Irwin.
Basua- Housing & Public Safety are her top priorities
Madrigal= Community Services and housing are his top priorities.
Flynn- His top 3 priorities weren’t even listed. Especially concerned about getting the old power plants removed and youth intrvention programs. Also concerned that the state is driving land use and he wants more local control.
Nguyen concerned about help for the homeless.
MacDonald- Need homeless law improvements to prevent qulaity of life/safety deterioration and get them into effective help programs. Excited about the new shelter, but very concerned about misguided 9th circuit court ruling that allows “homesteading on public property” (go look at Plaza Park if you don’t believe him.
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Item H-2
SUBJECT: Appointment of Council Committee Membership, Including Committee Chairs (5/10/5)
RECOMMENDATION: That City Council ratifies the Mayor’s appointments of Council Committee Membership, including Committee Chairs.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Alexander Nguyen Phone: (805) 385-7430
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Late last year the Council voted to organize the various committees into 5 groups, meet all day twice a month with them, do all deliberation/vetting there, then pas the finished product to twice monthly City Council meetings for final approval with far less debate. This is supposed to improve strategic prioritization and shorten Council meetings. If that’s the upside, the downside is that it will be far more difficult for the public to track what is going on the city, as they would have to attend all the committee meetings and the council meetings to really understand what is going on.
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The good news is that all meetings will be agendized, broadcast, archived, like city council meetings.
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There was little debate or discussion- it just sailed right through with unanimous approval, although MacDonald had stepped out briefly and missed the 7th vote. This stuff has been discussed before but committee assignments were new. Perello suggested annual chair rotations, Flynn suggested revisiting it ina year. Evidently, Council  agreed, since no amendments were proposed.
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Here are the committees decided upon:
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Item H-3

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SUBJECT: Request of Mayor Pro Tem Ramirez: for the City Council to Request the Ventura County Fairgrounds Board of Directors to Cease Contracting for New Gun Shows at the Fairgrounds. (5/5/10)
RECOMMENDATION: That City Council discuss and determine whether an item related to consideration of sending a letter to the Ventura County Fairgrounds Board of Directors to cease contracting for additional gun shows should be placed on a future City Council agenda for Council discussion.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Stephen M. Fischer Phone: (805) 385-7483
Document: H-3 Staff Report

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Anti-gunners are outraged that gun shows take place on govt. land (The Ventura County Fairgrounds), feel it promotes “gun culture” and harms public safety. The city has no jurisdiction over this, the Fairgrounds Commission does. Opponents want to agendize a session to authorize  a letter requesting cessation of gun shows at the fairgrounds and persuaded Mayor Pro-Tem Ramirez to get it on the Council agenda. they also protested gun show advertisements near schools and at bus stops,

Ramirez and allies want to end gun shows at the VC Fairgrounds, asserting that these are providing potential weapons for shootings, “promoting gun culture” and more.

Public Comments

Speakers from the Brady Campaign and local anti-gun people supported the measure. They cited  a pervasive “gun culture” and copious availability of weapons. The Brady organization was formed after the attack on President Reagan and Secy James Brady in the 1980’s. Reagan was seriously wounded, recovered and continued to support the Second Amendment. Secy Brady was crippled for life, but survived another 33 years. The Brady campaign was formed to reduce gun violence via reducing guns in private hands. Troy Corley said that Oxnard was ground zero in the movement to stop gun shows at the state-owned Fairgrounds and help end “gun culture.”

Steve Nash exhorted the Council to stand up to the gun lobby, said that banning gun shows is common sense and will help “reign in the gun culture.” He does not believe that guns should be sold on public land.  Edie Santangelo (Marriage & Family Therapist), Barbara Thorpe and Julia Martinez want a letter sent to the Fairgrounds board asking them to stop gun shows. Santangelo noted that not all perpetrators are mentally impaired, but may just be angry. She seemed to think that automatic weapons are a problem, but these are almost nonexistent in the hands of the public. Brady Campaign County Chair Janet Eckhouse reiterated that and added that senseless violence is a public health problem, that gun shows at the Fairgrounds proliferates guns and that the number of places selling guns should be reduced. Eckhouse promised us a statement and interview but never allowed it. Andy Fletcher had a friend killed in the Borderline shooting and agreed.  Several speakers want further restrictions on gun sales and ownership.

Opponents said that wasn’t the solution, that it constituted a Second Amendment violation and did not address the true problems of mental and emotional instability and increasing lack of moral grounding. Video games, media glorification of gun violence, weak moral training of youth, and gang culture were the real problems, according to speakers George Miller and Woody Thomas. Thomas especially stressed mental/emotional problems leading to violence and said the county/police should address the problem and that we can’t eliminate Second Amendment, don’t want to get involved in litigation, do want police to address this problem.

 

Item H-4

SUBJECT: Request of Mayor Pro Tem Ramirez for the City Council to Consider a Resolution Opposing Offshore Oil Drilling. (5/5/10)
RECOMMENDATION: That City Council discuss and determine whether an item to consider adopting a resolution declaring the Council’s opposition to offshore oil drilling should be placed on a future City Council agenda for Council discussion.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Stephen M. Fischer Phone: (805) 385-7483

Document: H-4 Staff Report
Approved 7-0, with MacDonald saying he would support it so Ramirez doesn’t think he hates everything he does.
Item L-1
SUBJECT: Extension of Ordinance No. 2950 (Moratorium on the Establishment of New Retail Uses Selling Firearms and Ammunition). (5/10/20)
RECOMMENDATION: That City Council conduct a public hearing and adopt an ordinance to extend the moratorium on the establishment of new retail uses selling firearms and ammunition to allow the City to study this land use and make recommendations to the Planning Commission and City Council for a period of eight (8) months from the date Ordinance No. 2950 would otherwise expire.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Stephen M. Fischer Phone: (805) 385-7483
Document: L-1 Staff Report
Unsurprisingly, the Council approved 7-0 an extension of the 45 day moratorium expiring on 1-11-19 to 9-11-19, on new firearms dealers, citing “a current an immediate threat to public peace, health, welfare and safety, etc)
Excerpt:
“The City Council finds that there is a current and immediate threat to the public peace, health,
welfare and safety, specifically including possible permanent damage to the City’s aesthetic,
health, safety and economic interests arising from the potential new retail uses selling
ammunition or firearms prior to the City completing such planning review considering the
circumstances and effect such development would have on the City.”
Other
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The council also approved $4.8MM for 15 new trash collection trucks (Environmental Resources collection vehicles) (Item M-1); and $3MM plus about $.6MM for contingency and engineering funds to finally resurface Channel Islands Boulevard (Item M-2).  We understand that the trucks are cash sales and that no additional debt will be incurred. The City also approved on first reading new taxicab regulation (Item M-3)
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Upcoming January 15 meeting agenda
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George Miller is Publisher/Co-Founder of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard


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4 Responses to Oxnard Council Advances Anti-Gun, Anti-Drilling Agendi, Will Appeal Losing Case Against Aaron Starr Wastewater Rate Rollback

  1. c e voigtsbeger January 16, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    Today 1/16/19 the City of Los Angeles paid $35,000 attorney fees to the California Rifle and Pistol Association lawyer for going outside the scope of their official capacity and refusing to furnish information requested under the FOIA. Wonder how much this little exerciser in self-righteousness is going to cost the taxpayers of the City of Oxnard?

    Reply
  2. Tom January 16, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    I did not mean to suggest that you published an incorrect link. In fact, I had previously linked to the agenda through a link at Oxnard.org.

    The K-3 attachment was supposed to link to SUBJECT: Cable Services Agreement for Public Housing Tenants. Instead it linked to a 315-page document. This morning I contacted the city about the bad link, and it has been corrected.

    Reply
  3. Tom January 15, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    When you click on your agenda link, the agenda loads. If you then click on the K-3 attachment it appears that the agenda page just reloads. Scrolling down, I discovered that all K and L links were downloaded. All 315 pages!

    I don’t think this file was intended for all to see.

    Reply
    • Debra Tash January 15, 2019 at 10:12 pm

      That’s because K-3 is the meeting minutes, which shows the entire agenda, with minutes and attachments. It’s their document and link, not ours.

      Reply

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