Oxnard Council Approves Homeless Plans; Many New Fee Increases; Addresses Terrible Internal Controls;

By George Miller

The 7-24-18 Oxnard City Council Meeting was the last one before the August break: Accepted the Police & Housing Departments’ plans on homelessness and anti-vagrancy efforts; Approved many new fee increases; Accepted Treasurer’s investment report and Finance’s new internal controls policy; Rice and 5th RR crossing progressing with funding, design, approvals; awarded contract for Auto Center street resurfacing.

Ventura County Fair is August 1-12. Salsa Festival This weekend.

 

 Council Meeting Jul 24, 2018 – 04:30 PM Agenda

 

Item D-1-Homelessness and Anti Vagrancy Efforts. (10/10/10)
RECOMMENDATION: That City Council receive and file a report from the Police Department and the City Attorney’s Office regarding efforts to address homelessness and vagrancy, and provide feedback to staff
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Scott Whitney Phone: (805) 385-7624

Document: D-1 Staff Report
Document: D-1 Presentation
.
Assistant Police Chief Jason Benites: Homelessness is defined as lacking a home, while vagrancy includes crime. Census says 338 homeless, but think it is higher.
.
2200 homeless calls last year.  Focus is on helping them, not arresting them. Encampments are a big problem. There were approx 150 in Halaco encampment, broken up last year. No arrests were necessary. Cost was unknown- requested $400,00 allocation.
Taking back our parks initiative addressed some of the problem- disturbances, violence, drugs, sleeping in parks were all problems. Applied zero tolerance policy to those interactions, not homelessness per se. Some success resulted. calls are down.
Homeless courts  are focusing on a path to success- accepting services in lieu of punishment.
Coordinating more outreach. Guidelines for discouraging panhandling.
MOVING FORWARD SLIDE
Discuss top challenges/individuals weekly on what can be done.
Police Dept is but one spoke in this large, complex issue. Multiple situations contribute to homelessness.
(CHALLENGES SLIDE)
Many homeless are “service-resistant”- don’t want help.
Deputy City Atty Jason Zaragoza has been coordinating with PD on ordinances in other cities.  Coordinate ordinance prosecutions and homeless court  and community intervention court. Anti- public camping ordinance a possibility- other cities have this. Normally paired with storage of personal property on public property.  Must follow due process including notice, timely restoration of property. Public alcohol consumption ordinance will also help. Park curfew- 7 am.
Public Comments
Walter J. Schneider- Was temporarily  homeless. Couldn’t get any help. Went to AA- terrible. Got tickets for car.  His attorney never showed up, so he was jailed. I prayed. Got out and was handcuffed 2 hrs later. Participated in a county program- building was contaminated.  None of them got into new housing being built. Need a program. Talked about “incubator program.- including jobs and training.
Abel Mangama- Thanks to police for their efforts- supportive of what Asst Chief Benites presented.  Very much encouraged by progress, high priority of this. Want to see people get into outreach programs, permanent housing. Survey of downtown merchants viewed homelessness a top priority. Trying to clean up downtown.
Barbara Macri-Ortiz- Not going top criminalize homelessness. “Vagrancy” term is too negative, connotes sub-humanity, affects our state of mind in how we approach it., Cars can’t be parked overnight. Skyrocketing home prices causing more homelessness. Wants “safe” areas designated for staying overnight in cars. Supports homeless court, D community service instead of doing time.
Woody Thomas- Homelessness a serious problem. $1 million is a start.  Need rules, regulations, policies, guidelines. Don’t want to tie up police dept unnecessarily. Court operation costs the state money. Safety/security also  important. There are numbers to call for help. It could be you. Help one another as much as we can.
Peggy Rivera- These ordinances need o be drafted in a civilized manner, not criminalize homelessness. See  a flicker of light coming through. Finding a building is just a small party of it.
Dr, Sinder Sinclair, of Community action- Liked presentation and hub analogy. Have homeless programs, including neighborhood cleanup volunteers.
Council Comments
Perello- Thank police, cameras have made a significant impact. Can’t criminalize homeliness, but situation has gotten out of hand. Need parking rules. No public bathrooms- public safety issue.
MacDonald- Not focusing on criminalizing, but providing services. Homeless consist of multiple groups. Homeless resisted services at Halaco when offered.. They weren’t sincere.  There should be consequences if they engage in certain practices and refuse help, rules. Staking out public property to live on is not an option.
Madrigal- Most people if they lost their jobs would be homeless in a month. Sees homeless living in parks by necessity. Need to find places to stay. Need to help people even if they resist. People will go where they feel welcome. (hmm).
Ramirez- People need services, housing. A national problem come home to Oxnard.

D-2- Partnership to Address Homelessness (5/5/5)
RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council:
1. Authorize the Mayor to sign a letter of intent expressing the City’s support to partner with the County of Ventura on the development and operations of a year-round homeless shelter; and
2. Direct the City Manager and Housing Director to work with Ventura County to develop a detailed agreement to be scheduled for City Council consideration as soon as possible.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Arturo Casillas Phone: (805) 385-8094

Document: D-2 Staff Report
Document: D-2 Presentation

Housing Director Arturo Casillas appreciates police dept. efforts. Partnership of Oxnard, Ventura and County of Ventura, on things such as warming shelters . Working now on full service shelter/navigation center, working with PD, govts and other stakeholders. An RFP to do this is in process. Each city to have agreements with county and shelter operator. $1,000,000 voted for acquisition and $500,00 for annual operations, plus $200,000 CDBG funding, October, 2018 is target for shelter opening, or default to foul weather temporary operation as in previous years.

Christine Madden, County Community Director was introduced.

Public Comments

Walter Schneider- Wants committee of schools, churches, homeless to gather input. Mentioned  incubator program again.

Pat Brown- Have shelters away from downtown.  Tourism threatened.

Barbara Macri-Ortiz- Totally supports this item. Likes regional approach. Thanked participants.

Julia Pena- Suggested facility may not be available for a year. Could any money appropriate be used for wintertime warming shelter if needed?

Woody Thomas-  Don’t want to house unsafe people. Need homeless census. Locals should get priority. Ned manpower- clean- not on drugs

 

Council/Staff Comments

Casillas- Would need approval to reallocate funds for winter warming shelter

Perello- Council has already approved the $1.2 million for year round shelter

Madrigal- great first step, hopefully find permanent site soon.

 

Approved 4-0 (Flynn absent)

 

CEREMONIAL CALENDAR

F-1- SUBJECT: Presentation of a Resolution to Tammy Gutierrez for Over Twenty-Nine Years of Outstanding Service to the City of Oxnard.

Document: F-1 Resolution

G. PUBLIC COMMENTS ON ITEMS NOT ON THE AGENDA

Walter Schneider (who is black)- There is discrimination in Oxnard- The “Spanish” (Latinos) control the jobs/housing. He was terminated all the blacks. Housing program head “terrorizes all the blacks. He has been [prevented from filing court documents

Carl Lawson (President of Oxnard Middle Managers Association)- Membership has elected new slate.  He will continue on board of directors. Mr Jeff Link (Public Works)mentioned.

Mr Link- Look forward to working with city and members

Woody Thomas- again asked for a compromise offer on alleged discrimination, injuries sustained. Police have suggested that this is groundless. No legal action we know of is active.

Peggy Rivera- Running for City Council- District 5

Caroline- running for City Council Dist 6

Claire- Dept of Transportation- New program for Comm. College students to ride bus for free. Just show college ID. Goventura.org

Jackie Tedeschi-  Do more posting in some neighborhoods.

Larry Stein- re: Budget hearing. Never received answers to his questions or even a date when they will be answered. Traffic Dept seems focused on ticketing poor neighborhoods. Meanwhile, speeding goes unchecked, running stop signs.

Armando Vazquez- Thanks for City letting people use vacant buildings. Made an announcement in Spanish which was not translated. Re: Gang injunction: same things said about homeless can be said of gang members.

Rich Rollins- Concerned about Oxnard Tennis Center- Saddened by reduction in hours (Sunday eliminated, Saturday shortened) and access as well as poor physical conditions

Ashley Clendinin- VC Fairgrounds. Fair is Aug. 1-12. Shuttles available, didn’t know where.

Raymond Bolhowski- Piggyback on Rich Rollins comments on Tennis Center.

Peter Rey- Tennis Team- same views. Cut hours will eliminate weekend tournaments. Court conditions are hazardous.

Carolyn Mullin- New PACC events coordinator- Sight and Sound Film Festival; Aug 16- Preview Party of upcoming events; Film Festival- august 2019; Kickback at the PACC series coming up-= see website.

Julie Kolbacher- When Property north of Jolly Roger is developed, they have to open up the gate, but a retaining wall will block them.; Why can’t her neighborhood also block off her neighborhood to avoid unwanted commercial traffic?

Daniel Kolbacher- re: gang injunction. Police are subject matter experts on this.  Gang injunctions just don’t target random kids, but real gang members.

Nancy Kotza- “Butterfly Lady” – mentioned upcoming Monarch Butterfly Festival

Elizabeth Singer (?)- Working at Pleasant Valley historical cemetery. Want to wort with city members to replant native plants in the area to support the pollinators such as Monarch Butterflies.

Warner Keller- Re: Fisherman’s Wharf. Former Harbor Director and current consultant Lyn Kreiger attempting to amend local coastal plan to permit proposed apartments.  Public is very much opposed to the project. No 400 unit complex – wrong for that parcel.

Pablo Ortiz- Director Of Oxnard Salsa Festival THIS WEEKEND! Free concert this Friday by Pancho Sanchez. Bands, dancing, salsa, community exhibits, vendors.

Martin Jones- Says gang injunction is unconstitutional. Some judges agree with him. His name was on gang injunction list. Sheriff Dean sent him a  letter saying he had a low moral character. He says he has an 825 credit score.

Lupe Andiamo- Salsa Festival is one of her favorites. Wants Chief Whitney to be one of the dancers.

Pat Brown- Rewove industrial garage doors and iron security gates down and pain structures of businesses on Oxnard Blvd.

Dan Pinedo- Condolnces to Branson, MO drownings.

 

H. REPORT OF CITY MANAGER/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/SECRETARY
Jesus Nava- Standard & Poors has given positive outlook on wastewater debt, provided no further interruptions to normal rate-setting process.
Council Comments
Perello- Complimented retiring Ms Guttierrez of treasury Dept. Wants to address weeds on medians situation,. Will be working on it. Wants to know what criteria are for having a dog p[ark. Have spent 100’s of thousands of dollars remodeling Tennis Park.  Working on water condition.
Madrigal- ODID meeting DTIF meeting attended. Went to SCR1 levee education meeting. Will take much public collaboration to do. Went to relay for life at Pacifica H.S. Friday-Digital Literacy program. Police National Night Out.
Ramirez- Assembly woman Jacqui Irwin, Brownley, Jackson, Stern and Limon (all local Democrat state legislators) visited. Irwin helped obtain $9.5 million for wastewater plant. Pointed out problems in managing level of solid waste disposal. Please reduce electrical use due to heat wave. Sept 8 is Oxnard Beach Jazz Festival. Only have limited resources to run city with- need to reduce expenses.
City Mgr. Nguyen asked Nava to talk about return of Dallas Cowboys- July 26 is Cowboys return. See visitoxnard .om for details. 500-600 visitors./day on weekends’

I-1- Ballot Argument for Measure G — Cannabis Business Tax (5/5/10)
RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council determine if either:
1. The City Council as a whole; or
2. One or more Councilmembers designated by the City Council will file the written argument in support of Measure G, which would impose a cannabis business tax.If the City Council determines that the City Council as a whole will file the argument, then the City Council should designate one or more signatories for the argument if all members of the City Council will not be available to sign the argument by the filing deadline of August 2, 2018.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Stephen M. Fischer Phone: (805) 385-7483

Document: I-1 Staff Report
Asst City Atty Rozellle- Council placed it on the ballot, can submit a ballot statement by August 2. Council should decide whether they want to file a statement. Yes. Perello recommends that all five sign it.
Approved 4-0
I-2- Ballot Arguments Against Measures F, H & I – Seabridge Initiatives (10/10/10)
RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council determine if the City Council wishes to file written arguments against:
1. Measure F — Reduction of the maximum special tax for CFD-4 (Seabridge at Mandalay Bay);
2. Measure H — Reduction of allowed overhead for CFD-3 (Seabridge at Mandalay Bay); and
3. Measure I — Reduction of portion of special tax used for Harbor Patrol services for CFD-4 (Seabridge at Mandalay).

If the City Council determines that it wishes to file a written argument against one or more of the ballot measures, then the City Council should designate one or more signatories for the argument (on behalf of the City Council as a whole) if all members of the City Council will not be available to sign the argument(s) by the filing deadline of August 2, 2018.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Stephen M. Fischer Phone: (805) 385-7483

Document: I-2 Staff Report

City to submit opposition statements against these measures. Perello- yes and explain it to the public. Impact is totally unknown. Could be extremely expensive. Staff will draft.

approved 4-0
J. REVIEW OF INFORMATION/CONSENT AGENDA 

Approved 4-0

 

L-6- SUBJECT: Revision of the Housing Authority of the City of Oxnard’s Procurement Policy. 
RECOMMENDATION: That the Board of Commissioners of the Housing Authority of the City of Oxnard adopt a resolution approving the revision of the Housing Authority of the City of Oxnard’s Procurement Policy in accordance with new policies and procedures set forth by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance from 24 CFR Part 85 to 2 CFR Part 200.
Legislative Body: HA Contact: Arturo Casillas Phone: (805) 385-8094

Document: L-6 Staff Report

L-7 SUBJECT: Award Agreement No. A-8093 to Aquatic Bioassay & Consulting Laboratories, Inc.
RECOMMENDATION: That City Council award, and authorize the Mayor to execute when finalized, Agreement No. A-8093 with Aquatic Bioassay and Consulting Laboratories, Inc. in the amount of $453,888 for receiving water monitoring services.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Rosemarie Gaglione Phone: (805) 385-8055

Document: L-7 Staff Report

M-1- SUBJECT: Fee for Service Update and Adoption of New Fees (10/10/5)
RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council hold a public hearing on the proposed new and adjusted service fees, and adopt a resolution establishing new fees and adjusting current fees for the services identified in the attachments and appendices to said resolution.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Jim Throop Phone: (805) 385-7475

Document: M-1 Staff Report
Document: M-1 Presentation
Consultant from RCS made the presentation: analyzed budget. Determined city services provided, matched revenues to costs. Calculated fully burdened hourly employee rates. He didn’t explain why this couldn’t be done by city employees like it is commonly done in private industry. about $7 million in personal choice services are being subsidize by taxes, not fees;. Development and fire prevention services are the largest such ones. He says this is to be approve tonight, but there wasn’t any discussion of specifics, which Mayor Pro-Tem Ramirez said is in the meeting materials
Public Comment
Jackie Tedeschi –  wants more info on risk management
Council/Staff Comments
(Consultant) Dave Milliken- risk management refers to things related to Council’s goals. Example: rising PERS cost, volatility in the economy.
Perello- Re: P7 slide on internal controls . What advice would you give on reserves and risk? Milliken: If you’re in a large, stable organization, you can have a smaller reserve relative to the entire budget. Otherwise, use 2 months of expenditures as a general rule. Utilities have different rules. he as with a city that relied very heavily on B2B sales tax, which took a 40% plunge in the crash. Higher risk probability suggests larger reserves. Perello: How often to report on this? Milljken: yearly.
MacDomald- Fiscal Policy Task Force supports this.
Approved 4-0
Public Comments
Larry Stein-  Omits development impact fees, which he has previously told Citizens Journal about.. Cost of litigation allocation is not addressed, or credit card fees. He points out that the GREAT water program allocations ans the largest problem, which is in violation of Prop 218. We are paying $2000/acre foot for water which only costs  $800 to produce, The balance is the public subsidizing the GREAT program,

Barbara Macri-Ortiz- Claims Stein comments are all irrelevant. Development Services not following the law, not laying out in advance all these things that have to be done.  City people going around in circles, doing things three or four times. If we are paying for services, then you should have all the tools. They keep adding items after the fact. Especially if we’re paying by the hour.

Woody Thomas- Want to minimize costs,. taxes had to be done because of the cost to live and operate. Public and city has suffered a lot due to mismanagement, misappropriation of funds, stealing.

Council/Staff Comments
Asst Cit Mgr Nava- Development fees are not in the scope of this. That is a future agenda item Water and sewer rates are under Prop 218, not applicable to this item. This item was triggered by an organizational assessment done under previous administration.
Madrigal- What is S276- property damage claim.? A: This is if someone damages city property.
Perello- Re: Macri-Ortiz comments that some items not relevant. Asked consultant if other cities waited so long to address/adjust fees? A: Yes. What should period be? A: 3-5 years.
Ramirez- Re: capacity of Planning Dept.: should not cut its staff. Cost of  litigation is considered tax-supported service. Dd not recommend credit card fee
Treasurer Phil Molina says credit card fees cost $300,000/yr. Going to a new service company and will then request pass through fees.
Perello- Issue with security of on line payment. Says his card was hacked when paying utility bill.
Consultant- on report page 125- police fees were already passed except for one on p164- S153.
Approved (except for a number of items removed) 4-0

N-1- Unclaimed Funds Escheated to the City’s General Fund. (5/5/5) 
RECOMMENDATION: That City Council adopt a resolution transferring unclaimed funds from their respective fund(s) to the general fund pursuant to California Government Code Sections 50050 et seq.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Phillip S. Molina Phone: (805) 385-7808

Document: N-1 Staff Report
Document: N-1 Presentation
Unclaimed funds of $300,00 were advertised. $83,968 claimed. $23,844 in claims rejected. By law, money still unclaimed ($274,132) must be returned to the General Fund.  This item went on an incredibly long time for something already competently addressed and resolved.
Approved 4-0
FYI:
es·cheat
əsˈCHēt/
historical
noun
  1. 1.
    the reversion of property to the state, or (in feudal law) to a lord, on the owner’s dying without legal heirs.
verb
  1. 1.
    (of land) revert to a lord or the state by escheat.

N-2- SUBJECT: City Treasurer’s 4Th Quarter FY 17-18 Investment Report (5/5/5)
RECOMMENDATION: That City Council receive, accept and file the Annual City Treasurer’s Investment Report for the period ending June 30, 2018.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Phillip S. Molina Phone: (805) 385-7808

Document: N-2 Staff Report
Document: N-2 Presentation
Treasure Phil Molina review the Treasury Dept. functions/
Molina bragged about the business license collections for the city. Meanwhile, in contrast, Moving Oxnard Forward is trying to lower it. He said they also compared favorably with other cities in what he implied were measures of productivity.
Much of the investment is in shorter term instruments. This was necessary due to large obligations and early payment discounts. State law prohibits terms beyond five years.
He says that the City made a strategic decision not to invest redevelopment funds due to disincentives to do so.
Approved 4-0

N-3- SUBJECT: Internal Control Integrated Framework (ICIF) Policy (10/10/10)
RECOMMENDATION: That City Council direct staff to prepare resolutions to adopt Management Partners, Inc.’s recommendations for City Council internal control policies in their report “City of Oxnard, California Internal Control – Integrated Framework Council Policies and Administrative Implementation Guidelines.” This report was prepared to address critical audit findings by the City’s independent auditor in connection with its work on the City’s Single Audit.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Deanne Purcell Phone: (805) 200-5400

Document: N-3 Staff Report
Document: N-3 Presentation

Former Finance Director and current consultant Dave Millican made the presentation. The city was dinged badly for lack of internal controls by the City’s financial and operational audit (by one of his employers,  Management Partners, as well as city staff,. in the past. The State Controller got involved, audited the City’s Auditor’s approach and now demands regular reports.

There rally wasn’t much of an internal controls system in place

Dave Millican-

City has struggled with high employee turnover,  systems and other problems. It needs to rebuild its reputation.

Sponsoring organizations of the Treadway Committee were used. These are recommended internal controls, the structure recommended by the State Controllers Office. Avoids reinventing the wheel, are widely accepted and training/expertise is more readily available. Needs a competent, ethical and accountable staff to work successfully. He said i these were in place the last ten years, they would have avoided the troubles the city went through (with Finance).

He recommended relevant performance standards for the City Manager and financial executive.

Public Comment

Gerard Kapuscik- Supports proposal. The real aspect of govt is to steer. Not just insurance or financial risk- but operational risk. Need stds of performance, continuous operational improvements. Require s top down and bottom up approach. Nee performance assessment- top on Council’s priorities.

Council Comments

Perello- Re: Treadway Commission. Performance of City Mgr and atty. He is happy that will be included.

Ramirez- has general anxiety about natural disaster risk preparedness. Need reserves, training, but can’t totally prepare. Also cyber security. Staff- turnover. Excellent proposal.

Madrigal- This, Kapuscik, is just “public policy 101”. He majored in this.  Need to do it.

(City Mgr.) Nguyen- Lot of work to be done.Thanks to Milliken. Read original Management Partners report. Performance integrity, ethics, professional pride most important. We are asking you (Council) to improve policy. Action plans will follow.

Approved 4-0

 

N-4- SUBJECT: Award Contract for Auto Center Commercial Neighborhood Street Resurfacing Project PW 17-07 (5/5/5) 
RECOMMENDATION: That City Council:

1. Award and authorize the Mayor to execute Agreement A-8088 in the amount of $1,560,856 for the Auto Center Commercial Neighborhood Street Resurfacing Project PW 17-07 with Toro Enterprises, Inc.;

2. Approve $156,085 for Project contingency for the Auto Center Commercial Neighborhood Street Resurfacing Project PW 17-07;

3. Approve $156,085 for construction engineering, inspection, survey and project management for the Auto Center Commercial Neighborhood Street Resurfacing Project PW 17-07; and

4. Approve an appropriation of $92,000 from the Street Maintenance Fund (105) for the Auto Center Commercial Neighborhood Street Resurfacing Project PW 17-07.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Rosemarie Gaglione Phone: (805) 385-8055

Document: N-4 Staff Report
Document: N-4 Presentation

Public Comments

Pat Brown- definitely need that street fixed- it is getting sooo bad.

Approved 4-0

.

N5- Rice Avenue at Fifth Street Grade Separation Design Contract (5/5/5)
RECOMMENDATION: That City Council:
1. Award, and authorize the Mayor to execute when finalized, Agreement No. A-8094 with WKE, Inc. to complete the plans, specification and estimates (PS&E) for the Rice Avenue at Fifth Street Grade Separation Project in the amount of $5,354,840; and
2. Approve the attached budget Appropriation in the amount of $13,929,000, recognizing grant $12,406,000 from State TCEP grant funds and $1,523,000 from Federal Transportation Multi-Year Grants Fund 275 to Project #133101, Rice Avenue at 5th Street Grade.
3. Authorized the City Manager or his designee to amend the budget of TCEP grants funds based on actual award by phase of work once grant agreement is fully executed.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Rosemarie Gaglione Phone: (805) 385-8055

Document: N-5 Staff Report
Document: N-5 Presentation

Sufficient grants were received to do much of the work to improve intermodal access to the Port of Hueneme. Total cost will be $79 million. Only one bidder, WKE.  Millions more in grant applications pending.  Council discussion stressed convincing voters that SB1 is needed and shouldn’t be repealed without violating the law on advocacy.

SHOW FUNDING SLIDES

Public Comment

Dan Pinedo- Ask Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin to try to acquire funding to widen critical artery Rice Ave. get support of other govt. entities.

Steve Nash- “Safe transportation of energy” reminds him of big oil. Will accepting their grant be making a deal with the devil and signing away our ability to regulate cargoes. Answer: we have little leeway on specifying what can happen but can improve safety with the money.

Pat Brown- Disagree with taking Rice interchange money and transferring it to Rice Road. Want to re-route through traffic passing through downtown to Rice Ave.  Need Rice Ave Interchange regardless.

Approved 4-0


 

Final public comment not on agenda.

Steve Nash- Objects to public domain release of 3D printing of guns.

 


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

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