Oxnard Council: City to seek Public Access TV operator, Fire Captain honored, Rummel becomes first Poet Laureate, Confidential employees win compensation gain

By George Miller

Fire Captain Alexander Hamilton honored with Employee of Year Award by Mayor Flynn, as family and Chief Williams look on above, below right). He did smoke detector program, won grants, and more.

Fire Captain Alexander Hamilton honored with Employee of Year Award by Mayor Flynn, as family and Chief Williams look on above, below right). He did smoke detector program, won grants, and more.

 

Meeting highlightsOXCC 2-4-14 022

  • 2 Groups vie for Oxnard Public Access Channel
  • Council adjusts confidential employees group salaries/benefits per “Step Plan.” (Agenda S-4)
  • Performing Arts fate debated (see another CJ article on this)
  • Fire Captain Alexander Hamilton awarded employee of the year designation (see photo above)
  • Mary Kay Rummel appointed Oxnard’s first-ever Poet Laureate (see photo near end)

 

Name Date Duration Agenda Minutes Video
City Council Meeting February 4, 2014 04h 27m Agenda Minutes Video

 

Two Groups vie for Oxnard Public Access Channel (OPAC) (Agenda K-1)

PublicAccessTV

Council debated what to do about public access TV. It seemed to be a given that they wanted to move ahead, but with what: via RFQ/RFP, appoint an organization, or some other option?

As we have written previously, there has been no Oxnard  public access channel for years. An RFP was issued and Fuerza Latina Health Association won it in 2011, but failed to ever deliver acceptable plans and was finally terminated a few months ago. There have been discussions about next steps at City Council meetings. At the last meeting, the subject was raised once again, There are now two organizations which have announced their desire to run cable Channel 25.

One group, Oxnard Media Access Channel Inc, is an offshoot of Occupy Ventura, a grassroots affiliate  of Occupy Wall St. run by George Sorkin.  They have assembled a group of a civic-minded community activists, with a mission to use the station to enhance education and communications among the residents and with elected officials, with the stated purpose of effecting change, per Dan Pinedo. He further stated that “systemic change,” addressing  “social problems,” getting information to the public and using venues effectively was their intent. While this group hasn’t run a TV operation, they do have some video-savvy people, such as Bill Montgomery.

The other organization is KADYTV, a going concern run by Bob Allen since the 1990’s. KBIE was originally a broadcast station in Santa Barbara, taken over and moved to Oxnard in the 1990’s. It has since been renamed, streamlined, downsized, gone Internet and is focused on micromarkets. It covers local events/issues, is partnering with local colleges and schools to produce and distribute content. KADY TV will be live streaming the Republican candidate forum on Feb 22 and has set up both Republican and Democrat Internet channels.

It is our understanding that the station would use facilities and equipment at Oxnard College and might have additional equipment made available.

A percentage of all CATV revenue collected from Oxnard residents by local CATV franchisee Time-Warner is kept in a fund for video communications. The balance is now over $1.5 million dollars, with about $90,000 from the current fiscal year. According to the City Council, a lot of that money would be used for city infrastructure/wiring, such as refurbishing city council chambers communications ($500-700K for this alone).  Concerns on how much would go to OPAC and that this funding can only be used for equipment/infrastructure were expressed by Mayor Pro-Tem Ramirez.  It is not clear how the station would finance its other expenses, as Councilmember Padillo wondered- advertisers, perhaps? Councilmember Bryan MacDonald wants to move faster this time, learn how other cities have handled it and keep title to any equipment allocated from funds designated for this.

Council vowed not to micromanage the effort and voted unanimously for staff to move ahead to prepare a Request for Proposal (RFP) in 30 days.

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OXCC 2-4-14 002

Mary Kay Rummel steps up to be Oxnard’s first Poet Laureate, award bestowed by Mayor Tim Flynn

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Council adjusts confidential employees group salaries/benefits per “Step Plan. (Agenda S-4)

The Council also announced that they had reached a confidential employees agreement, in a closed meeting, to extend grant two extra fringe benefits worth a few hundred dollars annually to each employee and to adopt the “steps” salary structure of annual agreements, similar to what is done in the SEIU agreement.  There was also a small salary increase, first one in 7 years, retroactive to 2o12. Mayor Tim Flynn told us that first year’s salary costs will be about $70,000.

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

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