Oxnard Council: Doing Major Development Overhaul; Residents Rebel Against Closures/Cuts; CAG Appointments; Single Audit- Poor

By George Miller

At the 5-21-19 Oxnard City Council meeting, a far-reaching overhaul and streamlining of the development/planning process was unveiled; dozens of residents rebelled against the proposed shutdown (to close a $9 million dollar shortfall) of  beloved amenities such as the Performing Arts Center, Carnegie Art Museum and Colonia Library; the renewal of the Downtown Oxnard District is on track; the Convention and Tourism Bureau progress and budget (self-funded) for next year was reviewed; the “single audit: for federal grants revealed many festering overall accounting/finance problems persisting; the contracted internal audit/whistleblower system slow progress and expanded scope/schedule was presented.; Citizen Advisory Group appointments were approved. Quite a few were held up for lack of background check completions.

Oxnard Planning/Development is located in this “Service Center.” The department will undergo an extensive overhaul and streamlining to become more responsive and effective/efficient.

More detail:

Meeting AGENDA, VIDEO

C. CLOSED SESSION (4:30 PM)
1. CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL – EXISTING LITIGATION (Government Code
section 54956.9 (d)(1))
(City Council)
Name of case: Daniel Gallinot v. City of Oxnard
Ventura County Superior Court, Case No. 56-2019-00524951-CU-BC-VTA
Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board Case No. ADJ10151241
In re Industrial Disability Retirement Appeal of Daniel Gallinot
2. CONFERENCE WITH REAL PROPERTY NEGOTIATORS (Government Code section 54956.8)
(City Council)
The purpose of the closed session is for the City Council to review the status of negotiations for the
potential sale of real property and to provide instructions to the negotiators pursuant to Government
Code section 54956.8.
Properties:
425 South B St. (202-0-101-415, SSA Building);

202-0-101-205; 202-0-101-225; 202-0-101-360; 202-0-101-405; 202-0-101-435
538 South B St. (202-0-105-120); 202-0-105-170; 202-0-105-195; 202-0-105-210; 202-0-105-235;
202-0-105-260; 202-0-105-305
Agency negotiators: Jeffrey Lambert, Community Development Director, and Kenneth Rozell,
Assistant City Attorney.
Negotiating party: Madison Park Financial Corp.
Under negotiation: Price and terms of payment for the potential sale of City properties.

No results of the closed session were announced by the City Attorney

 

D-1- Finance Department
SUBJECT: Single Audit Report and Corrective Action Plan Update. (15/10/5)

RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council receive an update on the FY 2018 Single Audit
Report (presented by external auditors Eadie & Payne) and the Corrective Action Plan addressing
audit findings for FY 2015 through 2018. (Finance and Governance Committee approved 3-0.)
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Kevin Riper, (805) 385-7475

Eden Casareno of Oxnard’s external auditor XXXX presented last years’ single audit for federal grant/contract expenditures.

$6.9MM  in federal expenditures on 16 programs, 3 of them major.

Last year findings

29 total findings in financial statement, 4 were material deficiencies.

Top 4 material weakness (p. 28) all corrected.

Many are concentrated in internal controls.

Says staff is hardworking and dedicated but they are having a hard time staying on top of day to day work and are diverted by problems.emergencies.

Not making satisfactory progress and are asking for more staff/resources, including an internal control sr. manager to implement internal contrails and implement corrective actions.

Lack good monthly financial reporting and allocating direct costs.

2015-18 corrective actions

Public Comments

Dan Pinedo- Providing required resources is key to solving this.

CFO- Single audit isa all about federal funds, but auditor examines everything the city does.

 

Basua: In previous report, you said you would be reporting status every 6  months

Perello- P. 3. re: no longer required item-. Casareno- in the audit. Also- Ms Ventura; Are they up to skill level/need further raining? Ms Ventura: yes, underway, some are at a major conference right now.

Lopez: Are you up to date?

Ramirez- Re: proposed increase to Finance Dept staffing. That was previously cited as a cause of some problems.  Nee accurate financial data to make decisions.

 

D-2- Finance Department
SUBJECT: Status Update of Internal Audit Projects Memo. (10/5/5)

RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council receive an update from the Internal Auditors on the
status of the current projects in progress related to the Internal Audit Department. (Finance and
Governance Committee approved 3-0)
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Kevin Riper, (805) 385-7475

Status update of internal audits projects

Henry Real of Price Paige and Company..  In 2017, they did a citywide risk assessment.

  • A large amount of cash is handled by Environmental Resources (solid waste) dept. Conducted walk through/audit- are they co,plyng with their own policies/procedures?
  • Overtime audit.  Four phases-
  • 1- understanding of how city uses overtime, police, Fire, Miscellaneous- -all have theirown ways.
  • 2- Compliance phase- are key controls in place to administer, track, monitor overtime.
  • 3- Data analysis and reconciliation.

Try to figure out how to minimize use of overtime. Complete by July

Do performance reports of efficiency.

CityCorp/PACC- Goal is to reduce city subsidy or both of these. In next few weeks will develop recommendations- complete in June/July

Golf Course- Was supposed to be a new concessionaire in place and were waiting, but it was determined to start in August and complete the audit by year end.

Internal Controls (working with Finance Dept,)

City has significant deficiencies in internal controls.

 

D-3- Finance Department
SUBJECT: Internal Audit Department Protocol For Investigation of City Management Personnel.
(5/5/5)

RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council receive an update from the Internal Auditors on the
appropriate protocol for investigating members of the City of Oxnard’s management. (Finance and
Governance Committee approved 3-0.)
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Kevin Riper, (805) 385-7475

Investigation of Whistleblower matters:

They were supposed to be developing a Whistleblower system, 3 investigations are underway now, one to be completed, reported by next month

The overall timeline is delayed, due to management turnover and priority changes. It’s difficult to predict how much resources needed for whistleblower cases.  Hired a new manager to speed things up.

Public Comments- none

Mayor Flynn- Committee was concerned about the slow pace of progress.

Committee members

Perello- Public was very unhappy with lack of progress (expressed at committee meeting)

Basua- Agree with Perello. Would like to have this discussion before the budget is approved.

 

D-3 Internal auditor protocol for investigating members of city’s management team- 

By Price Paige & Co. What is protocol for internal auditor to do this?  Whistlelblower system is to report potential fraud, waste or abuse. Complaints are confidential, auditors screen. Many complaints are not fiscal.  Procedures were laid out for complaints about Council, management and staff. (Not clear how contractors are handled.) The internal auditor reports to the Finance Committee.

Council comments

Perello (Whistleblower system initiator)- Should be no further delays.

This is a status update only- no vote required.

 

F- CEREMONIAL ITEMS

1. SUBJECT: Presentation of a Commendation to employee Mike Shaffer for Receiving the “Up and
Coming Leader” Award at the 2019 Public Sector Chief Information Officer Academy.

2. SUBJECT: Recognition of the City of Oxnard City Treasurer’s Staff for Receiving the California
Municipal Treasurers Association Investment Policy Certification. Elected Treasurer Phil Molina announced that no other municipality has ever received a perfect evaluation score like Oxnard did, including on internal controls.

NEW ITEM
3. SUBJECT: Presentation of a Proclamation Designating the Week of May 19-25, 2019 as “Public
Works Week.”

 

G- Public comments (not on agenda)

Most comments were complaints about budget cutbacks due to the city financial crisis.

Robert Diaz- Of Oxnard College and Carnegie Museum- concerned about artistic culture of the city. Want a bright future for arts in the city.

Christine Morla- Oxnard College Professor, supporting retention of Carnegie art Museum, which provides cultural balance and enriches life here/.

Bob Aletta- retired musician. Need arts program.

Paul Finkel- Fundamental to humanities, must preserve the arts. Don’t take away PACC and Carnegie, will diminish the community.

Cap Aletta- Supports PACC

David Smith- Assembly overseer for Jehovah’s Witnesses which utilizes PACC. Keep PACC.

Roy Jarrett- Contract rep for Jehovah’s Witnesses, representing 20,000 people. Have contracts, paid deposits through next April. Alternative to closing PACC

Susan Scott- Director of Ventura Music Festival, uses PACC. Too important to close.

An Arts manager.- Keep PACC.

Cheryl Tooey= Oxnard Youth  group- Keep PACC.

Joanne Julian- Former prof and current longtime artist. Don’t remove arts. Need for creativity. Why are arts the first to go? Facilitates all other skills.

Sue Chadwick- With Cornerstone which helps to support the Carnegie.  Looking at options to save it.

Savannah Atkinson- 13 y.o. Save PACC

Yvonne L- Supports arts. Save PACC.

Joy McKinnon- Most of it has already been said. Save PACC

Carelena Callas- Art Teacher at Pacifica HS. Save Carnegie, PACC, library.

John Hook- Retired elementary teacher. Save PACC, the flagship of fine arts, for premier orchestra of VC.

Alissa Tiegel- Save PACC. I am actor 14 y.o.

MC Di Martino- art student at Berkely and Oxnard HS alumna. Save PACC. Need to flourish.

Martin Jones- Violated CA constitution, sworn to uphold law, Ac Constitution  Article 1 sec 2/3 speak for themselves.

Al Velasquez- Demand funding to keep PACC open. Failure will demonstrate lack of leadership and respect for constituencies. Wasted millions to oppose NRG, oppose Aaron Star.

Marry Chappell- Housing dept event next Thursday- Housing Workshop at Oxnard Sr Center on Bard. Also counselling on landlord/tenant issues.

Larry Vall- House Manager at PACC- serves variety of people, many events/performances. Save it.

Linda Vall- PACC employee. Wonderful to see young people growing there. Consider saving PACC.

Rob Skollberg- Was VP of multibillion $ nonprofit. Keep PACC open.

Vernal Edwards- On PACC board. Received no notice of proposed closure. Request extension for oppty to come up with an alternative.

Antoinette Mensa- Performing youth company (ballet)- using PACC 15 years. Save it.

Martine Gonzalez- The barrio is marginalized. Closing these makes it worse. Close at the expense of heart and soul of community.

Manuel Herrera- On PACC board. Other option available., Don’t appreciate he only has one option. Send city mgr back to drawing board for more options.  Increase Measure O (more taxes?) and borrow money

Kay Hinton- Was in DC national symphony 25 years and in Kennedy Center. Don’t take down institutions.

Ernie Morrison- SOPACC (Sustain Our PACC). Propose 1 year extension to devise strategic plan. Yes underused, needs upgrade.  PACC helps make city what it is.

Kathy Muldman- Exec director VC Ballet- Save the PACC.

Denise D- New West Symphony- orchestra and educational program. Scientific link between arts and other achievement. Save PACC.

Patricia Eunice- Budget meetings extremely informative. Please put budget issues in water bill and solicit donations. Save PACC

Natalie N- Oxnard School District- Save Museum.

Laura Cook- Lifelong supporter of the arts. Save  Carnegie Museum. This is like a secret terrorist attack.

Raoul Lopez- People here don’t have money, but keep everything on. New guy comes in and cuts things. Part of your salary would keep some things open. Cold, man. Look for collaboration.

Susan Jones- Went to budget meeting- tales of woe, cupidity and stupidity. We are custodians of an incredible jewel- PACC. Don’t lose on your watch.

Lucy Cartegena- Budget makes no sense, with you failed gang thin which is unconstitutional. Hire people at high salaries who don’t live here./ People power against all of you. decision would change city forever and lose cultural heritage. 85% of Oxnard is Latino.

Anthony Salas- Save PACC.

Celeste- Keep investing in youth. Save Colonia Library, PACC, fire stations. Cut golf course- don’t need.

Donna Granada- Exec Director of an arts NGO- supporting arts complex. How can you  justify arts $ when police, etc threatened? Strong culture contributes to healthy economy, feeds souls, generates income. Save PACC.

Carol Taylor- Thanks for all help

Debbie Mitchell- Brought my magic wand- never worked for me. What I see in budget meetings we’ve not finished what Nyhoff started. He uncovered much.

Jim Black- Lucent Oz project- relates to PACC- all smart people were laid off. Mugu was removed from closure because it was irreplaceable.

Richard Fein, PhD- Can’t stopa  501.c3, just cut funding. Carnegie is a historic monument- make into 501C3. Convert other threatened things into 501C3.

Jim Hendricson- families in difficulty pass the hat. Need time to solve, save PACC.

Elaina Sloan- Business owner- Grandfather built PACC in 1967. Not a financial liability but an asset. Deferred maintenance. Govt.backed money is available if work is energy efficient-  add to property taxes.

Pete Placentia- Keep Colonia Gym open. Want oppty to raise the number. Can use PAL mechanism.

Lupe Andriano

Adam Vega- Not a level playing filed, citizens should be able to manage. Need free of charge meeting places. People will occupy.

Lupe Andriano- Save them

Missed name- Active in city since 1964- Let’s be part of solution. Don’t let new city mgr go away disillusioned.

Sophie Aurielle- Save arts.

Miguel Rodriguez- President Oxnard LULAC- closes disproportionately affect Latinos. Look at a new revenue stream- Dallas Cowboys kick in more money, etc.

Peggy Rivera- Thanks to community for coming out. Went to budget meeting- no accountability. New City Mgr. really well qualified, working on solutions. Save PACC.

Ivan Schild- Representing 17 other people.  They are gone (passed away?). They would be disappointed and angry about closures. Discuss ways we can keep them open.

We are told that the PACC is only used about 100 days per year.

 

H- City Manager/Council Comments

City Mgr Nguyen- regarding nitrate-contaminated drinking water zone in the city. That area is not served by the city water company. On June 1st, recreation/community’s  first insect (yes!) festival. Sat 10-4. See listing in Citizens Journal Events section.

Council

Ramirez- Community really cares about the arts.  City has been providing $100,000+ /yr to artists, There are other cultural resources.  Hope we can find our way forward. Fundraisers?  Please step up and help.  Please do not vilify staff. They had a task. We have to live to fight another day.

Lopez- Thanks for dedication to the city. These are not easy decisions. Spent some time at Fire Station 1- tour.

Perello- Thanks to Dan and Barbara Pinedo for filming budget and other meetings. Thanks for resurfacing of Vineyard Ave.

MacDonald- Plaza Park: local businesses> (Homeless) intruding, even stealing. Downtown community is under assault. Want action. Police feel their hands are tied. Don’t want to criminalize it, send people to jail. Need an area which is attractive to do business.

Basua- Want presentation on  the homeless. Thanks to today’s speakers. Rose Neighborhood Council. Strawberry festival and traffic control were great

Madrgial- Thousand Oaks will allow homeless to sleep at Performing Arts Center. Residents are fighting this. Went to budget meeting at Rose Park.  Cuts present opportunity for others to rise up. Community could run it on its own as a library/hang out center.  Congrats to grads.

Ramirez- Not present (phoned in) due to meeting in Sacramento on the census . Much controversy and fear. State putting  money into it to get complete count- affects services.

Flynn- Thanks Planning for helping Strawberry Festival to resolve issues. Governor to create cabinet level homeless position. Can we use local yard near Plaza Park to help the homeless? Re: last night’s townhall meeting on budget- high level of passion/participation by the public. Oxnard is short about $9 million. Encouraging people to get involved and donate. Have business community sponsor Colonia Library or PACC.

 

I-1-  City Clerk Department
SUBJECT: Appointment of Members to Serve on City of Oxnard Citizen Advisory Groups
(“CAGs”). (5/5/5)

RECOMMENDATION: That the Mayor, with the concurrence of the City Council, make the
following appointments:
a. Four (4) members to the Commission on Homelessness,
b. Four (4) members to the Community Relations Commission,
c. Seven (7) members to the Cultural Arts Commission,
d. Seven (7) members to the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission,
e. Two (2) members to the Planning Commission,
f. Six (6) members to the Senior Services Commission,
h. Four (4) members to the Downtown Design Review Committee (DDRC), and
i. One (1) member to the Mobilehome Park Rent Review Board.
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Michelle Ascencion, (805) 385-7805

Says background checks were conducted, some haven’t been done (about a half dozen). Some commissions haven’t been able to meet because they lack a membership quorum; Council voted without even discussing the names in public or debating these. tendency is for each Council member to pick a commissioner to represent his/her district. We were told that quite a few were held up for lack of background check completions.

Here’s what they voted on:

Public speakers

Margaret Cortese- Outgoing Arts Commission chair. Arts appropriation is safe.  Thanks for doing work for the arts

Peggy Rivera- Didn’t show.

Lang Martinez– Says he is an addict/alcoholic (trying to recover). Thanked council for putting him on Humanizing Homeless event panel. Nominated for Homeless CAG. Meeting on an outreach program to get people off the streets into a program. In T.O.- hidethehomeless.org. Get mobile showers. Jobs/housing programs will come in eventually. Meanwhile, other programs- safe sleep, etc. Thanks for continuing to keep armory shelter open.

Council

Ramirez- Thanks for volunteering. Hope those who weren’t appointed will try again.

Perello- Thanks for all volunteers- couldn’t pick them all. What about status of “Livescan” (background checks). City Clerk- some checks could take as long as  a few months.

Lopez- Thanks to City Clerk for work on getting CAG applicants processed.

Flynn- Thanks for applicants.

Vote- 7-0 passed  (see names in agenda and above)

 

L. INFORMATION/CONSENT AGENDA

Items pulled for discussion- #3- Perello. Wants to get reports back on projects. Planning Director Lambert- yes in 6 months.

Public Comment

Pat Brown- Concerned about #9- truck route modification. (she is a long time complainer about what she says is inappropriate/dangerous truck traffic). Concerned about big white signs near Oxnard Blvd exist, which are directing large trucks to come to Oxnard Blvd.  Re: Item #2: Problems with acoustics in council chamber.

City Atty Fischer #4 funding increased to $122, 250.

Motion passed 7-0

Here’s what they voted on with no debate/discussion (this is done in prior committee meetings). details in agenda:

L-1-  City Clerk Department
SUBJECT: Approval of Minutes.
RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council approve the minutes of the May 7, 2019 regular
meeting as presented.
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Michelle Ascencion, (805) 385-7805
2. City Clerk Department

L-2- SUBJECT: Budget Appropriation for Use of PEG Funds to purchase equipment used to expand the
City’s PEG channel capacity.

RECOMMENDATION: That City Council approve an appropriation in the amount of
$16,568 from the Public, Educational, and Governmental (“PEG”) Fees Capital Improvement Fund
311 to Council Chambers A/V Upgrade (Project 151401) for:
1. Previous expenditures of $2,483 for microphones and monitors in the Council Chambers;
2. Purchase of video encoding equipment and accessories for broadcasting meetings in the amount
of $2,045; and
3. Purchase of an electronic voting and speaker management system in the amount of $12,040.
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Michelle Ascencion, (805) 385-7805
3. Community Development Department

L-3- SUBJECT: Planning & Zoning (PZ) Permit No. 19-580-01 (Zone Text Amendment – ZTA) –
Amendments to Chapter 16, Article II and Article V, Division 13, of the Oxnard City Code (OCC)
Pertaining to Accessory Dwelling Units.
OXNARD CITY COUNCIL OXNARD FINANCING AUTHORITY HOUSING AUTHORITY
OXNARD COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMISION SUCCESSOR AGENCY
May 21, 2019 PAGE 5

RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council adopt Ordinance No. 2959 amending Chapter 16,
Article II and Article V, Division 13, of the Oxnard City Code (OCC) pertaining to definitions and
regulations governing Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU).
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Jeffrey Lambert, (805) 385-7882
4. Cultural & Community Services Department

L-4- SUBJECT: Senior Nutrition Program Grant Application and Revenue Approval for FY 2019-20.

RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council:
1. Adopt a resolution authorizing the City Manager or designee to submit an application for the
Ventura County Area Agency on Aging Senior Nutrition Grant; and
2. If funding is received, authorize:
a) the City Manager or designee to execute the grant agreements;
b) the Chief Financial Officer or designee to submit financial reports and grant claims and approve
special budget appropriations for the use of the grant funds; and
c) the City Manager or designee to submit non-financial reports.
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Terrel Harrison, (805) 385-7994
5. Cultural & Community Services Department

L-5- SUBJECT: Oxnard School District After School Education and Safety Grant.

RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council approve and authorize the Mayor to execute an
agreement with the Oxnard School District (OSD) (A-8138) for the City to receive an amount not to
exceed $2,100,000 for after school program Primary Services with contingency for $50,000 in
Additional Services at OSD’s discretion. (Community Services Committee to review on May 14, 2019)
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Terrel Harrison, (805) 385-7994
6. Finance Department

L-6- SUBJECT: Amendment to External Auditor Agreement for Annual Auditing Services.

RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council approve and authorize the Mayor to execute the
Seventh Amendment to Agreement A-7819 with Eadie + Payne, LLP, to increase the amount by
$329,347, for a total amended not-to-exceed amount over 5 years of $1,975,910 for FY 2018-19
CAFR/Single-Audit/Ancillary Assistance and for out-of-scope work for the FY 2017-18 audit and
legal support for litigation.
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Kevin Riper, (805) 385-7475
7. Human Resources Department

L-7- SUBJECT: Fiscal Year 2019-20 Purchase Order for General Liability Insurance.
OXNARD CITY COUNCIL OXNARD FINANCING AUTHORITY HOUSING AUTHORITY
OXNARD COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMISION SUCCESSOR AGENCY
May 21, 2019 PAGE 6

RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council approve the expenditure of Fiscal Year 2019-20
funds in the amount of $576,676 for general liability insurance to be purchased through the City’s
broker, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., and authorize the Mayor to execute a purchase order in Fiscal
Year 2019-20 for the payment thereof.
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Mike More, (805) 385-7480
8. Public Works Department

L-8- SUBJECT: Award Contract A-8134 to Oilfield Electric Company for On-Call Electrical Repair,
Maintenance and Replacement Services.

RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council award and authorize the Mayor to execute an
agreement with Oilfield Electric Company (Agreement No. 8134) in the amount of $800,000 for
On-Call Electrical Repair, Maintenance and Replacement Services for a three-year term. (Public
Works and Transportation Committee approved 3-0).
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Rosemarie Gaglione, (805) 385-8055
9. Public Works Department

L-9- SUBJECT: City of Oxnard Proposed Truck Route Modifications.

RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council adopt a Resolution, pursuant to Oxnard City Code
Section 8-3, amending the City of Oxnard Truck Route Map. (Public Works and Transportation
Committee approved 3-0).
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Rosemarie Gaglione, (805) 385-8055
10. Public Works Department

L-10- SUBJECT: Agreement for Delivery of Bulk Fuel (Unleaded Gasoline, Clear Diesel and Red Dye
Diesel) to City Facilities.

RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council approve and authorize the Mayor to execute
Agreement A-8126 with Conico MacValley, LLC (MacValley), for a term of three (3) years, for a
total contract value not to exceed $1,420,200, to provide bulk fuel delivery services to City facilities
for the Wastewater Division, Environmental Resources Division, Fire Stations 1-6 & 8 and River
Ridge Golf Course. (Public Works and Transportation Committee approved 3-0).
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Rosemarie Gaglione, (805) 385-8055
11. Public Works Department

L-11- SUBJECT: Agreement for Delivery of Lubricants and Antifreeze to City Facilities.

RECOMMENDATION: That City Council approve and authorize the Mayor to execute Agreement
A-8135 with Conico MacValley, LLC, (MacValley), for a term of three (3) years, for a total
contract value not to exceed $356,100, to provide delivery of Lubricants and Antifreeze to City
facilities for the Wastewater Division, Environmental Resources Division, Fleet Services Division
OXNARD CITY COUNCIL OXNARD FINANCING AUTHORITY HOUSING AUTHORITY
OXNARD COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMISION SUCCESSOR AGENCY
May 21, 2019 PAGE 7
and River Ridge Golf Course. (Public Works and Transportation Committee approved 3-0).
Legislative Body: City Council

Contact: Rosemarie Gaglione, (805) 385-8055

 

M-1. City Manager Department
SUBJECT: 2019-2024 Oxnard Convention & Visitors Bureau Annual Report and Five-Year
Agreement. (15/10/5)

RECOMMENDATION: That City Council:
1. Receive the annual report from the Oxnard Convention and Visitors Bureau; and
2. Approve a new five-year contract between the City of Oxnard and the Oxnard Convention and
Visitors Bureau for marketing activities.
(Housing and Economic Development Committee to review May 14, 2019)
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Ashley Golden, (805) 385-7478
2. Community Development Department

The council approved a five year agreement with the bureau.

Presented by Julie Mino, President of Visit Oxnard (Convention and Tourism Bureau).

Budget will taper down from $641,000 to $270,000 over the next five years, as businesses take on a larger share of the budget. The new tourism district will collect that.  They are seeking a five year agreement to help provide a more stable time platform for a strategic marketing program.

Mino reviewed some highlights of progress.

Hotel Average Daily Rate: $152.40 an increase of 5.4% over last year, Average Occupancy Rate: 78.7%, an increase of 2.8% over last year, which substantial increases T.O.T, which is the “bed tax” revenue. They claim that last year, $5.6 million was generated, for a stunning 9% increase. Hotels are the engine of multi-day tourism, bring and keeping tourists and other visitors in town, where they spend money on restaurants, tourist attractions and other businesses.

Main visitor areas promoted are:

•  Downtown Oxnard and Heritage Square
• The Collection – North Oxnard – River Ridge
• Channel Islands Harbor and Beaches

The bureau has reached out via advertising, trade shows, PR, sponsoring and promoting events, media influencers/visits, and regional tourism collaboration to do this.

Several low-end hotels which are not tourist oriented opted out of the tourism district.

We didn’t hear any complaints about the bureau’s work, only compliments. It is an independent organization, raising its own money via a fee/taxing district to members and increasingly small subsidies from the City, which benefits from their work, via sales taxes, “bed” taxes and enhanced reputation.

Public speakers

Pat Brown- visitors to Camarillo Airport, where she is a volunteer,  want to see beach and other sites., but don’t know where to go. she gives them Oxnard info brochures, which are helpful.

Council

(on Committee) Madrigal- Will help with businesses and sales tax. Money will be used to promote others outside the tourism marketing district

(on Eco Dev Committee) Lopez- OK

Ramirez- Appreciate the work of the district

MacDonald- (is on the board)- It takes money to make money. Bureau does an excellent job.  Board has helped to ensure money is being used productively.  People come because of this. Internet searches are dominated by Google ads. Likes this.

Perello- agrees with MacDonakd. Thinks CEO knows her stuff. City couldn’t fund as much.  Need to have a better face on the city of Oxnard. Unsightly areas – car stripping areas on Oxnard Blvd., etc.

Basua- supports

Flynn (on Committee) – Tourism is a win/win strategy. Make Oxnard a tourist destination. Most people know about Oxnard because of the beach, strawberry festival.

Vote- 7-0 to approve

 

M-2- SUBJECT: Renewal of the Oxnard Downtown Management District. (10/5/5)

RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council adopt a Resolution of Intention to renew the Oxnard
Downtown Management District (“ODMD”), in the amount of $502,357 in fiscal year 2019-20, and
to hold a public hearing on July 16, 2019.
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Jeffrey Lambert, (805) 385-7882
3. Community Development Department
SUBJECT: Development Review Process Improvements. (20/15/10)

RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council receive staff presentation and provide direction
regarding recommendations for improvements to the development review process and provide
comments. (Housing and Economic Development Committee reviewed April 9, 2019)
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Jeffrey Lambert, (805) 385-7882

Downtown District objectives: Operations. beautification, image enhancement and safety.

Current term expires 12/31/19. Property owners pay assessments 70% are private, 30% public. About 400 parcels, owned by about 200 entities.  52% of owners voted for this.  Petitions have to be circulated. If approved, vote in July., Would raise about $500,000.

The number one problem cite was the homeless presence and its negative affect on image, safety, downtown reputation. (Of course, business traffic is not what it was many years ago, for other reasons as well as that.)

The district (PBID) is bounded by Second Street on the north, the railroad tracks on the east, Eighth Street on the south, and C
Street and D Street on the west. (Please refer to the map in Attachment E.)

Downtown district map. Hard to read. Try zooming in on the agenda item on page 395

District goals:

Goal 1. Improve community safety and quality of life through a combination of prevention, intervention, and suppression
efforts that address crime and underlying issues.
Goal 3. Strengthen neighborhood development, and connect City, community and culture.
Objective 3a. Create a renewed focus on establishing a positive outlook and orientation of our City, neighborhoods and
overall community.
Objective 3c. Improve our methods of communicating with residents, businesses and neighborhoods (e.g. leverage social
media and tools like Nextdoor).
Objective 3f. Develop a co-sponsorship policy with criteria that would enable the City to encourage local community
events
This agenda item supports the Economic Development strategy. The purpose of the Economic Development strategy is to
develop and enhance Oxnard’s business climate, promote the City’s fiscal health, and support economic growth in a
manner consistent with the City’s unique character. This item supports the following goals and objectives:
Goal 1. Create vibrant and economically sustainable commercial, industrial and retail industries throughout the City.
Objective 1a. Focus available resources on a comprehensive effort to promote economic activity in Oxnard, including a
marketing program that communicates the City’s available resources and assets.
Goal 2. Enhance business development throughout the City.
Objective 2a. Develop a strong citywide economy which attracts investment, increases the tax base, creates employment
opportunities, and generates public revenue.
Objective 2b. Improve relationships and communication between the City and the business community.
Objective 2c. Capitalize on historic, cultural and natural resources.
Objective 2d. Public safety will collaborate with the business community to promote an environment that supports
economic development.
Goal 3. Enhance business retention and attraction.
Goal 5. Revitalize Oxnard’s downtown and pursue economic development opportunities.

Use of funds (from agenda document):

Under the PBID renewal proposal $502,357 in funding would be generated from the assessment. Sample programs for
the total assessment are proposed to be allocated, during the first renewal year, as follows:
Maintenance – $206,688
Daily pickup of litter from all sidewalks, gutters, alleys, and public parking lots; daily inspection and emptying of
sidewalk trash bins; daily mechanical sweeping of gutters; monthly mechanical sweeping of all sidewalks, alleys, and
public parking lots; regular mechanical scrubbing and steam washing of all sidewalk areas; and related management
costs.
Public Safety – $123,624
Additional Downtown safety personnel to patrol on foot or on bicycle; act as community ambassadors to assist visitors
with directions and information; report graffiti, non-operational street lights, deter loitering, and other security activities;
and related management costs.
Image Enhancement – $49,439
Conduct or support a series of festive Downtown events and activities; sales and business promotions; advertising of
Downtown Oxnard’s diverse array of goods and services; marketing of business and property investment opportunities in
Downtown; marketing of available space for lease or sale; and related management costs.
Streetscape Beautification – $54,237
Expansion of desirable streetscape elements such as banners, trash bins, planters, and hanging flower baskets; seeking of
matching grants from public and private sources for streetscape amenities; and related management costs.
Management/Operations – $68,369
Full-time professional staff to manage ODMD programs and activities; full-service office to assist property and business
owners with their Downtown-related needs; advocacy efforts on Downtown issues and needs.

Abel Mangamo- Downtown District Director- It is always challenging to ask for more money and show value. Overwhelmingly, stakeholders want a clean downtown.  Want to hire an additional safety officer. Recently brought cleaning team in house to be more efficient and provide service.

Vince Behrens, Chair, Downtown District. Downtown is the heart of the city. Want to redo the Carnegie. PACC needs lots of work. Do whatever we need to do to get it done downtown.  Happy that people are finally concerned about the arts. Let’s come back with something impressive. No other city in region has a Carnegie.

 

Downtown will be relying heavily on the redevelopment efforts, handled by a separate group….

Downtown Oxnard vision plan results well-received | Citizens Journal …

citizensjournal.us/downtown-oxnard-vision-plan-results-well-received/

 

Public comments

Pat Brown-

Sheila?- Downtown property owner. Thanks for trying to bring Oxnard back. Biggest concern is homeless in Plaza Park. Use old High school, near armory. PAL and police are nearby.

Council comments

Madrigal (on the board)- serves on board, hardly sees Ms. Brwn there. Abel has very difficult job. Some feel that their money is being wasted. Hard to get so many business owners together and agree on something. Good to go.

Lopez- Has worked with Mangamo. Understand what it means to downtown. Even more challenges now. Look for creative ways to bring people downtown.

Ramirez- get busies owners to agree to invest again.

Perello- To Behrens- re; Carnegie, history of the “Robber Barons,” why place is so significant. Behrens: Homeless were a problem 45 years ago. Other downtown have this problem. Can’t have a conversation about economic development with this. Park should be a place to bring kids. Same dialog about he homeless as always. No solution. But at least we’re having a dialog.  Started salsa festival, food tricks and more. We have an economy that is rocking, but not here.

Basua- I hope downtown is up and coming.

Flynn- Maintenance and safety budgets. Homeless issue is front e=and center. City Mgr more focused on homeless than any predecessor. People may have to be forced into getting help, within constraints of the law. reminisced about past glories of downtown Oxnard, compared to Santa Barbara, so beautifully rebuilt after 1925 earthquake..

Vote to approve 7-0

 

M-3. Community Development Department
SUBJECT: Development Review Process Improvements. (20/15/10)

RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council receive staff presentation and provide direction
regarding recommendations for improvements to the development review process and provide
comments. (Housing and Economic Development Committee reviewed April 9, 2019)
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Jeffrey Lambert, (805) 385-7882

This was arguably the most important development presented at the meeting.

City Mgr. Alex Nguyen- heard many complaints about Planning Process. Last year, Ashley Golden started process mapping. Need to develop a process. New Director Jeff Lambert building on her work and now finishing this.

Oxnard Development Director Jeff Lambert presents results of a long, extensive collaborative planning process analysis. Photo: Dan Pinedo/CitiozensJournal.us

Director Lambert- this is a process.  Just a first stage improvement. What policies impeded progress of development process- policies and resources.? Remove redundancy and overlap.  This is a broken process. Customers need to get back in line with almost every transaction with planning, That will change. Field changes- inspectors not empowered to approve Must stop construction and go back to plancheck. Horrible example of 127 days to calculate planning fees.  Long wait times and unpredictable turnaround times,. Calls not returned in a timely manner. Says staff is inadequate.  Need to provide complete info early in the process. Need to be able to test the concept with city before major commitments are made. Comments back to customers sometimes unclear. Demolitions sometimes delayed by utilities input. Trying to fill open positions, Problems with simple traffic management plans. Address assignment confusing., delayed. Communicate that we want to get them done as soon as possible, subject to following regulations. Guide them in what they should ask/respond. Resolve interdepartmental conflicts better. Public interface has problems. Only have two budding permit desks at counter- they are the face of it. Makes people wait.  Provide process maps- let customers know what to expect. Have assistant Director available to help solve problems- spread too thin now to do that. Need sustainability management to keep up with state regs.

 

Public Comments

Oakwood exec- Plan check needs 4 sets of dwgs x 3-4 planchecks. Wants electronic submittals. Causes extra costs and delays.

Want more flexibility in design modifications, which can now take months and take many  hours of staff time. Should be streamlined approval process for minor problems. Changes will happen on the fy now musty sub,it new plans and do the whole plancheck procedure again. Takes too long to get permit fees. Ned tools and latitude to make process friendly., Support Jeff’s proposal.

Nancy Lindholm, CEO of Oxnard Chamber of Commerce- Getting many more calls since EDCO closed three years ago. Problems were both from staff and applicants. Supports Jeff’s proposal.

Patricia –  Want plans back in three days, Thank you for the proposal, Mr. Lambert. Have had too many delays and arbitrary changes.  Thinks Starr voter initiative for same day permits is dumb.

Abel Magama- Glad Jeff has come from Ventura to bring his wealth of knowledge and to Alex for hiring him. Will be a huge boon for Oxnard. Process is cumbersome, but it’s a new day.

City Mgr. Nguyen- Thanks to staff and customers for interview input. Customers in some cases to relive their nightmares.

Council Comments

Madrigal- this is great, gonna work, much needed. Theory is great, but the implementation part …

Lopez- Very happy to see.

Ramirez- This is gonna need more staff- in your budget? Nguyen- yes. Congrats to Mayor Flynn who has ben talking about this

Perello- Looks fantastic, Mayor Flynn has been talking about “one stop shop.” Has walked into meetings, been asked what he thinks, but he didn’t know what to think. Heard lots of problems with Oxnard development system. People were afraid to complain for fear of retaliation. Nguyen taking pains to ensure no retaliation. You can pay an expedite fee?  Lambert- allows them to send it to an offsite plan checker. What about people not comfortable with English. Will provide bilingual pay differentials.

MacDonald- remember problems with salsa festival conflicts between departments- example- one dept told vendors to move cooking gear outside tents, other dept said they couldn’t cook outside.. another story about a beach family who wanted to install a chair lift. Don’t wait for design then shoot it down without some prior guidance on requirements. Likes the proposed approach.

Director Lambert- include traffic- unheard of in most cities. He shares a building with fire dept- relationship is close.

Basua: What is plan check turnaround time? Lambert- about 5 weeks, Says second time is more like two weeks. Basua- will there be an organization chart? Yes. Ashley Golden- only 3 heads added. (includes reinstating some positions deleted) plus moving around some existing positions.

Approved 7-0. Lots more to go before final versions are presented for approval.

Previous article on this subject”

Oxnard Implementing Development Review Improvements to Simply Permit Process

Oxnard Implementing Development Review Improvements to Simply Permit Process

OXNARD, Calif. – OXNARD, CA – The City of Oxnard is implementing development review improvements to make it easier and faster for homeowners and businesses to get permits. In many cities, the permit review process is the subject of complaints from customers with particular focus on the complexity and uncertainty of the process and the […]

May 17, 2019

Back to closed session

N. ADJOURNMENT


Get Citizensjournal.us Headlines free  SUBSCRIPTION. Keep us publishing – DONATE

2 Responses to Oxnard Council: Doing Major Development Overhaul; Residents Rebel Against Closures/Cuts; CAG Appointments; Single Audit- Poor

  1. Steven May 25, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    There should be more Senior housing facilities built for low income Senior citizens 65 and above. There is only one building in the whole city of Oxnard. The wait list is closed and has been for some time. There are elderly folks either out in the streets or close to it. They either have been on the list in which case have been waiting without any kind of communications from the housing authority or they check on the status of the waiting list with only the response that the list is closed. Meanwhile housing units for families with children are being built all over. Maybe this has nothing to do with the subjects discussed at the past meeting but it has to do with the city of Oxnard and it’s Senior citizens.

    Reply
  2. Dotty Pringle May 25, 2019 at 9:26 am

    Sorry, but Downtown is too small for everyone and will need an alternative tourist location.

    HOW ABOUT OUR WORLD RENOWN CHANNEL ISLANDS and PROMOTE OXNARD’S FISHERMAN’S WHARF?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *