Oxnard Council: Multi-$million employee excess accrued leave resolution; $1.13 million in Aquifer Storage well; $2.5MM grant for parks water savings

By George Miller

The council addressed the multi-$million employee excess accrued leave resolution; $1.13 million in Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) work, Applying for $2.5 million in funds for water-saving projects in parks; use of $113,250 in asset forfeiture funds and more ….

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Oxnard City Manager Greg Nyhoff (R) and consultant Burke Dunphy present the employee excess leave settlement resolution at 2-10-15 Council meeting. (Photo: CitizensJournal.us)

 

Name Date Duration Agenda Minutes Video
City Council Meeting February 10, 2015 02h 24m Agenda Minutes Video
 

Excess leave balance issue resolved- about $3 million involved

City Manager delivered a background and summary on the issue of employees who greatly exceeded the amount of accrued leave time that they were permitted to accrue. Much of this was done at the behest of management attempting to cope with manpower shortages. Consultant Burke Dunphy of Renne Sloan, Holtzman, Sakai LLP explained the nitty-gritty details, which involved legal work, negotiations with all of the involved labor bargaining units and even unrepresented confidential employees. In summary, some leave must be taken by certain deadlines, some can be converted to deferred compensation and there are caps on all of these.  The negotiated agreements varied by bargaining unit, due to varying circumstances. Lead Consultant Dania Torres was unable to make the presentation due to a sore throat.

We were not told the total financial impact/liability of the resolution of all this. Previous estimates indicated that at least $3 million was involved.

Staff Report (pdf 2,320 KB)

S-2 Proposed Agreements (266KB)

 

$1.13MM for Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASM)ASRWell

The $1.13 was approved for the first such well, the first of several, involving construction and monitoring of wells and ancillary equipment. This one is to be at the golf course. Also a  recycled water line (more $).

 

 

Applying for $2.5 million city parks water conservation grant

The money  would be used for implementation of City water efficiency projects at Colonia and Del Sol Parks to reduce water and energy usage there. It involves removal of lawns and replacement with something similar to AstroTurf.  Mr. Henderson of Parks Dept. pointed out that it is very expensive, but requires far less maintenance and water, while also lasting about ten years. The funds being applied for are  to be used for “disadvantaged” populations, meaning lower income. Those parks are surrounded by such demographics.

Staff Report (pdf 249KB)

 

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Armando Vazquez

Citizens disagree on criticism of  Police Dept. actions

Community leader and activist Armando Vazquez strongly criticized the OPD about improper use of force in cases such as Limon and Ramirez, as well as police reactions to a 2013 protest against the dept., where they issued 5 traffic summonses to the leader of the group afterward. He claimed that constituted harassment and intimidation. He also claimed OPD spent tens of thousands of dollars and used 91 officers to monitor the protest. OPD refuted that in court. The matter is still being litigated in County court.  Vazquez read portions of his February 8  letter, which you can read for yourself in the link and watch his statement and responses in the video (Agenda item F- Public Comments), then make up your own mind.   A couple of residents disagreed with some of his points just as strongly (disclosure statement- author of this report is one of them). What there seems to be wide agreement on though, is that there were some unnecessary deaths in some instances — and that needs to be addressed.

 

Citizen calls for eminent domain takeover of Channel Islands Harbor

Former City Council candidate and Haas Automation Controller Aaron Starr called for Oxnard to take over Channel Islands Harbor via eminent domain and sell to to private developers, under Oxnard’s guidelines.  He says that the now expired agreement with Ventura County to manage it has failed. Starr further claimed that state laws enable such a takeover from a government entity by another one under such circumstances.

 

More Citizens Advisory Group Appointments

The Council was to appoint nine members each to the new Cultural Arts Commission and the Measure “O” Oversight Commission. However, this was taken off the agenda by Mayor Pro-tem Carmen Ramirez, who was running the meeting in Mayor Flynn’s absence. It may be because the Council wanted all members present to weigh in on the appointments.

Cultural Arts candidates: Staff Report (pdf 213KB)

Measure “O” candidates: Staff Report (pdf 157KB)

 

FiggTom$314,000 contract for Tom Figg

… To assist with Redevelopment Agency dissolution. Figg is a newly elected Port Hueneme Councilman and has also consulted with the City of Oxnard for years. Staff said he is being paid $106/hr. and is “on-demand” only and it is not believed that the entire amount will be used up.  The question of why Oxnard staff lacks the requisite skills to perform the work was not even raised. Based on interviews done by KADYTV.com during Figg’s run for office, it appears that he is a highly qualified City Planner.

Amendment to Contract with Thomas Figg (pdf 167KB)

 

 

 

$113,250 Asset forefeiture fundspolicesackmoney

Approve a special budget appropriation in the amount of $113,250 for the use of Federal and State Asset Forfeiture funds allocated to the City of Oxnard Police Department for training and equipment purchases.

 

 

 

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

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