Oxnard Councilman Perello interviewed after electrifying policy initiative

He describes his initiative, what led up to it, issues and next steps,

By George Miller

Longtime civic activist Bert Perello’s recently proposed budget oversight plan (see video at 3:38:50) caused PerelloBert2quite a bit of a stir. This was not only for its content, which his peers seemed to be in accord with, but in the way it was delivered, last minute, without notice, without consultation, right before the vote on the 2015/16 budget. This visibly irked them (especially Councilman MacDonald) and some said it did not provide sufficient time for analysis, reflection and response. Nonetheless, it had much of the desired effect of focusing the Council on performance.

Perello ran for Oxnard City Council as a reform candidate to fill the term of Tim Flynn, who was elected Mayor. Mr. Perello was re-elected in November, 2014. He has focused on anti-corruption, accountability and fiscal sanity. He has continually demanded performance objectives and accountability for city staff, without a lot of progress- until last week. Prior to the budget vote, he stipulated budget approval preconditions via “Councilman Bert Perello’s FY 16 Budget Adoption Policy Governance Oversight Performance action Plan.”

The June 29, 2015 interview addresses the questions below. It also contains more detail on various issues than we were seeking, but this might serve to better inform viewers on what’s going on.

Interview Objectives:

– Explain Councilman Perello’s overall motivation for being on the council

– Explain his approach to the job

– Briefly summarize and explain the rationale behind the policy initiative and how he sees it advancing.

– Describe the difficulty in accomplishing his mission

Questions addressed:

  1. Why did/do you want to be on the council? What do you hope to accomplish?
  2. How do you think you’ve done so far? What have you accomplished? What do you still hope to accomplish? What did you do wrong and what improvements might you make in performing your duties? What impediments are there to getting things done?
  3. Tell us how “Councilman Bert Perello’s FY 16 Budget Adoption Policy Governance Oversight Performance Action Plan” was formulated. We see some things that other council members, staff and the public have mentioned.
  4. How do you intend to ensure that something good comes from this initiative? Who will help you do this? Do you anticipate any opposition? Like what? Is this the full scope of your thoughts on performance? How might the initiative change?

Perello originally engaged in Oxnard affairs due to his objection to something happening locally. He gradually expanded his involvement, headed his neighborhood council, spoke at hundreds of City Council meetings, worked on issues, and  even headed the Inter-Neighborhood Council. Finally, in frustration in not being able to enact or even sufficiently motivate sufficient change via those platforms, he felt compelled to run for City Council.

He spoke of some things accomplished, along with some wrong votes and failures, including being unable to include performance measures in the City Manager’s contract. A year later, there are still no performance measures.  This is his attempt to initialize formal performance measurements. Council members and The City Manager are now on record as agreeing to use this as a starting framework to integrate performance measures, although a formal vote will be needed when the Council returns to session.. Mayor Flynn  also called for a dedicated session on this.

Watch Perello interview video by Peter Godinez:

Perello told me that he seeks the support of the public to insist upon the oversight process and performance measurements, the Council & City Manager for completing development of the process and City staff for its implementation.

LaDolceVita

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Here is a report of the June 23 meeting when Councilman Perello proposed his initiative and when the budget was passed.  The initiative is displayed in full therein:

Oxnard City Council passes $359+ million budget, big cuts; Perello’s surprise

Oxnard City Council passes $359+ million budget, big cuts; Perello’s surprise

By George Miller The Oxnard budget passed Tuesday night, 6-23-15, right on schedule, along with those for many assessment districts and supplemental property taxes. It was clear that the Council had been moving moving toward a consensus, even with strong opposition from the public safety unions and many members of the public. The alternative was insolvency, leading […]

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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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