Oxnard Councilman Perello opposes pay increases without proof of fiscal responsibility

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Oxnard Councilman Bert Perello

Editorial

By Bert Perello

 

As you may know, last Tuesday, City Manager Greg Nyhoff recommended that the Oxnard City Council approve multi-year labor-contracts totaling multi-millions of dollars, with four of seven employee organizations which included pay increases but would require those employees to begin contributing to their pension costs. 

I support the men and women that work for the city of Oxnard and want them to have what the city’s taxpayers can afford to pay them. 

BUT, I voted against these labor contracts because the numbers they were based on could not be verified before I was asked to vote on them. And if, in fact, the numbers that can’t be verified are wrong, there will be cuts in services. And when there are cuts in services, that’s people’s jobs on the line. 

It is not fair to Oxnard residents, city employees, and city taxpayers if I make such important financial decisions without adequate time to verify the City Manager’s 10-year financial forecast model independently. Especially since that model was presented to the City Council, for the first time, less than five days before we were asked to vote on such labor contracts with no public review of that model during that time.

Sunday’s VC Star editorial was a big surprise to me, but I welcome the attention that the Star finally paid to this important issue. To me the issue is this. If the City Council, and the public we serve, don’t have time to review the forecast model, question the forecast model, and verify the forecast model’s assumptions, than how can we be sure that we have sufficient city funds to cover the costs of these labor contracts without adversely impacting other vital city services?

I strongly agree with the VC Star when it said in today’s editorial that “..city staff must be conscious that council members and residents deserve to see and understand all necessary information before major decisions are made. Otherwise, it rings to closely to the “trust me” mantra that led the city into this mess.” 

I intend to work very hard to insist that City Manager Nyhoff schedule City Council review of the 10-year financial forecast model so that my questions, questions asked by other Council members, and questions asked by the public, are fully vetted in open, public session. 

I ask for your help and support as we try and get all these questions answered, so the Oxnard’s residents and taxpayers know, just where the city stands financially, today, tomorrow, and into the future. 

Should you have any questions, or wish to discuss this important matter with me, please feel free to call or text me at (805) 240-6194. 

 

Councilman Perello included these two articles:

Oxnard labor deals with pay hikes OK’d

Editorial: Oxnard raises show need for transparency

Perello also included this spreadsheet analysis which the City withheld from the public at the referenced Council meeting:

OxnardMOUSpreadsheet

Click for larger version, which also includes underlying assumptions listed: Oxnard GF 10-Year Forecast Model (Pre and Post 2016 MofU) Assumptions


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