Do Oxnard residents want to get our trees trimmed, sidewalks fixed, water basin fences repaired, OR pay for more consultant reports?

EditorialBy Phil Molina

 

Mr. Mayor, Council Persons and City Manager Nyhoff:
 
​Almost 50% of Oxnard residents pay extra taxes to have our trees trimmed, sidewalks fixed, water-basin fences maintained, parks maintained, and mail boxes repaired. ​

OK, last Tuesday we heard from the consultants, NBS, concerning these issues, so ​ what further is required from the consultants? Where does the city plan to go now or what should the city do now? How much more will it take to get the city to direct all efforts into actually ​fixing the problems that current and ​former​ city staff left on your door?

WestVillageLandscape

The West Village neighborhood in Oxnard is nice, but common areas are suffering from poor maintenance.

Let’s first look at what the consultants expect to find ​if we pay for 1 2 more months ​for discovering more ​errors. Based on their own initial presentation, the consultants plan on reviewing every engineer’s report to determine whether they are accurate. They plan to look at the boundaries and the calculations about general vs. specific benefits as well as the allocation of estimated costs to each unit within each district. This will certainly cost the city a tremendous amount of time and money.
 
The consultants have already stated that many if not all of the districts will likely need to be adjusted to establish proper assessments to cover all costs; or the service levels will need to be decreased to comply with the amount of revenues already being collected.
 
Based on the above and to that end, we pose this question:
Does anyone sitting on the council really believe that given the current political atmosphere anyone in Oxnard will vote in favor of increasing their annual assessment?!? Think about that question for a moment.OxnardNeighborhoodMapColor
 
Ok, if you agree with us, it isn’t likely that a ballot count will result in the city getting enough positive votes to support any increases; unless the city plans on setting total residential votes in a district against a single city vote where the city’s total asset values exceed the total value of residential properties within a given district. If so, there is no need to go further except to say such trickery could result in the loss of your seats and staff being terminated.
 
So, if no games are planned, the likely result of the voting is that the LMD’s will be terminated when 50% plus one vote of the ballots received at the end of the hearing for each district, votes down the proposed new assessments.
 
What then? The city will still have the parks and parkways that are city properties, which are now situated within the districts. The city will still be held responsible for maintaining those district amenities including changes proposed toward drought tolerant vegetation, but without the LMDs revenues the city will have to rely completely on general fund money to cover all LMD costs. This obviously means less general fund money for police, fire, etc.
 
So what do we suggest ought to be considered?
 
First, the city needs to show the public that they can do the work they are paid to do.
1.      By actually getting the  broken water retention basins fences fixed;
2.      By actually trimming all the trees in the LMDs or removing and replacing them where petitions have been collected;
3.      By fixing the broken mail boxes that the U.S. Post Office claims is the city responsibility;
4.      By fixing the sidewalks especially where the public can or have had a “trip and fall”;
5.      Based on the consultant’s numbers if the district is over budget the city needs to either re-bid the contract or turn the services over to staff; or visa versa. By getting management staff to link into the LMDs that are being serviced by contracts versus those serviced by staff, management ought to be able to produce an efficient use of both contracts and city staff to complement service provision. For example, recently city crews from 2 city departments worked together o bring down the fully grown tree in front of a home in my neighborhood; and they had it completely cleaned up within an hour and a half. City staff proved they are good at that function and what they do, so there is no need to contract out for that task.
 
If these identified problems can be attacked and significantly corrected (say at least 70%) by year’s end then maybe the public would consider positively a modest assessment increase.
 
But right now, those voters in the audience at last Tuesday’s council are very concerned that more of OUR LMD money will instead be used to pay consultants to generate another report or volume of data that will be placed on a shelf and we will still have the same problems next year with even less money in our LMDs available to do the actual work that is needed.
 
In the best intentions for Oxnard, we submit these comments and want to work with the city manager, staff and council to develop a better approach that allows us to live within the city’s means.
​If you check your property tax bill and find a line in the lower half that starts “OXLMD ##(Oxnard Landscape District number)…” you pay the extra tax too; so please send an email to the Mayor and Council members and tell them you want staff to trim trees, fix the fences, fix the mail boxes, fix the sidewalks and the other real problems instead of paying for more consultant reports:
Mayor Tim Flynn [email protected],
Carmen Ramirez <[email protected]>,
Bryan MacDonald <[email protected]>,
Dorinamarie Padilla <[email protected]>,
Bert Perello <[email protected]>.
 
From Oxnard West Village residents including:
Phillip Molina
Mike Gleason, and others
Find your district:
OxnardAssessmentDistMapo

Oxnard Assessment Dist Map

 Download larger map : oxnard maps of assessment distScan0079

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Phil Molina is an Oxnard resident, former Oxnard Finance Director and “whistleblower,” who exposed alleged corruption, and was fired. He sued and won a large award, after many years of litigation.

Mike Gleason is Chairman of the Oxnard West Vilage Neighborhood Council.

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