Oxnard Mayor’s power grab

Robert's or Rosenburg's Rules of Order?

By Eileen Tracy

 

Have you noticed the agenda for the Oxnard Procedures Committee (consists of Mayor Tim Flynn and Bert Perello) tomorrow at 6 pm in h/r activity room? It is scheduled when INCO (Inter-Neighborhood Council) exec meeting is scheduled. The procedures proposed allow the chair to limit discussions of agenda items. I hope that many residents become aware of this power grab which is followed by a council agenda item the next day. This is all so disturbing and I’m sure ‘hood council will not approve of this procedural change. Please let people know about this last minute maneuver by the Mayor.

It is listed as:
D. NEW BUSINESS 
1. SUBJECT: Use of Council Sub-Committees 
RECOMMENDATION:: Provide direction to staff regarding recommendation to Council on having report items vetted through Council subcommittees. 
2. SUBJECT: Rules of Order for Council Meetings 
RECOMMENDATION: Discuss whether to recommend to Council changing from Robert’s Rules of Order to Rosenberg’s Rules of Order for use in Council meetings. 
On Use of council sub-committees, I object because all council members don’t have a seat on subcommittees; so how would council know what the public had to say during the subcommittee?
And committee members serve at the pleasure of the Mayor, not the public. So where are the committee members’ allegiance?
On changing Robert’s Rules of Order, you might notice that the council chair (i.e. the Mayor) has complete dictatorial power to set even more limitations on discussion time, etc. 
Both items appear to me to give the Mayor dictatorial authority and overlook that all council members serve at the pleasure of the public who elected them. In foreign countries, we see how dictatorships contribute to exorbitant abuses of power, along with loss of citizen rights. 
 I for one fiercely object to these procedural changes. Why such a rush for a change that has so much injustice within?
Yes, please forward if you think it’s worthwhile.

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3 Responses to Oxnard Mayor’s power grab

  1. Robert Franks February 26, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    I definitely miss the ‘old days’ when members of the public were assured 3 minutes of contiguous speaking time at City Council meetings. I’ve had to shorten my planned remarks at the last minute on a few occasions, so I’m sure others have had the same experience. We care enough to come and talk, and at least most of us try to stay within the limits. We just want the opportunity to have up to 3 minutes to make our points.

    Reply
    • Citizen Reporter February 26, 2018 at 8:42 pm

      I share your frustration. But I also see nights when there are many speakers which would make the meetings run into the wee hours at 3 min. On the other hand, the Mayor hogs the clock and should limit his remarks more, too. It is frustrating that sometimes we only have a minute or two, while he talked 15+ and allows presenters to take much more time than we can. He has succeeded in keeping the meetings a bit shorter and not starting a new topic after 10 without a Council vote- by popular demand. That was a 2016 campaign issue.

      Reply
  2. John Corsons Angel February 25, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    This is not a surprise. Please review what the mayor has done all along including relationships with the business community. He limits and controls the meetings and has been allowing business to have an inappropriate voice in Oxnard’s agenda. We should try to represent the community not the business and farmers. We might have better luck with a new mayor? I hope its not what we have now. The fire department tried to get a farm business in compliance and when the farm business didn’t comply the mayor intervened inappropriately and reduced penalties. How can anyone do the right thing when local politicians are preventing rules from being followed? Maybe new guidance will help. I doubt it!

    Reply

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