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    Oxnard Officials Fail to Respect Will of The People

    Guest Editorial

    By Doug Partello


    It seems our City officials only respect the will of the people when they win a majority in their own elections, or win ballot measures they promote. The people spoke when the ridiculously high increase in wastewater rates were imposed, with then Measure M. They lost in court, then appealed and won. The citizens/ratepayers did not win. They lost in funding the fight against themselves by City Hall, and with increased rates, when the City was secretly siphoning off $7 million/year from the utility funds to fill gaps in the General Fund, with IUFs.

    They fought to keep 2020 Measure M off the ballot, and even when a 57% majority voted it in, to gain better access to local government, they fight on to NOT have transparency and accountability. They love to talk about transparency and accountability, but when the voters demand it through the election process, they fight on to prevent it.
    Should we then fight to remove the Measure E tax increase, passing by 56%, because we don’t like it? I sure don’t, but the people spoke.

    Is it transference when they accuse Aaron Starr of being “sue happy’? They have deep pockets to fund their legal battles, using taxpayer money to thwart the will of the people who pay their salaries, and trust them to represent them. Are their barrage of lawsuits against Aaron Starr just an attempt to run him out of money to keep fighting to be a voice of the people, who have little voice?

    Seems there are some on the City Council who can’t get past the Recall effort, led by Aaron Starr. Some on Council think he can’t count to four, but he sure can count to $34.5 million, that must be returned to the utility funds. If they would just listen to him, take some sound fiscal advice, and have conversations that do not include attorneys, there is common ground, and common sense that can move us toward solving our ever increasing issues of public concern.

    Not a single person on our City Council has a financial background, and it shows. We have deficit budget after deficit budget, with no end in sight. At some point there will come a fiscal reckoning. We are fast approaching that end of the tracks, with our leaders stoking the engine more and more with their fiscal mismanagement, and legal battles.
    When the people speak, listen. Sometimes your harshest critics can be your strongest allies, if your would listen, and be willing to change bad behavior that has proven a dead end.


    Douglas Partello is a homeless advocate, community activist, retired neonatal respiratory therapist, Executive Director, Nicaraguan Children’s Fund.

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