Oxnard Police Chief advances public safety initiative; public comments on recall; Earth Day this Saturday

By George Miller

On 4-10-18, the Oxnard City Council heard and approved a resolution supporting Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018 to reverse past loosening of crime classification and penalties; adopted a resolution supporting State Propositions 68 (drought water, park, drought funding. Includes acquiring coastal power plants) and 69 (public transit) in the June 2018 State General Election and Senate Bill 3 (low income and veterans and affordable housing);  also will allow developer to obtain $45 million in Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds for Channel Island Park Apartments; and more.


City Council Meeting –  Apr 10, 2018 – 06:00 PM Agenda


Agenda Item D- Public Comments on items not on the agenda

Karl Lawson spoke out against previous HR Director  unilaterally changing issuance of safety footwear to Middle Managers Association memberss, which he said could only be changed via collective bargaining negotiations. Read details near end of this report.

Steve Nash once again spoke out against guns.

Pete Placentia promoted Oxnard Boxing Gym.

Several public speakers commented on the recall. Seven were opposed – Pat Brown, Steve Nash , Gloria Lamand, Pete Placentia, Kurt B., Martin Jones, William Terry, while one was for the recall (this writer). 

Earth Day celebration is at Plaza Park on Saturday, April 14, 11 am – 3 pm


Agenda Item K-3-  Keep California Safe Resolution. 
RECOMMENDATION: That City Council adopt a resolution supporting the statewide ballot initiative titled Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Scott Whitney Phone: 385-7624
Document: K-3 Staff Report
Document: K-3 Attachments
Document: K-3 Presentation
Chief Whitney-  Crime dropped 20 years in Oxnard until 2011. Rose from 2011-2105
AB1 (prison overcrowding alleviation- freed many inmates; AB 109 is linked to increased crime.
Asst. Chief Sonstegard-  Prop 47  recategorized many crimes from felonies to misdemeanors- putting more criminals on the street; Prop 57 Public Safety rehabilitation Act- affected how offenses were classified from violent to nonviolent, when they really weren’t.
Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018 to go on ballot- Increases list of violent crimes with no early release; adds DNA collection for convictions; serial theft changes felony threshold from $950 to provide tougher penalties for serial offenses; consider past crimes in parole decisions.
Public Comment
Daniel Chavez, Jr.- Thanks for bringing this forward. Titles for bills, Proposition titles often sound nice (Prop. 46 safe neighborhoods) but they are NOT. Urge City Council to support. When you look at these past bills/initiatives, you wonder how they can even pass!  Please support.
Council/Staff Comments
Madrigal self-explanatory
Ramirez- support. Do we have age demographic data? Sonstegard- yes, can get it. Ramirez- We ask Law enforcement to pick up the pieces after damage done. People lose their way. Society should help prevent this. What are economic opportunities. 16,000 in Oxnard elementary- largest in state. Sonstegard- just file youth information officer to help addresss hat.
MacDonald (also past Asst. Police Chief) – thinking back to Rose Bird and others appointed by a certain gov. who did not hold people accountable. Prop 8 helped address. Pendulum is swinging left again. Incarceration not always the answer, but he has problem with downsizing offenses. People need to be held accountable for their actions.  Fully supports resolution.
Perello- fully support this. Raping unconscious girl, etc. not violent crime ??? Highly placed people should also do time for crimes- set an example. Gotta be a price. Companies relocating don’t like the Oxnard school quality.
Flynn (also a teacher)- Who in his right mind couldn’t support this? Crime reclassifications were unacceptable. Will need to build prisons or improve deterrence, improve outreach, parental involvement. Nothing more important than parental involvement. Better education helps. Many crimes are drug related. Must end this vicious cycle- up to half of crime is related. Even outstanding parents have children who make poor decisions.
Approved unanimously 5-0

Agenda Item I- Information Consent Agenda

Item 1 & 3

#1- Bert Perello- Medical Marijuana delivery. Need report on any city employees on medical marijuana- will they put their driver’s license at risk? Yes. Whitney confirmed that class A license regulated by US D.O.T.

#3- Tickets. Form 700. Tickets, pases and distribbutiuon. Pleas add meals, too.

Public Speakers

Jeff Crowell- President of Shangri La marijuana care clinic. 40% of f members from Ventura/Oxnard. 580 clients. No incidents. 200 = cancer payments- make s big difference. Counter opioid epidemic.

City atty |Fischer- cannot limit to County residents

Approved unanimously 5-0


Agenda Item J-1

SUBJECT: Request for Well Permit – Rio Manor Mutual Water Company. (5/5/5)
RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council:1. Hold a public hearing to consider the application from the Rio Manor Mutual Water Company for a well permit;2. Find that, in accordance with Section 15303, Class 3 of the State California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines, there is no substantial evidence that the drilling and operation of the new well will have a significant effect on the environment, and thus this new well is exempt from further CEQA review; and3. If satisfied that the drilling of the well and the operation thereof will not deplete or contaminate the City’s water supply, adopt the resolution granting Well Permit No. 16-4881 to the Rio Manor Mutual Water Company, including the reasonable conditions to prevent depletion and contamination of the City’s water supply and to protect the public health, safety and general welfare.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Rosemarie Gaglione Phone: 385-8055
Document: J-1 Staff Report
Document: J-1 Presentation

Rio Manor Mutual Water Co., wants to drill a well to replace a failed one. District 2% of city residents- 500 people (doesn’t equal 2% of 210,000)- 300 homes in Rio Linda/College Park neighborhood.  Old well must be destroyed, too. About 300 ft deep. Well failed because water table dropped. Co. attributes failure to do an interconnect agreement with Oxnard staff failures and Metropolitan Water District fees. Permit process has taken 20 months so far. He seemed really frustrated.

There are three other private water companies outside the city limits: Dempsey, Saviers and Cypress.

Fire Chief Darwin Base is concerned about lack of water pressure, is skeptical that new well will develop 1000 gal/minute flow rate required by regulations. Said it might be grandfathered in. Was only 500 when built.

Company says they are financially sound, no deferred maintenance, company is 70 years old.

Public Comment

Dan Pinedo says water has been rationed, is not particularly appetizing.

Council/Staff Comments

Carmen Ramirez- Central CA wells are in dire condition. High septic and nitrate contamination. Concerned about company’s delivery and quality future prospects. Their well can affect Oxnard system. Concerned about lack of water pressure. Will approve- need better long term solutions

MacDonald- would be very expensive to take over this system. Willing to support this with 5 additional conditions from Fire Dept. Are Fire Dept. conditions acceptable to Company?

Perello- May not be able to support water needsin case of a fire? Why didn’t you report it? Turns out they must report to state. Agrees with MacDonald to support with additional conditions. Would you have to go through another process if not find sufficient water resources? Company: we’ll know as we are drilling. Could cost $100,000 more to go to 400 ft/ I will get you that 1000/gal/minute- even if we have to do more. Have concerns- just learned about fire protection issues- how long will it take to address these?

Flynn- should approve expedited process, Annexation not the only way to go, but can’t see how area can be best served without that. Wanted more options (address to Water Dept and interim City Mgr. Can’t afford cost of connections to city, but you say you are financially in good shape. Can’t see how we can avoid future annexation, especially if new well project fails. Company rep: Would have to annex to Metropolitan water district- $1.3 MM in fees, plus connection costs, plus Oxnard charges. Our well will only cost $300,000.

Company rep- Water table is at 145 feet- an all-time low. New well would be 300 ft.  Recharge comes from United Water District. We are prepared to go to next aquifer down to 400 feet- Hueneme. Aquifers go down to 2000 feet. Our Allocation is set- by Fox Canyon Groundwater Management. Demand down 40% since water meters were installed. There are other water resources that that should have your attention- not us. System was built in 1951 and met regulations, which have now changed. Fire hydrants and laterals are sized for 500 gallons per minute- a multi-step, longer term effort. Not thrilled with new conditions, but acceptable.

Ramirez- How much public outreach? Company rep- I wasn’t convinced that this session would happen, so we haven’t yet. Yes, will reach out to contiguous and other properties. Next: bid process/financing.

Interim  City Mgr. Whitney asked about noise abatement. Company  rep.- 50 decibel limit to be addressed by sound curtains, public communications. Contiguous homes might require temporary relocation for two weeks. Company pays.

Company was very patient with questions. Seemed to be prepared with answers, but new conditions came out of nowhere, which company agreed to.

Passed unanimously 5-0, with additional 5 conditions. Per City Attorney, staff will sort out timeline.


Agenda Item J-2- Public Hearing for Issuance of Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds for Channel Island Park Apartments. (5/5/5) 
RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council:1. Hold a public hearing regarding the issuance of up to $45,000,000 of multifamily housing revenue bonds by the California Statewide Communities Development Authority to finance the acquisition, rehabilitation and development of a 152-unit multi-family rental housing projected located at 910-1030 East Channel Islands Boulevard; 910-1045 Bismark Way; 2911-2941 Concord Drive; and 2920-2940 Albany Drive, Oxnard, California (also known collectively as Channel Island Park Apartments); and2. Adopt a resolution approving the issuance of bonds.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Arturo Casillas Phone: 385-8094
Document: J-2 Staff Report
Document: J-2 Presentation
Per Karl Lawson of Housing Dept, developer would carry bonds, but Oxnard must approve for state-subsidized  private housing projects. City is just the meeting host, incurs no obligations. These are 152 existing low income occupied apartments which would get a substantial renovation. Will require temporary relocation for 30 days ($400,000).
Public Comment
Jackie Tedeshi- What Neighborhood Council and have residents been informed? In College Estates. John McGee of developer says tenants have not been officially notified- too early in the process. Must meet HUD and other requirements.
Ramirez- Are tenants low-income? Yes.
MacDonald supports
Perello- how long can they stay? Will rent control apply in future? Lawson- not market rate apts. Direct subsidy units are exempt. Can rents go up and can claims be made against that. How does developer do this and not raise rents? Lawson- tax credits (can be resold).
Approved unanimously 5-0
Agenda Item K-1: City Council Positions on June and November 2018 Statewide Ballot Initiatives. (5/5/5) 
RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council: 1) Receive the report; 2) adopt a resolution supporting State Propositions 68 (drought water, park, drought funding. Includes acquiring coastal power plants) and 69 (public transit) in the June 2018 State General Election and Senate Bill 3 (low income and veterans and affordable housing)  in the November 2018 General Election; and 3) take such additional, related action as may be desired.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Jesus Nava Phone: 385-7497
Document: K-1 Staff Report
Document: K-1 Attachments
Document: K-1 Presentation
Council Comments
Madrigal- helps city, I support
Ramirez- support, esp. acquiring coastal power plants
Perello- Can we specifically request power plant funds?
Asst. City Mgr, Nava-don’t have details yet. Parks master plan will make it possible to apply for park grants.
Flynn- Re: Prop. 69: Sb 1 was for road repair and accountability. Provides for $5B/year via gas  taxes and fees. How do we know it goes only to transportation. Previous earmarked funds were diverted. Says Oxnard will get $6MM/year. State Constitution prohibited diversion. This bill would reinforce that.  (trust me). tax would not be subjected to Gann limit. It brings in extra revenue.
Public Comment
Jackie Tedeshi- what about parks- will this be presented to Parks and Rec., INCO?
Approved unanimously 5-0
Agenda Item K-2: Ordinances Reauthorizing “PEG” Fees on State Video Service Franchises. (5/5/5) 
RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council:
1. Introduce an Ordinance (read by title only, waiving further reading) of the City Council of the City Of Oxnard reauthorizing the City’s Public, Educational, And Governmental (“PEG”) access support fee; and
2. Adopt an Urgency Ordinance (read by title only, waiving further reading) of the City Council of the City of Oxnard reauthorizing the City’s Public, Educational, and Governmental (“PEG”) access support fee.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Jesus Nava Phone: 385-7497
Document: K-2 Staff Report
Document: K-2 Presentation
Council/Staff comments
Nava- emergency ordinance, since contracts are expiring.  1% fee- $383,000 annually- self renewing.
Perello- we can partner, get grants. Can we increase fee? Nava- all cites he checked which are doing it have 1%. Zaragosa says there is a 1% limitation on PEG fee unless there was a  prior arrangement in place.
(nothing said about no active city TV station arrangement)
Flynn- how much money in the fund? Public access project lacked money for salaries. Funds are strictly for capital projects.  Ventura – CAPSTV did it differently.
Public Comment
Dan Pinedo- We have Educational and Govt TV, but Not PEG (public TV). Wants accounting of funds. All we got wee some monitors (in council chambers). can we update system? Still want public TV system.
Steve Nash- We were awarded PEG contract. Couldn’t work out details- like money. Should have been over $4MM collected- not much used? We have no public channel- Ventura has CAPS-TV. HAven’t given up hope on public access TV. Be prudent how you spend it- all about First Amendment. No restrictions on who can do. Hope we can find a way to do. Would have been nice to have public access TV to cover recall.
Nava- funds can only be used for capital projects- not operating funds- salaries, etc.  Funds held for redo of this building.
(Editor’s note: Pinedo and Nash were part of a team which won the contract to provide public TV a couple of years ago. Even though the RFP  (Request For Proposal) specified that only capital projects would be funded, they seemed to think it would include staff salaries as well. Negotiations broke down on that significant sticking point.
Approved unanimously 5-0
Here is 4-9-18 letter from Karl Lawson to Oxnard Council on safety footwear withdrawal, mentioned near beginning of this report.

George Miller is Publisher/Co-Founder of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard.

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