Oxnard Police/Fire Dept unions distrust city financials- hiring own auditor

By George Miller

The heads of the Oxnard fire and police unions recently told CitizensJournal.us that they did not believe the financialOxnardPeaceOfficers numbers produced by city staff and an outside auditor (formally announced today), so they have hired their own auditor to challenge them and to provide better transparency and accountability. Jeff Donabedian is the Oxnard Firefighters Association President and Chris Williams presides over the Oxnard Police Officers Association. They are concerned that “our services will be compromised in a way that will adversely effect people in our community when they are most in need.”

The auditor has been tasked with going back an entire decade into the city’s finances. The unions feel that the city’s liabilities have either been overstated and that this is being used to justify proposed major cutbacks totally $12.8 milion for the upcoming fiscal year, or that the city is in danger of imminent insolvency and that this should be formally announced. Bankruptcy could put all city contracts and liabilities in jeopardy.  


OxnardFDFor Immediate Release

Official statement from Oxnard Firefighters Association and Oxnard Police Officers Associations:

Joint Release June 15, 2015

The Oxnard Firefighters Association and the Oxnard Peace Officers’ Association have serious concerns regarding the City of Oxnard’s current budgeting process and the financial outlook being presented to the City by a consulting firm hired by the City Manager. To date, this consulting firm, Management Partners, have been appropriated over 2 Million dollars for services and assistance to the City, including financial and budget preparation services. Our concerns stem from the alleged mismanagement of City finances from past City leaders, and to the proposed reductions for the businesses and residents of Oxnard included in the current proposed budget. From an operations perspective, it is our expert opinion that the proposed budget reductions will cripple our ability to respond to emergency situations…..

READ MORE: Joint press release


6-15-15 7  PM Comments by Oxnard City Manager Greg Nyhoff:

I welcome and expect that the budget numbers will be highly scrutinized.  I have met with the Labor groups and solicited their input.  I believe all employees are important and that each department, together as one City, will present a unified team to work our organization through this difficult time.  The internal silo’s are starting to crumble and our working together for the common good of our citizens are increasing. 
I would hope Citizens, Business and the Non-Profits Community, Council, Management and Labor will find a way to rally around this challenge and unite in making a stronger Oxnard.  As I have said publicly on several occasions, “the budget is a guide that with proper Council approval can be amended at any time.”  If our community feels that any of the proposed reductions have created a concern they can amend the budget to address the issue.
With every challenge comes an opportunity.  How we as an organization work together for our community will determine whether or not we overcome our financial challenge or we continue business as usual. 


George Miller is Publisher of Citizensjournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard.

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Eileen Tracy
Eileen Tracy
5 years ago

Isn’t it funny? The police don’t trust the city and many residents don’t trust the police (in spite of Chief William’s Survey.