Oxnard solicited, will appoint Citizen Advisory Groups (CAG) members Tuesday night.

By Dan Pinedo

CAGOxnard utilizes Citizen Advisory Groups (CAG’s) to provide input on city policies. The Mayor called a CAG meeting for 1-20-15 to discuss member candidates and requirements. Appointmemts will be made at the Tuesday, 1/27-15 Council  meeting which starts at 6 pm at City Hall, so it’s too late to apply for this year. These are the current CAG’s (click on items to learn more):

City officials, CAG candidates and members of the general public attended this session. Some candidates applied for more than one CAG. Each candidate was allowed to speak for three minutes regardless of how many CAGS they applied for.

It is widely believed that the CAG’s have not been especially effective in Oxnard, that they lack clear goals and  that member training and awareness could be improved considerably.  As a result of these points and some other reasons, the City Council is not as able and willing to utilize input from the CAG’s as it might be under different conditions.

Mayor Flynn asked two questions of each candidate:

1. How can city advisory groups become more effective?

2. How do you see your role in the CAG?

(we will add a meeting video link if and when it becomes available).

 

 Here’s an example of an application form

 

Candidate list (appointments to be made Tuesday):

Document: Staff Report (pdf 554KB)

1-27-15 Meeting agenda item M-3:
SUBJECT:   Appointments of Citizen Advisory Groups.  (157)
RECOMMENDATION: 1) That the Mayor, with approval of the City Council, appoint: (a) Seven (7 ) members to the Commission on Homelessness; (b) Five (5) members to the Library Board; (c) Seven (7) members to the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission; (d) Four (4) members to the Planning Commission; (e) Nine (9) members to the Senior Services Commission; and 2) That the City Council appoint: (a) Seven (7) members to the Community Relations Commission, and (b) Two (2) members to the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.
Legislative Body: CC Contact: Daniel Martinez Phone: 385-7803
 

Some summarized thoughts about CAGs and desirable candidate characteristics which came out of the 1-20-15 meeting:

CAG’s/members need good communication with the City Council, share information with counterpart CAGS and other cities’ CAGS

Actually go out where the homeless are, outreach.

Outline what the goals of the CAG are, update old policies.

Mission statements need clarification, what are CAG’s suppose to be doing,. City staff needs to understand that they are not there to rubber stamp and not to tell CAG what to do.

Take a leadership role with new enthusiasm to serve the city.

Home grown, want opportunity to help homeless, apply homeless experience and have some ideas on how to help the homeless

There is mistrust of police in some quarters: “we run away from cops not to them.”

Collaboration among CAG’s, utilizing strength of CAG’s to help each other, get together to get to know each other, demonstrate leadership and passion.

Be advocates for city population.

Clearly, define the scope, effective communication, become more visible to community, provide experience, fresh perspective, new enthusiasm. Make people want to come to Oxnard and see a great city

Bridge the gap between communities, educate the public, translate communicatonsto Spanish, background in urban planning is helpful, having education/life experiences/military training and experience/desire to apply
education and experience are all helpful.

Some goals: Beautify beaches, bring tourists to beaches, attract cruise ships to our shore, reclaim harbor from county ownership/administraton.

Task CAGS, give them a role to help with policy, give them time to understand planning policy and to pay attention to what is going on,. Collaborate with other CAGS, meet at locations throughout the city.

Planning is grounded in statute.

Be part of the solution, go out to the community

Get more people involved, get the word out in Spanish, communicate, have education in political science, collaborate, make city more inviting

Set high parliamentarian standards to run meetings well.

Be solution-oriented.

CAG’s are underutilized. Also create temporary CAGS to deal with temporary issues. Team together, reach-out to neighborhood councils

Be analytical, be an effective community envoy with more exposure to the community. Serve as a community leader, recognize the diversity of the community

Long years of experience in CAG’s show us that goals are not clear, CAG based on city ordinance, amend the bylaws. Perform background checks, (reference to specific instance).

Conduct retreat and workshops to help clear communication, use Facebook pages for CAG’s, lift up the image of city in a positive way, display diversity.

Some people have been left behind, involve everyone, be effective in speaking to people in all parts of the city.

Let’s do something about the beaches

Enforce Roberts Rules of Order for meetings- things get out of hand, so be good parliamentarians, follow bylaws, need subgroup training, more out in the community, social worker, collaboration is great idea, study groups on some issues

Jaime Moreno: develop relations with community involving youth, teaching students how to be involved in the community at Oxnard High.

Change bylaws to have flexibility,.

There is apathy in our community, address the positive as well as the negative, all have a voice, strengthen the voice, establish term limits to bring in new perspective.

Follow rules, bring in “fresh blood,” new perspectives, establish term limits, degree in business organizational management could be useful.

Accountability, defined goals, get your hands dirty, understand what you are dealing with, support other CAGS, community leader.

Better education and orientation, be taken seriously by city council, report back to city council, make sure that council is actually getting something from CAGS.

Understanding the goals and objectives of city council, have served on grand jury, have good sense of how government works, have experience working with people in high levels of government.

Have experience in working with young and older people bring fresh perspective, mobilizers, being heard, Involve the community.

Leadership in Navy and in companies would be useful.

Libraries are not being used well, improve the library for kids that cannot get to the library, utilize mobile library.

Communication between city council and CAGS

Bilingual (English/Spanish/other?) is helpful.

Work with other agencies, work with non-profits.

Have a firm stand on mission, collaboration.

Seniors are under-represented, “we don’t stay up late.”  Accommodate us seniors share Measure-O money, build senior center

Be effective, network, be visible, enforce Robert Rules, City that cares, Have lived in other countries, help families stay together.

Serve the community very well, work with other CAGS, know how to lead people.

That council respect our recommendations. Have big barbecue to get people together and involve.

Use Facebook to connect directly with the neighborhoods, go door-to-door.

Serve the residents, do outreach, after school activities, some kids are in apartments.

Pick for CAG members who will get out and do things.

Create large volunteer base to create resident park ownership.

Communication, working with other CAGS, simple and direct communication with council.

Use Internet, Facebook for outreach, communications.

Inspire residents to get involved,  do more volunteer work, involve Habitat For Humanity.

 

Learn more about CAG’s: http://cityclerk.cityofoxnard.org/page/2/258

OxnardWave

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Dan Pinedo is a Citizen Journalist residing in Oxnard.

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