Port Hueneme Council meeting 11-16-15

By George Miller

As promised, the council reviewed Council Norms, 2/21/2001 version, which was included on pages 26-29 in the meeting packet.  The Mayor mentioned that this was put on the agenda as a result of the October “team-building” session. She described this as a contract among council members and the city as to what rules they would abide by  and said we should all abide by. It seemed clear from past goings on that this was an attempt by the Mayor and majority in the recent infighting to chasten the two minority members who were in conflict with the majority. Of course, Figg and Hensley have their own complaints, but thankfully both sides were more gentle on this night.

No council member was willing to speak on this subject, but Resident Stephanie House was. She wishes to take some of the politics out of the interactions of the council. Another resident said he hadn’t read them but that it sounded good and was happy that the Council seemed to be getting on better. He even offered Oxnard Mayor Time Flynn as a role model for behavior.

Some of the Norms look like just good practices, while some might be debatable or subject to varying interpretations and may need further clarification.

Meeting video by Dan Pinedo/CitizensJournal.us …

Meeting agenda item

8. CITY COUNCIL: A. REQUEST OF MAYOR SCHNOPP: REVIEW OF CITY COUNCIL NORMS / MEETINGS PROCEDURES Action: Mayor Schnopp recommends the City Council discuss and take possible action on modifying the Council’s “Policy for Establishing City Council Norms of Operation.


Evaluation of low income utility rate reduction program

In addition, the utility rates subsidies for indigent seniors was discussed. The city was paying 20% and reduced it to 15%. They were talking about reducing it to 10% or even 8%. The city is using interest received on some investments to pay for this. With interest rates way down, not much money is available to do this.  With about 800 participants forecasted, the council was only willing to spring for a $10 average subsidy. It passed 3-2, with Figg and Hensley opposing.

Council members Hensley and Figg both lamented PH’s very high rates. Councilman Tom Figg recommended canceling the program and instead using the money for looking into reducing utility costs and resulting rates. Hensley remarked that a $1.6 million utility tax was received.

Meeting agenda item

7. INTERIM FINANCE DIRECTOR: A. EVALUATION OF LOW INCOME RESIDENT UTILITY RATE REDUCTION PROGRAM Action: It is recommended the City Council evaluate the current utility rate reduction program, and direct staff to eliminate it, cap at interest received, lower the discount rate, or make no change.


Resident Stephanie House complained about the $322 thousand annual compensation package of the city manager (she said especially for such a small city) and attributed most pension problems to compensation-related costs and urged reductions.


11-16-15 Council meeting packet



George Miller is Publisher of CitizensJournal.us, “retired,” residing in Oxnard

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