Re: VC Star Editorial; Oxnard Moves From Mistake; Sept 19, 2021

by Ray Blattel

I read this editorial with great interest.  But why not tell the whole story and not just from the city’s viewpoint?  The truth of the matter is, if the city would have just immediately ceased the collection of the Infrastructure User Fee (IUF) as proposed by the so-called “anti-government critic” at a meeting with the city leadership, then the city would not have had to pay any money at all back to the Enterprise funds from the General Fund and there would not have been a lawsuit.  Sounds like a win-win for both parties.  However, call it arrogance, stubbornness, or a word that rhymes with cupid, the city of Oxnard elected to continue the collection of the illegal IUF fees.  Hence, the lawsuit to “force” the city to stop this illegal activity.  And, as a consequence of the lawsuit, the city of Oxnard now has to issue $7.1M credit to the utility users plus repayment of $36.5M back to the Enterprise funds.  And, to top off this so called “mistake”, the city also had to pay their attorney(s) to support this illegal activity plus the attorney fees for the plaintiff.  Thus, this “mistake” as Oxnard leadership calls it was a really a huge blunder.  Two plus two equals five is a mistake – what the city did was a real lulu.

By the way, rather than these individuals being categorized as “anti-government” and “critics of the government”, the true moniker may better be described as “anti-illegal activities by our local government”.  These people, rather than critics, are watching to ensure that our local government does not violate any laws and are spending our taxpayer dollars appropriately.


Ray Blattel is a resident of the City of Oxnard and a concerned Citizen. 

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.


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William Hicks

In a word, these “anti-government individuals” would be better identified as Watch dogs.

Dotty Pringle

Thank you! Here’s an interesting article. This was very premeditated and calculated, and all involved need to be civilly liable. Any attorneys involved also need to be disbarred!

https://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/dwp-scandal-primer/?utm_campaign=Daily%20Update&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=163185904&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_BtXVnQCbSeZIb0BL2BtdQibgbJIfl4BG_6GVLFLsoB8RiW7roqYwWKv8WxW-QWobafUnaiy_X9WVwJiAxDlP1z2jCnQ&utm_content=163185904&utm_source=hs_email

Douglas Partello

This was not a “mistake”. It was a calculated scheme to illegally siphon money from the utility funds into the General Fund. You can say a bank robber just made a “mistake”, but that is a gross understatement, which attempts to minimize the crime, and lessen a sense of appropriate copiability on the guilty party. To add insult to injury, they then fought a four year court battle to continue their scheme. When they lost in court, for as the judge put it “an illegal and unreasonable” action. Then went on a political campaign to smear the whistleblower, Aaron Starr, also at taxpayer expense.
We seem to hold private companies, and citizens much more accountable for their “mistakes”. The lack of accountability leads to embolden them to continue along the same path. Year after year of deficit budgets shows the clear motivation for this crime, fill the gap in the General Fund, caused by overspending.
If they had done the reasonable compromise Mr. Starr initially proposed; just stop charging the fees, and not pay one cent back, we would not see $36.5 million taken from the General Fund for services, to be returned to the utility funds. Instead they forged ahead, rolling the dice they could get away Scott-free, and continue.