Starr Coalition for Moving Oxnard Forward
“If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table.” — Lawyer’s adage
It’s sad that Oxnard City Manager Alex Nguyen published a petty press release full of personal attacks designed to distract the residents from the substance of the issues at hand. Hopefully, there are adults on the City Council who will steer him toward professionalism in future releases, as the City Manager’s personal attacks are a bad look for Oxnard City Hall.
Rather than focusing on Nguyen’s juvenile table pounding, let’s instead tackle a few of the larger misleading statements in his response to the Court’s ruling earlier this week.
City’s Statement: Nguyen claims “the City’s action was not illegal” and “the Court ruled that the IUF is legal.”
Reality: The text of the Court’s ruling on p. 3-4 states, “The Court enters its Declaratory Judgment that the IUFs violate [California Constitution] article XIII D, section 6, subdivisions (b)(1), (2), and (5).”
The City of Oxnard did violate the law. In fact, they violated the California Constitution, which is the highest-ranking state law in California.
Editor’s note– Read the ruling: 20201228131408
City’s Statement: “The bottom line is that the City’s general fund would have to transfer $34.5M to the three utilities, which means there will be $34.5M less in work, services, and programs for the residents and businesses in Oxnard.”
Reality: Actually, the bottom line is that charges to ratepayers for utilities are legally required to be used for utilities. You can’t overcharge utility ratepayers to support your other spending. In the Court’s declaratory judgment in favor of Starr and against City, it states “The IUFs violate article XIII D, section 6, subdivision (b)(5), because they are and have been used ‘for general governmental services …’”
City’s Statement: The Court “found against Mr. Starr … that the Court should rescind a duly enacted municipal ordinance allowing for the IUF.”
Reality: The Court denied our request for the Court to rescind a municipal ordinance, stating that they did not have that authority. But the City ignores the larger point where, “The Court hereby enters its WRIT OF PROHIBITION directing the City to immediately cease and desist imposing the embedded IUF in the rates paid by water, wastewater, and solid waste disposal ratepayers …” [emphasis added]
In other words, the City of Oxnard is being ordered to immediately reduce utility rates by the amount of the unlawful IUFs, notwithstanding the City Council’s ordinance that established the rates.
Paid for by Starr Coalition for Moving Oxnard Forward, 2130 Posada Drive, Oxnard, CA 93030
Moving Oxnard Forward · United States
Previous articles on the ruling:
On December 28, 2020 the Ventura County Superior Court issued a tentative ruling on the lawsuit Mr. Aaron Starr filed against the City of Oxnard in 2017. Mr. Starr claims that the City had “illegally” charged the City’s three utilities an infrastructure use fee, or IUF, during the period of 2014 to 2017. Starr claims […]
Breaking News! Victory in court today! The City of Oxnard had been skimming as much as $7 million per year from the City’s three utility enterprises (water, wastewater and solid waste) … and diverting the money to the general fund for what they call an Infrastructure Use Fee (IUF). Our contention has been that the […]