Why Are Oxnard City Council Meetings Still Closed To The Public In Person?

 

 

Edward Castillo 

Good Day Mr. Mayor and members of the Oxnard City Council:

I have a simple question with hopes of getting a simple answer:

Why have you not returned to the Oxnard Council Chambers to conduct council business with open meetings before the constituents of Oxnard?

Please see Re-Opening, City of Oxnard.

During the month of May, the City of Oxnard sent out notices to all businesses in Oxnard how they can re-open their business while staying in compliance with both State and Ventura County guidelines.

Question: Why give guidelines how to open businesses but not City Hall?

The Leadership of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors have been conducting open meetings with the participation of the public at the County of Ventura Hall of Administration Board of Supervisors Hearing Room.

Yet, Oxnard City Council continues to conduct the business of the City behind cameras without the participation of the public in person.  Why?

Attached, please find Agenda for the County of Ventura Board of Supervisors upcoming meeting, June 23, 2020:

V.C. Board of Supervisors Mtg June 23 2020

The Board of Supervisors are not hiding behind a camera to conduct their duties as Supervisors.  The staff continues to provide reports at the meetings and the Board of Supervisors welcome the public to witness and participate in their “Open Government” process.

Linked here, please find the document on your website – All City Meetings.

This document explains…”Pursuant to the Ventura County Public Official’s order…all city buildings are temporary closed to the public.”

Mr. Mayor and Members of Oxnard City Council, if you are using the Ventura County Public Health Department’s Order not to have public meetings, then why are the Leaders of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors conducting open meetings with the participation of the public?

So, I ask again my simple question: Why have you not returned to the Oxnard Council Chambers to conduct council business with open meetings before the constituents of Oxnard?

The next Oxnard City Council Meeting is scheduled for June 30, 2020.  I strongly encourage the Oxnard City Council to return to the Oxnard Council Chambers and conduct the business of the City before the constituents of Oxnard.  It’s not just the right thing to do but more importantly, it’s your duty as our elected governing body to do so.

Space yourself at the meeting. Wear a mask if you wish. But return back to the Council Chambers to conduct the business of the People.  It’s time to step away from the laptop or tablet and return to the public meetings.

Thank You in advance for your attention concerning this important matter.  May God’s Blessings be upon all of us during such times and prayers for the men and women who serve us in harms way.

Respectfully,
Edward M. Castillo

 

 

Edward Castillo is a local businessman


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14 Responses to Why Are Oxnard City Council Meetings Still Closed To The Public In Person?

  1. Bruce Boyer candidate for sheriff July 1, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    Note that Mr. Nguyen offered no legal basis to close the public meeting. Public is as to the law open to the public. The Oxnard City Council is breaking the law. For those who think a ‘governor” can make law; no, Passing laws is the authority given to the Leg. by our State Constitution. They passed the Brown Act open meeting law. Govs or Citys cannot ‘suspend laws”. Attendance at a public meeting is a public input. The Council sees who is there who opposes who supports who shows approval disapproval. Public comment is only one aspect. Communication is not just verbal. Most attendees do not ‘comment” but their impact is made by their presence. The closure violates our rights and the law. A violation of the Brown Act would negate any and all actions taken by a public body that violates the law. Oxnard, as well as the other cities /Counties School Boards water districts et all will be in a huge mess when that comes down. It’s coming…

    Reply
  2. P W Robinson June 25, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    That fake AOC tweet is how the enemy sets up the good guys. They do enough actual horrible shit so that we never have to bite on this kind of bait.

    Reply
  3. Jon Rothamn June 25, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    Surprised I one has gone to jail yet.

    Reply
  4. Dotty Pringle June 25, 2020 at 11:22 am

    By the way, why do we have a City Manager? It all comes down to the Mayor and City Council anyway. There is really no need for City Manager.

    Reply
  5. Dotty Pringle June 25, 2020 at 11:20 am

    The latest on Huizar, et al in Los Angeles getting busted was very interesting, wasn’t it?

    Reply
  6. Douglas Partello June 24, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    Hi Folks,
    I was able to provide a public comment for 3 minutes at the last Oxnard City Council Meeting, via phone. The process was well explained, the timeframe to have the form submitted, and they announced the next two callers. It seemed to work well. We are living in ‘interesting times’ now with COVID-19. Many things will change, some not so good, some for the better .Seems our city government is doing their best to keep the public informed, and allow participation, even if that means not in person. Safety first.

    Reply
    • William Hicks June 25, 2020 at 3:01 am

      Just some questions Douglas:

      Was your public comment put into record with city government and was there a response from The City Council and Mayor?

      Reply
  7. Alejandro Pedro June 24, 2020 at 8:49 am

    There is no reason to demand council members to return when they can conduct it via webinar meetings. Their tasks are still being completed and the public are still allowed to voice their opinions. What is the rush to expose everyone?

    Reply
    • William Hicks June 24, 2020 at 5:45 pm

      Alejandro

      If what you say is true, then the city council members should sell the property to pay down city debts and never come back. From my experiences, city council members rarely want to know what their constituency want from their city government and do their best to ignore them.

      Reply
  8. Rick Sanchez June 24, 2020 at 7:53 am

    As a citizen of Oxnard, I am more than happy to attend via an online meeting.

    Why? A great number of reasons.
    1. Government is not a for-profit business.
    2. My attending or not attending in person does not help them make a living or add to the bottom line in any way.
    3. I can communicate with them as easily and effectively online as I can in person without any health risk to myself or others.
    4. Limiting liability to our city seems to me to be the prudent thing to do especially when revenue is severely compromised.
    5. It will save money. Not much, but a little.

    Reply
    • William Hicks June 24, 2020 at 5:49 pm

      Rick

      You’ve found the new city council meeting hall here at Citizens Journal, but what about those who don’t have a computer?

      Reply
  9. Oxnard Observer June 23, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    and ditto for government transparency?

    Reply
  10. Alexander Nguyen June 23, 2020 at 5:29 pm

    From City Mgr Alex Nguyen…

    Mr. Castillo:

    I am responsible for reopening City facilities back up for the public. Right now I am not recommending to the City Council that we reopen our Council meetings for physical, in-person participation.

    The primary reason for this is that I do not believe it is worth the health risks, especially during a time when the County’s COVID-19 hospitalization numbers are inching back up. While I appreciate that the County has been able to reopen the public meetings for physical attendance, most Cities have not been able to do so. Like many of the other cities, our Council Chamber is small and presents a challenge simply to properly seat the Councilmembers with sufficient spacing on the dais. Add in the staff and even a limited number of members of the public, into an hours long meeting (the last meeting was 7 hrs) and we have a heightened virus spreading environment.

    While the video meetings are less than ideal, they do provide for public input. We are working on plans to reopen City facilities, including the Council Chamber. The planning takes multiple factors into account, including our staffing numbers at any given site, the physical space available at each site, and our resources available to sanitize public spaces at the frequency needed.

    In addition to protecting the public’s safety in public spaces, I also need to protect our public employees. I cannot afford to have any batch of our staff out for a 14-day quarantine, let alone actually get infected.

    Sincerely,

    Alex

    Alexander Nguyen
    City Manager

    Reply
    • William Hicks June 24, 2020 at 5:52 pm

      Mr Nguyen

      Any excuse to run the citiy’s business in the dark so you can make decisions and not have to answer to city citizens.

      Reply

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