This is unbelievable. Here we go again.
The City of Oxnard gave us notice earlier today that it has requested a hearing with a judge ... tomorrow.
You may recall back in March, the city sued to prevent us from circulating an initiative petition to overturn their 87% rate increase for wastewater.
At the time, City officials barely concealed their delight that a court would not even schedule a status conference -- much less a trial -- until August 19, well after the May 20 deadline for us to submit signatures to get our initiative on the ballot.
At a city council meeting, the City Attorney even went so far as to claim that the city was essentially powerless when it came to courts deciding on their calendars. He left the City Council with the impression that, "It's so unfortunate that we can't decide this earlier, but it's out of our hands."
To the City's surprise, we counter-sued to compel the City Attorney to issue us the paperwork needed to file and circulate our petition ... and a judge agreed with us a week later.
Then we did what many believed unthinkable -- working with 61 volunteers, we gathered almost triple the required number of signatures to qualify our initiative for the ballot ... and did so in just 16 days.
The tables have turned. Now that the City believes we have enough signatures to get on the ballot, suddenly it has changed its tune.
Tomorrow morning they are asking a judge to expedite the trial to declare the initiative illegal and deprive us of due process ... so that you won't have an opportunity to vote on it this November. Talk about having no shame.
Evidently, their strategy of delay has failed to keep us off the ballot, so now it has become critical to resolve this ASAP ... to keep us off the ballot.
To borrow a quote from Dana Carvey's Church Lady, "How con-VEEN-ient!"
Our lawyers will be in court at 8:30 am on Thursday morning to defend us against this violation of our rights.
We will let you know the outcome.
If you have not already done so, please sign up as a volunteer at www.movingoxnardforward.org/volunteer.
With your help, we will reform City Hall.