Imagine everyone in town pays this gardener to mow lawns. You agree to pay the man additional money for ENHANCED services, such as planting trees, removing weeds, trimming hedges, etc.
But he doesn’t perform the extra work. Soon, he’s only mowing your lawn half as often. Instead, he spends the money on a slick marketer to sell you SUPER-ENHANCED services.
Sounds like a load of fertilizer, right?
Welcome to Oxnard’s Landscape Maintenance Districts (LMDs), where for the privilege of paying an additional assessment on your property tax bill, you too can pay extra for services that are over-promised and under-delivered.
For years residents have complained to Oxnard City Council about various abuses within LMDs.Read more
Imagine this. You learn that your child pocketed 36 cookies that did not belong to him ... and he ate 32 of them. After you confront him, he returns the remaining four cookies and proclaims what a good boy he is for doing so.
Does returning ONLY SOME of what he took excuse him … or even make him noble?
Of course not! But that’s what Oxnard City Hall would have you believe about its utility rate refunds.Read more
We have a development to report since our last update.
As you know, the Ventura County Superior Court ordered Oxnard City Hall to reduce your utility rates by June 16 by the amount of the Infrastructure Use Fee (“IUF”) – an embedded charge that Judge Matthew Guasco described as “illegal and unreasonable” – and to report back by July 31 that it had done so.
Predictably, the City did not reduce utility rates … and did not report back to the court ... it simply defied the court order.
But suddenly – only after we scheduled a court hearing to address their noncompliance – the City begrudgingly filed a report with the court on Tuesday. So, what’s the City’s reported excuse to the court for not having yet reduced utility rates?Read more
Oxnard City Hall was ordered by a judge to lower your utility rates by June 16 ... but they have refused to do it.
Last December we prevailed in a lawsuit against the City of Oxnard for unlawfully charging its City-owned utilities (i.e. water, wastewater and solid waste) an Infrastructure Use Fee (or “IUF”), siphoning tens of millions of dollars to the City’s general slush fund (and increasing your utility bills to pay for it).Read more
Imagine what would happen if YOU provided false information to a judge.
Just because Oxnard City Hall publishes a number, don’t assume that it’s correct …
… especially if they’re trying to persuade the public to accept rate increases … or to vote against a ballot measure … or if they’re trying to persuade a judge in court!Read more
We just had another win in court last week, with a judge granting an anti-SLAPP motion against the city of Oxnard.
In November, Oxnard voters adopted Measures M and N.
- Measure M requires that council meetings be held outside the standard workday so more of us can participate, gives the public greater opportunity to speak, and mandates that City Hall provide more information to the public in advance of the meeting.
- Measure N requires the city to repair our streets to certain standards by certain dates or else reduce our sales tax rate.
Oxnard City Hall is fighting these reform measures to improve transparency and accountability to the taxpayers.Read more
In City Hall's continuing war against increased transparency and public participation, they lost another battle on Monday.
Without warning last Thursday, City Hall notified our attorney that they had requested a next-day court hearing seeking an emergency temporary restraining order to enjoin – in other words, stop – implementation of Measure M.Read more
Unfortunately, name-calling is the level of discourse we have come to expect from Oxnard City Hall.
In last week’s issue of the Tri County Sentry, Oxnard City Manager Alex Nguyen called the President of Moving Oxnard Forward a “Fascist” because we use the democratic process to bring increased transparency to local government. By implication, his characterization is also aimed at the 36,549 Oxnard residents who voted for such reform.
Perhaps we should buy the city manager a dictionary.Read more
You helped us bring positive change to Oxnard!
The entire Oxnard City Council urged voters to oppose Measure M (the “Oxnard Open Meetings Act”). But Oxnard voters knew better and adopted Measure M with 57% of the vote this past November.
As a result of your vote for Measure M, there’s a new feature on council meeting agendas – and we want to make sure you notice and make use of it.Read more
UPDATE: The $34 million figure in this article was originally calculated through the information that was available when opening briefs were filed with the court. But the city continued collecting this fee until the judge's decision was issued, and the amount collected during that time also must be returned, so the final amount will instead be $36.5 million.
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 IUF is an unlawful transfer scheme – really, a backdoor tax! – that violates the California Constitution, particularly Proposition 218.Read more