Closing Arguments in Measure M Trial

As our followers well know, the City of Oxnard has been suing Moving Oxnard Forward President Aaron Starr personally for the past two years to overturn the public vote on Measure M – which rescinded the City Council’s 87% sewer rate increase.

On February 23 the court heard final closing arguments in the case, following trial dates in December and January.

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Poison Pill Contract

Facing a recall election for their approval of excessive utility rates, the Oxnard City Council on December 12, 2017 voted 4-1 to approve an interesting new financial agreement under terms designed to tie the hands of a future council from lowering utility rates.

This is a shameless effort to preserve their bad policy even if the voters recall them from office for it.

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City Council Recall Qualifies for Ballot

On December 29, 2017 the Ventura County Registrar of Voters announced that all four of our city council recall petitions had a sufficient number of valid signatures to require a recall election.

In mid-November we filed over 68,000 signatures on four petitions to recall Mayor Tim Flynn and Councilmembers Carmen Ramirez, Bert Perello, and Oscar Madrigal from office for their votes in favor of abusive wastewater rate increases.  We needed 12,043 valid signatures on each, and we had so many extra signatures that the county stopped counting before they checked them all.

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Rate Increase Protest Forms In Your Mailbox

Ready to fight back? Oppose Oxnard's sewer rate increase in just two easy steps.

The City of Oxnard is proposing to INCREASE your sewer rates by $279.24 per year – even though we voted down their latest rate increase this last November, when we adopted Measure M with 72% of the vote.

In your mailbox recently you should have received the City's Official Notice of Public Hearing for Proposed Wastewater Rate Increases. You can see what the notice looks like here.

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Council Starts 74% Sewer Rate Hike; Snubs Citizen Panel

“It’s déjà vu all over again.”  -- Yogi Berra

Last week, the Oxnard City Council started the process to raise our wastewater rates again. That process, which involves mailing out notices to residents and a 45-day protest period, will culminate in a public hearing on May 16.

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URAP Proposes 74% Wastewater Rate Increase

Last week, a bare majority of the Utility Ratepayers Advisory Panel (URAP) embraced a recommendation by city staff that the Oxnard City Council raise your sewer bill by a whopping 74%.

The plan calls for 5.25% increases for each of the next five years on top of the 35% increase already implemented last year. Compounded, that works out to over 74%.

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Is Oxnard Unlawfully Skimming Revenues from Utilities?

When a city nearly doubles its utility rates and sues the political opposition, it’s time to take a hard look at how the utility is spending its money.

When we studied the finances of Oxnard’s wastewater utility, one giant red flag was an expense called the Infrastructure Use Fee (IUF).  Oxnard charges this fee to each of its three utilities, and the combined $7 million goes to the general fund to pay for city services other than the cost of those utilities.  This type of scheme has been declared by courts to be a violation of the state constitution as amended by Proposition 218.

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Oxnard's New Sewer Rate Scheme Revealed

After intense public pressure, city staff – finally! – agreed to release the secret rate model being used to develop new wastewater rates … or so it seemed.  They sent it after the close of business … on a Friday evening … before a three day holiday weekend … and it was locked down with passwords to prevent anyone from being able to generate their own what-if scenarios.

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Don't like the 87% increase? Try 96% instead!

This week we finally learned what wastewater rate increase City Hall wants to recommend.

One proposal is a rate increase of over 96%!

So much for their claim that they had listened to you…

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Steering the City Council with False Information

With the recent release of Oxnard’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for fiscal year 15/16, it became apparent that the city management had previously given the city council and the public some grossly incorrect information during its campaign against Measure M.

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