Failing Municipal Law 101

Ventura County Superior Courts are finally re-opening following the COVID-19 closures, and we're finally able to act to reverse the city council's illegal move with our term limits initiative.  We previously told you part of that story, but we have more to share now!

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So Much for Public Health and Safety!

Watch what politicians DO … not what they SAY.

Do you remember how we were told by Oxnard officials that high wastewater rate increases were absolutely urgently needed for repairs at the wastewater plant?

Well … on tonight’s city council meeting (Agenda Item L-1) ... City Hall plans to borrow up to $30 million dollars in cash from the three city-owned utilities – including $10 million from the wastewater utility! – to bail out the general fund.

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Games Councilmembers Play - Illegal Move to Kill Strict Term Limits

The Oxnard City Council thinks they’re playing a clever game with voters but they actually broke the law yet again!

Way back in 1973 the Oxnard electorate voted to separately elect the mayor with a two-year term –– after residents gathered signatures to place the matter on the ballot.

Stay with me. You’ll see why this is important in a moment.

On October 15, 2019, when the council voted to place Measure B on the March 2020 ballot, the city manager and city attorney advised the council that MOST of Measure B’s provisions could be enacted into law with a simple vote of the council

… But because Measure B also extends the mayor’s term from two to four years –– and the voters had already decided on two years in 1973 –– it would take a public vote to modify that.

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Measure B's Transparency Veto

Fun Fact:  Oxnard Measure B’s “transparency” provisions include veto clauses.  

Yes, you read that correctly.  Copied straight from the text of Measure B:

“All agreements requiring City Council approval must be posted on the City’s website and made available to the public prior to City Council action unless determined otherwise by the city attorney."

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Oxnard Hosts One-sided Debate on Measure B

Imagine if City Hall hosted a voter forum and invited only one side to the debate. You'd think something so corrupt could never happen

but we’re talking about Oxnard City Hall.

On Wednesday, February 5 the Inter-Neighborhood Council Organization (INCO) –– an organization chartered by the Oxnard City Council –– hosted in City Council chambers what was advertised on printed flyers as an “Oxnard Voters’ Forum.”

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What's Wrong with Measure B

Measure B, the so called “Government Accountability and Ethics Act”, is a defective incumbent protection scheme written at the direction of City Manager Alexander Nguyen, and placed on the March 2020 primary ballot by the Oxnard City Council. 

It is designed to extend city council terms, handcuff the council’s political challengers and kneecap several citizen-sponsored initiatives qualified for the November 2020 ballot.

To lure you into voting for it, Measure B includes false promises of reform on topics that the City’s taxpayer-funded polling said the voters would like to hear. And the City Manager is also using your tax money for a marketing campaign that includes glossy mail pieces.

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Hiding the Evidence

What Oxnard City Hall attempted in court yesterday was sad, though not surprising.

Believing they'd have a better chance to defend a pattern of illegal utility revenue transfers if the opposing side wasn't allowed to present evidence, they asked a judge to disallow the evidence we have collected.

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Council Adopts Strict Term Limits -- To Kill Strict Term Limits

During its January 21, 2020 meeting, the City Council did something dastardly -- they adopted strict term limits not because they want them to be the law, but they did it as a political tactic to kill strict term limits.

Yes, you read that correctly! Let me explain...

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Oxnard Defies Voters ... Again!

A Hollywood script writer couldn’t make this stuff up.

Last Wednesday the Oxnard City Council REFUSED to perform their legal obligation to place three initiatives on the ballot that were signed by over 12,000 Oxnard residents. Oh, and they’re suing Moving Oxnard Forward President Aaron Starr ... again!

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$177,600 in No-Bid Contracts

As we noted in our previous article:

In an attempt to circumvent public disclosure requirements under the Public Records Act, Oxnard city management is claiming that the results of a taxpayer-funded public opinion poll are a “trade secret,” and are refusing to disclose the full information to the public. 

Though the city denied most of our requests to see this information, they did begrudgingly provide us with a few selected documents.

Here's some of what we learned.

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