Starr to Seek Contempt of Court Finding Against Oxnard and City Attorney?

Must we go back to court?

It has been three days since a judge ordered Oxnard City Attorney Stephen Fischer to “immediately” provide the paperwork we need to start collecting petition signatures to repeal the 87% wastewater rate increase.  He has not done it yet.

That’s another weekend gone without the chance to collect signatures.  The clock ticks, and the May 20 signature-gathering deadline approaches.

Click here to see the letter our attorneys issued this afternoon to the outside attorneys handling this case for the city.  In summary, if we do not receive the mandated paperwork by close-of-business today, we’ll ask a judge to find them in contempt of court.

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Oxnard Mayor Tim Flynn Needs to Direct City Attorney to Obey Judge's Order

On Friday, April 15, Ventura County Superior Court Judge Rocky Baio ordered the Oxnard City Attorney to “immediately” obey an order to provide Aaron Starr with a required document before we can start collecting initiative petition signatures to repeal the city’s 87% increase in wastewater rates -- an additional $326 for a typical family per year.

So far, Oxnard City Attorney Stephen Fischer has refused two opportunities to do what the judge ordered.  Mayor Tim Flynn needs to direct him to follow the law.

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Victory in Court - Judge Orders Oxnard to Issue Title and Summary

First of all, THANK YOU for standing with us in court today.  Even the judge commented briefly on the unusually large turnout.

At the end of the hearing, we prevailed in our lawsuit against the City of Oxnard for their delay tactics, refusing to do their duty under law to issue the “title and summary” for our initiative to repeal excessive 87% increases in wastewater rates.  We need that document before we can collect signatures and qualify for the November ballot.

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Will you stand with me?

On January 26, in the aftermath of the largest protest at City Hall in recent memory, the City Council voted to increase wastewater (sewer) rates by more than 87%.

On March 8 I filed with the Oxnard City Clerk a notice of intention to circulate an initiative to repeal that increase.

On March 23 we expected the City Attorney to deliver what is known as a "title and summary" so that we can begin gathering signatures to place our initiative on the November ballot.

Instead, the City of Oxnard sued me -- really, all of us -- intentionally employing a type of lawsuit that may not be settled for years, all for the purpose of denying you the opportunity to vote on this important issue.  

Imagine a lawsuit to stop someone from exercising a First Amendment right to petition. You wouldn't expect this in America, but it is actually happening right here in Oxnard.

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Starr Challenges City of Oxnard to Bring “Title and Summary” to April 15 Hearing

On April 15, the Superior Court in Ventura will hear our lawsuit against the City of Oxnard seeking a judge’s order for the City Attorney to provide the legally required “title and summary” for our initiative to repeal wastewater utility rate increases.

While we anticipate that we will prevail in that hearing, past experience suggests that the city might engage in further delay even if we prevail...

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Judge Grants Expedited Hearing in Our Suit Against City of Oxnard

Today a judge agreed to grant our lawsuit against the City of Oxnard an accelerated hearing schedule.  Even though the city’s lawsuit against our wastewater initiative is still active, today’s ruling means we do not have to wait until the prior suit’s August 19 hearing to have a court address the dispute.

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Aaron Starr Fights Back – Serves Oxnard with Lawsuit During City Council Meeting

Moving Oxnard Forward President Aaron Starr surprised the Oxnard City Council by bringing a process server with him to the April 5 City Council meeting.  City Attorney Stephen Fischer and City Clerk Daniel Martinez were served with a new lawsuit after Mr. Starr finished his public comments at the start of the meeting.

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Aaron Starr Shames City of Oxnard to End Delay Tactic

At the March 29 Oxnard City Council meeting, Moving Oxnard Forward President Aaron Starr had to shame the city for claiming to be in a hurry to resolve their lawsuit against him, while in reality they are engaging in stalling tactics.  Below is the text of his statement during the public comments portion of the City Council meeting:

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Oxnard Suit Against Wastewater Initiative is a Stalling Tactic


It is a shame that Oxnard is wasting precious resources to hire outside attorneys to stop the people from being able to vote on the unfair rate hike. Nowhere does the City acknowledge the harm this rate hike of more than $325 per year for a typical household will cause the working families of Oxnard. Rather than let the people speak, the City Council is using expensive outside lawyers to delay the process until after the election.

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City of Oxnard Sues Aaron Starr Over Wastewater Initiative

On March 8, Moving Oxnard Forward President Aaron Starr filed paperwork with the city of Oxnard to begin the process of placing an initiative on the November ballot which would overturn the recent wastewater utility increases.  The city attorney then had 15 days by law to prepare a title and summary for the initiative.

On the afternoon of the 15th day, instead of providing the required title and summary...

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