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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
We need your help again.
As we all know, the city had enacted an outrageous 87% wastewater rate increase in January of 2016. You helped us fight back, and together we qualified Measure M for the ballot to repeal the rate increase and make the city try again to be more reasonable. Measure M won overwhelmingly, and now the city must try again to set rates that cover their actual costs ... but don’t abuse the ratepayers.
Please attend a very important meeting on February 1, starting at 6:00 pm at:
Oxnard Performing Arts Center, Ventura Room
800 Hobson Way, Oxnard, CA 93030
Here’s what’s going on.Read more
Today we were back before Judge Rocky Baio to schedule a trial for the City of Oxnard's lawsuit against Measure M, which 72% of Oxnard voters adopted in November to repeal an excessive 87% wastewater rate increase.
The judge has tentatively scheduled the trial for late June, 2017.Read more
Interesting developments in Oxnard's wastewater rate saga...
As you might recall, on December 8 Judge Rocky Baio granted the City of Oxnard’s request for a temporary restraining order on Measure M, our initiative that rejected the City’s 87% sewer rate increase. In effect, the judge hit the pause button on Measure M’s reduction of rates until this matter goes to trial, at which time the judge can decide who is right.
Because the judge is keeping the law from going into effect ... at least for the time being ... the city was scheduled to implement their next 10% increase effective January 1 (on top of the 35% increase already imposed on us last March).
In the meantime, there’s much happening behind the scenes.Read more
Though the City of Oxnard still stubbornly pursues the lawsuit seeking to have Measure M declared illegal, even they have now realized the need to do something else besides just bet on winning in court. The city council has now directed their employees to start again the process of setting new wastewater rates. Time will tell whether they will actually listen to what the voters said.Read more
Measure M, our initiative which successfully rejected the City's 87% sewer rate increase, was scheduled to go into effect on December 12, 2016. To stop that from happening, on December 7, 2016, the City of Oxnard filed for an ex parte hearing to ask the judge for a temporary restraining order on Measure M.
Judge Rocky Baio granted the City of Oxnard’s request for a temporary restraining order on Measure M. In effect, the judge hit the pause button on the reduction of rates until the city's pending lawsuit against Measure M goes to trial, at which time the judge can decide who is right.Read more
The message from City Hall seems to suggest that we voters are to blame for revolting against the city’s 87% sewer rate increase. In reality, the precarious financial position the City of Oxnard now finds itself in is not due to the actions of voters. Rather, it is due to a series of poor decisions by city officials acting on the bad advice of its outside attorneys.Read more