$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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Oxnard's "Trade Secrets"

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 that information to the public.

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Oxnard to Study the Obvious

Our five government reform measures are destined for the November 2020 ballot.

Their path to the ballot necessarily involves a trip through a city council meeting. At its December 17 meeting, the City Council did not adopt our measures, nor did they vote to put them on the November 2020 ballot. Instead, they voted to delay their decision for 30 days until after they conduct an internal study on all five of our measures.

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Initiatives Destined for Oxnard Ballot

We received some great news last week.  Four out of five of our ballot measures have already qualified for the November 2020 ballot, and the fifth one is on track to qualify but will take until January to complete.

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Over the summer and early fall we worked diligently to gather 8,401 valid signatures for each of five different reform measures to be placed on the Oxnard ballot in November 2020.

On Monday, October 28, we submitted over 62,000 signatures, more than 12,000 signatures on each of the 5 petitions!

If we’re right, Oxnard is about to become the first city in California – and perhaps the country – to have its citizens qualify five ballot measures at the same time.

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Well ... This Might Tee You Off

The City Council is about to raise YOUR water costs to subsidize the River Ridge Golf Course.

For years the old guard on the city council has complained about the golf course subsidies while pointing the finger of blame at “previous administrations.”  City management is falsely telling the public that this new contract will stop the subsidies of the past (often over $1 million/year).

However, the city plans to continue the subsidies for River Ridge Golf Course, and tonight’s city council agenda includes a new operator contract for the facility with subsidies built right into the contract language.

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Oxnard Council Fooled by Bad Math -- Again

Oxnard City Hall’s inability to do basic math means that the city council put Oxnard’s taxpayers on the hook for millions more than the public was told … again.

The city council recently approved new agreements with three employee unions.  Staff reports told the public that these three contracts combined would increase costs by $5.5 million through June 2021, but corrected math shows the real cost increase is approximately $10 million.

Oxnard city council members (especially Mayor Flynn) keep blaming past administrations for signing contracts without considering the real future costs, but then he and the rest of the current council unanimously voted for these contracts in which the real costs over the next two years are almost $4.5 million higher than the public was told.

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Taking the Initiative (times 5)

Today, as part of Moving Oxnard Forward’s continuing efforts to reform Oxnard City Hall, we have filed with the Oxnard City Clerk notices of intention to circulate five separate initiatives to place on next year’s ballot. They are as follows:

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Is Oxnard Council Smarter than a 7th Grader?

Even after the Oxnard City Council likely spent well over $500,000 of your money in legal costs to overturn your vote on Measure M – and then losing in court – they chose last Tuesday to double down by appealing the judge’s ruling.

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Oxnard City Hall: Driving Blindfolded

Producing monthly financial statements is the most basic function of a Finance Department in any professional organization.  It’s really not asking for anything extraordinary…

California state law requires every general law city to produce monthly financial statements and file them with the city clerk and the city council.  These statements should inform both the public and the city council, as to the city’s current financial position and the results of its various operations. It’s an important management tool for making better decisions and keeping people accountable.

Unfortunately, the city of Oxnard does not produce monthly financial statements, and they haven’t done so for many years. 

Merely asking the city to start doing it has been ineffective, so Moving Oxnard Forward has now filed a petition for a judge to issue a writ of mandate, which would compel the city to comply with this state law.

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