Four Down, One to Go

You may remember that last year we collected enough signatures to qualify five Oxnard initiatives for the ballot.

In response, the Oxnard City Council only followed the law on one of those five initiatives, placing our Permit Simplicity measure on the November ballot.

For three others, the Oxnard City Council refused to comply with the law and instead filed a lawsuit against us to keep those measures off the ballot.

They lost!

On Wednesday, July 15, the Ventura County Superior Court ordered the Oxnard City Council to follow the law and put three of our initiatives onto the November election ballot to let voters decide.

Giving the public barely 24 hours of notice, the City announced a special meeting today, July 17 at 1:00 p.m. – yep, middle of the work day to minimize public participation! – for the stated purpose of complying with the court’s order.

Here are the subjects over which the Oxnard City Council sued to prevent you from being able to vote on them:

  • Road Repairs – Requires city hall to improve city streets and alleys over time as a condition for continued collection of “Measure O” sales tax. They’ll only continue to get paid if they do the work!

  • Transparency – Makes the elected City Treasurer accountable for the city’s financial functions; requires online posting of city expenditures and their supporting documents; requires the finance department to hire a certified public accountant and publish monthly financial statements; and requires the publishing of performance measurements for city departments.

  • Open Meetings – Requires city council and other city legislative bodies meet no earlier than 5:00 pm (with a few exceptions); requires training on the use of Robert’s Rules to enable better run meetings; requires advance videotaping of staff presentations to allow more time for public comments; and expands the right of the public to comment on agenda items and make use of video presentations.

For the fifth measure, strict Term Limits, the Oxnard City Council engaged in gamesmanship to kill it, and we continue to seek a judicial order to place that on the November ballot, as well.

Given their history, it wouldn’t surprise us to see more shenanigans from today’s council’s meeting ...

Time will tell ...

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