As you probably remember, the City of Oxnard sued to overturn Measure M, our 2016 initiative which repealed the City Council’s abusive 87% sewer rate increase. Voters adopted Measure M with 73% of the vote.
We successfully defended ourselves in court and won in Ventura County Superior Court in 2018. The City appealed to the Court of Appeal, which announced two weeks ago that they have overturned the trial court’s decision.
While nearly every court ruling leaves one side unhappy, the Court of Appeal in this case made significant errors in its decision, including some material misstatements of the evidence. So last night we filed a Petition for Rehearing.
Among the errors noted in our Petition, the Court of Appeal incorrectly:
- Ignored California Supreme Court precedent.
- Assumed as true the City’s estimated $54,000 monthly loss, even though financial records show a $117,000 monthly surplus without the 87% increase.
- Concluded that no costs of the water system were born by the wastewater utility – even the City did not make this argument, probably because the evidence clearly shows that $55 million of water utility costs were charged to the wastewater utility.
This is the first step in petitioning the California Supreme Court for review, which we will do if the Court of Appeal does not reconsider its ruling.
UPDATE: The Court of Appeal declined to grant us a rehearing. We subsequently filed an appeal to the California Supreme Court, which also declined to hear our case.