Oxnard City Hall's Turf War

Imagine everyone in town pays this gardener to mow lawns. You agree to pay the man additional money for ENHANCED services, such as planting trees, removing weeds, trimming hedges, etc.

But he doesn’t perform the extra work. Soon, he’s only mowing your lawn half as often. Instead, he spends the money on a slick marketer to sell you SUPER-ENHANCED services.

Sounds like a load of fertilizer, right?

Welcome to Oxnard’s Landscape Maintenance Districts (LMDs), where for the privilege of paying an additional assessment on your property tax bill, you too can pay extra for services that are over-promised and under-delivered.

For years residents have complained to Oxnard City Council about various abuses within LMDs.

With their confidence in City Hall seriously eroded, some approached us to help, so we plowed into the City’s records.

Without getting too far into the weeds, we discovered that City Hall was misspending LMD assessments. We wanted to get to the root of the problem.

One example of misspent money: Instead of spending LMD money exclusively on its legally intended purpose – maintaining landscapes – Oxnard City Hall is diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars to a consultant contracted to coax residents into forming Mello-Roos tax districts.

Let that idea germinate for a moment. The City is improperly using LMD assessments to underwrite a purported “grass roots” effort to dramatically INCREASE your taxes.

We insist this is unlawful, while the City Attorney’s office argues otherwise. Of course, the same people insisted that the Infrastructure Use Fee was legal – and we all saw how that turned out.

Because we are at an impasse, we’re going to once again let a judge decide. It’s the only option left after the City Council refused to listen. Last Friday, we filed a lawsuit against the City of Oxnard.

We are seeking a writ to enjoin the City from continuing its improper spending, along with an order to restore the amounts unlawfully drained from the Landscape Maintenance Districts.

Oxnard City Hall wants to further prune your services. In contrast, we believe people are entitled to get what they paid for.

Looks like we’re in for another turf war.

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