First of all, THANK YOU for standing with us in court today. Even the judge commented briefly on the unusually large turnout.
At the end of the hearing, we prevailed in our lawsuit against the City of Oxnard for their delay tactics, refusing to do their duty under law to issue the “title and summary” for our initiative to repeal excessive 87% increases in wastewater rates. We need that document before we can collect signatures and qualify for the November ballot.
The judge ordered that Oxnard City Attorney Stephen Fischer “immediately” perform his duty to supply the title and summary for the initiative. He has until noon Wednesday (April 20) to provide evidence to the court that he has complied with the order, but his provision of the title and summary is to be immediate.
Last week our attorneys issued a challenge to Mr. Fischer to bring the title and summary with him to today’s hearing, and we even drafted one for him in case he is busy. Mr. Fischer did not even attend today’s hearing, nor did he supply the city’s consultant-attorney with a title and summary to hand over immediately when the judge ruled in our favor.
IF the city complies with the judge’s order, it would then take us a few days to publish a required legal notice in a newspaper, and to get petitions printed up, and then we could start collecting signatures. That’s IF they comply…
Mr. Fischer has previously stated to the press that their initial lawsuit against Moving Oxnard Forward President Aaron Starr was merely so the city could get “guidance” from a court. Well, now he has received guidance in the form of a judge’s order to issue our title and summary.
If the city appeals today's ruling instead of complying with the order, it will be further evidence that their goal was not merely to get guidance, but to delay us until it is too late to qualify for the November ballot.
For media coverage of the hearing, see articles linked below: