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By Chris Frost
Oxnard-- The City Council reorganized itself, Jan 5 and changed meeting times for the committee system.
The committees will still meet every other week but will do so in the evening, after 5 p.m. due to the voters' passed Measure M on Nov 3.
The committee number will change from five to three and meet on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.
Two council members will be needed for each committee. Mayor John Zaragoza will serve on all three committees.
City Manager Alex Nguyen called the changes interim until the matter gets settled before a judge.
"We will begin at 5 p.m. with the Finance & Governance Committee," Nguyen said. "We are scheduling these for 1.5 hours each with a 15-minute break in between. They are separate meetings. It's not like one continuous meeting."
For Finance & Governance, Zaragoza will chair the committee, along with Councilwoman Gabriela Basua, and the Council Member from District two, which is currently vacant, will serve.
"At 6:45 p.m., we are consolidating Community Services, Public Safety, Housing & Development," Nguyen said. "The chair will be Mayor Pro Tem Bryan MacDonald, alongside Council Member Madrigal and Mayor Zaragoza," Nguyen said. "The third committee for the evening begins at 8:30 until 10 p.m., which is the Public Works & Transportation Committee. The chair will be Council Member Bert Perello, along with Council Member Vianey Lopez and Mayor Zaragoza."
Starting next week, the presentations will be pre-recorded, and staff will no longer make the presentations at the committee meetings.
"We'll go straight to clarifying questions, public comments, and deliberations," Nguyen said. "One will need to view the presentations ahead of time. They will be available and embedded in the published agenda. There will be additional links to view the video. We will be implementing Robert's Rules of Order. We don't have the formal training, but we're working on that. Public comments for each of these will be three minutes for each person. This also applies to our other legislative bodies, the Planning Commission and the CAGs (Citizen Advisory Groups) we're working to transform those, as well in order to comply with the vote of the people on Measure M."
During Council comments, Perello asked if they'll still get the pre-recorded presentations in compliance with the Sunshine Ordinance.
"Yes, councilmember, we will endeavor to meet those deadlines," Nguyen said.
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