By Chris Frost
Special to the Tri County Sentry
The Oxnard City Council discussed the possibility of a joint meeting between departments and outside agencies to address issues moving forward during its May 8, meeting.
Mayor Tim Flynn said he was going to be terse and to the point about the issue and said some of the agencies that have requested meetings with the city council are at the meeting.
"I forgot to acknowledge that Jon Sharkey has been a member of the Port Hueneme City Council, and he has been on the city council for a long time," he said. "His institutional knowledge is appreciated. We see that in the comments he made on public works related issues."
Flynn said some agencies had lobbied every council member for a joint meeting.
"We've had a heavy agenda for the last couple of years," he said. "Just to get through our own business, not the business of other neighboring agencies, but it is very cumbersome, and I think we've done a good job at it."
Flynn said he didn't want to take away from the efficiencies of the meetings and they consistently end around 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday night.
"My idea is after we pass the budget, and we are going to be extremely busy until July 1, that we find a way that we can schedule either a Saturday morning meeting," he said.
Flynn said he was completely open to any format and discussing the issues.
"I think it's important that at a minimum, we have a joint meeting with the Port Hueneme City Council and I am just making a suggestion that it would go no more than two hours."
He said there needs to be a specific agenda.
"Four months down the road, we can get our two staffs working together, so it is fully vetted."
He said if they can't get the meeting done by July, they should wait until September.
"Just so we are prepared, and it has results," he said.
Flynn said the other agency asking for a meeting is the port.
"They have a variety of issues they have brought to our attention," he said. "They have delegations of two members of the port that have met with two members the council, we have members of the port that have met individually with us, but one way or the other, we have a lot of mutual interest, and we have interests that sometimes collide."
He said the two entities need to work together better and promote economic development for both.
"In the case of Hueneme, just on the utilities and infrastructure projects, there is a synergy not only with Port Hueneme but other neighboring cities," he said.
Councilman Oscar Madrigal agrees with the mayor.
"I think we need to have these meetings," he said. "I know another issue is with the school district, specifically the Oxnard School District, and I am all for doing this on a Saturday."
Mayor Pro Tem Carmen Ramirez said a joint meeting is a good idea.
"As I said earlier, we need regional solutions," she said. "Water traffic, air, and housing don't necessarily stay within city boundaries," she said. "I think we are starting to have a good regional approach to things, particularly with looking at our water system."
She was glad that Madrigal mentioned the school district.
"The Oxnard School District, as I understand, it is a large school district," she said.
She said the kids of the are gold.
"They are the future of this city," she said. "It sounds like such a platitude, but it is. If they don't get what they need from the city and the school district, from the society and the community, we'll suffer the consequences."
Councilman Bryan MacDonald said he too had been approached about joint meetings.
"I'm not opposed to joint meetings," he said. "We as a council need to be on our "A" game. We need to be concise, to the point and get things done and not be vociferous and talk on forever."
He hopes the staff has been talking before the meetings.
"So we can go in on a level playing field," he said. "I'm not comfortable with a Saturday meeting, but every time we meet, whether it says council or it says the fiscal policy task force, it involves staff support. If we do this on Saturday, we're going to have a boatload of the staff here supporting us, and that is one of the days they can spend time with their family."
Councilman Bert Perello said the Oxnard School District hasn't approached him but approached other council members.
"I have been in a meeting with the United Water Conservation District with another council member, and we were told there had been attempts for well over a year in trying to have meetings and they've never happened."
He said there was something with the management that no longer works in Oxnard not getting it done.
"I can see the point that Councilman MacDonald says about Saturday and staff, but if we need to have these meetings and we need the extra information," he said. "I don't know when else we would do it and make the coordination between the different entities work out."
He said Oxnard needs to take the bull by the horns with this issue.
"These things are not going away," he said.
451 West Fifth Street
Oxnard, California 93030
1000 Town Center Drive
Oxnard, CA 93036
(Walk-in & Drop-off)
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.