The Oxnard Chamber Board of Directors has taken positions on five of the propositions that will appear on the November 6 ballot. The Board limits its review of the ballot measures that affect businesses in the state of California. Here are the positions for this year:
Proposition 1 – Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2018 - SUPPORT
Provides $4 million in bond funding to help military veterans have a safe place to call home, and also provides stable housing for struggling families and the homeless.
Proposition 3 - Water Infrastructure and Watershed Conservation Bond Initiative - SUPPORT
$8.8 billion general obligation bond for water supply, quality, fish, conveyance and sustainability. The measure would fund a number of projects. The large categories of funding are $3 billion for water supply and quality, $2.8 billion for watershed and fisheries restoration, $940 million for habitat protection, $855 million for water conveyance, and $695 million for groundwater sustainability and storage.
Proposition 6 – Repeal of the Gas Tax and Vehicle Fees – OPPOSE
Eliminates Recently Enacted Road Repair and Transportation Funding by Repealing Revenues Dedicated for those purposes. This measure repeals the increase in motor vehicle fuel taxes that were enacted in SB 1, and requires a vote of the people to increase gas taxes in the future. Would reduce transportation funding by $4.9 billion by 2020-21.
Proposition 8 – State Regulation of Kidney Dialysis Clinics – OPPOSE
This measure would limit the amount that outpatient dialysis clinics can charge to 115% of total patient care charges. Excess charges would have to be rebated to health plans. Imposes penalties on clinics that violate the cap. Outlines a process for legal challenges against the measure's rebate provision as an unconstitutional taking of private property without due process or just compensation.
Proposition 10 – Local Government Authority to impose Rent Control on Private Property - OPPOSE
Current state law known as Costa/Hawkins preempts local governments from enforcing rent control ordinances on single family housing, new units built after February 1, 1995, or limiting the rent on first time renters in unit. Proposition 10 would remove that restriction. Removing the limitations on locally enacted rent control laws could discourage new construction, decrease the supply of rental housing and reduce the quality of housing available in communities statewide.
Proposition 11 – Private-Sector Emergency Ambulance Employees Work Breaks – SUPPORT
Provides limited exception to meal and rest period requirements for private ambulance and EMTs who have to remain on duty while on call. Prop 11 establishes into law the longstanding industry practice of paying EMTs and paramedics to remain reachable during their work breaks in case of an emergency – just like firefighters and police officers.
Alex Nguyen will start his new position as Oxnard's city manager on July 9. On July 12 he will be at the Chamber's Knowledge & Networking Lunch. Mr. Nguyen graciously accepted an invitation to meet with business leaders in his first week on the job.
We did not request a formal presentation from Mr. Nguyen, rather, a brief talk about his approach to the job and to have interaction with the business community – more of a conversation.
Attendees of the Knowledge & Networking Lunch should come prepared to share comments or ask questions.
The Knowledge & Networking Lunch will be held at the Residence Inn, 2101 W. Vineyard Avenue. Check in and networking begin at 11:30, followed by lunch and the program. Click here to register.
Julie Mino is the President and CEO of the Oxnard Convention & Visitors Bureau, joining the organization in December 2017. Mino has worked in the hospitality and non-profit sectors for 18 years, with a strong focus on social & corporate event planning, donor cultivation, and sales. Her experience also encompasses a strong emphasis on customer service and management.
Before joining the Oxnard CVB, Mino served as Operations Manager for The Ojai Foundation, a 40-acre land sanctuary, educational center & intentional community. There, she was responsible for employee relations and human resources while overseeing staff, monitoring and maintaining annual budgets and carrying out the many programs within the organization.
Mino’s background also includes serving as Conference Services Manager for the Bacara Resort & Spa, where she was responsible for all aspects of corporate groups and social functions. Other positions included Special Events Officer for the Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens where she was involved with a variety of duties from event planning to donor solicitation, overseeing staff and more. In addition, Mino worked with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Santa Barbara Chapter and held the position of Senior Executive Conference Manager at Fess Parkers DoubleTree Resort.
Her educational background includes the completion of the Hotel, Restaurant Management Program at Santa Barbara City College and Hilton Sales college courses. She has worked with several professional and philanthropic organizations including Women’s Economic Ventures, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Santa Barbara International Film Festival and Santa Barbara Young Professionals Club.
Julie was appointed to fill a Board vacancy, with a term ending in December 2019.
At last Friday's State of the City address, Oxnard Mayor Tim Flynn provided attendees with a list of recent accomplishments. They included improvements in the city's financial reporting, hiring a new city manager, adding a concierge for the planning department, downtown revitalization, crime reduction, and paving more than 100 miles of streets and roads.
Mayor Flynn also reminded the audience about Oxnard's competitive advantage when you consider our coastal setting, weather, proximity to Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, CSU Channel Islands, deep-water port, recycled water, and fertile soil.
Of course, we certainly have our challenges as well. Regarding pension costs, Flynn said, "If you don't get this problem under control, it'll eat you alive." Oxnard's pension liability is expected to grow substantially until PEPRA kicks in. The California Public Employees' Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA) affects new public employees and establishes a cap on the amount of compensation that can be used to calculate a retirement benefit.
Mayor Flynn conceded that economic development efforts by the city have been low on the priority list when they should be near the top. He said he would be exclusively focused on economic development issues for the next two years. Exactly what that translates to is not certain. However, the Oxnard Chamber offered its commitment to partner in those efforts.
The State of the City included a project update from Ashley Golden, Development Services Director and Interim Assistant City Manager. Chief Scott Whitney, who has bee serving as Interim City Manager for six months, also rendered comment on effective leadership, creating a positive culture, and focusing on fundamentals.
The Chamber sincerely thanks the presenters and all of the city staff who helped with the State of the City address. A video of the presentation is expected to be posted at www.oxnard.org.