The Assembly Judiciary Committee today will consider two California Chamber of Commerce-opposed job killers, one dealing with disclosing pay data and the other about the legal standard for filing certain harassment/discrimination claims.
The committee will consider:
CalChamber has identified the bill as a job killer because it could create a false impression of wage discrimination or unequal pay where none exists and, therefore, subject employers to unfair public criticism, enforcement actions, and significant litigation costs to defend against likely meritless claims.
CalChamber is leading a large coalition opposing the bill and has raised the following additional concerns:
SB 1300 is a job killer because it creates a new private right of action for failure to prevent harassment or discrimination where no harassment or discrimination actually occurred and limits the use of nondisparagement agreements and general releases. These provisions will significantly increase litigation against California employers and limit their ability to invest in their workforce.
CalChamber is also leading a large coalition opposing SB 1300 because the bill:
SB 1284 and SB 1300 will be heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee today. CalChamber asks members to contact their Assembly representatives and members of the committee and urge them to oppose SB 1284 and SB 1300 as job killers.
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.
Message from our CEO - Nancy Lindholm
A couple of issues have surfaced in the last month or so that have left businesses scrambling to comply with new guidelines, regulations and procedures. Unfortunately, these have been presented with some very unreasonable implementation timeframes.
The first issue was brought to my attention when I received an email from a member (large Oxnard business) asking me who their city councilmember was. That set off an alarm in my mind, so I immediate called and asked what the problem was. It seems the city needs to comply with some new discharge regulations set forth by the Regional Water Quality Control Board, a state agency. In order for Oxnard to achieve the revised wastewater ocean discharge limits, the water they take in must be less contaminated. Hence, the new local limits on wastewater discharge from industrial users.
I sincerely believe our businesses are willing to comply with the new limits. The problem was that the city notified the users in May and had plans to implement in September. For some of our manufacturers or food processors, that is not much time to retrofit or actually install wastewater treatment equipment.
The Oxnard Chamber leadership met with representatives from the wastewater division of the Public Works Department of the city and they agree to push the implementation back four to six months.
The other issue brought to my attention was the city's Groundwater Replenishment Reuse Project. This, again, involves wastewater and the city's recycled water. What I received was a Notice of Public Hearing, which was set for June 14. The problem here was that the public hearing notice stated that public comments on the project were due no later than 5:00 p.m. on June 21. The Chamber objected to the one week – or five business days – time limit to respond to a very complicated issue. The city responded and changed the deadline for public comments to August 13.
Your business may not have a direct impact from modified wastewater discharge limits, and you may not care about the groundwater replenishment project. However, when an issue comes up that could have a negative impact on your particular industry, please know the Oxnard Chamber is ready to stand with you and help with an implementation timeline issue or a dispute resolution.
We are a catalyst for business growth, a convener of leaders and influencers, and a champion for a stronger community!
Chamber Business Advocacy Committee votes to recommend support of Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018
The Oxnard Chamber of Commerce’s Business Advocacy Committee voted to recommend support the Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018, which would require the state to sell $8.877 billion in general obligation bonds to fund water projects across the state. Citing a need for safe and reliable water supply for drinking and industrial and agriculture uses that are critical to a healthy local economy, the Committee unanimously voted in support of the proposal.
Improvements in water quality, local watersheds, and water supply diversification all allow our economy to group and flourish. The City of Oxnard’s public recreation and tourism industry would benefit from restoration funding including $135 million for the Coastal Conservancy and $10 million specifically for the Santa Clara River for water quality, public recreation, and restoration projects. Business in general would also benefit from Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA”) implementation and groundwater desalination funding, as groundwater is a huge source of water for the City. When these projects are not funded through state bond grant funds, new projects critical for water suppliers either don’t occur or the bill is passed onto ratepayers. Oxnard will also benefit from investments in Delta fish habitat and water conservation to increase water supply flowing through the state water project.
The Chamber Board of Directors will take up the issue at its June Board meeting to determine whether it will take a position.
Message from our Chair - Stacy Miller
National Geographic Explorer, Sunset Magazine, Heal The Bay, Sparling’s Best Places to Live all are raving about Oxnard
Would you be surprised to learn that in addition to being Ventura County’s largest City, Oxnard was named one of the 20 Happiest Cities in the United States by National Geographic Explorer?
“It’s no surprise that California is home to many of the happiest places in America, including Oxnard/Thousand Oaks/Ventura. With its combination of great weather, beaches, and nearby national forests, adventure awaits around every corner” stated the article by National Geographic Explorer and best-selling author Dan Buettne.
The rankings were based on National Geographic’s study that established 15 metrics that signal happiness - the metric included eating healthy, learning something new every day, civic engagement, financial security, vacation time, and even dental checkups.
Did you also know that we have some of the highest rated beaches in the STATE?
Heal the Bay rates Oxnard’s beaches as some of the best in California. The water is tested weekly and our beaches were rated A+ every single week of the year. Oxnard is one of only 37 beaches in California to receive an A+.
In addition, Sunset Magazine rated Oxnard 7th in their rating of the Top 20 Game-Changing Places to Live. “This coastal community south of Ventura has easy access to the Santa Monica Mountains and Channel Islands. Its Latino majority infuses the bustling downtown with authentic eateries and annual festivals around strawberries, tamales, and salsa,” they stated.
Oxnard also boasts a fabulous natural resource – a national park and national marine sanctuary right off our shores and very accessible.
Many of us that live and work here believe Oxnard is our “little gem.” We enjoy excellent air quality, year-round first-rate climate, diversity, easy access to outdoor activities, a low unemployment rate and comparatively speaking, little traffic.
According to Sparling’s Best Places to Live, job growth in Oxnard has been positive. Jobs have increased by 0.36% over the past year. The average salary in Oxnard is $62,349. The median home cost in Oxnard is $429,300. The unemployment rate in Oxnard is 5.90%, with job growth of 0.36%. Future job growth over the next 10 years is predicted to be 34.81%.
With all of these “tail winds,” I believe that far and away our best assets continue to be the amazing people who live and work in Oxnard and are committed to improving this amazing place.
The Chamber looks forward to our collective efforts at increasing the success of local businesses, the economy and our quality of life here in the ‘Nard.
Until next time…