Good Morning Oxnard Show- 6-3-15: Fire Department response time; Refugio oil spill and more

 By George Miller

On this segment (6-3-15) of the Good Morning Oxnard Show- Host Peter Godinez interviews George Miller, Publisher of CitizensJournal.us on Oxnard News, consisting of: Animal Control budget; Fire Department response time; Street repair; Excess leave issues resolved; Landscaping assessments

Also, host Peter Godinez interviews George Miller on the Refugio oil spill.

This report was released late due to video technical/manpower problems.

The Good Morning Oxnard show is recorded most Wednesday mornings (usually available as video on demand on kadytv.net within a couple of days), offering local personalities, issues and events- Hyper-local news, in the KADYTV tradition!   Past shows archived on the web site and via Citizensjournal.us.

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Video: 6-3-15 Good Morning Oxnard CitizensJournal.us news segment

 Name                                Date                      Duration     Agenda     Minutes   V ideo
City Council Meeting June 2, 2015 04h 04m Agenda Minutes Video

 

 

Video: 6-3-15 Good Morning Oxnard CitizensJournal.us Refugio oil spill commentary

 

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George Miller’s news report notes:

Good Morning Oxnard- 6-3-15, KADYTV, CitizensJournal.us, CitizensJournalVC on Facebook    

So far, City Council votes do not show serious attempts at cost reduction, although City Mgmt. is working on it. For example, on 6-2-15,  the Council voted to spend up to $1.7MM for a “no kill” animal control program with the county, up 80% since 2010 and way up this year. No serious steps were taken to reduce it, although a conversation I had with Greg Nyhoff later revealed that he sure has some ideas and WILL do something about it.  Meantime, they may be about to cut out some Police, Fire and important social programs. We will see the City Manager’s proposed budget this week, which should be discussed at Tuesday’s meeting. Reduction target is $10.6MM deficit removal (as of 6-5-15, that had risen to $12+ million). Biggest deficit items are so-called Carman Override tax money and pension contributions. Labor will take the brunt of cuts.

Proposed Budget will be released this week, discussed at next meeting.

City Council has requested Fire Dept. response time numbers repeatedly. A Fire Dept response time survey was pulled off  the City Council agenda last year due to lack of agreement on its accuracy. Numbers showed that only about 60% of responses were on time. Union (Jeff Donabedian) says it was inaccurate and that the number is more like 35% for some types of calls.  Lack equipment and personnel. Federal std. says that engines should go out with 4 firefighters. Oxnard goes with 3. EMT responses were best, but even there, we run out of ambulances and have to bring them in from T.O. sometimes. In the meantime, we hear, unofficially, back channels, that the City plans to lay off some firefighters. FD made some fine tuning improvements. Even small things can make a big difference, For instance, even the replacement of old printers with laser printers subtracted about 20 seconds. Seconds can save lives.

Discussion of Paving program. PM stressed by Consultant Joe Ririe of Pavement Engineering, Inc. Heavy trucks wear roads much, much more. A heavily loaded 5 axle trailer can create 14,708X the wear of a Chevy Blazer SUV. Even a garbage truck is 9,343X, Bus is 7,774X. Says to do PM early, not on worst roads first, necessarily.

Preventive maintenance can save large amounts of money. Ririe explained various strategies for street maintenance.

More paving work will be done soon, including $1.4 million project for Hobson Park. Funding source will be shifted from Measure O sales tax supplement to recently freed up redevelopment bond money. Also $1,274 million for Channel Islands neighborhood street resurfacing project.

More excess leave negotiations were completed. As we reported earlier, about $2 million in excess leave accruals due to working without taking vacations and other contractually agreed time off were resolved with SEIU Local 721. This happens when employees work without taking vacation and other leave granted under labor agreements. Often, this took place under orders of management, allowing huge city liabilities to occur. Steps have been taken to resolve this and help prevent recurrences.

Compensation negotiations underway with numerous labor bargaining units, in closed sessions. Tabin Cosio (New Oxnard Human Resources Director), Dania Torres Wong (Consultant, Rennie Sloan).

Landscaping district amounts must be voted on this month.

 

 

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George Miller is Publisher of Citizensjournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard.

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