Oxnard to meet on council district voting- fears litigation

By Phil Molina

News affecting every registered voter in Oxnard, businesses, employees, and the public.
Just learned this morning that the City Council will hold a special Council meeting on November the 27th to discuss and vote on whether to set up council-manic districts. The decision for Council that night will be whether to move forward with the process of changing the city from the current “at large” method of voting for the Mayor and each Council Member or instead to set up a fixed number of districts in the City where each district votes in their own neighborhood for their own council person.
Many details will need to be decided that night for example:
1. If the City moves into districting, does the Mayor get chosen at large or does the sitting council appoint their mayor from year to year, or;
2. Does the position of Mayor get rotated each year;
3. How many districts should be established in Oxnard;
4. How many registered voters should be in each district;
5 What if no one in a district decides to run for office;
6. Can any registered citizen write their own name in rather than vote the name on the ballot;
7. Does this process cost the city money, if yes, how much more than the current method;
8. Does this mean the Mayor will have less power to stop discussion from the public;
9. Does this mean local neighborhoods/districts can place items on the City Council agenda that impact them directly;
10. What happens if the local council person does not want development in her/his neighborhood but the council majority support that development; etc.
What is clear at this time is that the positions of City Clerk and City Treasurer will remain at large, meaning those will be the only elected positions voted in by the entire city.
You should stay informed, read the local electronic and published newspapers for any change in the date.
The Council has a limited number of days in which to make their decision. You will want to keep informed if the Council does not move forward with districting the City to know what alternatives remain for the registered voters of Oxnard.

Phil Molina is Oxnard Treasurer,  former Finance Director, whistleblower victorious in court and resident.


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One Response to Oxnard to meet on council district voting- fears litigation

  1. Lawrence Paul Stein November 16, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Having been actively involved in the last effort of our Oxnard council members elected by district instead of by large I have some advice.

    1) The public preferred having the Mayor elected at large. Several cities have the mayor chosen from the elected members of city council.

    2) Have an even number elected by district either 4 or 6. Having a Mayor elected at large and the council members elected by district, there would be an odd number on the dias, preventing any tie votes if all members were present.

    3) At the special meeting, provide to the public how the districts would be laid out if there were 4 districts and 6 districts.

    It is my understanding that if there were to be council members elected by district, each district must have the same number of voters within a certain percentage (such as 1%). This number is based upon the last census count, in this case 2010.

    I do not think staff will have the potential district maps drawn up in time for the public to comment on them. Until such time the maps are drawn, having a public discussion where members of the public can directly inter act with staff and the elected body would be more useful than giving each member a specting amount of time to be ignored as it is currently being proposed by staff.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Lawrence Stein 11 16 2017

    Reply

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