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Welcome to the OXNARD JOURNAL...
Candidates ask Residents of Oxnard for their VOTE
With Two Council Seats Up For Grabs - Being an Incumbent may or may not be the easy ticket it has been in the past...
Speeches & Breaches - Being there was half the Fun
Candidates for Oxnard's Municipal Election came to the City Council Chambers Wednesday evening to see how their butts felt in new leather council chairs on the council dais and to answer five questions in an hour and a half of Oxnard City Channel - 17 Prime Time. Why so few questions, because no questions were directed to individual candidates, instead, all 10 candidates each took a shot at all the questions. To the ire of most in attendance, and to the frustration of those trying to call in - Ventura Fernandez, INCF Chair asked the first two questions of the candidates and this took the first hour to complete.
Several times, the candidates in grupo were referred to in the masculine, totally ignoring the one woman candidate, Susan Komar. Sue had unusual grace to let it go and just use her time allotted to remind the voters that a woman has not been on the City Council for the past 12 years. Draw your own conclusion.
Roger Pariseau one of the INCF E-Board chairs handled questions from the floor. Several attendees were frustrated at the lack of focus of the questions due to the general shot-gun pattern of wide-spread response by all the candidates to all five queries.
General first impressions came from the opening statements. Elias Banales bucked the Dress Code by not appearing in a suit and tie. Martin Jones wore a sports jacket, but no strangling neck-tie. Susan wore a professional business suit. Banales's main point was to get more public involvement in civil affairs and get people interested in voting....he wants to reach the disenchanted voters.
Alex Escobel, a 14-year resident of Oxnard, had a killer shirt collar that projected as strongly as he did. His message is "Oxnard needs better leadership. He is Pro-Downtown Theater and Pro-Youth - focusing on Youth-based programs for our local kids.
Al Duff - read his opening statement for the first minute and finished with a message for the voters from his heart. Duff, a 40-year resident wants to make city government responsive. For the developers that want to build in Oxnard, Duff wants the developers to fit into Oxnard's plan and not vice versa.
Saul Medina is appearing to have lots of backing, his endorsement by the Oxnard Firefighters is a big one. He was the first to get signs out and he has a very slick looking brochure. Interestingly, he snatched an endorsement from a Teacher's group which is odd considering Alex Escobel is a Teacher -Oh Well.
Andres Herrera is running. His call is nostalgic, "Vote for me because I was on the Council before" Voters may want to focus on new blood for this coming election. Andres is qualified if elected, but been there, done that.
Martin Jones followed. Martin is a grand speaker when he is extemporaneous and from the heart. He did not leave us wanting after the end of the evening. He used his time to introduce the improprieties of the Council in their dealings with River Ridge. Maulhardt and the Mayor where a little nervous during this recounting...but not as nervous as they will be when they face the Grand Jury. Martin is supported for his election to the Council by the Oxnard Journal and the editor backs Martin. He's a strong second vote if you are prone for voting incumbents back into office, or if you have another favorite. Please use one of your two votes for Martin Jones.
Dean Maulhardt, incumbent, predictable. The 11th commandment of the GOP is to never speak ill of another Republican. Say what you want it you're a Demo - the editor abides as best he can by RR's 11th.
Susan Komar is a real breath of fresh air during the forum.
She did wrinkle the eyebrows and ire of Herrera and Medina
when she spoke of needing escorts for protection while walking in the
La Colonia. Wonder what is so funny about that? Tremendously naive of
any candidate to say such words - so maybe a little bi-lingual
education is in store for this sole woman.
Tim Hammonds is the 'other' candidate. Not sure what drives him besides having been a lobbyist and doing some partisan wetwork. He is intelligent, sincere, and even passionate in his pursuit of a Council Seat.
For those personally in attendance at Oxnard City Council Chambers, there was plenty of entertainment and lots of background noise; telephones ringing and being answered in audible whispers, discussions in the back and outside the entrance to chambers, and even an arrest by two OXPolice Officers. A middle-aged Hispanic man in a not-so-well fitting suit was escorted out and handcuffed in front of Bedford Pinkard's 8x10 color glossy. Apparently he had made threats against one of the candidates...and that is taken very seriously here in Oxnard. For those of you in TV-Land, you didn't see Mayor Lopez and Councilman Maulhardt quietly exit the dais after they were handed a note-- before the removal of this individual was performed by our professional peace-keeping officers.
One Big Question on the PVP facility at Ormond came up. Alex Escobel, Andres Herrera, Al Duff, Elias Banales were all openly in favor the facility. Martin Jones wanted to see mediation with environmental concerns as he is an active member of several environmental groups.
A good evening for finding out more about these folks. Please attend a local forum yourself to see who these folks are. Please don't vote for the candidates with the biggest signs, or the one who's name is the same as you second grade teacher.
===concerned citizens -- Get Out The Vote . . . . . .
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