The Oxnard Journal
The Text of Oxnard City Council Meeting
27 Marzo 2001
Oxnard City Council Meeting of3/27/200l
This is a RAW TRANSCRIPT - It's Up to You to Read Between the Lines. We're expecting a Between the Lines Transliteration soon - so here is something:
After speakers gave "Public Comments", then there was the item for the City Manager to bring up 'any items of importance'; he talked about the Library (rather than the casino issue). Then, under 'Council Business', Mayor Lopez opened with saying he'd gotten calls about the casino. The following transcription ftom video tape of the meeting is approximate.
Lopez: " the issue is Do We or Do We Not Want Gambling in the City'..." [there was audience supportive clapping for Lopez] ...and he asked 'when will we have a Public Hearing?', to which City Manager Sotelo said (basically) 'we'll give you a report'. Then Lopez asked City Atty Gillig 'can we have a Public Hearing?' and the answer was 'yes;
you can have either a report or a Public Hearing', "same public input is allowed whether it's a report or hearing."
Holden: " Mr. Mayor, on the reports we have, we allow public comments anyway. I think the intention was to have a presentation and then allow public comment. "
Maulhardt: "Yeah.. That's what I hoped too."
Lopez: "It's a policy decision&ldots;"
Maulhardt: " Just for clarification, we're getting a report back with both the positive and
." negatIve. ..
Sotelo: "That is correct; all aspects of gambling and casinos..."
Zaragoza: "Why wait to May 1 ?"
Sotelo: " ...significant amount of research that we have to do and it seems to be the ideal
date. ..for all to be present.. ."
[Maulhardt talked about his vacation back East in the last two weeks of April. Pinkard also said he'd be gone a week in April. ] (I think he said a week. )
Holden: " and Mayor, with all due respect, I have to comment on. ..This has progressed from a speaker making a proposal to city council. ..and city council requesting information ftom staff so that we can look at the issue and make the appropriate decision. I think to make the comment that our staff took that information now as going out to find out everything favorable about casinos and trying to present a slanted position is not appropriate --our staffs direction was to go out and get information so that we could have a report brought to us about an item we know nothing about at this point, and I appreciate that this is a very emotional issue with gambling yet our responsibility, at least in my position, is that whether someone comes with a matter that I don't necessarily agree with, they still have the same -uh, are granted the same process that someone who brings something I may agree with. ..So to try to, I think -to try to assert that because someone doesn't agree with something prior to a report. ..I just happen to feel that we are obligated to not necessarily spend a great deal of time on an issue that ultimately is going to be a policy decision, but we at least have to be presented with the issue and then a decision at that point. So I trust staff to bring us a report that is going to have the information that is both the information that is positive and negative and at that point, we'll have to ability to look at it."
Zaragoza: " ...are we going to have a Public Hearing. ..?"
[They never did arrange for a Public Hearing; the Holden/Maulhardt plan for a report presentation in May, with public comments afterwards, was how it ended up. There was no 'motion' or 'vote' done; LopezJZaragoza gave up and were "out-talked" by Holden/Maulhardt. ]
( 1) I think there must be some kind of difference between a 'report with public comments afterwards' versus a 'public hearing'; of course the way city council ignores public input, from their point ofview, there probably is no difference. One difference, at least, is the "separable-ness" of the process: at a public hearing they don't necessarily go ahead and vote the stuff in anyway; on reports they're usually bundled up with a vote to approve a staff recommendation. It seems like on issues of such magnitude [affects the character of the whole county and impacts go beyond the city's borders for one thing; plus it "gives away the store" for another thing since land and control will be lost to the state just like the airport property is lost to the county & fed FAA] there ought to be a legal thing that requires a public hearing type of treatment, and a shoe-in 'report' process is not allowed.
(2) Holden and Maulhardt did know "something" and had prior knowledge because he said "the intention was to have a report" and gave staff direction to make the report. ... Holden said this at the start of the discussion and Maulhardt backed him up, so they knew enough to arrange for a report. This came out during the meeting on 3/27, before the copy of the Letter was seen on 4/6. Seeing the letter on 4/6 only reinforces that they did have some prior knowledge. [Ref: the Economic Development Corp letter dated 3/14 and Maidu Indians letter dated 3/12, not made available to be read until 4/6.]
(2a) How is it they can give staff direction, before its brought up on agenda at city council?
(3) Holden talks about getting a report "on an item we know nothing about at this point", before changing the subject. Lopez knew enough about the item at that point to be opposed to it, per newspaper article of 3/23 (prior to council meeting of3/27). Besides, the same issue was in nle Star's article of 3114, just the location was different.
(4) Comparison of dates: 3/12 Maidu letter & 3/14 Steve Kinney's letter shows they already were lining up [ had lined up] the Oxnard Factory Outlet location, even while the Channel Island Harbor meeting took place/was reported in The Star on 3/14. This was an effective plan for the casino PR marketers: distract with another location and "bring out" the opposition so they have their counter args ready for the reallocation (i.e., "industrial zoning, no traffic problems"). Even as late as 3/19 the Star didn't have a clue, since its editorial only referenced the Harbor. The Oxnard Factory Outlet location wasn't mentioned in The Star until Friday 3/23, allowing just a couple of days before the 3/27 council meeting.
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