Have Fun With This
There are 22 pages on this issue in the "expanded" city council agenda
packet for June 10. The summary section of this item's cover letter
(signed by Brian Pendelton for Curtis Cannon) reads:
"The OSDAC will conclude its activities this month and await further
direction from the Board. If the Board proceeds with an OSD and utilizes
a 1/8-cent sales tax increase, the county-wide ballot initiative could
be more than two years away without the special enabling legislation. If
the County proceeds with a 1/4-cent sales tax increase or a benefit
assessment district, work could begin immediately on the formation of
the OSD. The goal of the OSDAC is to place the funding and formation of
the OSD before voters in the November 2004 election.
"The City Attorney's Office responded to the City Council's question
regarding the ability to opt out of the OSD. With approval of a sales
tax increase coming directly from Ventura County voters, including those
within the City, the City Council cannot opt out of the OSD. The City
Council may take a position on the OSD and may make available to the
voters fair and impartial materials concerning the OSD.
"By way of further information, the City continues to explore a funding
mechanism such as a benefit assessment district for a parks and
recreation district to assist in funding improvements at College Park,
Campus Park (old Oxnard High School), the Sports Park at Oxnard
Boulevard and Gonzales Road, and improvements to existing City parks. If
the City-wide parks and recreation district is approved, it would
guarantee that funds raised by Oxnard residents would be expended in
Oxnard. The direct benefit cannot be guaranteed by the current framework
of the OSD where funds are pooled and expended in a larger geographical
area, mostly outside City limits. Additionally, although the OSD's
primary purpose is to maintain open space for agricultural uses, buffer
zones and passive recreation, and may differ greatly from the City's
potential parks and recreation district, there could be voter confusion
and/or resistance to multiple assessments and/or tax increases."
MY COMMENTS: The author of this drivel certainly got it correct in that
last sentence. The Parks & Recreation's purpose in all this is to garner
funds from the entire city for localized, sports- oriented parks.
"Passive recreation" is low on their list of desires.
Sports are good in that they give youth something constructive to do
with their time. But sporting activities within feet of such passive
activities as family gatherings and cookouts just do not work.
Parks oriented towards formal sports activities are expensive to build
and to maintain. Therefore, the city is attempting to dun all of us for
the specialized interests of the few. Further, the city has designs on
such areas as Ormond Beach south of Hueneme Road. According to Steve
Kinney, he and the city would like to see manufacturing operations in
those parts of that area not under the Coastal Commission's protection.
Any possible assistance in purchasing this land for wetlands
restoration, education-oriented parks, etc., does not fit within the
EDC/CDC scheme of things.
Proposed letter to Board of Supervisors:
"Dear Honorable Supervisors:
"On June 10, 2003, the Oxnard City Council authorized the Mayor to
execute a letter in opposition to the Ventura County Open Space District
Advisory Committee's final recommendations to the Board of Supervisors
regarding the formation of an open space district.
"The Oxnard City Council has grave concerns about the viability of the
open space district for various reason including the use of City-based
sales tax revenues for purchase of property in unincorporated County
territory, fiscal accountability of the OSD, equitable distribution of
resources and protections that the Oxnard SOAR already affords to
discourage urban sprawl around the City. Other factors include the
State's on-going fiscal crisis and lack of California legislative
support in that special enabling legislation for a sales tax increase
has not been approved. [Good sentence for your kids to take to their
Language Arts teachers!]
"Additionally, the City is engaged in efforts to establish a City-wide
parks and recreation district that would provide for specific open space
and recreational activities to Oxnard residents.
"Dr. Manuel M. Lopez
MY COMMENTS: My neighborhood council (Fremont North) formally
disapproved of such city-wide asseszments for parks during our September
2002 meeting. We have raised this issue several other times with like
results. South Oxnard and Northeast Oxnard are both parks shy. We
support any effort to build more parks in those areas but feel that the
local residents should be assessed for them, not the entire city.
My belief is that Parks & Recreation is striving to fund the millions
and millions of dollars it will require to make College Park a full
sports venue. They want to shave down the Kato Ampitheater Hill,
bulldoze out the stage, and insert a regulation size soccer field in its
place. South of this field would be an enclosed gymnasium with,
presumably, outdoor basketball courts. Both of these activities -- with
their concomitant noise -- would be immediately adjacent to the formal
(and pricey!) picnic area.
Other materials within the agenda packet indicate that 85% of the
funding would be distributed by population thereby negating the force of
the city's opposition. I think the Board of Supervisors will simply blow
this letter off if it passes council action.
Community Development Department
1. (127) SUBJECT: Recommendations of Ventura County Open Space District
Advisory Committee for the Formation of a County-Wide Open Space District.
CC RECOMMENDATION: Authorize the Mayor to execute a letter to the Ventura
County Board of Supervisors in opposition to the Ventura County Open Space
District Advisory Committees final recommendations to the Board of
Supervisors regarding the formation of an open space district.
Contact Person: Brian Pendleton Phone: 385-7407
Please consider writing or appearing to testify in opposition to
the resolution being presented. The resolution opposes the Open Space
District. The Open Space District is an important element in supporting
SOAR, and The Greenbelts.
The Oxnard City Council will hear this item Tuesday June 10, AT 7:30.
It will probably take some time to work towards this item so it will be
herd later in the evening.
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