Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Lawsuit puts Oxnard initiatives in question

The City of Oxnard's $30 million construction bond and $9 million Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) transition funding are at risk due to a lawsuit filed by Aaron Starr, according to City Manager Alex Nguyen. 

He also said that the City's future major capital and construction projects would be affected as well. The lawsuit has delayed the process, and it will take several months to resolve at the trial level, with an additional two years if there is an appeal. 

Council members expressed concern that the litigation would prevent the City from reaching its goals, especially regarding six existing parks projects, an aquatic center, and a sports park. 

The City Attorney emphasized that the case is in its early stages and that the City is vigorously defending it.

Key points:
  • Mayor John Zaragoza says the City's priorities and budget are affected by major events around the world, high inflation, supply chain, and hiring challenges, causing delays in projects.
  • City Attorney Stephen Fischer says Starr has delayed the process by challenging the first judge assigned to the case and suing everyone in the City that has an interest in these bonds approved in October 2022.
  • Councilman Bert Perello reassures residents that the City is not sitting back and seeing what happens.
  • Councilman Gabe Teran notes that everyone is experiencing inflation, labor shortages, and supply chain shortages, making it difficult to get work done.
  • Mayor Pro Tem Bryan MacDonald says that they recently approved Sports Park and an Aquatic Center, but the City cannot fund six parks projects due to the lawsuit.
  • Nguyen says that 2023 is the Year of the Tortoise, and the City has a lot of policy work to do in the next 48 months.

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