Aaron Starr’s Proposed Measures for the Local 2020 Ballot

Kimberly Garcia, contributor

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Aaron Starr has a history of tampering with Oxnard’s city council, and history is currently repeating itself. After an unsuccessful run for the Californian senate in 1988, Starr decided to run for mayor of Oxnard nearly three decades later. However, that also turned out to be unsuccessful. Ever since then, he’s tried to make changes to local legislature. Recently, he’s proposed five new changes to the city council that he’s currently trying to get on the November 2020 ballot.

His first proposal is to make changes to city council meetings. He wishes to no longer host meetings earlier than 5 pm. Other proposed changes are requiring presentations to be filmed and to have said meetings governed under Robert’s Rules of Order. His second proposal is related to Measure O, a measure that covers street beautification, public safety funding, and youth recreation funding. The businessman-turned-politician wants to focus the use of Measure O dollars to fix the streets of Oxnard. While this sounds great in theory, doing so could result in the closing of a fire station and the Oxnard Performing Arts Center.

Another one of Starr’s proposals was to have the city treasurer also serve as the chief financial officer. At the moment, the position of city treasurer is an elected position and the chief financial officer is chosen by the city manager. If this change is made, that would make the position an elected one as well. He claims that this is to ensure transparency between the possible future candidates for the chief financial officer position and the people of Oxnard. People’s concerns, however, are that anyone above the age of 18 could be elected in and handle the city’s finances.

Changes would be made to the city’s permitting system under Starr’s proposals, too. The city recently purchased a technological system that would make the current permitting system much more transparent and easier to track, as well. The queue system was also changed so the order of people in the system won’t be affected as they go through each step of the permitting process. Starr wishes to make it so that licensed professionals have to go through a program to sell certify projects. The program would allow said professionals to get their permits within a day.

The most controversial of the politician’s proposed changes is the setting of term limits for mayor. At the moment, there is no limit on how many terms the mayor of Oxnard can stay in office as long as they win the majority vote. The current proposal is that the mayor gets limited to two back-to-back four year terms and can return after a two-year break. With this change, Starr says that he wishes to give more political power to the citizens of Oxnard. He states that voters can only vote for mayor and the city council member that represents their area of the city, rather than all five city council positions. According to Starr, it’s important to enforce the term limits now that the city can’t vote for five out of the seven city council members.

However, the current method of electing a city council member based on the district one lives in has gotten the more neglected areas of Oxnard representation on the city council. With the current way of doing things, the previously neglected districts of Oxnard now have secured spots in the council, allowing them to improve things that their political peers wouldn’t.

While Aaron Starr believes that these changes are what’s best for the city, it’s up to the citizens of Oxnard to decide for themselves. For these measures to be on the ballot in 2020, about 8,400 people, or 10% of Oxnard’s registered voting population, have to sign Starr’s petition by the end of this month.

Information Source: Ventura County Star

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