Lest We Forget: City Officials are Our Employees

The Ventura County Star opines that recalls are only justified in cases like the city of Bell. Just like their opposition to Measure M, The Star’s opinion is once again out-of-step with the sensibilities of voters and seemingly oblivious to Oxnard’s history.

Back in 1984 Oxnard voters recalled Mayor Tsujio Kato for his support of a utility tax. And Oxnard is not alone when it comes to recalling elected officials over pocketbook issues. One recent example: After voting to significantly increase water rates, Yorba Linda Water District Board members Gary Melton and Robert Kiley were subjected to a successful recall effort in 2016. Both were removed from office, with only 30% voting for their retention.And, of course, we all remember recalling Governor Gray Davis, who was never accused of a crime, but was removed from office in 2003 by an electorate fed up with the dysfunctional politics of Sacramento.

Oxnard’s case for recall is more compelling. Four members of the Oxnard City Council defied the decision of voters last November, when we overturned the city council’s outrageous 87% sewer rate increase. Instead of complying with the people’s directive and seeking out low-cost solutions, these elected officials went forward with a lawsuit seeking to overturn our decision – using taxpayer dollars to pay out-of-town lawyers in amounts that will likely exceed the cost of an election.

And then these four City Council members, again, voted for a 75% sewer rate increase.

Our elected officials have forgotten that the voters are the boss in this relationship. Disobeying a directive from your boss is nothing less than insubordination. We need not wait for an employee’s next biennial review to discipline bad behavior. If we want elected officials to carry out the people’s will in good faith, it is vital that there be significant – and prompt – consequences for intentionally failing to do so.

Be sure to sign this recall so that voters can decide whether these politicians ought to remain our employees.

Aaron Starr
Oxnard Recall!