September 23, 2023
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Revenue sharing deal helps city of Port Hueneme, Oxnard Harbor District


After more than two years of rancor, the city of Port Hueneme and the Oxnard Harbor District have put their legal squabbles to rest — a move that should be more than temporary.

In a widely heralded move, Harbor District President Jess Herrera and Hueneme Mayor Sylvia Munoz Schnopp announced a settlement of a long-running dispute over revenue sharing agreements between the port and the city.

The agreement updates the revenue sharing accord and provides a vehicle for the city and port to create a community development fund to provide additional city services.

The collateral damage from the dispute was considerable — it put at risk some needed enhancements to both the port and the city and threatened the economic value of the port, which moves some $9.2 billion worth of goods each year.

Kudos to two Ventura County political veterans, Herrera and Munoz Schnopp, for sitting down and working on a way forward for the port and the city.

In the end, the Port Hueneme taxpayers will benefit from dismissing expensive litigation and instead putting city money to work on improving services. And the Oxnard Harbor District will be able to move forward with its ambitious plans for expansion without a nagging dispute hanging over its head.

Mergers unkind to Conejo Valley

In case you missed it, the current merger wave has landed hard in the Conejo Valley.

Within days of announced mergers of Ryland Group and Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, the new owners of both companies effectively shut their headquarters in the Thousand Oaks-Westlake Village corridor, throwing roughly 170 people out of work.

The economy is robust enough and the people let go are skilled enough that Ryland employees being terminated by the newly formed CalAtlantic or former Kythera workers being terminated by new owner Allergan can probably find new positions.

But with memories of recession still relatively fresh, layoffs are traumatic and they take their toll on families. The only silver lining is that out of the wreckage of mergers often come new and innovative startups.

We can only hope.

SBCC’s Gaskin will be missed

It’s hard to find a nicer college president than Lori Gaskin at Santa Barbara City College.

She guided the institution through some tough fights with neighborhoods, persistent budget battles and the aftermath of Isla Vista. That’s no easy job.

She announced Oct. 12 she’d be retiring after four years at the helm — perhaps too soon, but she’s earned our respect.

Her departure, along with the retirements of CSU Channel Islands President Dick Rush and Antioch’s Nancy Leffert mean changing times in the higher education C-suite. And an opportunity for a new generation of leadership to take over.