June 21, 2024
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Oxnard needs to get financial house in order


A Feb. 23 city council meeting in Oxnard underscores the fact that the region’s largest city still has some cleanup work to do after the financial scandal that engulfed the city several years ago.

The accounting firm Eadie and Payne said that it needed until at least March 29 to prepare a schedule for the city’s audit and that the final report may not be in until May.

The city cut $12.8 million from its general fund when it approved the fiscal year 2016 budget in June. The city also took out a $16.2 million loan against Measure O, its half-cent sales tax.

Issues with city records are compounding the problem with the small accounting firm now devoting thousands of man hours and some 15 to 20 employees to work on the project.

With an audit due from last year not completed and the end of Oxnard’s current fiscal year approaching on June 30, the city is in danger of falling further behind in tracking its revenue and expenses.

Near the end of the two-hour-long meeting, Councilwoman Carmen Ramirez sounded exasperated when she said: “It’s costing us a lot of money. We don’t have a lot of money.”

Our view would be slightly different. We think Oxnard needs to move with deliberate speed to get its books in order. Only then will the city really understand what it needs to do to get on the correct fiscal path.

Kudos for Santa Paula

Santa Paula is a unique place. It is a farming community that is home to Calavo and Limoneira, two of the largest public companies in the region.

Limoneira is building its 21st century Harvest at Limoneira project, bringing housing, a school and recreation areas to the city.

And it saved its once-shuttered hospital, which has reopened as a unit of the Ventura County Health Care Agency.

Which is why we’re pleased to salute the organizations honored at this year’s annual Chamber of Commerce Awards. They include Business of the Year winner Calavo, Sam Edwards Lifetime

Achievement winner Tom Lugo, Community Service winner Santa Paula Hospital and Nonprofit winner Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley. We want to also congratulate the Citizens of the Year Debbie and Don Johnson, owners of the Santa Paula Times and friends for many, many years.