Minutes of January 18, 2024 General Meeting Via Zoom

Board members in attendance: Sara Ostrander, Dean Katz, John Kunsemiller, Dorothy Bailey

Absent: Sheila Lowe

The meeting was called to order at 7:02 p.m.

Ventura City Police Report by Commander Weeks

There was a cluster of Domestic Violence Incidents, and a vehicle burglary from a smash and grab of a locked vehicle, but overall, the numbers remain fairly consistent for our area.  The subject of drone usage for firework enforcement was brought up and Commander Weeks stated that the Police, Emergency Services, and the Ventura Fire Department all have policies regarding fireworks.  There has been a significant decrease in the number of catalytic converter thefts.  There has been numerous car and building alarms at the Grocery Outlet plaza.  Commander Weeks said there is no increase in reportable incidents, and perhaps these are false alarms.

Ventura Police Upcoming Events:

Curbside Coffee With a Cop – February 1 at Citrus Glenn Elementary at 7:30 am

February 8 at Portola Elementary at 7:30 am

There were two new ordinances passed by the City Council to help ensure public safety.  They will take effect after a second reading, a public notice, and 30 days after that.  The first new ordinance will provide better definitions and guidelines for aggressive panhandling.  The second new ordinance prohibits oversize vehicle parking from 6 am to   6 pm 7 days per week.

Recognition of Attendees: members of the board were introduced, along with City Manager Bill Ayub, District 4 Council Member Dr. Jeanette Sanchez-Palacios, District 5 Council Member Bill McReynolds, and speaker Stephanie Caldwell.

Minutes of the Last Meeting were approved by the board and are posted on the website: www.eastventura.org

Treasurer’s Report: The current balance is $1,714.90.


Council Member McReynolds:

  • There is a City website survey for residents on the homelessness problem
  • There are 3 openings on City Committees and applications close on February 2. The openings are:  Water, Parking, and Housing
  • CERT Training Applications can be taken until January 24.
  • February 3 there will be a community cleanup and recycle day. No HAZMAT materials can be dropped off.
  • Small Business Administration Loans are available for victims of the December storms
  • A Fire Station was approved for the Pierpont area
  • Santa Paula Branchline rails to trails has been approved
  • An extension was granted for 54 homes that have not been rebuilt after the Thomas Fire

Council Member Sanchez-Palacios:

  • The 2024 Homeless Count will take place on Wednesday January 24. Volunteers are needed.
  • City Council Goal Setting will take place on February 3 at 9:00 in the Community Room. The public is invited.
  • Art proposals are being taken until February 8 for the floodwall along the Ventura Rail Trail
  • Council Members Sanchez-Palacios and McReynolds are having a Meet and Greet at Café 126 and the Donut Shop at Citrus and Wells. February 10 at 9:00 am.
  • The Wastewater Outfall Pipeline was installed offshore near the Ventura Harbor.

City Manager Ayub:

  • Repair to the Ventura Pier was started, then more damage was sustained in the late December storms. 19 pilings were lost and several braces were washed away.  The Pier is stitched together with cabling, and a contract for repairs was approved.  The re-opening date has been shifted to early summer
  • The Buenaventura Golf Course may have 9 – 12 holes opening soon. Work is still in progress.

Community Council Announcements:

  • City Council meeting have been moved to Tuesday nights at 5:00 on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays
  • The Water Commission meetings have been moved to Monday
  • The City received a large grans for bicycle and pedestrian safety
  • The City Finance Group received an excellence in reporting award

Old Business

The Community Council’s Focus areas were highlighted, and volunteers were requested to help with planning.

  • Atlas School – and Safer Walks to School for all schools in our area
  • Community Center: East Ventura needs a gathering place for seniors and a place for youth activities
  • Fireworks
  • A full-size grocery store is needed on the east end

New Business

Dorothy Bailey was appointed by the Board as Acting Treasurer until May.

Jim Nichol spoke about using the EVCC Brochure to expand membership by talking to neighbors and friends.  A Sponsorship program was approved by the EVCC Board and anyone can approach local businesses to solicit donations.

Guest Speaker, Stephanie Caldwell, President of the Ventura Chamber of Commerce

Stephanie presented some facts about the Chamber – 100% of their funding comes from members – there are about 700 members representing about 25,000 employees – there is a 26 member Board of Directors.  A young professionals group meets monthly, and they publish a quarterly list of non-profit members and their needs.  They have worked with the city to streamline the permitting process.  The Chamber’s main goal is economic development advancement.  They are concerned about what is driving declining enrollment in VUSD.  Ventura needs to focus on mid-size companies because we cannot focus all on tourism.  Tourism jobs are usually low-paying jobs.  There is a medical manufacturer on Market street which is thinking of making the city their international headquarters.  There are 2 new businesses opening in downtown and midtown and 2 new restaurants in the Vons/Telegraph center.

Questions and Answers

The name of the medical manufacturer is Saniquest on Market Street.

Any long term plans for road maintenance in the Market Street area.  Mr. Ayub – there is a pavement management plan and priorities are established based on condition.  Mr. McReynolds – there is a link on city website for the pavement management plan.

What is economic development outlook for the far East End and what other businesses could be attracted to Wells Road Corridor?  Ms Caldwell – The larger parcel at Wells and Darling shows most promise, but it is a County parcel and there is a long process to bring it into the city.

Ms Caldwell suggested that EVCC should help manage community expectations on grocery stores given the two smaller lots in the city.  There is a broker who is working with the larger parcel owner.  The Westside Community Council worked out a plan for the development of their community, and she suggests we do the same.

Sara recommended a task group to outline what we need and want for East End Services.  Volunteers are needed.

Spencer Noren shared that fees are going up for youth baseball which might exclude some from taking part.

Next Meeting: February 15, 2024

Adjournment: 8:18 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Sara Ostrander