Minutes of October 19, 2023 General Meeting Via Zoom
East Ventura Community Council
Minutes of October 19, 2023 General Meeting Via Zoom
Three board members were in attendance: Sara Ostrander, John Kunsemiller, Dean Katz
There were 42 attendees, including guest speakers Bill Ayub (new City Manager), Leona Rollins (City Housing Manager), and Commander Weeks from the Ventura Police Department
The meeting was called to order at 7:02 PM
A statement was given regarding the lack of tolerance for hate speech.
The Ventura City Police Report
Cdr Weeks: 28-day crime map: 8 assaults (domestic), 1 catalytic converter theft, 10 frauds (majority by phone scam). A restructuring is occurring at the PD. One commander is being promoted to Assistant Chief. Cdr Brown is College Community Council, and is still a district Poc. No intelligence threats received concerning Israeli-Hamas conflict demonstrations.
Lynn Arneill-Brown requested mug shots for people who are released from jail.
Weeks: Mug shots are property of the county jail. We get for permission to use them.
Eric Burton asked about averages for crimes in the neighborhood.
Weeks: old style of reporting made crimes seemed lower. New style records more crimes, so it makes things appear worse than they are.
Eric: is there citizen policing in East Ventura? He is considering starting it on his street.
Weeks: the Neighborhood Watch program was reinstated a couple years ago. The police help set these up. Contact Emily Graves at the PD to get started. email@example.com; 805 339-4312
Treasurer’s Report –Noreen was absent. It was reported that there was a donation of $100 from Grocery Outlet and another, unnamed, donation of $25. We have a balance of $1106.82. The required bi-annual statement has been filed with the State.
Recognition of Attendees
Sheila Lowe has been appointed Acting Secretary for the remainder of the calendar year.
Sara reported that the Minutes of last meeting were not posted to the website. They are available by request.
District 4 Council Member — Jeanette Sanchez-Palacios was absent
District 5 Council Member — Bill McReynolds
Land use updates on east end: Zoom or Webex or attend the meeting. 98% is not changing. He thanked Dean for setting up the family bike ride event. Cornucopia at community garden will compost Halloween waste.
Gold Coast transit short term survey.
Artists – the city is doing mosaic trash cans.
Undergrounding – discontinued. The City has $1M left over and needs to find a good use for the funding. It will cover 500 ft of underground at $100k per pole underground.
Sara: The fire department is selling shirts and ribbons to fundraise for the fight against breast cancer. She told where to get them.
Announcements from the City
Stacey Zarazua is the Acting Parks and Recreation Director
Bill Ayub mentioned a video that is online
There will be a cleanup and recycling event on October 28th 8:30-11:30 at 765 S. Seaward. Tires may not be dropped off.
Pumpkin smashing event at Cornucopia Community Garden on Nov. 5 from 10-1
National Fire prevention Week will emphasize the danger of home fires.
School safety is an ongoing problem at Atlas School.
There is a need for a community center at Kimble Park. We must continue to promote one for the east side.
Fireworks are a concern this council has raised. Some feel that drones can be used effectively (HOW?).
EVCC has always advocated for a grocery store on the east side, not a convenience store or a
7-11 type store.
Family bike ride: Dean K (Vice Chair) reported that it was a very successful event. He thanked council persons and everyone who came out .. maybe a new event next year to raise money for a charity.
Now accepting nominations for officers for the 2024 board. Noreen will not be continuing in the role of treasurer. Volunteers are needed to work on a nominating committee. The election will take place next month. Notifications will be sent out. Only members may vote.
Last night Sara attended a meeting of the Design Review committee, who were discussing a proposal for a Shell station at Telegraph & Wells. More than 35 members of EVCC responded to an email and registered their opposition to the proposal. Sara spoke at the meeting in opposition, and the council is opposed to the proposal on this basis: there are already two gas stations within a block of that corner. A Car wash is proposed right next to an agricultural well. There is concern about runoff from the car wash, as well as noise pollution. There is approval for a car wash possibly at the Valero station. EVCC has been invited to meet with the architect, owners, project manager, and come back to the Design Review committee by 12/15 with amended plans. Anyone who wishes to attend a meeting can contact Sara.
Guest Speaker Bill Ayub, City Manager
He is a 3rd gen Venturan and except a few years in Las Vegas, lifelong Ventura resident. He has been back here for 27 years. He grew up on the east end and attended Buena High, then worked in law enforcement for nearly 40 years until retirement from the Sheriff’s office in January. His desire to continue serving the community led him to take the job of City Manager. He wants to find a way to fix the streets so we all feel the benefit. The City has a $430 M budget, which covers 700 employees and the city’s business. The City Council is dedicated to improving the streets. We will add to the fund until we are able to manage the roads instead of simply repairing them. A lot of work going on in the east end.
The city’s two golf courses are in a flood plain. Backup from the Santa Clara river damaged the Buenaventura course and buildings this year. $12M to fix it. FEMA funding is needed. It and the Olivas Park Course is uninsurable. The Pier has been closed for a year due to storm damage. We are waiting for help from FEMA.
Eric B: he is a past manager of the golf courses. We have experienced floods and fires in past 5 years. The current temporary facilities at Olivas are not sustainable. He would like to see Pickleball at community park and volunteered to help.
Bill A. – We have an Acting Director of Parks and recreation and are going through recruitment process. Once the position is filled we will talk about the parks.
Spencer N asked, is the Harmon Barranca on priority list? Spencer has worked with Edison and others to clear it out. Need to focus on the Brown Barranca and finish the master plan. Pickleball, a snack station, etc, would be beneficial. The Tree Alliance has planted more oak trees. A strategic plan is needed for the East Side. There are three possibilities for community spaces – 1) Telegraph/wells, agricultural land that we can annex. 2) South of of the 126/Wells, and 3) Darling/Wells. They could work together cohesively.
Bill A. — east end is special to him; he will pay attention.
Mike Johnson — pickleball instead of a golf course could bring more people in.
Dean K. — prioritizing of projects: he is keen on Camino Courts/pickleball being redone there. Kimble Park has prioritized the playgrounds in northeast sections of park. Lots of east end energy for a rec center/senior center there.
Bill A. — a capital improvement plan with hundreds of millions of $ projects prioritized by needs over wants. There may be money earmarked through a grant, or set-aside funding.
Pat B — the first priority has to be fixing the streets. Roads need to be updated and maintained much better than they are.
Pam K — has anyone brought up a senior center on the east end, where there are any low income seniors?
Bill A. — doesn’t have an answer. Will look for more answers.
Sara — it is in the Kimble Park plan to incorporate a senior center.
Susan —Any plans for sidewalks on Saticoy Ave?
Bill A. — hasn’t heard of any plans but will follow up and find out. Sidewalks are usually done by developers.
Lynn A-B — so much of the money goes to the west end or downtown. She is frustrated to see the east end ignored and her tax money going elsewhere.
Bill A. — spoke with County Supervisor Matt LeVere about efforts to get retailers to develop on the east end. It has been challenging because their metrics don’t paint a rosy picture for developing here.
John — if grocery store analyses come up deficient for the area, can the city do anything to help? The east end population is rapidly growing.
Bill A. — it is about population placement/density. Does the cost to build outweigh economic benefit? A Telegraph/Wells development may tip the scales for a different outcome.
Eric B — mentioned the Johnson/onramp. A grocery store is needed, etc.
Bill A. — it was marketed as a temporary interchange 40 years ago. Can exert leverage on CalTrans, but they move very slowly. Business corridor on Johnson will be revived. Might see a grocery store there.
He promised to show up at meetings as often as he can, and shared his email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leona Rollins, City Housing Manager
East Ventura housing forum on Weds 11/15 – 6:30-8:30 at JuanaMaria Elementary school resource room. Homelessness, fair housing, landlord services, path to home ownership, etc. how to give resources to those who need them. There will be a flyer to allow everyone to pre-register.
Adela Trainor — info for 55 and over. Good housing info to have available. She and Leona will coordinate offline.
Spencer N — sober living and transitional living homes in our neighborhood — does Leona’s team work with those?
Leona –for 6 or less no license is required. 7 or more, there are different standards and greater code enforcement when there are more. Sometimes it’s under different agencies. They want to make sure there is a distribution of services throughout the community.
Dean thanked Leona for her energy and passion.
Sara thanked everyone for being respectful in comments and questions.
Sara — next city council meetings on 18th and 23rd
Bill A. the meeting on the 23rd is a small agenda, but land use component of general plan. No conflict with zoning changes. 6pm. Another meeting on the 30th is get through a backlog of items for the council’s business.
Bill McReynolds — There are six council meetings left before end of the year. The council is committed to getting other business done, so has added some meetings.
Dean K. — he and Barbara Brown were invited to a Parks and Rec meeting last week for a review of a large solar array to be installed at Kimble Park. Two sites were proposed at the park: One in front of the aquatic center (aesthetically a bad idea). The other to the west, currently used for a staging area for a third-party company for use of the park. Trees — Bill McReynolds proposed that 10 trees be added for every one removed.
Mike Johnson invited everyone to his next Meet and Greet 3pm this Saturday at Starbucks.
The next EVCC meeting will be 11/16 at 7:00. Election of officers will be conducted. Anyone who wants to volunteer or become involved, let Sara know. We are working on rebuilding EVCC and making good progress.
Wayne M noted that on recently built residences, porch lights across the street from his home extend outward and are blinding in his kitchen. City putting restrictions in building code. The lights don’t help safety.
Spencer N noted that the Wake Forest post office recently installed LEDs, as have the Telegraph & Victoria McDonalds and Vons. They need a cover or down light in city planning.
Mike Johnson — the city has been talking about requirements for bigger developments. Need to look at light pollution on a smaller scale. He sees it in his own neighborhood.
Al A — Google Dark Sky Compliance, which explains restrictions. Many cities are exploring this.
Sara asked if there are problems while driving or just overall annoying lighting. Wayne responded that it is the lights coming in his windows from across the street, and when walking in the neighborhood. Also, his view is obscured by bright lights. Mike Johnson has the same problem while walking his dog at night.
Bill McReynolds — reminded everyone to be safe on Halloween.
Meeting adjourned at 8:37.
Next Meeting: November 16, 2023