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South Coast City Moves Forward After Residents Repeal Utility Hike

Residents of a South Coast city voted to repeal a wastewater treatment rate hike in last week’s election. Now, city officials have to decide how to pay for the cost of upgrading this aged facility.

Oxnard residents passed Measure M, which will overturn the utility fee increase.

However, Oxnard Mayor Tim Flynn said ultimately residents will have to pay for revamping the failing infrastructure.

"You can’t get something for free. You can’t say 'I’m not going to pay for these essential utilities,'” he said.

The mayor said the city needs to clearly explain to residents that the utilities are separate entities, and if funding comes from the General Fund, there will be less money for essential city services.

“I think that some residents were under the impression that the overall financial problems that the city was having was basically being placed on their backs through the utilities, and that wasn’t the case,” he said.

Mayor Flynn said the City Council will soon decide whether to go forward with a legal challenge or to start over again with the process to raise the fees. 

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