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By Chris Frost
Tri County Sentry
Oxnard-- The city council, Tuesday, September 7, voted to name Councilwoman Gabriela Basua as the League of California Cities Voting Delegate for 2021.
City Manager Alex Nguyen said the appointment is a housekeeping item, but it is also necessary.
"I certainly hope you approve designating Councilwoman Basua to be a voting delegate on behalf of the City of Oxnard at this year's League of California Cities annual conference," Nguyen said. "I believe she is the only one who is attending. You're required to do this formally."
The league is taking on two items at the conference, Nguyen said, which includes calling upon the governor and legislature to provide the necessary funding for the California Public Utilities Commission to inspect railroad lines, ensuring that operators are removing illegal dumping, graffiti, and homeless encampments that degrade the quality of life and results in increases public safety concerns for communities and neighborhoods that abut the railroad right of way.
"That's an easy one for the city to be in favor of," he said. "The other item I have mixed feelings about. It calls upon the League of California Cities to request the legislature to pass legislation that provides for a fair and equitable distribution of the Bradley Burns one percent local sales tax from in-state online purchases, based on data where products are shipped. That rightfully takes into consideration the impacts that fulfillment centers have on host cities but also provides a fair share to California cities that do not or cannot have a fulfillment center within their jurisdiction."
Nguyen has mixed feelings about this because Amazon is opening a "major fulfillment center within the city limits."
"That's a tough one for me to want to support," he said. "There's an amendment that the city manager's section of the league is looking to make to this resolution, which argues more for local control. To be blunt about it, two years ago, if we not had the massive Amazon facility, I would be all for this. Now, we have one that's about to open, so I can't be a cheerleader for this."
Councilman Bert Perello asked if Basua needs to follow the council's direction on the items she votes on.
"That would be appropriate," City Attorney Stephen Fischer said.
Perello made the motion to support Basua going to the League of California Cities annual conference and said she'll have a good time while learning a lot.
"But get locked into one table because they'll pigeonhole you, and you won't get to hear a lot of good ideas," Perello said. "In my motion, I recommend that we do not endorse the sharing of the sales tax. I know this is selfish, but I represent Oxnard. I do recommend that we follow the motion on the railroad."
The item passed unanimously.