Funding for youth programs presented at the forum

Image courtesy of the Town of Oxnard

Oxnard– The Ventura County League. The Women Voters District 1 Candidates Forum continues with moderator David Maron asking candidates how they will champion the youth of Oxnard.

Christopher Arevalo said he would advocate for a youth budget that can expand youth programs.

“For children, the elementary school district offers after-school programs,” he said. “My daughter, who is 30, participated in the youth basketball programs that were held at the city gymnasium. I know we have an arts program that needs to be funded, but I think the whole issue of children’s services is funding.

Doug Partello said the city can build more cost-effective programs and partner with the private sector, with nonprofits and local government working together.

“We need more cost sharing because there are benefits for everyone,” he said. “We all benefit from this investment. We just had a 14 year old boy who was shot at a bus stop by a 15 year old boy with gang violence. We need to provide our youth with options where they can participate in positive activities; taekwondo, martial arts, basketball; other programs. Parks and Recreation can expand its programs more profitably. »

He said the YMCA, Boys Club and other partnerships can share costs and create mutual benefit for the community.

“We have to make this investment because young people are not getting the investment they need to be our future leaders,” Partello said.

Outgoing Councilor Bert Perello said the city has recreation programs in place and recognizes that every candidate agrees that money is a big deal.

“You’re dealing with a budget when you want to take more money and put it into youth programs; we have to figure out what we’re removing,” he said. “With Measure E, we were able to do some things that we had never been able to do before. I would like to point out that one of my opponents, Mr. Partello, was a strong proponent of measure E. If we didn’t have measure E, we wouldn’t be able to deal with a lot of the things that we do. to improve the things we do with young people.

He said there is a problem of parenting and responsibility when it comes to young people and recognizes that gang violence and killings are a tragedy.

“Making political hay about this is a mistake,” he said. “Crime issues across the country are real world things. Parents should supervise their children; many parents take care of their children. This morning I saw a parent taking his two children to school. Too many parents are single parents and they don’t have the opportunity to stay home with their children. They must have a second job to take care of their family.

Eduardo Huerta advocates working with school districts and superintendents and said he was an undereducated school district asset.

“I didn’t graduate but at the same time I was able to go as far as I could because mentors believed in me and trusted me and the work I do,” said- he declared. “I really try to work with school districts, ask questions about my youth and what we can do to improve youth in the future.”

He said he had town halls for the parents and had ideas from them.

“There are a lot of things I did when I was a kid,” he said. “I actually like Real Guppy Outdoors Fishing and loved going fishing here at the port. It’s something I encourage. Non-profit organizations that will keep parents busy and interested in doing something with their children. At the same time, many of us lost interest growing up because we went to work, and at the same time, we help parents rethink their childhood and express themselves with their children.

The conversation turned to the environment, and Huerto said many of his neighbors had solar panels and contracts that spanned more than 30 years.

“A lot of these residents are people who probably won’t even live long, and they’re not using that energy, and they’re providing that energy to Edison and, at the same time, Edison is selling it to us,” he said. . said. “At the end, the owner still has to pay his bill. I think it’s about working with owners and finding a way to manage and save energy and finding a way to track our energy. Where is it sold and what can we do to get the City to buy this energy and keep it in our county. »

He also suggests paying attention to housing estates in the beach area.

“Seabridge is a beautiful area, but deteriorating sea levels, I don’t know if that’s a good idea or not,” he said. “We have our agriculture.

Perello said the big problem is the amount of water the city has.

“I serve on the Groundwater Management Agency and the City of Oxnard Public Works and Transportation Committee,” he said. “We strive to acquire water sources from the state when surplus is available, and we work to get a better price for water to put into our aquifer, so that we can pump it. We also have, through the foresight of others before us, the ability to have a grid program, where we have pure water, but pure water cannot be used for the purpose for which it is made. to be drunk because state law hasn’t changed.

He said that through the staff of the City of Oxnard, the staff emergency, followed by the entire Council, they are seeking to have the rest of the State of California approve the same things as they approved in Orange County.

“They can use pure water and turn it into drinking water,” he said. “We’ll put it in the ground and we’ll pump it out.”

Partello said they paid $14 million in debt service in 2012 under the Grate Water program, and the city didn’t see a drop of water.

“We are building these wells,” he said. “It’s a technology that they put out at taxpayers’ expense, and they’re experimenting with it, and it’s not proven yet. We have to get certified, and how can you get certified if we don’t have a well? There are many issues of equity and cost of water. For an acre-foot of water for a farmer, it’s $250. For a resident it’s about $2500, so we need to get a little more water equity. We need to invest more in solar panels. Desalination is very expensive to run, so get some solar panels that reduce the cost of running these plants, and then we can have a more reliable source of water.

Arevalo said the town of Oxnard has a great water plan and its filtration plant is 30% utilized, and he disagrees that it’s a waste of money.

“I’m also looking at desalination, and I think we’re now on the cusp of this great water shortage,” he said. “I’m also familiar with Monterey and San Diego, and the best example of San Diego is using their reclaimed water for purposes other than agriculture.”

He noted that the people who operate the Ventura plant give their water to people who want it so they can water their gardens.

“If you have a system in your yard, and you’re a farmer, and you want to control the dust, you can use all of that,” he said.

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