• The “MY VENTURA” city brochure that is mailed to your home by the City includes many wonderful city events, services, art classes, tours and more for the entire family (including dogs), so be sure to check it out and participate in some of the great classes/seminars.
• In this issue, we have an article regarding the City Council’s actions on the new California laws impacting marijuana usage and second unit development (housing). I agree with the Council approaching the second unit law very slowly and with much input from staff and stakeholders. The law is very complicated and removes much of the city’s rights and decisions (similar to Government laws versus State laws). There are many concerns in the city about how this law will be applied.
I do think that they should make decisions regarding the marijuana laws much more quickly. The language of this law is quite clear. It shouldn’t require a lot of study and analysis as to how it is to be applied in Ventura.
• As you might recall, the Harbor Missionary Church, 3100 Preble St. was purchased by the city in order to settle a lawsuit (out of court). The church, which is adjacent to Blanche Reynolds Elementary School, has a lease to remain in the building until June of this year where they pay $3,000 per month rent.
As part of the settlement, the church closed down its Operation Embrace program to feed the homeless and agreed to move out of the city. Residents had complained of problems with the homeless and increased crime in the neighborhood.
City staff has provided eleven possible scenarios for the property that will be presented to the City Council for consideration. In two of the cases Ventura will retain ownership of the property.
These are the possibilities that will be presented:
A neighborhood market, townhouses, several single family uses, leased as is, sold as is, demolish and sell land, school expansion, converted to park or become a community center.
City staff are looking for input from residents before going to the City Council.
Recently the Midtown Ventura Community Council held a meeting so residents could give their input on what the city should do with the property. Those attending would like it to become a community center.
A local community center would be a wonderful, but would also be a very expensive scenario. Changing the use of the building would require many ADA improvements and maintaining requirements and staffing would be an ongoing expense.
Perhaps funds from the new sales tax could be used to remodel and maintain the church as a community center. The new sales tax goes into effect in April, and the city will receive its first payment in July. It is projected that the income will be approximately $10-11 million annually.
Discussions on regarding the best usage for the proceeds began last Saturday during a special city meeting held in the training room at the Ventura Police Department.
The council will be selecting a special 7-member citizen oversight committee that will look at the additional revenue and offer non-binding recommendations during budget talks.
• As massive as our planet is, it decelerates thanks to the braking action of ocean tides (I’m sure that you understand that). In fact, our planet decelerates 2 milliseconds per day per century. This results in the planet’s rotation slowing compared to atomic clocks. Because of this, a leap second needs to be added about every 500 days so be sure to reset all of your clocks so that you aren’t late for appointments.
• Don’t get overly excited about our water drought being over because of our recent rain and the large snow packs in Northern California. We don’t receive any of our water from snow runoff. We will need several seasons of very large rains to eliminate our drought problems.
• The State passed over 800 new laws (maybe over 900) in 2016. That is absurd. These are just a very few of my favorites (so glad that our legislators have nothing better to do):
Denim is now the state’s official fabric to recognize its role in California history (I was hoping that it would be corduroy).
Beauty salons and barbershops can now offer patrons a free beer or glass of wine (just in case your haircut is terrible you won’t care).
Voters can now legally take a selfie with their completed ballots (this is for people who don’t have many friends).
Voters are permitted to legally hand off their sealed ballots to anyone to mail or deliver in person (could I give mine to Scamp to deliver?)
A program providing electric-car rebates will now be available only to those making $150,000 per year or less (that’s good, now poor people can get rebates).
Women can now pick up an entire year’s worth of birth control pills at once (saves going to the pharmacy often, saving gas and precious time).
Every autographed collectible sold in California must come with a certificate that verifies it’s not a forgery (what if the certificate is a forgery)? Maybe there should be a law that verifies that the certificate is not a forgery).
California businesses and public agencies must have on hand medicine designed to combat severe emergency allergic reactions (can this be over the counter or would I need a prescription)?