Items that took place or were otherwise reported, stated, discussed, or decided at the June 28 Ojai City Council meeting.
Council honors Kathy Nolan: Former Ojai Planning Commissioner Kathy Nolan was presented with a plaque. Nolan thanked the council and acknowledged the disagreements that exist on issues, but that “the common ground is that we love our community.”
Williams announces run for mayor: Local actor-director Anson Williams announced during public comment that he will run for mayor. He said Ojai needs “leadership that inspires a collaborative team.” Candidates for all offices can formally declare candidacy July 18 by pulling papers at the City Clerk’s Office for city races, or with the county clerk for races outside the city.
Pickleball players turnout: Several pickleball players spoke about the need for lights at the public courts to be able to play later on hot days during the summer, and after work in the winter.
Council reappoints commissioners: Four commissioners were appointed to two commissions, all for four-year terms: Gina McHatton and Jennie Prebor will continue to serve on the Historic Preservation Commission; Suzi Taylor and Nelson Walker were appointed to the Parks and Recreation Commission.
Adopted budget: Council adopted a $13.4 million budget that City Manager Vega said is back to pre-pandemic levels. Four focuses of spending are: deferred maintenance; service-level restoration; parks improvement, climate mitigation projects, Measure C; building emergency reserves to 50%. The budget is online at: ojai.ca.gov/ojai-city-budget.
American Legion mixed-use project gets nod: The City Council directed staff to proceed with a process that would allow affordable housing to be built on a commercial site owned by the American Legion in downtown Ojai. Local architect Nicholas Oatway will be designing the project on a pro-bono basis for the Legion. This initial go-ahead is intended to allow the Legion to avoid processing fees that typically run around $15,000, according to Vega. The project will still have to go through planning and all required reviews.
City to address tour buses: After a reportedly chaotic weekend with tour buses parked throughout downtown during the Lavender Festival, Council directed staff to come up with a process to direct buses to a more appropriate place to park.
Comment of the week: Wendy Larner spoke during public comment about “unintended consequences” from actions taken by government during the pandemic and said, “I am hereby proposing you form a city standing committee to advise in and protect the God-given rights of Ojai residents and citizens.”
Kimberly has been reporting on a wide range of issues in Ventura County for over a decade including land use, oil and gas, government accountability, open meeting and sunshine laws, and climate change.