Entries by VREG Editors

Busting Ventura’s Budget Myths And Fantasies

PENSIONS BUST BUDGETS [Grappling with Money and Economic Reality] The City Council race concluded with the reelection of Councilmen Andrews, Monahan and Tracy plus a new councilman, Eric Nasarenko.  Our new Councilman was elected as Deputy Mayor at the last Council meeting and will serve in that capacity next year.  We congratulate each member of […]

Economic Illiteracy, Indifference And Denial Plague Ventura Finances

DETROIT – A HAUNTING SPECTRE [The Consequences of Ignoring Economic Reality] Most people are now well aware of the economic news. The City of Detroit filed bankruptcy under a cloud of $18 billion in debt. Crippling problems with corruption, unfunded benefits and pension liabilities, nepotism, and cozy political relationships between public unions and elected officials […]

The Inclusionary Housing Mirage

ELIMINATION OF THE INCLUSIONARY HOUSING ORDINANCE [A PRO-GROWTH PROPOSAL ] The Ventura City Council, at their meeting on Monday, July 15, 2013, will consider the recommendation of our new City Manager, Mark D. Watkins and Community Development Director, Jeffrey Lambert, “to eliminate (cancel) both the Citywide and Downtown Inclusionary Housing Ordinances (IHP)”.  This ordinance was […]

Pension Redux

PENSION OBLIGATIONS REVISITED On March 11th the City Council was informed that the $12 million reserve that we have had since 1992 isn’t available as we had been led to believe. Although the General Fund has about $28 million, including this $12 million dollar reserve, by the end of the 2012-13 fiscal year had been […]

Budget Manipulation Using Fiscal Sleight Of Hand

STATE OF THE CITY TREASURY [TRANSPARENCY THROUGH FOUL AND FILTHY AIR] History continues to remind us that to get to the root of any act of wrongdoing, malfeasance or wrongdoing, you need only follow the money to find the culprit(s). Eventually the truth and they are revealed. That again proved true at the City Council […]

A WAV Of Financial Trouble Traps Ventura

    THE WAV CONDOS – A FAILED PIPE DREAM [The Proof is in the Pudding] Our former City Manager, Rick Cole and former Mayor, Bill Fulton, sought to implement their visions for Ventura. They have moved on but they left the citizens of Ventura with financial problems. Each arrived from the LA area with […]

Grand Jury and City Code Enforcement Abuse

CODE ENFORCEMENT AS A REVENUE STRATEGY FOR VENTURA This edition of Res Publica is not a typical VREG topic on City finances because it pertains to a recently published Grand Jury report; however, since the report addresses the aggressive collection of fees and charges by Code Enforcement, motivated by the need to raise more revenue, […]

$850,000 Players Club Loan by City

VENTURA THE ART CITY, OR IS IT THE GAMBLING CITY? [The $2,000,000 bet on Players Club] The City Council has failed in their last two efforts to increase the taxes of the citizens of this community; however, our City Manager and the Council continue, facing another $2,000,000 shortfall in the next budget, are exploring new […]

Water Funds Diverted to WAV Project

          THE WAV REVISITED In August, 2011 we suggested that you take a walk and visit the WAV, located at 175 South Ventura Avenue, Ventura.  If not, take a virtual tour by clicking here. This is a subsidized housing project consisting of 54 residential units for low income artists, 15 units […]