PORT HUENEME : LAFCO to Rethink Harbor District Size
A state agency will reconsider its decision to shrink the boundaries of a special voting district that elects harbor commissioners who govern Port Hueneme, the only deep-water port between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The Local Agency Formation Commission scheduled a public meeting May 14 after a Camarillo resident and an Oxnard resident requested that LAFCO reconsider its March 30 decision to exclude voters in the southern half of Thousand Oaks and Camarillo from the Oxnard Harbor District.
By law, any interested party, within 30 days of LAFCO’s decision, can ask it to reconsider, said Robert Braitman, LAFCO executive officer.
The state agency decided unanimously to reduce the boundaries after the cities of Port Hueneme and Oxnard argued that their voters alone should select port commissioners because they are most affected by the traffic, pollution and other problems of the commercial 80-acre seaport.
These two cities also pay for repaving roads damaged by trucks going to and from the port and provide police and fire protection for the port, Braitman said. According to a recent study, they reap about 85% of the indirect economic rewards of the port.
Some citizens of Camarillo and elsewhere oppose shrinking the district’s size, saying they too are affected by the port and should have a voice in its operation.
One of those requesting the reversal, Don Hollingsworth of Camarillo, challenged the decision, citing conflict-of-interest laws.
In his complaint, he argued that Dorrill B. Wright, a LAFCO member, should have disqualified himself from the vote because he is mayor of the city of Port Hueneme.
The other challenge came from an Oxnard resident, Allan L. Huso, who said he supports the decision to shrink the voting boundaries.
LAFCO should give a tax rebate to property owners who would be detached from the Oxnard Harbor District.