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Harbor District Board Bristles at Idea of Trimming Boundaries

August 31, 1989|SHANNA GOWENLOCK | Times Staff Writer

The Oxnard Harbor District, which governs the Port of Hueneme, bristled this week at a suggestion by the mayors of Oxnard and Port Hueneme that the district's boundaries be reduced, stripping some county residents of the right to elect port commissioners.

District president Ray Fletcher said he does not want city officials in Oxnard and Port Hueneme to "mess up a good thing" by attempting to shrink the district to the size of those two cities. Such a move, he said, would affect the composition of the present five-member board of commissioners.

"What we have has worked well so far, and we have brought the harbor to success," said Fletcher, an Oxnard resident. He said he fears losing a pool of qualified port commissioner candidates who live outside Oxnard and Port Hueneme.

The district now spans those cities as well as Camarillo and parts of Thousand Oaks.

Oxnard Mayor Nao Takasugi said the port commissioners have jumped the gun with their vociferous opposition, which surfaced at a district meeting this week, because neither city officially has moved to study the issue.

"No action of any definitive nature has taken place yet," Takasugi said. "It may develop, but at this moment it's just conjectural, let's-suppose-this-happened speculation."

Takasugi said he believes that the harbor district's boundaries are outdated because Oxnard and Port Hueneme bear the brunt of the industrial port's activity without what he called 'adequate represention" on its board.

At present, only one commissioner, Fletcher, is from Oxnard. Three are from Camarillo, one is from Thousand Oaks, and none are from Port Hueneme.

"There's no real impact of the port on other cities except Port Hueneme and Oxnard. So that's why I guess there's been some speculation on our part that perhaps a study should be done, or perhaps we should reduce the size of the district," he said. Altering the district would require the approval of the county's Local Agency Formation Commission.

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