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Oxnard Council Cuts Trips, Turns In Credit Cards

October 05, 1989|CAROL WATSON | Times Staff Writer

In a symbolic gesture to Oxnard residents, City Council members have turned in their city-sponsored American Express cards and canceled out-of-state trips to save money.

The council Tuesday also called for its staff to develop a balanced budget that does not require using any reserve funds and requested a report on travel by city workers.

"We're sending a message to not only the city staff but to everyone in the city," Councilwoman Dorothy Maron said. "We have to cut corners."

The council disclosed two weeks ago that estimated 1988-89 revenue is about $1.7 million less than expected, while expenditures are about $850,000 more.

In June, the council adopted a 1989-90 budget with service-level reductions of $1.9 million.

At the same time, the council withdrew $805,000 from reserve funds, which it has been forced to do several times since the 1986-87 fiscal year.

The council has recently been barraged by residents angered over closures of fire stations--an action forced by budget reductions.

The city is also at an impasse with the Oxnard firefighters union and the Oxnard chapter of the Public Employees Assn. of Ventura County, a union representing more than 300 clerical, technical and professional city employees.

To show their concern for finances, three of the council members have canceled trips to Atlanta to attend the National League of Cities conference. Councilwoman Ann Johs will pay her own way.

In addition, Maron said she will not ask to be reimbursed for previous travel expenses amounting to between $1,500 and $1,800. And Johs produced a check for $1,329.05 to cover her expenses for the Atlanta trip.

Council members Manuel Lopez and Geraldine Furr were not present.

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