In nearly four hours of sometimes heated debate, the Oxnard City Council discussed but made no decisions on several solid-waste disposal issues.
The council was asked to examine issues that the city must resolve before it could support the reorganization of the county's existing Waste Commission.
Chief among the unresolved issues at the hearing earlier this week were two questions: Who will pay millions of dollars needed to close and monitor three landfills in Oxnard, and how will votes be weighted among the 10 cities on the proposed commission?
The liability issue is especially sensitive for Oxnard because the city assumed the responsibility of closing the Santa Clara Landfill after buying it to build the River Ridge Golf Course. In the proposed reorganization plan, the $15-million cost to close the landfill and monitor it for 30 years would be shared by Oxnard and the Ventura Regional Sanitation District.
But discussion of the reorganization plan was repeatedly put aside by speakers who wanted to discuss a separate issue: an effort by the sanitation district to continue operating the Bailard Landfill in Oxnard after its scheduled 1993 closing.
"We need to draw the line in the sand and oppose the extension of the Bailard Landfill," said Ventura County Supervisor John K. Flynn, who appeared before the council. The Oxnard City Council had narrowly agreed previously to support the continued operation of the Bailard Landfill.
After a dozen speakers had objected to the city's support of the Bailard extension, little time remained for the council to specify the conditions it would require before supporting the reorganized waste commission.