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Ventura County News Roundup

Port Hueneme : Hearings Planned on Proposed Levies


The Port Hueneme City Council has set the date for public hearings on proposals to levy assessments on everything from a homeowner's proximity to the ocean to park cleanup.

The council's proposal to levy the taxes drew fire Wednesday night from bitter homeowners who said the fees are unfair because they are applied unevenly. In a string of votes, the council gave tentative approval to the fees--three old assessments and one new--and scheduled a hearing for June 16 at the Wright Cultural Center for residents to voice their views on all four levies.

Irate residents pointed out that although 75% of the $300,000 in fees being sought for the proposed park cleanup district will be obtained from taxes levied citywide, the remainder will come from an extra levy on residents closest to the city's three parks.

The city maintains that residents are only being asked to pay about half of the cost of cleaning the parks. They also say the alternative to the taxes is cutting the city's landscaping service.

But beachfront resident Sheryl Malone said the proposal is still unjust.

"People are not paying equal," she told the council. "Usage or proximity should not affect the amount we pay."

Councilwoman Toni Young sided with residents and voted against both the renewal of a beach maintenance tax levied against homeowners living near the ocean and the citywide park maintenance district.

Councilman Dorill B. Wright, who owns property near the beach, abstained from voting on the beach tax because of a potential conflict.

The council voted unanimously to proceed with the renewal process on its parkway and median maintenance and lighting maintenance assessment districts.

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