My name is Tim Flynn. I am Mayor of the City of Oxnard and a candidate for the Fifth District seat on the Ventura County Board of Supervisors.
Channel Islands Harbor is the dominant County asset in this Fifth District.
The issue before you today represents a collision between Ventura County’s project-driven PWP amendment and the Local Coastal Plan of the City of Oxnard. As you know, our LCP has been crafted and updated over many years, and it is a document in harmony with the core values of the Coastal Act.
Over the last five years as Mayor, I had a front-row seat whenever Fisherman’s Wharf was debated before the Oxnard City Council. After all these sessions, I’m pleased to say that I developed respectful relationships with all the individuals and organizations that came to be involved.
We all know that the current proposal did not resonate with all the parties. Certainly, economics always need to be taken into account, but the ultimate solution for this Gateway property needs to be welcomed by the Community, not just the Harbor Department. It also needs to be aligned with the Oxnard LCP.
In hindsight, everyone could have done better. The County could have been more creative and financially flexible in its management of these Harbor properties, the developers more open to variations of the underlying concept, and the public less polarized.
Today, if the Commission affirms the recommendation of its staff, as I hope you will, we can all begin work toward a viable solution. All over the United States, harbor waterfront has become one of the most magical of public assets – one that deserves to be developed with great respect.
If voters allow me to work on their behalf on the County’s side of the problem, I will bring to the table a personal, lifelong passion for Oxnard and for Channel Islands Harbor.