Aaron Starr

52, lifelong resident of Ventura County.

I worked to put myself through college. Earned my bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Cal State University, Northridge. Employed as the financial controller for Haas Automation — one of Oxnard’s largest employers with 1,300 workers. Founder of Moving Oxnard Forward, a grass-roots community action group aimed at reforming City Hall, revitalizing Oxnard’s economy and repairing the city’s crumbling streets and infrastructure. Authored Measure M, which is on the November ballot, to overturn the city council’s unfair and excessive 87 percent sewer rate hike.

What are the major city issues of concern to you in the future?

  1. Creating a stronger local economy is vital to Oxnard’s future success. A vibrant business climate uplifts the entire community. As a Councilmember, I will work to make Oxnard a more inviting place for employers, entrepreneurs and job creators. Passing Measure M to repeal the city’s sewer tax hike is a good first step.

  1. Public safety is another critical issue. The City Council must prioritize city spending to focus more resources on law enforcement and community policing in order to make our neighborhoods safer. As a Councilmember, I will also work to expedite the repair of city streets and sidewalks which have become a safety hazard for residents as well as a negative impact on our city’s economy.

What issues in the past do you feel are not being addressed?

I do not believe our city leaders are delivering quality services that residents truly need. Instead the Council has wasted millions of dollars on revenue-losing schemes like the city-run golf course and performing arts center. As a Councilman, I will work to turn these nonessential city facilities over to private businesses or nonprofits, and then use the savings to beef up neighborhood police patrols and repair our crumbling streets.

What are your thoughts on the state of local businesses in the city?

Oxnard is losing businesses and jobs to neighboring cities — and it shows in our unemployment statistics. The unemployment rate in Oxnard is 6.3 percent; in Camarillo it is 4.8 percent. Improving  Oxnard’s unemployment rate to match Camarillo’s would mean an additional 1,500 gainfully employed people in Oxnard. As a Councilmember, I’ll work to reduce the costly and  bureaucratic city regulations that stifle business growth. I will support economic reforms like “Permit Simplicity” that will attract high-wage jobs, help our local businesses thrive and generate needed revenues for city services like public safety.

What are your thoughts on current public safety issues?

Public safety should be the city’s foremost responsibility. Unfortunately, city leaders are failing to address serious safety concerns of our residents. On the City Council, I will work to increase police patrols in our neighborhoods, parks and schools. I will support tougher measures to crack down on the city’s nearly 1,200 known criminal gang members.  Creating a vibrant downtown is not possible if merchants and customers fear gang activity.

What are your housing concerns for the city? How will you address them in the future?

Oxnard’s wasteful and bureaucratic city government has become a roadblock for business and job creation — which diminishes the desirability and price of local home values compared to those in neighboring communities. By making Oxnard a safer and more prosperous place to call home, we will address most of the housing concerns facing the city.

How important are the city’s natural resources to you and what are you doing about it?

Improving the maintenance of our city parks and beaches is needed to enhance the quality of life for Oxnard residents. I will work to develop community partnerships with neighborhoods, businesses and nonprofit organizations to assist in preserving these wonderful community resources.

Discuss other concerns you have with your city and what you will do to address them. This may include water issues, the state of your city’s school districts, the city’s financial stability, unemployment, etc.

For too long Oxnard’s elected leaders have relied on higher taxes and fees to finance city government. This is a losing strategy that costs our city jobs and reduces revenue generation from our local businesses. I believe the city needs to change its failed approach. We need to remove the barriers that prevent businesses from relocating to and expanding in Oxnard. Creating a stronger local economy is the ONLY long-term solution for providing increased city revenues.