Port Hueneme - The City of Port Hueneme and the Oxnard Harbor District turned a major corner this week making a formal commitment to work collaboratively, settle areas of dispute, and set the course for a brighter future. Both parties are pleased to announce that they have settled all of the outstanding legal disputes between them. The City and the District have been in ongoing litigation, both in superior court and arbitration, for over two years. The litigation involved questions specific to existing contracts that provide for revenue sharing between the District and City. These agreements are very complex, in excess of 20 years old, and due to certain changed circumstances over the last two to three decades, became subject to interpretation causing the two parties to turn to the courts for answers.
Continued dialogue and the mutual desire for a settlement enabled the City and the District to remedy the dispute without further litigation. Through the hard work and focused efforts of the Oxnard Harbor District Board of Commissioners and the City of Port Hueneme Council members over the last several months, as well as the diligence of staff and legal counsel for both parties, the District and City have agreed to a settlement agreement. The agreement terminates the litigation, and clarifies and updates the existing revenue sharing contracts to set forth a mutual understanding of how the contracts work and will be interpreted. Other positive outcomes of the negotiations include a property leasehold exchange to the District for income needed by the City and the creation of a community development fund whereby the City and District will together implement projects of mutual benefit.
The settlement agreement has now been approved by the Harbor District Board of Commissioners and the Port Hueneme City Council, and the lawsuits and arbitration will all be dismissed.
Jess Herrera, President of the Harbor District Board of Commissioners praised the settlement as a “win-win” for both parties. President Herrera stated: “The prosperity of the Port and the City of Port Hueneme, has been tied together for years. It is fitting that we once again memorialize our common goals and priorities for a beneficial future. The Board of Harbor Commissioners believes this new agreement will successfully address all issues of mutual interest and concern to the satisfaction of both parties. We hope this critical initiative will mark a new era of cooperation and understanding and unite us in meeting the challenges of the future in such a way as to achieve our greatest goal which is for the benefit of the citizens we represent.”
City of Port Hueneme Mayor Sylvia Munoz Schnopp was also complementary of the settlement. Mayor Munoz Schnopp stated: “This agreement moves us forward, establishes benefits for both organizations, and provides opportunities to develop collaborative initiatives for Port Hueneme." Mayor Munoz Schnopp added:. "We're grateful to have this chapter come to an end."