Making Democracy Work

Local Positions

Positions are statements of principles agreed upon by members after a specific study process. The positions on this page are Local Positions of the League of Women Voters of Ventura County.

Ventura County Positions

A "Position" of the League of Women Voters is more than the name usually implies. Positions are statements of principles agreed upon by members after a specific study process. The positions on this page are Local Positions of the League of Women Voters of Ventura County. There are also State and National Positions (See LWVC and LWVUS). No position is adopted without member involvement through study, discussion and consensus, after which a vote is taken at the Local, State, or National Conventions. Any action taken by the League must be based on Local, State or National Positions.

A free copy of "Positions in Brief" that describes these positions more fully may be obtained by a call to our public information phone number, (805)648-4731.

Local positions reported here are of two kinds. The detailed positions are those that have been studied or reviewed recently by the local or State League. The summary statements are those that have been developed in the past.

The Positions in Full can be read at Where the Action Is.

The Positions on Government are:

Financing Local Government. Support measures to promote the sound financing of regular governmental services and major capital improvements.

Library. Support public libraries as a basic service of government with adequate funding by local, state and federal government.

Local Government. Support measures furthering good local government.

Regional Governance. Support measures to assure that Ventura County's existing governmental entities(cities, towns and county) be required to participate in some form of regional governance to deal with problems associated with growth management, the regional governing body being able to mandate regulatory decisions.

Services and Special Districts. Support sound planning for services and special districts.

The Positions on Natural Resources are:

LWVC Position on Energy

POSITION IN BRIEF: The League supports development of a state energy policy that will ensure reliability of energy resources and protection of the environment and public health and safety, at reasonable customer rates, giving primary consideration to conservation and energy efficiency. State government should provide an efficient, coordinated energy administrative structure with open transparent procedures.

POSITIONS

Resource Adequacy

1. The state regulatory and planning agencies, as well as the energy providers, should give primary consideration to conservation and energy efficiency. State regulation and planning should also address the critical need for demand-side management of peak power requirements including real-time pricing.

2. In acquiring new electric resources, major additional factors to consider include the:

a. potential for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions;
b. development and deployment of renewable resources;
c. contribution to the diversity of the resource mix;
d. availability at times of peak power demand;
e. level of support for base load power requirements.

Integrated Energy Planning

3. The state should implement an integrated energy planning process that:

a. forecasts needs for transmission line and other energy infrastructure, including additional generation, storage, and investments in energy efficiency and demand-side management;
b. establishes consistent statewide procedures for the set-aside of land that will be needed for future transmission corridors and other associated energy infrastructure, in compliance with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements;
c. streamlines procedures so that siting and permitting can be accomplished in a timely way.

Statewide Standards

4. Statewide standards should be set for renewable resource development, demand-side management procurements and reserve requirements.

5. These standards should be applied to all load serving entities, including:

a. municipal utilities;
b. electric service providers;
c. rural electric cooperative, with accommodation made for any problems that might arise for small and/or rural providers.

Organizational Structure

6. The energy planning and regulatory process should be based on coordination of functions, as well as collaboration among the existing agencies. The regulatory responsibilities (i.e., rate-setting and rulemaking) should be separated from planning and permitting functions.

Roles of the State

7. The state should regulate and oversee in-state energy facilities, including Liquified Natural Gas terminals, through permitting, licensing, and enforcement of regulations for in-state and out-of-state providers.

8. The state should

a. conduct forecasts to assure resource adequacy and system reliability;
b. use economic/market and other incentives to foster renewable energy, conservation, demand-side management, and greenhouse gas reductions;
c. administer a public-interest research and development program.

Regional Planning

9. Decisions about implementation of the energy planning process should be made on a region-wide basis through a mechanism that incorporates participation by local governments.

Roles of Local Governments

10. Local governments should have responsibility to inform their citizens about developments in regional energy planning and to communicate local concerns to the regional planners.

11. Local governments should promote energy conservation, especially in relation to building codes, transportation, resource recovery, and public information.

Transparency in Decision-making

12. Greater transparency in energy policy decision-making should be promoted by:

a. effective noticing;
b. use of open meetings and workshops, community outreach, including funding for meetings;
c. extensive use of communications technologies.

13. Given the importance of public participation, agencies should be required to use plain language in all communications, proceedings, and publications.

Direct Access

14. Any direct-access (choice of a provider) policy should not result in additional costs to the remaining core customers.

15. Customers who leave the regulated system for a direct-access account should be required to pay a fair share of the costs their utility has incurred to serve them.

16. Customers who have left a regulated utility for a direct-access account and later wish to return, should be required to compensate for any negative effects their return will have on the regulated system.

Interrelationship of Energy and Water

17. Energy agencies and utilities should develop programs that will help the water sector reduce its very large consumption of electric power and fossil fuels.

18. Information about the impacts of water conveyance, treatment, and end use, including irrigation pumping, should be disseminated to the public.

19. Energy policy should recognize the important interrelationship between water use and energy use. Practices such as universal metering and economic incentives to shift load to off-peak hours should be considered.

20. Recognizing that a substantial portion of California's economy is based on agriculture, measures to reduce water-intensive crops and landscape plantings should be considered.

Adopted 1978; Updated 1980. 2006.

LWV VC Position on Planning, Conservation, Recreation:

Support measures for sound planning and conservation practices. Support measures to insure that Ventura county government provides adequate parks and recreation. (Note: Should recreation become a threat to conservation, the League would give priority to conservation.)

LAND USE PLANNING: POSITION IN BRIEF:

PROMOTE EFFICIENT LAND USE PLANNING THAT BALANCES ECONOMIC GROWTH, AGRICULTURE, HOUSING, PUBLIC SERVICES, EMPLOYMENT AND CONSERVATION OF THE ENVIRONMENT, INCLUDING ADEQUATE PARKS AND RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES. (1960-62,1963-64,1966-67,1971.1983-85,1991, 2007)

SPECIFICS OF POSITION

1. Support land use planning consistent with the County's natural features, encouraging a healthful environment and conservation of natural resources such as clean air, water, prime agricultural land, and our coastal environment.

2. Encourage a viable balance of economic, social and environmental factors for all communities.

3. Encourage land uses necessary for economic growth and compatible with industries that support a healthful and aesthetic environment, such as agriculture, horticulture, health care, technology and biomedical endeavors, education, and recreation, among others.

4. Support planning that promotes orderly development, including appropriate redevelopment of urban areas, discourages step-out development, and encourages infilling of existing communities, along with greater densities, flexible zoning, mixed-use housing and parking requirements when appropriate, and improved connection with public transit.

5. Support planning that provides for housing to meet the needs of all segments of the community.

6. Maintain identity and delineations of communities.

7. Preserve adequate open space, the coastline, wetlands, historical and cultural landmarks and aesthetic features, including appropriate public access..

8. Support local governments in funding public services and improvements with the widest array of funding sources.

9. Support local governments in providing adequate space and facilities for active and passive recreation opportunities, including public parks, that are affordable to the general public.

10. Encourage the periodic updating of general plans to recognize the changing needs of the community and support effective and timely implementation.

11. Support land use planning decisions that are based on careful study and consideration of physical, economic, social and environmental factors.

12. Encourage cooperative planning among all levels of governmental agencies, including federal, state, regional, county and city, and with private enterprise, particularly with regard to regional issues such as population, transportation, water resources, public safety and similar concerns.

13. Promote and support opportunities for citizens to effectively participate in formulating land use plans and in land use planning decisions.

14. Support local government controls that provide visually pleasing communities through effective zoning, signage controls, and similar measures.

BACKGROUND OF POSITION

This position is the result of combining appropriate and related portions of early studies into one overall position. This was accomplished in 1983 when the league affirmed its position in support of orderly development. The position was reviewed and updated in 2007. In that review, the focus was to refine the position to better address the balancing act that has clearly become necessary between the financial needs of the cities and county and the needs of the residents here for jobs and housing with our long standing goal of conserving our unique and healthful environment. In addition, language was broadened and made more general, in order to facilitate application of the position to specific situations.

Concern was expressed in early studies over the continued disappearance of agriculture as an industry and the depletion of oil reserves, both of which threatened to erode the tax base. Members agreed that Ventura County has a potential as a recreation area and that development of recreation as a major industry could provide a relatively high tax yield as well as protect aesthetic surroundings.

Protection of the coastline for recreational use has had continued emphasis, as has the maintenance of open, rural or park-like atmosphere of local communities.

Transportation. Support measures to maintain adequate transportation as a public service with the least possible adverse environmental effects.

Waste Management (non-Hazardous). Support measures to dispose of solid waste by methods which are economically and evnironmentally sound.

Waste Management (Hazardous). Support measures to ensure strict regulation of all aspects of hazardous wast/toxic substances.

The Positions on Social Policy are:

Corrections. Support measures to achieve a more effective corrections system.

Corrections - Juvenile Justice. Support measures to achieve an effective juvenile justice system.

Education. Support the need for a four-year upper and lower division university in Ventura County that offers bachelors and masters degrees in proficiencies needed in Ventura County.

Homelessness. Support measures to ensure planning to prevent homelessness: provide effective, coordinated services and ensure availability of replacement low cost housing prior to demolition of existing housing.

Housing. Support measures to increase the supply of low and moderate income housing without undue jeopardy to the environmental balance, health and safety of the community.

Ventura County Health Care Agency. Support the Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC) as the essential element of the Ventura County Health Care Agency (HCA) which effectively maximizes the efficiency of the other units of that agency.

City Positions are:

Conejo School District Budget.

Position A. Support an adopted school district budget which is comprehensible to the public.

Position B. Support measures which promote an efficient and understandable budget process.

Santa Paula Growth Management.

Support amendments to the general plan which increase the allowed density, but only in conjunction with a corresponding decrease in some other part of the planning area.