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Articles

Tourism talk tabled: Council delays decision whether to call for election to decide fate of improvement district

Andra Belknap, Ojai Valley News reporter
The tourism debate continued May 23 as Ojai City Attorney Matthew Summers declared suspended the City Council’s March 28 resolution reauthorizing the Ojai Tourism Improvement District (OTID), the funding mechanism behind the Ojai Visitors Bureau.
City Clerk Cynthia Burell certified to the Council that a referendum petition on the OTID reauthorization received more than the 498 signatures required to trigger the referendum process — 10 percent of Ojai’s 4,976 registered voters. Burell’s office received the referendum petition April 27. She also certified that the petition, as presented to voters, met referendum petition requirements under state elections code.
According to Summers, the Council has three options: repeal the resolution, present the decision to voters at a future election or explore legal options. The Council met in closed later that night to receive legal information from Summers.
The current OTID is set to expire Oct. 31.

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