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Articles

Council Approves Ojai Day Funding

By Sondra Murphy

It’s official. We all love Ojai Day and the city’s governing body wants to maintain the tradition. The logistics are still being worked out, however.
On Tuesday, the Ojai City Council approved a draft budget from Recreation Department recommendations for fiscal year 2010-2011. The numbers were modified since the meeting two weeks before, when council members voted to change fees and restore the aquatics program that the Parks and Recreation Commission had suggested be cut.
By prioritizing youth recreation, the commission had recommended with regret the elimination of Ojai Day, which is budgeted out of that fund by the city.
By raising non-resident fees from $7 to $10 and adult league fees by $25, the department was able to reduce $160,842 from its budget. Restoring the six-week summer aquatics program took $7,575 away from that amount for a total net savings of $157,316.
Working out the details several weeks before the official adoption of the city’s 2010-2011 budget was important because Ojai Recreation Depart-ment needs to print its summer brochure in time for people to sign up for classes and leagues. With the council’s approval of the draft budget, the following programs will be offered.
Aquatics, gymnastics and tennis programs; tots, youth, teen and adult, as well as peewee sports classes; youth flag football and adult softball leagues; teen fitness center; drop-in sports; and 30 excursions or day and specialty camps. The adult 5-a-Side soccer tournament will still be offered because it is part of the current fiscal year’s budget.
With the modified budget savings, the Parks and Recreation Commission requested the council return the $7,316 surplus back to the youth sports program, specifically to help restore staffing and referees. The commission also asked the council to retain Ojai Day because of the “intangibles” it brings to the community.
Besides trying to be realistic and creative with Ojai Day cuts, coordinator Jody James said new ways to generate revenues are being explored in an effort to keep the annual community celebration cost effective. “We, as a committee, are going to try to raise funds, but I can’t put that in my budget because it hasn’t happened yet,” said James. “We do raise vendor fees every year to keep current … Right now vendors pay the same for a one-day event here as they do in most two-day events.” She said that care needed to be taken to not drive away vendors.
Because of the low-key methods of the Ojai business ordinances, the city tries to avoid some of the typical ways other communities generate event revenues. Ojai’s sign ordinance is more restrictive than most, which has proven challenging as far
It’s official. We all love Ojai Day and the city’s governing body wants to maintain the tradition. The logistics are still being worked out, however.
On Tuesday, the Ojai City Council approved a draft budget from Recreation Department recommendations for fiscal year 2010-2011. The numbers were modified since the meeting two weeks before, when council members voted to change fees and restore the aquatics

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