Ventura County Grand Jury Finds Cities Unprepared : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

From csy2k:

[ For Educational Purposes Only ]

alwynaubrey wrote:
Got this from a friend this morning. This is a taste of the future in the real world...

My clock radio woke me up with the news that the Ventura County Grand Jury said Santa Paula, Port Hueneme and Ventura are the least prepared for Y2K. The Times carried the same story. Great way to wake up!

The worst part is the comment from the Ventura City Officials: "City officials declined to comment, saying the city would respond to the grand jury report later this month."



Harlan Smith wrote:

Here it is:

Friday, July 2, 1999
Y2K Verdict
Grand Jury Warns Some West County Cities Less Prepared Than Eastern Neighbors

Some of western Ventura County's cities are less prepared to cope with the possible Y2K computer crisis than the east county and should take immediate action to catch up, the Ventura County Grand Jury has warned.

Officials in all 10 of the county's cities have drawn up plans to correct the potential problem, according to a study conducted by the grand jury and released Wednesday. But Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley are way ahead of others in completing activities necessary to avoid Y2K-related problems, the report concludes.

The report indicates Santa Paula and Port Hueneme may be lagging in their preparedness and notes that Ventura has expressed concern on inadequate staffing to deal with the potential problem. Other cities fall somewhere between, the report found.

Testing for computer failures and development of emergency plans to deal with potential problems must be completed well before a Dec. 31 deadline, grand jurors recommended in the report.

"Time is of the essence. . . . In the case of the Year 2000 project, there can be no forgiveness about deadline," the report states.

The 1998-99 grand jury decided to tackle the issue because of fears nationwide that potential computer failures at year's end could trigger widespread power and sewage failures as well as other public safety problems. Analysts say a glitch is possible because many computer systems may not be able to distinguish the year 2000 from 1900.

Marvin J. Reeber, the grand jury foreman, said officials in county government and in Thousand Oaks have been leaders in carrying out preparedness plans. Thousand Oaks began its efforts four years ago and is nearly done.

Vern Holzwarth said testing of the county government's vast computer systems is 95% complete.

"Everything has been remediated and fixed," said Holzwarth, the county's manager in charge of Y2K compliance. "We are just testing, testing, testing."

Some smaller cities, however, appear to be having a tougher time. Port Hueneme and Santa Paula reported they had not yet developed contingency plans in case of a failure, the report states.

And Ventura reported it was concerned the city did not have enough technical workers to handle both Y2K duties and the daily workload.

Santa Paula City Manager Peter Cosentini challenged the report's finding, saying municipal officials are up to speed in bringing computers into compliance--despite having a small staff.

"If we had Thousand Oaks' resources, we would be ahead on things too," Cosentini said. "We have taken a categorical look at this and we will be ready."
[end snip]

Chiam123 wrote:

I LOVE those GRAND JURIES!!! Now lets hope that they stick for the ROLL and INDICT some of these public officials...Hey, the Congress only gave CIVIL immunity...How about a MANSLAUGHTER indictment of GATES??? He actually shipped product...WIN98...with the BUG in it AND KNEW IT!!!


Harlan Smith wrote:

I'd like to see that "more". Grand Jury involvement? Who are they planning to hang?

I found this FWIW.

As we move closer toward the new millennium, the public has asked many questions about what they can realistically expect from the "Y2K Bug." ...

What does this mean for families, business owners, students and employees in Ventura County? The honest answer is that no one really knows. People with old personal computers or software may find that their programs do not run. While that scenario could pose nothing more than a minor

Sheriff Bob Brooks is taking a look at some of the problems that may or may not impact our lives here in Ventura County. Like all county government agencies, the Sheriff's Department is developing plans so we can continue to deliver the services that the public demands and expects. As we have done before when transportation, power and communications were disrupted by earthquakes, flooding and large fires, we will continue to get deputy sheriffs and our many dedicated volunteers into the communities where they are needed.

The Sheriff Department's role as the countywide coordinator of emergency services means that we will give you as much information as possible to help you prepare for the potential problems of Y2K. Along with the County of Ventura's Y2K Program Office, educational materials will be made available through this web site. We are also organizing an agency roundtable discussion group to see what information will be made available from other county agencies, local utilities and local non-profit groups. This discussion will also allow us to offer these agencies assistance in assessing their own problems with Y2K.

Please remember that you will likely hear many predictions on the impact of Y2K. These range from "widespread chaos" to nothing more than a "mild speed bump." How you plan and prepare is more important than what may or may not actually happen. Living in Southern California requires that you be ready for the next earthquake, "El Nino" winter storm or raging wildfire. Many of the steps that can be taken for these incidents apply to your preparations for Y2K.

To obtain further information on emergency preparedness, please visit our Y2K Preparedness Checklist page, or contact the Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services at (805) 654-2551. [end snip]

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-- Ashton & Leska (, July 03, 1999


There's also a military base at Port Hueneme. Wonder how they are doing?

Wondering about nearby Ojai too. One of my favorite little "cute" towns to hang out at and where one can take a dip in the hot springs.

Thanks for posting this, as well, I'll "e" it to friends still living/ working in Thousand Oaks.


-- Diane J. Squire (, July 03, 1999.

Diane, glad this is useful to you.

Can somebody explain what Grand Juries are, how they work, and how they got assigned to investigate Y2K preparedness of counties?

Do they pick their own topics/areas of curiosity?

This is a new concept to us, please forgive the newbieness.
Seems like an interesting and possibly productive angle.

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-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, July 03, 1999.

Ashton & Leska,

Interesting stuff...thanks. The little that I know about grand jury is that they consist of ordinary citizens from the county who respond a mailed notice from the county re: their possible interest on serving (I don't know for what period of time). These are the folks who (I think) are partially responsible for choosing which court cases move forward or don't have enough evidence to prosecute. They also may be asked to review matters such as this. I know a couple of folks locally who serve but don't know much more.....

-- Kristi (, July 03, 1999.

Grand Juries are supposed to be independent investigatory bodiesbut in most cases are under the working control of the DA.

However, two states allow a citizen's petition to FORCE the empanelling of a GJ over some issue. Oklahoma is one, I'm searching for the other.

Imagine getting Kosky, or a bunch of officials before the GJ.Or, if the rollover turns out to involve deaths, indictments could follow.

-- K. Stevens (kstevens@It's ALL going away in, July 03, 1999.

Ooops... "folks who respond TO a notice". Sorry I was paying attention to the new puppy chewing my toes instead of proofreading.

-- Kristi (, July 03, 1999.

Georgia is the only State where one can prosecute a crime (go before the grand jury independent of the DA). It is on the books, the reality? It hasn't been done in years to my knowledge. It's an old site Ga. Supreme Ct. Lester v. State early 1900's.

Grand Juries have the power to investigate criminal activity independent of the DA. They can compel sworn testimony of governmental officials. In some states, they have the power to name a citizens committee (with all the power of a grand jury) to report to the next upcoming grand jury. After the lottery was approved in Georgia, this power was gut.

-- Greg (, July 03, 1999.

ooooooo, this info just got our fantasies spinning, how to spear the spinners, legal pitchforks! hhhmmmm How did the California Grand Jury get that plum of an assignment? Imagine reporting for jury duty to learn that agenda!

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, July 03, 1999.

Wonderful... I live in Ventura, but it's not really a surprise... we're just about finished remediating the third largest law firm in California, but Ventura county has this incest thing going on; unless you've been in bed with purchasing for years, you don't have a chance, no matter how pissed off county employees are with your choice of bedfellows...

The law firms we've finished are going to have fun with those contracting choices very soon... I know for a fact that the firm our county has chosen to "guide" them doesn't have a clue...

Yes, we also have 2 large naval bases, but fortunately, the local DGI's have no control over navy preps...

Of course, that's assuming my estimate of 4-5 holds, above that, it's all moot, isn't it?

-- Carl (, July 04, 1999.

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