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Mayor Wishes He'd Said, 'Forget It, Jake'

June 29, 1989

Ventura Mayor Jim Monahan says it may be a long time before the city ever again lets a film company take over City Hall.

Monahan voiced his disillusionment with the ways of Hollywood this week after a production company filming "The Two Jakes," Jack Nicholson's sequel to "Chinatown," finally pulled up stakes.

For two weeks, during debate over Ventura's critical growth plan for the next two decades, Monahan and other City Council members became virtual political nomads.

Abandoning the City Council chambers to Nicholson's film crew for a court scene, the council met first in makeshift surroundings at Buena High School, then in some borrowed county conference space.

When the filming ended, Monahan said, the city had a lot of dirty City Hall carpets to worry about and a complaint from movie producer Harold Schneider of Ojai that the city had overcharged him for use of its facilities.

"The whole thing was too disruptive of business at City Hall," Monahan said. "More than I anticipated. My experience is that we should think long and hard before we do something like this again."

Adding insult to the entire experience, according to Monahan, was his treatment when he tried to present Nicholson with a key to the city of Ventura.

While Monahan eventually delivered the key to Nicholson via a secretary, the mayor said Schneider initially told him, "We don't accept that kind of crap."

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