Thousand Oaks City Councilwoman Elois Zeanah attacked Mayor Robert E. Lewis on Thursday, saying he slighted her in his state of the city address.
Zeanah was noticeably absent from the annual address attended Wednesday by four of the five council members, she said, because of a personal engagement that she could not break. She was also absent from the event last year when Councilman Frank Schillo was mayor.
Zeanah made her criticism of Lewis public in a letter sent Thursday to local newspapers.
In an interview, Zeanah said she became incensed after reading the mayor's published statements in which he took credit for the acquisition of 231 acres of open space in April. Lewis cited every council member except Zeanah.
Zeanah said Lewis misrepresented his role in the negotiations with the Resolution Trust Corp. in April. She said the mayor initially voted against the proposal in a closed-session meeting but is now supporting the acquisition because he is up for reelection.
"He's taking credit for something he didn't do. And it's wrong," Zeanah said.
Zeanah, a two-year council member, has often been on the losing side of 4-1 votes.
Lewis called Zeanah's attack's shocking and accused her of three times violating a city ordinance that prevents council members from divulging decisions made in closed session. One of the times, she put the city in financial risk, he said.
Lewis also criticized Zeanah for publicly endorsing Jaime Zukowski, one of seven challengers in the council race, as well as contributing to Zukowski's campaign. He said she also contributed money to Ken Bauer, another council candidate.
"We have a council member who wants to take control of the council by endorsing these others," Lewis said.
Lewis said he did not know if the attack would affect his reelection bid and whether he would publicly rebuke her when the council meets Tuesday, Election Day.