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No Help From City Hall

January 27, 1994

We have now had a little time to reflect on how our small community here in Moorpark dealt with the events of Monday, Jan. 17.

First, the citizens of the community were wonderful. We live on a cul-de-sac and everyone was on the street minutes after the quake, and everyone's first question was, "Are you OK, is your family OK?" One of our neighbors hung a lantern on the post to his mailbox. It brightened our morning in more ways than one, but it was one of the many bright spots in the neighborhoods.

Second, our police and fire departments were fabulous, as always. The Fire Department was still checking out neighborhoods well into the afternoon; it was so nice to see them. Our area did not get electricity back until almost midnight and during those hours of total darkness, there was a police car with a spotlight driving by our street at least every half hour.

Third, our local merchants were there for us. They managed to get open so that we could get supplies we needed, as well as help us restock what we lost when our pantries dumped their contents and refrigerators lost power.

Now for the fourth and only negative aspect of the day: our city government, which was nowhere to be found. I was at City Hall several times during the day and didn't see anyone. At 11:30 a.m. I walked around and looked in windows because I couldn't believe they hadn't opened an information center and shelter. When our city needed its government, the sign said: "Closed for the Holiday."

We have surely learned from this experience. Our City Council is a useless waste of money and needs to be reconsidered at the next election.

And, even more important, we are blessed with a community that continues to function in the absence of any leadership at all.

LYNNE B. OWENS

Moorpark

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