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ELECTIONS / VENTURA COUNTY SUPERVISORS : Schillo Hopes to Move His Fight From Thousand Oaks to Board

Elections / Ventura County Supervisors, * Fourth Of A Series

May 13, 1994|CARLOS V. LOZANO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

As a Thousand Oaks city councilman, Frank Schillo has spent much of the past 10 years battling Ventura County government for more and better services for his city.

Now Schillo wants to take his fight directly to the Board of Supervisors as he campaigns for the seat being vacated by Maria VanderKolk.

If elected, he promises to push for more law enforcement, transit, library and other county services for the people of the 2nd Supervisorial District.

"If I'm representing Thousand Oaks, Oak Park and Port Hueneme, then those are the people I'm going to be fighting for," Schillo said. "I'm going to be fiercely loyal to the people who elect me, just as I've always done."

Schillo has long complained that the county has neglected Thousand Oaks while it continues to ask the city's affluent taxpayers to subsidize services in other parts of the region. It is an issue he does not take lightly.

At one time he proposed that the city break off from the county system and form its own fire department because he believed it would be cheaper to operate. On another occasion he demanded that the county share with its 10 cities $26 million in revenues derived from the Proposition 172 public safety tax measure approved last fall.

Schillo, 60, said he is running for the Board of Supervisors because he believes he can bring a clear sense of direction and strong fiscal leadership to county government.

Rather than setting priorities based on one-year budget projections, Schillo proposes that the county establish long-term goals and then determine what is financially feasible. He also suggests establishing a two-year budget, similar to one adopted in Thousand Oaks, to help in planning.

"The Board of Supervisors needs to set goals for the county, instead of letting department heads do that," said Schillo, a financial consultant. "Once you have goals, then things fall into place from a financial standpoint."

Schillo said he would also push to have the supervisors' meetings televised to make officials more accountable.

"This way people know what's going on," he said. "With television you would be able to decide for yourself exactly why someone voted for a particular thing."

In addition to his Thousand Oaks council seat, Schillo is chairman of the Ventura County Transportation Commission and is both chairman and founder of the Ventura County Council of Governments.

He also sits on a special committee studying a proposal to establish a commercial airport at Point Mugu. The Navy has offered to share its runway with the county to cut its operating costs.

Schillo said the proposed airport could be an economic boon to the county, attracting new businesses and giving the area's large agricultural industry another way to ship its products.

Officials and residents of nearby Camarillo have voiced concerns over the potential noise and the number of flights in and out of the airport. But Schillo said the airport study shows that most flights would approach the Navy base from the ocean and not over residential areas. Only when there is heavy fog, he said, would the flight patterns have to be changed.

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On other issues, Schillo said he backs the development of a new landfill to serve the cities of the west county. Bailard Landfill in Oxnard is scheduled to shut down in 1997, and the candidate said he is worried that the Simi Valley Landfill could become the county's only dump.

Although a landfill has been proposed for Weldon Canyon near Ojai, residents there have successfully fought against a dump for years. But Schillo said a west county landfill site must be found.

"It's irresponsible to say, 'Well, we don't want a dump site, so let's use Simi,' " Schillo said. "That's not a solution."

In the area of public safety, Schillo said he believes that the County Fire Department in the future should receive a portion of Proposition 172 funds. Money now generated from the sales tax measure is split among the county's law enforcement agencies and criminal justice system.

But Schillo said the Fire Department must first take steps to improve its operating efficiency, noting that an audit of the department showed it was top-heavy with managers and spends too much on overtime.

Although he once proposed that Thousand Oaks form its own fire department, Schillo said he has since reconsidered his position. He initially believed the city was paying substantially more in taxes to the county for fire services than it was receiving.

A Fire Department study, however, showed that the city essentially pays $11 million toward fire services and in return receives about $10.2 million of that for its own fire protection.

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Schillo said the difference--$750,000--is not enough to justify a city fire department. To recapture this money, however, Schillo proposes that the County Fire Department perform some building and safety services now done by the city of Thousand Oaks.

"They're doing it in unincorporated areas, so why can't they do it for us?" Schillo said. "That would cut our costs."

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