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Council Politics

July 26, 1994

Week by week voting by the Thousand Oaks City Council frames the election of Nov. 7. We who watch, in person, on Channel 10, or in the press are both fascinated and exasperated by the rigid majority/minority interplay and standoff. The majority of Fiore, Schillo and Lazar proudly supports, for example, the financially insecure Civic Arts Plaza, the Dos Vientos development, and the push to sell municipal bonds to support upgrading of private real estate developments--the Janss Mall and Sears. This last device resembles the linking of public and private financing--and risks--in the Civic Arts Plaza machinations.

In the Civic Arts Plaza enterprise we see the rising shadow of a giant white elephant. Any present reasonable prediction indicates that this heavy feeder can require a yearly nurturing of $10 million or more of public funding to stay healthy.

While we deal with this threat as a united city, overlooking for the time being who or what caused the problem, we must use more common sense in protecting our financial health as well as our admired lifestyle.

With these items, the three-person majority on the council is sticking to its guns. The more cautious stand of the constant minority of Zeanah and Zukowsky is more wary of risking public money and credit. They are additionally dubious about encouraging rapid development in the Conejo Valley. And this division is far more than mere style.

Nov. 7 will give Thousand Oaks voters opportunity to back the rigid pattern of council voting and perhaps unfreeze the thinking. We have a responsibility to study with care the voting patterns of council members. This responsibility cannot be ducked by voters.

EDWARD SHUCK, Thousand Oaks

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