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VENTURA | West Ventura County Focus

City Council Elects 3 to Port District Panel

May 08, 1996|TRACY WILSON

The Ventura City Council elected a new majority to the Ventura Port District's board of commissioners early Tuesday, despite a disagreement over one of the recommended appointees.

A city committee recommended that hospital administrator Monty Clark, attorney Jean Getchell Bush and county planner and former councilman Todd Collart be appointed to the five-member board.

Port commissioners are responsible for overseeing the management and operation of the port district, which controls about 250 acres of oceanfront property in and around Ventura Harbor.

Taking each appointment separately, the City Council unanimously voted to appoint Clark to a full four-year term.

He will fill a seat left open by Commissioner Robert "Nick" Starr, who applied for reappointment and later withdrew his name when it became clear he did not have the support of the three-member appointments committee.

Bush was appointed to a partial, three-year term in a 6-1 vote by the council. Mayor Jack Tingstrom said he could not support Bush's appointment because she was an attorney and there are already two lawyers on the board.

But the most divided vote, and a fair amount of sharp rhetoric, came with the recommendation to appoint Collart to the board.

Councilman Jim Monahan said he could not support Collart because as a council member six years ago, Collart had criticized a proposal to build a state university on Taylor Ranch.

Councilman Jim Friedman said he was concerned Collart would be unable to vote on critical port district issues because of potential conflicts of interest as a county employee.

Standing at the podium at 1 a.m., Collart said: "Forget it . . . If you're looking for somebody on a long-term basis not conflicted, then you should find another candidate."

Nonetheless, the council voted 4 to 3 to appoint Collart to a partial one-year term.

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