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VALLEY FOCUS | Calabasas

Youngest Council Member New Mayor

March 27, 1998|SYLVIA L. OLIANDE

The youngest member ever of the City Council, and one of the newest, has been sworn in as mayor.

James Bozajian, 32, was unanimously elected to the position at a reorganization meeting last week. He will serve as mayor of the 7-year-old municipality for one year.

In that time, he said, he intends to focus on being accessible to the community by visiting each homeowners association to listen to their concerns.

He also is looking forward to the challenges of designing a civic center--now planned for Calabasas Park Centre--and financing the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center.

As an advocate of slow growth within Calabasas borders, Bozajian said he would like to "revisit the fight" against Ahmanson Ranch, a residential and commercial development that is poised to be built just north of the city.

He said he would also like to see an increase in the amount of parkland and open space in the eastern section of the city, which has about 26,000 people.

"I'd like to explore the option of buying some land or acquiring land in that area," Bozajian said. "In our General Plan, we say that we want three acres of park land per 1,000 residents citywide and we're not even halfway there."

Robert Sibilia, 40, another new council member elected last year, was named mayor pro tem. Historically, that will put him next in line for the mayoral seat.

Outgoing mayor Lesley Devine said that although Bozajian, a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney assigned to the Van Nuys Courthouse, has served on the council for only one year, she is confident that he is up to the job.

"He does his homework, no question about that," she said. "We have a lot of work to do, and I think he will do well."

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