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Event Gives Insider's View of City Hall

October 15, 2000|JENIFER RAGLAND

More than 1,000 city residents got an up-close look at the inner workings of City Hall on Saturday at the Civic Arts Plaza open house--chatting with municipal leaders, singing on the stage of the performing arts theater, and pretending to vote for the next president of the United States.

Organizers of the annual event declared it a success, thanks mostly to a new activity book and work sheet that had pint-sized citizens visiting each department faithfully in order to receive a special certificate at the end of the day.

"It's pretty cool," said 12-year-old Andy Horan, who was collecting information he needs for his Boy Scouts community merit badge. "And we got to meet the mayor--that was fun."

Mayor Dennis Gillette, enjoying his psuedo-celebrity status, said it was good to see so many people swarming City Hall on a Saturday, when so many other community events were happening.

"It's been a fun day," he said.

In the city clerk's office, those who won't be old enough to vote in November got a chance to practice. Children stood in real voting booths from the Ventura County registrar's office and punched holes in a ballot card.

The votes--which included proposed "allowance" amounts for Thousand Oaks residents--will be tallied and later announced, City Clerk Nancy Dillon said.

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