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Use Plain English, Councilman Says

October 20, 2000|TRACI ISAACS

Have a tough time figuring a C-2 land-use designation from a OS-2? You aren't alone.

Moorpark Councilman Chris Evans says he is frustrated by the reams of complex lingo used by city bureaucrats when preparing agendas for council meetings.

After tackling one 69-word sentence filled with city zoning gobbledygook Wednesday, Evans Evans, a four-year councilman, pointed out that if he can't decipher abbreviations and jargon, an average resident doesn't stand a chance.

"The confusion doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, it's frustrating," Evans said.

City staff must follow legal requirements that spell out what information must be included on a council agenda. But that doesn't preclude officials from adding a simple summary beneath the technical jargon, Evans said.

Councilman John Wozniak agreed that something needs to be done. Wozniak, a 10-year veteran, said that wading through information about tract maps and General Plan amendments is no easier for him than anyone else.

"I know these subjects and sometimes can't make sense of it," he said.

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