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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Countywide

Meetings Planned on Tobacco Funds Use

September 09, 2000|MATT SURMAN

Supervisors Judy Mikels and Frank Schillo have scheduled a series of public meetings to seek residents' comments on how the county might spend $260 million in contested tobacco settlement money over the next 25 years.

The first meeting is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in the Ventura Room at the Oxnard Community Center, 800 Hobson Way.

The meetings come while the county is in a pitched battle to keep control of the funds, secured in a nationwide lawsuit against tobacco companies. A Community Memorial Hospital-sponsored ballot measure would transfer control of $260 million in tobacco settlement funds from the county to eight private hospitals.

Chief Administrative Officer Harry Hufford released a report in July detailing ways the money could be spent on health care. Measure O backers called the report political pandering, and have accused the county of illegally campaigning against the measure.

Additional meetings, all scheduled to run from 7 to 9 p.m., will be held Wednesday at the Forum Theater at the Performing Arts Center in Thousand Oaks, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., and Thursday in the California Room at the Air Pollution Control District office in Ventura, 669 County Square Drive.

Other sessions will be Sept. 19, at Santa Paula City Hall, 970 Ventura St.; Sept. 20, at the Department of Airports building at Camarillo Airport, 555 Airport Way, Suite B, and and Sept. 21 in Simi Valley City Hall's Community Room, 2929 Tapo Canyon Road.

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