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Foy joins Ventura County board

The newest supervisor is sworn in and vows to fund law enforcement. Flynn is rebuffed in his bid to be chairman.

January 10, 2007|Catherine Saillant | Times Staff Writer

Peter Foy's first day as Ventura County's newest supervisor had a bit of pomp, a few speeches and the usual dose of financial reports and minutiae that fill the board's weekly agenda.

After a ceremonial swearing-in Tuesday, Foy called his four-year term an opportunity to fulfill promises made during his campaign. Chief among them is to give Sheriff Bob Brooks and Dist. Atty. Gregory Totten the money they say is needed to operate top-flight public safety departments.

Foy replaces Judy Mikels in representing the 4th District, which includes Simi Valley, Moorpark and surrounding unincorporated areas.

His inaugural meeting was also marked by a touch of old business. He joined the board majority in snubbing Supervisor John Flynn's attempt to be elevated as chairman of the board.

The honorary position normally rotates at the start of each year, and, by tradition, 2007 would have been Flynn's turn.

But the board ignored Flynn's attempt to nominate himself, failing to second his motion. Instead, on a separate motion by Supervisor Steve Bennett, it elected to retain Linda Parks as chairwoman for a second year.

Bennett later defended the action, saying Flynn's behavior in recent years disqualifies him for the chairmanship.

Bennett pointed to a raucous hearing in November 2005, when Flynn encouraged a crowd of his supporters to disrupt the board's discussion about issues at Channel Islands Harbor. Supervisor Kathy Long, who was chairwoman at the time, had to recess the meeting to restore order.

The board chair runs meetings and has some discretion over who is heard on matters coming before the five supervisors. It is a position that comes with responsibility, Bennett said.

Flynn, 73, said he wasn't upset, noting that he voted in favor of Park's renomination after it became clear that his colleagues would not elevate him.

"If you've been in office for 30 years, things like this happen," he said. "I don't take it personally."

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catherine.saillant@latimes.com

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