Four of the five candidates for Ventura County's 2nd District supervisor's seat met Thursday in the first forum of the campaign, an event that illuminated their styles but failed to reveal which issues will dominate the race.
Senior citizens activist Tony Lamb, a Democrat in the nonpartisan race, was not invited to the forum at the North Ranch Country Club in Thousand Oaks under a policy of the Thousand Oaks Republican Women's Club, the event's sponsor. The group permits only Republicans to make political talks.
Edwin A. Jones, a 12-year incumbent, faces four challengers in the June 3 primary. The wealthy and conservative district stretches from Thousand Oaks to the southern parts of Camarillo and Oxnard, and west to the ocean.
Offer Strong Competition
The presence of strong competition in the persons of Thousand Oaks Councilwoman Madge Schaefer, businessman Nathaniel (Bud) Glickman and developer John H. Byrd marks a sharp departure from Jones' last, unopposed run for supervisor in 1982.
Jones' challengers, adhering to pledges not to inject personal attacks into the campaign, steered clear of alluding to his legal fight last year against charges of lewd conduct and indecent exposure stemming from an incident at a Studio City motel. Jones eventually pleaded no contest to lesser charges of public drunkenness and disturbing the peace and was given two years' probation.
'Too Little, Too Late'
Taking the most aggressive stance against Jones was Glickman, who told a luncheon audience of about 60 women that the incumbent had failed to get a fair share of county funds for projects in the 2nd District.
"We've been shortchanged over the last 12 years--too little, too late," Glickman said. "He has given us some charm, some parties and one telephone in 12 years."
First Call Box Installed
Glickman was referring to the first of a proposed system of 350 solar-powered freeway call boxes in Ventura County, a pet project of Jones. The first box has been installed on the Ventura Freeway along the Conejo Grade.
Glickman also criticized as shortsighted Jones' opposition to moving an Air National Guard unit to the Point Mugu Naval Air Station, a prospect that has angered many Camarillo residents who fear it will cause noise and pollution.
"Ed Jones is willing to throw away $100 million for our district and 3,500 jobs," Glickman told the GOP group.
Schaefer, known for a sometimes pointed style, took a more moderate tone, joking about her family and emphasizing her experience as a councilwoman and on neighborhood and church groups.
She stressed her record as a strong council supporter of housing programs for lower-income residents and her advocacy of a growth-limiting initiative adopted by Thousand Oaks voters in 1980.
Byrd ticked off a series of issues that he said should be addressed during the campaign, including affordable housing construction, toxic waste disposal and the county's struggle to keep its liability insurance, but he offered few specific remedies.
'Something New for Me'
"This is something new for me. I'm basically a private man," said Byrd, who is making his first run for elected office.
Jones, meanwhile, linked his campaign to the county board's overall record on law enforcement, controlling governmental costs and protecting farmland from development pressures.
"I want to keep a winning team intact," he said.
Jones, who recently led officials from the area on a lobbying trip to Washington aimed at retaining federal revenue-sharing funds for counties, said pending federal budget cuts would press county officials to save money without crippling essential services.
"Proposition 13 cut us off at the feet. Gramm-Rudman will cut us off at the head," Jones said.