Ousted Councilman Among Ventura County Candidates

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Times Staff Writer

A former Moorpark councilman, who was recalled less than a year ago after allegations of corruption, and a current councilman who last week admitted smoking marijuana while in office, are among those seeking election in November in eastern Ventura County.

The filing deadline for most places on the ballot was Friday. Elections will be Nov. 8.

In Moorpark, former City Councilman Thomas C. (Bud) Ferguson will try to regain the office he lost in November when voters recalled him by a 3-1 margin. Ferguson, 69, was recalled after nearly a year of allegations of political corruption by former council colleague Danny Woolard.

Woolard, who resigned from the council in January, 1987, after pleading guilty to stealing $5,500 from the U.S. post office where he worked, accused Ferguson of providing him with as much as $25,000 to influence Woolard’s vote on the council.


Ferguson denied the allegations, and an investigation by the Ventura County district attorney’s office concluded that there was not enough evidence to charge Ferguson with a crime.

Ferguson again denied the charges Wednesday. It was discovered shortly before the recall election that he has leukemia. Ferguson said the disease is now in remission.

Ferguson is one of six challengers seeking to replace incumbent council members John Galloway, John Patrick Lane and Bernardo Perez, whose terms expire in November. The filing deadline has been extended to Aug. 17 because Lane did not file for reelection.

Lane, an investigator for the Los Angeles Police Department, was elected in June, 1987, to fill the seat left vacant by Woolard.

Galloway, 34, said last week during a council meeting that he had smoked marijuana twice, once soon after graduating from high school and again last year, while serving on the council.

He made the admission after reports that he made and sold ceramic pipes which could be used to smoke marijuana were published.


Galloway said that the most recent marijuana incident was a mistake and that he does not currently use or advocate the use of illegal drugs.

In a prepared statement last week, Galloway said that the first time he tried marijuana 16 years ago, he was accompanied by Carla Robertson, a former schoolmate and now a member of the Moorpark Unified School District board. He said she also took a few puffs. Robertson denied the allegation and Monday filed a $2-million libel suit against Galloway.

Perez, who works for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, is seeking his first full council term. He was elected in February to serve the time remaining in Ferguson’s term.


Other candidates for the Moorpark council are Planning Commissioners Paul Lawrason, a business manager, and Scott Montgomery, a financial adviser, and former Planning Commissioner Bill LaPerch. Also running are Leta Yancy-Sutton, a real estate broker and former councilwoman;John Roberts, a city parks and recreation commissioner, and Lynn Tingirides, a law enforcement officer.

Thousand Oaks

In Thousand Oaks, incumbent council members Frank Schillo and Lee Laxdal are seeking reelectionto 4-year City Council terms.

Schillo, 54, is seeking his second term on the council. He owns and operates a financial management company. Laxdal, 53, is an aerospace executive and is seeking a third term on the council.


Challenging the two incumbents are Joan Gorner, a former Planning Commission member; Elois Zeanah, the president of the League of Conejo Homeowner Assns., and Norm (Blackie) Jackson, a professional singer.

Simi Valley

Three incumbents are running for reelection to the Simi Valley City Council. Mayor Gregory Stratton, who is seeking a second 2-year term, will be challenged by candidate Lincoln Demyan, a real estate broker.

Council members Glen McAdoo and Bill Davis are seeking second terms in office. Their challengers are David Meichtry, who listed no occupation; Valerie Rose de Rose, counselor, and James L. Meredith, director of the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District Board of Trustees.

Also running are Paul LaBonte, an engineer who founded the local community activist group Fight Intolerable Growth and Horrible Traffic, which sponsored a local growth limit initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot.

In the Simi Valley Unified School District board race, four of five seats are being contested. The filing in that race has been extended to Aug. 17 because incumbent board member Mimi Shapiro is not running for reelection.

Three of the school board races are for 4-year terms. The fourth is for the two years remaining in the term of Tom Harmon, who died last month.


Board member Helen Beebe is seeking to fill the 2-year term and will be challenged by Francine Shannon, a dental hygienist. Incumbent Kenneth L. Ashton is seeking reelection for a 4-year term. Other candidates are Judy Barry, a PTA volunteer, and Hal Lipman, a college teacher. Also running are Robert Pegg, who is retired, and Gregg Olson, a firefighter.


The filing deadline for candidates seeking one of two City Council seats in Camarillo has been extended until Aug. 17 because incumbent F. Burrows (Bill) Esty declined to run for reelection. By Friday, however, incumbent Michael D. Morgan, a federal probation officer, had filed for reelection.

Other candidates in the Camarillo race are Stanley Scesney, an electrical engineer; Clinton McCaslin, a retired grading contractor, and David Smith, a financial planner. Also running are Harvey Esenberg, an operations administrator, and Lowell Zelinski, a retired teacher.