Incumbents Fare Well in Three Cities in West Ventura County

Incumbent City Council members and other municipal officials generally fared well in three west Ventura County cities this week.

In Fillmore, voters chose the only incumbent councilman up for reelection, and also favored two slow-growth advocates, picking Anglo candidates over three Latinos, including a former mayor.

The Latino candidates had pledged to bring better ethnic representation to Fillmore’s all-Anglo City Council. Latinos account for half of the city’s population of 11,048.

Scott Lee, a high school economics teacher and a former vice president of Bank of A. Levy, came in first, garnering 2,020 votes. Second was incumbent Councilman Roger Campbell, who owns an auto repair shop, with 1,674. Mike McMahan, whose family owns an oil-field supply business, ranked third, with 1,413.


Two Latino candidates, former Fillmore Mayor Ernest Morales and Enrique Villasenor, received 1,028 and 1,051 respectively. Ben Aparicio received 667 and Terry Metzler, 596.

No ‘Racial Overtones’

Villasenor, who serves on the Fillmore Planning Commission, said the election was not decided along ethnic lines.

“I don’t think there’s any racial overtones in this at all,” he said. “The winners ran good clean campaigns. They said they’d support the whole community, and I’m sure they will.”


Fillmore City Clerk Noreen Withers won reelection, along with City Treasurer Jim L. McGuire. Both ran unopposed. Withers was at the center of a storm earlier this year when she and two other women city employees charged that former City Manager Stanley Greene had sexually harassed them with “inappropriate touching” and, in Withers’ case, by allegedly making verbal advances.

Greene resigned after the city agreed to pay him $95,000 to void his 2 1/2-year contract. Greene maintains that he was the victim of a “conspiracy.”

Friendliest Campaign

Port Hueneme voters returned Orvene S. Carpenter and Dean Green to their City Council positions for four more years Tuesday after what was perhaps the friendliest campaign in the county.

Carpenter, 63, a 21-year council member, garnered 2,826 votes, while two-term representative Green, 74, collected 3,181. Their challenger, Al Ingersoll, 57, a retired naval officer, gained 2,106.

Throughout the election, candidates steered clear of negative comments about each other.

Carpenter and Green campaigned on records that include a city redevelopment program and efforts to widen key truck routes from Port Hueneme Harbor to Oxnard. A recent port expansion has increased traffic along these streets.

Ingersoll had said he wanted to help shape the city’s plans for the 1990s. The next council will redefine the city’s image through beautification efforts and encouragement of business and residential improvements, he said.


The city could also improve its communication with neighboring Oxnard and the Navy base, Ingersoll said, citing problems residents had with a controversial Oxnard billboard that extended 18 inches into Hueneme.

In Santa Paula’s City Council election, incumbent Leslie H. Maland, 66, received top billing with 3,324 votes, but the other incumbent, Al Escoto, was unseated. Escoto received 2,525 votes, while challenger Al Urias received 2,643.

Paul D. Kaiser received 2,102 votes.

Maland campaigned for balanced development of the city’s commercial and industrial base, accompanied by an increase in high- to middle-income housing projects. He promised to continue strict enforcement of the city’s laws controlling rents in mobile-home parks. Almost 13% of the city’s population, many of them seniors, reside in these parks, he said.

Urias, 63, a former 3-term council member, campaigned on a promise to achieve the city’s decade-old goal of building a community center. He, like the other candidates also rated creation of more affordable housing as one of the city’s top priorities. Urias is part-time real estate agent and teacher, and has coordinated vocational educational programs for California’s community colleges.

Times staff writers William Diepenbrock and Denise Hamilton contributed to this story.