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THOUSAND OAKS : 2 Cities Criticize Library Fee Plan

Officials in Moorpark and Oak Park on Monday denounced Thousand Oaks’ plan to charge all non-residents--except perhaps those from Westlake Village--$55 a year to check books out of city libraries.

Under a Thousand Oaks plan, free library services for non-residents ends on Oct. 1. However, Thousand Oaks council members tonight will consider delaying the fee for Westlake Village residents.

Westlake Village officials would have until Nov. 1 to negotiate a deal with Thousand Oaks that would allow residents of that Los Angeles County community to check out books for free.

For months, Moorpark residents and officials have criticized the proposal as unfair. Mayor Paul Lawrason has requested a delay in the fee to negotiate an arrangement between the two cities.

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Lawrason said he plans to review the fee at Wednesday’s Moorpark City Council meeting.

Ron Stark, a member of the Oak Park Municipal Advisory Council, said he also considers making an exception only for Westlake Village unfair.

“If they’re going to allow Westlake Village to participate, I think they should negotiate with all the communities,” Stark said.

Westlake Village is the only community that has offered to pay Thousand Oaks for use of its libraries, said Joe Hinsberg, Thousand Oaks community services manager. Officials from those two cities have met for months trying to strike a deal, he said.

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