THOUSAND OAKS : Group Formed to Back 2 Councilmen

Supporters of Thousand Oaks Councilmen Frank Schillo and Alex Fiore have formed an alliance to fight a campaign to throw the two officials out of office.

"It's wrong in our view to recall two council people who have been honorable . . . just because you don't agree with their ideas," said J. Michael Hagopian, one of the leaders of the Committee to Stop the Recall.

The councilmen are facing recall because they support the city's Jungleland project, a $64.8-million development that involves building a new city hall and performing arts auditorium at the site of the former wild animal park.

Hagopian is a Thousand Oaks filmmaker who has headed reelection campaigns for Fiore during the councilman's 27 years in office.

The committee, which includes about 40 Schillo supporters, intends to distribute flyers and run newspaper ads urging residents to support Fiore and Schillo, Hagopian said. Fiore said his backers may have organized too late to prevent his foes from collecting the estimated 8,400 signatures needed to put the recall on a special election ballot.

In October, recall leaders reported that they had collected 6,000 signatures. One member of the committee to remove Schillo and Fiore confirmed Tuesday that the group is close to meeting its goal.

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