Praise for VanderKolk

I find many inherent ironies in the way Supervisor Maria VanderKolk's decision regarding the Ahmanson development project and the concurrent gain of the Bob Hope properties for public parkland has been presented by the media and interpreted by her opponents.

We, the public, are always clamoring for politicians who make their decisions based on what they believe is right, not on the next election. Isn't it strange that Thousand Oaks City Councilwoman Elois Zeanah and Mary Weisbrock, director of Save Open Space, believe that VanderKolk won't run again because of her compromise to allow some development in order to gain 10,000 acres of public parkland? Could it be that VanderKolk didn't base her decision on 1994, but on what she believed was the right thing to do?

We are always begging for politicians who haven't sold out to special interests. It is truly ironic, then, that had VanderKolk done everything that SOS wanted--namely, defeat all development even at the risk of losing the opportunity to gain the Hope properties for parkland--she would have been labeled as being in the pocket of the special interest that helped her get elected.

We as the public had better figure out what we want. It seems to me that VanderKolk, who has publicly stated ambivalence about reelection, has had the courage to make difficult choices because she believed they were the right ones, and who names her top priority as her family, fits the description of what the American people and the media always say they want.

I must be missing something here.

DOUG NICHOLS

Thousand Oaks

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