THOUSAND OAKS : New Organization Goes to Heart of the Matter

For the past year, city officials have lavished attention on Thousand Oaks Boulevard, drafting plans to revitalize businesses along the four-mile strip.

But they have pretty much ignored the people who live in the area. At least, that's how resident Jeannette Scovill sees it.

To correct that perceived imbalance, Scovill has organized the Heart of the City Committee, a group of about 30 residents who live in central Thousand Oaks. She defines downtown as stretching from Erbes Road to Lynn Road, between the Ventura Freeway and the Sunset Hills development.

The group will hold its first public forum on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Thousand Oaks Library. Mayor Judy Lazar, Ventura County Supervisor Maria VanderKolk, and local business, parks, school, and police representatives will answer questions.

"T.O. Boulevard has been receiving a lot of attention lately, but there are other areas that also have needs and would like to get some resources, attention and answers," Scovill said.

At the meeting, city leaders will explain how residents can best work with them to solve problems in their neighborhoods. "There's a lack of expertise in terms of how people should deal with the city and county," Scovill said.

She hopes to hold public forums four times a year.

Councilman Frank Schillo welcomed the Heart of the City Committee, saying, "I'm really pleased to hear they're doing something because there are a lot of problems there that need to be addressed."

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