THOUSAND OAKS : Council to Defer Controversial Votes


Despite strenuous objections by the mayor, Thousand Oaks council members have agreed not to schedule controversial votes in the three- to four-week period between the city’s November election and December inauguration.

Because three seats are up for grabs, the council’s philosophy could shift dramatically after the upcoming election.

To give newcomers a fair shot at shaping city policy, Councilwoman Elois Zeanah proposed that lame-duck politicians defer all touchy issues until after new council members take office.


She won support from fellow council members Jaime Zukowski and Frank Schillo. But Mayor Alex Fiore, who will retire this fall, opposed the proposal.

Traditionally, Fiore said, the council has refrained from voting on non-urgent items during the post-election period. Yet he objected to codifying that informal policy. And he argued that residents should trust their officials to act responsibly, even as lame ducks.

“I resent the inference that, after serving this community for 30 years, I do not have the ability to make an informed, analyzed, objective decision on something of paramount importance that may come up Nov. 9 or Nov. 18,” Fiore said.

The policy was immediately tested Tuesday night when council members considered a request by developer Nedjatollah Cohan to postpone an August hearing on his hotly debated Newbury Park project. Cohan asked for a new hearing date of Nov. 15--after the election, but before the inauguration.

Instead, the council told Cohan to select a date in October, which would force politicians to defend their votes in the election campaign, or December, when a new council would be seated.