A final list of five candidates for the Oak Park Municipal Advisory Council has been forwarded to Ventura County Supervisor Frank Schillo, who is expected to fill two vacancies on the panel by Monday.
Twelve candidates applied for the positions on the council, which operates as an advisory board to Schillo. The vacancies on the five-member elected panel were created when J. Paul Fredericks moved out of the area and longtime Councilman Ron Stark resigned, taking a job in Schillo's office.
Eleven of the 12 candidates were interviewed Tuesday night by the remaining council members, who winnowed the field to five. The other candidate did not attend the interview.
"I was very impressed with the quality of the applicants," Schillo said.
The number of applicants also surprised many, because the monthly council meetings are usually sparsely attended.
Applicant Douglas Hewitson who made the short list, attributed the interest to Schillo's November election. The council and Schillo's predecessor, Supervisor Maria VanderKolk, often clashed, and residents accused her of ignoring their affluent enclave of about 15,000 residents.
Schillo promised during his campaign to pay more attention to the needs of Oak Park and vowed to work closely with the council.
The five candidates are Hewitson, Todd Haines(, Chuck Monico, ArgyleNelson and Philip Panitz.