VENTURA : Ecologists Endorse 2 Council Candidates

Two local environmental groups have endorsed candidates Donna De Paola-Peterson and Stephen Hartmann for the upcoming Ventura City Council election.

Twelve candidates are seeking three open seats on the Nov. 7 ballot.

The Los Padres chapter of the Sierra Club and Voters' Coalition selected De Paola-Peterson and Hartmann for their support of Measures I and J, two restrictive land-use initiatives placed on the ballot by a citizens group known as Save Our Agricultural Resources (SOAR).

The initiatives seek to preserve farmland by requiring voter approval before property owners are permitted to change their agriculturally zoned land to allow development. The City Council has traditionally decided such issues.

"Both candidates support the SOAR initiatives," Voter's Coalition leader Bob Dodge said in a prepared statement. "SOAR is critical to preserving Ventura's quality of life."

De Paola-Peterson is a Ventura attorney. Hartmann is marketing manager for Green Foods Corp., an Oxnard food supplement company.

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