Supervisor to Keep Seat on Land Conservancy to Herself

Times Staff Writer

Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks won't have to share her seat on the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy with one of her colleagues.

On a 3-2 vote, the supervisors agreed that Parks should be the only one to fill the seat. Supervisor Judy Mikels had asked that she be allowed to fill the position for half of the four-year term.

But Parks, who won office last year on a slow-growth platform, said her credentials as an open-space advocate make the slot a "good fit" for her.

She also noted that the conservancy board seat has been reserved for the 2nd District supervisor for 23 years.

"There is something to be said for consistency," Parks said. "I personally want to serve on the board for the full four years."

The conservancy was created by state law in 1979. Its board approves acquisitions of land in the Santa Monica Mountains area for preservation and creation of wildlife corridors.

Mikels said Parks' predecessor, Frank Schillo, had permitted her to share the seat as part of a "gentleperson's agreement." He did so, Mikels said, in recognition that the sprawling conservancy district lands now take in part of Mikels' Simi Valley-based 4th District.

"I understand Supervisor Parks' view on this, but it's more about representation than it is about personalities," Mikels said. "There are a lot of people in my district who are affected by this district."

Parks' motion to keep the seat in her Thousand Oaks district was backed by Supervisors Steve Bennett and John Flynn. Supervisor Kathy Long joined Mikels in opposing it.

After the vote, Mikels said she would attempt to get a state bill passed that would add a second Ventura County seat to the conservancy's eight-member voting board.

Flynn said he voted with Parks for "consistency's sake." He also took into consideration Parks' status as the board's newest member.

"As a new member we ought to try to accommodate her," he said.

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