Thursday, December 13, 2007

DeVito Gives Mayor Title To Horgan

Councilmember says she won't run in 2008

By Nao Braverman
At the tail end of Tuesday night's City Council meeting, the scheduled reorganization of council members took an unexpected turn when Councilwoman Sue Horgan asked if she could swap places with Councilman Joe DeVito and serve as mayor this year instead.
Many changes had taken place for Horgan at home and in her personal life, with her children growing older, and she wanted to take time to focus on other things in the years to come, she told the council.
"Since I plan to conclude my term in 2008 I would like to conclude my term on a positive note," she said.
Horgan promptly asked council if she could have the opportunity of serving as mayor without running for re-election next term, and otherwise upsetting the rotation system. She proposed that DeVito wait another year for the mayor's seat and she would serve in his place. The regular rotation of government would otherwise be affected, she said.
Though other council members did not expect the request, Horgan said that she had been in contact with DeVito and he had agreed to the swap.
DeVito later he said that he had known about Horgan's proposal when he answered interview questions about his upcoming term as mayor, but chose not to divulge anything because he did not want to violate the Brown Act.
He also added that he didn't want to draw attention to himself or the situation.
At the meeting DeVito was reluctant to make the final decision and deferred to other council members, who turned the gavel back to him.
"I think it is a bold suggestion," said Councilwoman Rae Hanstad. "But If Mayor Pro Tem DeVito were to choose to grant this favor, then I would support him returning to the position of mayor afterward."
DeVito said that though he had been put in an awkward position, having already received congratulations cards in the mail, and an article on his supposed upcoming term as mayor, he would agree to the swap as long as it be guaranteed that he could then serve as mayor the following term.
City manager Jere Kersnar said that they wouldn't normally be able to commit to a future council. But since three of the council members were sure to be serving in the upcoming year, there would be quorum enough to make such decision.
Other council members said they would support DeVito's return to the mayor's seat the following year.
DeVito agreed to the proposal. Councilman Steve Olsen formally nominated Horgan as mayor, and DeVito as mayor pro tem once more, and rotation was finalized.
Earlier Horgan thanked Carol Smith for serving as mayor this year.
"You did an excellent job. I appreciate your sense of humor, you always try to go for a solution. And I also think you have been very fair," she said.
Hanstad chimed in. "I wasn't sure about your fireside chat-style of governing at first, "she said. "But I think you have made people very comfortable which is why so many people have come to attend our meetings."
Smith concluded her first term as mayor Tuesday night, Horgan's term as mayor begins.
"It's very clear that Joe was gracious enough to support my request," said Horgan. "It showed the great amount of mutual respect that we have for each other on the council, and of itself, and I think it shows that we have a great year ahead of us."


Anonymous said...

Gosh and golly gee whiskers!
You mean this woman can
use her pull to be seated
early as mayor and everyone
lets her? Could they
(and the bank)
also change the name to
County Commerce Council?

Anonymous said...

Joe Devito's admission that "he had known about Horgan's proposal when he answered interview questions about his upcoming term as mayor, but chose not to divulge anything because he did not want to violate the Brown Act," does not make sense! Furthermore, according to the OVN's,
he "also added that he didn't want to draw attention to himself or the situation." Surely there was a better way to handle this awkward situation than pretending to be the new mayor. He could simply have asked the media to hold off making any formal announcements till after the next City Council meeeting.

former mayor said...

stay focused on citizenship for rats and hefers!!

Anonymous said...

Why is Suza posting anonymously here?

Anonymous said...

quit pretending suza...this reaks of conspiracy

Anonymous said...

Sue Horgan will be a great mayor to represent the city of Ojai. She is conscientious, fair, and experienced.

Anonymous said...

Pure jive-the reason "so many people have come to attend our meetings" Rae points out is
because never before has Ojai
been under the threat of unmanaged growth seen under this city council. Now they've seated Sue who not only voted against chain store regulation but is married to a board member of a bank specializing in real estate development. Tell us another one.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see at least two 7 to 10 story office buidings on Ojai Ave. Let's start making more efficient use of our precious land.

Unless Ojai starts annexing all surrounding areas, we can only grow upward, not out. So, let's grow upward! Tall buildings can be beautiful, too, and we could use 300 to 400 new businesses in town.

I would also like to see that large lot next to the Garden Terrace restaurant turned into low-cost housing for the Hispanic families who do most of the real labor in town. Right now, they're all driving in from other cities. Think how much traffic we could take off the road if these workers lived here!

The old bowling alley would be a great place for a new market -- maybe a Tresierras Market like they have in Fillmore. Visit to learn more about Tresierras -- they're great!

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be possible for the Chumash in Santa Ynez to purchase land in Ojai and turn it into tribal land and build a casino here, too? They wouldn't need permission from the City or even the County because their land would be a sovereign nation and exempt from all local laws. The County has tried to sell Soule Park in the past, and perhaps the Chumash could buy Soule Park. If they did, the incredible number of people flooding into Ojai each day to visit the casino would be reason enough to turn Highway 33 into a 4 lane freeway all the way from Foster Park to Ojai. We need this road improvement because I am tired of it taking me 45 minutes to get to Ventura everytime I want to go there. Just the other day, I wanted to buy a new oven mitt and get an eggnog latte at Starbucks and it took me longer to drive to and from Ventura than it took me to do my shopping and get my coffee. We need a casino! They could build a great skate park for the kids, too, and perhaps have special shows for minors. This would help keep local kids out of gangs and give them things to do. Not only that, it would provide money and jobs, jobs, jobs!

Furry Herbalist said...

"...Now they've seated Sue who not only voted against chain store regulation but is married to a board member of a bank specializing in real estate development.."

Based on this tired old accusation, not a single business owner in Ojai (or their spouse) would be deemed unbiased enough to sit on the Council. That person would be continually accused of being "pro-business" and not able to act in the best interest of the citizens.

I say good for Sue for sticking to her belief that the 10,000 square foot limit could be trouble (that's the only part of the chain store ordinance she objected to, by the way). She was uncomfortable with it and she didn't waffle.

B. Dawson

Anonymous said...

New business is not unwelcome
but sustainable design of cities
or towns with growing pains is needed. View corridors are for the enjoyment of all residents and 7-10 stories would blot them out. Buildings should be built to scale with established town. New shopping center on Ojai Avenue does this well. Agree with low cost housing location idea. But Chumash casino is way off the scale. Huge traffic and EIR effects from these operations. CALTRANS lost their chance when freeway proposal was defeated before and it will not repeat. Starbucks and mindless shopping are alive and well in other locales which you may be happier dwelling near. Jobs and buildings are desirable but don't put the cart before the horse. First comes established small business, then fill up the vacancies, both business and residental and condos that we have.Then move out in a plan keeping with sustainable growth of a small economic vibrant town.

Anonymous said...

I drove to Ventura last night and it took only 25 minutes! There is a Starbucks in Mira Monte and oven mitts are available at Rains. Now why did you need to drive to Ventura?

Anonymous said...

Jeez but it's over 2 and a half hours to the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez. It would be good for Ojai to have one hear with good entertainment and gambling tax revenues.

Anonymous said...

The Starbuck's in Mira Monte is always crowded and there's never a convenient place to park. I've had to park down around the corner from Rite Aid, and that's just too far to walk when I'm in a hurry. I don't understand why they can't have a drive up window. When I went to Rains to get an oven mitt, they did not have the kind I wanted which was an elbow length mitt with a silicone rubber palm.

Anonymous said...

Again, why don't you chose
to live in a busier place
where you can drive
through everything for
service and not have to
leave your car. Ojai valley
is not designed for that
lifestyle and hope it never
will be.You can always trade
up your quiet town for what
you're seeking. Sounds like
walking to Ojai Roaster is
out of the question for you.

Anonymous said...

I like it here. But, I see things that I think need to be changed. Everyone who lives here wants to change something. Everybody who lives anywhere wants to change something.

You suggest that if I don't like it here I might move. I suggest that if you can't stand living around people who might want to change things, maybe you might not want to live around other people at all.

James Hatch said...

Enough of the petty squable. Let's talk about the real issues. Even James Hatch finds the call for a Casino and chain store mexican market to be absurd.

Let's talk about the real issues. When I say real issues, I mean the ones that determine whether you'll be eating breakfast in the morning. Let's face it, Ojai needs more jobs.

Anonymous said...

Real people find James Hatch to be absurd. Real people know that there is no James Hatch. Real people know that James Hatch is a sock puppet. Real people know that the person calling him or herself James Hatch is just yanking everyone's chain. Real people know that there will never be an OVN interview with James Hatch. Real people know that James Hatch will never run for office under the name James Hatch, because that would be fraudulent. Real people wish that James Hatch would take a long walk off a short pier.

the people's candidate said...

I resent being referred to a not a real person. this reaks of progressive skull-dougery!!! the brown act (thank you suza) does not allow me expose myself at this time.

Your's in service...J.B. Hatch

Anonymous said...

the brown act (thank you suza) does not allow me expose myself at this time.

Where do you usually expose yourself?

moral majority said...

james hatch is my neighbor and a GREAT american. god bless him!!

Anonymous said...

Great. One sock puppet defending another.

James Hatch said...

J.B. Hatch, who are you? Grow up and use your real name, but do not try to impersonate an American hero. James Hatch stands for the truth. The truth is that James Hatch is our next leader.

Phalaropus said...

james hatch you are a great american. you have my vote!!

M.U. said...

I am the real James Hatch!

Furry Herbalist said...

To Anonymous Dec. 18, 9:33:

There are no plans for 7-10 story buildings in Ojai.
The 10,000 sq. ft. cap was proposed because of exisiting buildings (Von's, Starr, Rain's) that have that much space and might be of interest to the likes of RiteAid or other businesses who obviously have nothing Ojai locals might be interested in purchasing (she said sarcastically).

As to mindless shopping and filling empty spaces with local businesses. Time to keep some of you bloggers honest. Local shoppers are in short supply. Seems the economy (among other things) has driven them to the perception of bargins that the universally despised chain stores have to offer in Mira Monte & Ventura. That generates a large part of our traffic. Limited jobs & limited shopping in Ojai cause driving. Cause, effect.

Sue Horgan is on record that marketing Ojai is one of her priorities during her term as Mayor. Let's hope that will move us toward a more solid economy for our Town in the coming year. I look forward to her term.

B Dawson