Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hanstad, Horgan May Run For Re-election

Mayor, councilwoman reconsider decisions not to run

By Nao Braverman
With less than a week until the nomination period opens for Ojai City Council member seats, two councilwomen are reconsidering their previous decisions not to run for re-election.
In December 2007 at the council members’ reorgani-zation, Mayor Sue Horgan announced that she wanted to take time to focus on her children and her personal life. Shortly after, in mid-April, long-term Councilwoman Rae Hanstad also announced her plans to depart the council at the end of her second term.
Hanstad, coordinator of the county’s methamphetamine task force, said she wanted to focus on her career and family and step out of public life. With the city in fair shape, it seemed a good time to exit, she had said in April.
But some local citizens disagreed and told her so.
“Several members of the community have asked me to reconsider,” said Hanstad. “I have been meeting with them and I am re-evaluating my position.”
Horgan, seeing the city has not progressed as far as expected on some key projects, is also reconsidering her decision not to run again.
“It has come to my attention that we are not quite as far along with some projects as I had hoped we would be,” she said. “I don’t want to make it sound like I think I can do them myself, I can’t, but I think I have an impact. And I want to make sure the city is moving in the direction that we have set.”
Some of the projects she is referring to are the state-mandated housing plan, which requires the city to make a plan that accommodates hundreds of new affordable housing units. That plan has been met with controversy, and despite many long discussions on the subject, council members are still far from a concrete housing element that can be sent to the state department of housing and community development for approval.
Another important item left unfinished, according to Horgan, is the long-awaited Ojai Skate Park. Although more than the goal of $350,000 has been collected, a long-term lease on the proposed location on school district property has yet to be secured.
While the city is financially in good shape, and close to replenishing its reserves, council members have not yet set spending priorities for when the city does have money to spare, she said.
Horgan also mentioned her recent meetings with Hanstad and members of the Chamber of Commerce. The select group has been working on a plan to rejuvenate the local economy, but has just begun gathering information.
With so much still unfinished, Horgan is unsure whether she should leave the council as soon as she had planned.
But neither Horgan nor Hanstad have made a final decision just yet.
Whether they decide to run or not, both seats are up for election, along with the position of city clerk and city treasurer.
Despite the welcome offered by Hanstad and other locals, retired Ventura County Chief Executive Johnny Johnston said he had no plans to run for council. And County Fire Chief Bob Roper said he had made no decision at this time.
Candidates can pick up their nomination papers starting Monday, and have until Aug. 8 to turn them in, unless an incumbent decides not to file for re-election, in which case the filing deadline is extended to Aug. 15.
By that deadline each candidate hopeful has to obtain at least 20 signatures of sponsoring voters who are registered in the city in order to qualify for candidacy.
Elected council members receive a monthly stipend of $475 per month and $30 per meeting for serving on the Redevelopment Commission as well as health, vision and dental insurance.
City Clerk Carlon Strobel has been elected to her position for two terms in a row, and will be up for re-election on Nov. 4. as will City Treasurer Alan Rains. Interested citizens can pick up papers at City Hall on 401 S. Ventura St., starting Monday.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh please! Be real and candid here about the mayor's history. Horgan says there is unfinished business? Never before has Ojai been under the threat of unmanaged growth seen under this city council.
This woman can use her pull to be seated early as mayor and everyone
lets her? Sue not only voted against chain store regulation but is married to a board member of a bank specializing in real estate development. Could the city counsel
(and the bank) also change their name to County Commerce Council?
No surprise that ESQ Monte
Widders sits on the board of the bank and has been billing the city for bogus lawsuits for years
for yet undetermined amounts.
Lastly, Sue Horgan hand picked
city manager Jere Kersner promnoting "filing in Ojai's
incomplete patchwork." Best to review unsustainable Bryant Street Business Park for their results
om growth. Cause to be alarmed
for more business as usual from
this shady culture. PL

PL's campaign manager said...

Quit your incessant moaning Pete. Probably why you weren’t elected in first place...

Anonymous said...

Sorry to have to tell you to get
a clue about civic participation
as well as try having the courage
to make a stand on something beyond
yout own false ego. The things
I raised back then and today havent
changed, only the time has.
Please explain how uncovering
and insisting on the truth about
the city councel culture even slightly resembles moaning. Don't worry about managing anyone's campaign...

Anonymous said...

Pete...

During a public city council meeting Sue Horgan directly asked that any proof of misconduct or illegal activity on the part of any city council member be brought forth. Her comments were sparked by, I believe, either Dennis Leary or you making unsubstantiated allegations at the podium.

To my knowledge no proof has been offered, only more vague, inflammatory sniping. If you were on the receiving end of such allegations, no doubt the ACLU would be involved by now.

Yes Sue voted against the chain store ordinance. Glad someone has the balls to stand up and say banning anything is a poor solution. How does that opinion make her unfit for office or corrupt in any way? It means she holds a different opinion than you. She has a lot of company in that area.

Based on the constant moaning about her husband's job being a conflict of interest, no business owner or employee in the city would be a fit council member. Your criteria makes their profession a conflict of interest and merchants of unmanaged growth.

Get a new song Pete. You've been singing this one too long and too few people agree with you.

B Dawson

Anonymous said...

Bee and you other aspiring Republicans. So your reading and retention skills are not what
they used to be. The conflict of interest info is all over the net and youtube. I'll leave it up to you to navigate that for yourselves. Or you might ask
ESQ Cathy Jones or the city funds treasurer but don't be surprised if you touch a nerve on both accounts. Ojai politics reminds one of the national level in that both are a slow moving dinasaur. I stand by my statements on shadow city hall politics- same ##!! different year. Not to worry-there will always be a place for you in the Republican Anonymous dynasty... PL

Nickname unavailable said...

"The conflict of interest info is all over the net and youtube. I'll leave it up to you to navigate that for yourselves."

For those of us who have no idea what you're talking about, perhaps you could post a few links to substantiate and clarify what you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

ANYTHING could be all over the internet and youtube. You can even find some fascinating articles about the Great Lakes whale population! Just don't count on seeing those whales if you ever do travel to the Great Lakes. Cathy Elliot-Jones is terrific at promoting herself and her bizarre causes, but she is not one I would look to to get an accurate view of city politics. I am "liberal", but that does not mean that I am a blind sheep. An idiot is still an idiot, no matter the party or the "cause".

Anonymous said...

COUNTY COMMERCE BANK BOARD

Roger Myers, Esq.
Myers, Widders, Gibson,
Jones & Schneider
Attorneys at Law

Jeffrey Becker
The Becker Group
President

Gary M. Horgan, Esq.
Horgan, Rosen, Beckham & Coren
Attorneys at Law

Anonymous said...

(Yawn) Ojai Post,
Guest Editorial: Jeff Furchtenicht
OJAI’S “SUE FIRST” POLICY: UPDATE ON THE INITIATIVES LAWSUIT
Comments

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I'm leaving Ojai. Business as usual I see...
Welcome to Stepford,California.

Anonymous said...

Pete...

I'm not an aspiring Republican nor am I anonymous about anything that I do, I AM a Jeffersonian Republican. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Pete.

You can't even decide within this post what you are talking about. First its "unmanaged growth" then our local government is a "slow moving dinosaur". Someone could get whiplash trying to make sense of your position.

Being on a bank board doesn't make someone corrupt or in control of anything other than the bank. None of the "we aren't getting the Ojai WE want" complainers have yet to offer any proof of wrong doing by any member of Council. Sorry, utube and local blogs don't even begin to count as proof. They are just more opinions offered by the (mostly) anonymous.

It's your red, white and blue guaranteed right to disagree with what the members of Council stand for or to hate their politics, but you can't produce any proof that Ojai's elected officials are corrupt.

There have been missteps and mistakes to be certain. Show me any local government that has not suffered their share of errors. Local governments are staffed by humans after all with all the inherent flaws therein.

Those who find Ojai to be another LA or Santa Barbara need to spend more time outside Ojai. They would come home with fresh perspectives. This is a wonderful small town with nothing more than the usual small town troubles. If "business as usual" has created this, then what's the problem?

B Dawson

Anonymous said...

Bee, other detractors; I don't need to do your homework for you but would be willing to revisit election issues I raise here if you wish. Most important to
me is that the truth in local politics prevails so that voters can make as informed choice as
is possible. However, let it
be known I have much better things to do than make unsubstantiated
allegations. The history
and patterns of city council
misrepresentation are quite real.PL

Anonymous said...

Pete, voters are aware of the truth. You have been heard. Your ideas have been considered. Voters have made their choices, and you are not one of those choices.

You are also being mean and combative, without a good thing to say. Your constant whining about an unsubstantiated conflict, or "unfettered growth" that doesn't show up in population or school counts, just defines you as someone without credibility. Please consider this, before you reply or if you reply. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Not really- why would you be protesting so much here about it?
Have it your way- for starters I suspected a stolen election in 2006-a sinking feeling when it was relaid ballots were defective
and they were remarking them by hand. Weird DeJaVu from the
past Republican nationals. Also, it's locked at the county election division office and you have to watch hand recounts from a tiny window. Now about the Ojai dinasaurs, the 25 year envisioning project was supposed to lay the groundwork for a progressive civic agenda. At this point the council haven't even started with the state directed affordable housing plan. So it goes...PL

morris shilting said...

PL, Do you have a vision for Ojai? If so, could you let us know what it is?

Anonymous said...

Not really- why would you be protesting so much here about it?
Pete, I am the July 11, 2008 1:06 PM poster and posting for the first time on this thread, so your comment makes no sense.

Have it your way- for starters I suspected a stolen election in 2006
Pete, you have all these half-baked theories and no evidence. It would be easier to take you seriously if you backed up your UNSUBSTANTIATED accusations now and then.

Anonymous said...

Hanstad and Horgan are good people who are giving Ojai the benefit of their commitment to civic duty. They don't deserve this kind of innuendo, as if they are up to some subterfuge. I thank them, and all their elected colleagues, for their service.

And, yea, let's see PL's "vision statement" yet again. I know it has something to do with an "occasional wayward dog."

Anonymous said...

Ojai would do well to follow a building ordinance adopted by Santa Barbara limiting the size of remodels to a certain square footage preventing dimensions that block surrounding views and overshadow modest pre-existing structures.

The big buildout of Ojai deminishes charm and liveability and comes with side effects of unsustainable growth - crime, unhealthy air, traffic congestion and general threats to public safety and the quality of life. Oversized homes and commercial buildings subtract from the charm and diversity bringing tourist revenue to a small town that is not yet another suburb. The downtown arcade area is designed for pedestrians with a central plaza business district, not a gateway to decentralized commercial buildings producing traffic congestion.

Also as important is providing for the culture-youth, arts, music and creative pursuits, as well as acknowledging the many rich and varied spiritual communities we have for a town this size. It is good to see young people walking and relating to a small town they grew up in and still feel a part of.

I like small neighborhood encounters with safe streets for bicycles and walkers and kids and the occasional wayward dog wandering down what it believes is a quiet lane, not a busy thoroughfare. My vision of the quality of life here compliments but not resists a finite valley supporting healthy clean natural resources which have potential for benign clean energies and renewables - solar, wind, and bicycle and electric transportation.
I entered the last city council race for reasons somewhat a mystery - the job itself being a long and thankless task with few willing participants. I know now going through the elections process that the community has found it’s voice, or one that I never quite heard before here. I’ve seen the old guard of Ojai awaken, and I’ve seen the newer one sing harmony with not the same old song and dance, but a stirring melody of hope and promise that is every bit as rare and beautiful as this valley surrounded by mountains that filter the light of dawn and dusk.

That this place is like no other, that is the essential message and the only one that really matters. Yes it is threatened here, but no It is not too late to change that - it is neither a lost horizon nor a lost cause.

I won’t be singing the melody from a city council seat but will be humming it as I make the rounds on bicycle and on foot to friends I see walking still quiet streets, still healthy small neighborhoods with trees and views and and still open places with pure streams to see and visit. It is still good to live in this place, to know and value it, to be a part of it. To see and hear this song being sung brings feelings of joy and contentment of what remains in this quiet valley of peace. PL

Anonymous said...

What big buildout, Pete? There are empty lots all over Ojai, and some of them are on Ojai Avenue. I don't see the big buildout you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

That referenced the Bryant Street
Industrial Park traffic, EIR, and
the many empty condo projects
as well- some garish,
some oversized, which are not being
sold. Should the economy pick up again anytime soon, new projects
need to be built to scale and
affordable, as required by state.PL

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to argue with you about the condo projects, but the Bryant Street Industrial Park was created with build-out in mind. Build-out has always been the goal there. Build-out was, and is, desired on Bryant Street and Bryant Circle.

Anonymous said...

Not trying to get the last word here- just beg to differ to save Ojai from allowing these (lack of) Planning Commission projects like the Bryant Street Industrial Plan
from representing the worst in community development.The City is blinded by its ‘maximum build out theory’ of development.The Plan has no traffic mitigation or EIR except an increase of 300K car trips from Bryant Street. The decisions being made at the time by current Community Development
Department, Planning Commission and City Council were extremely detrimental to the City and the valley of Ojai, effecting
our quality of life, raise health and environmental issues, and continue to increase the amount of
traffic in the valley. All of these issues are being dismissed by the City or in some cases new ordinances are being written
to get around the legal issues which they present. It is important that we stand as a community to express our concerns about how our elected and
appointed officials are doing their job. It is about reminding our officials that the true sense of community development is about building an active and sustainable community based on mutual respect. Ojai is special to each one of us who live here. It is why we live here and it is our responsibility to preserve the unique character of the valley. PL

Anonymous said...

Don't you live in Ventura, Pete?

Anonymous said...

I have evidence of subterfuge and big business' conspiracy theory to demolish Ojai.

Anonymous said...

I have evidence that pixies live in my garden.

I have evidence that an alien being named Xenu is trying to control my mind.

I have evidence that the Loch Ness monster is really a lost Nazi submarine.

I have evidence that WalMart plans to sell us pillows that have been stuffed with dead moths.

I have evidence that a certain brand of laxative will cure skin cancer.

I have evidence that someone stole my truck and replaced it with an exact duplicate.

Anonymous said...

Truth is I was not the lame two past posts by brave anonymous.
Question before that- I keep a
mailing address in Ojai but pursue
a life and calling outside murky
Ojai politics. Sorry to not
give you more to retaliate with.
Small town Ojai and this valley will always hold a special place in my heart and as many civic groups can attest to, is worth preserving and protecting. PL

Anonymous said...

I wish I was as clever as 7/15/08 11:35 am! Ha! That is the funniest thing I have seen in a really long time.

Anonymous said...

Why is it, I wonder, that those who insist on transparency in government, elected officials and business are unwilling to provide it about themselves?

B Dawson

Anonymous said...

I don't think that Pete could be any more transparent than he is.

Anonymous said...

This kind of backbiting is what is killing Ojai. Vision for Ojai? Yeah right...put all of your eggs in the mortgage basket and now people are interested in appealing to locals? Nobody cares what the people of Ojai want, that is very clear.

Anonymous said...

This kind of backbiting is what is killing Ojai. Vision for Ojai? Yeah right...put all of your eggs in the mortgage basket and now people are interested in appealing to locals? Nobody cares what the people of Ojai want, that is very clear.

What on God's green Earth does this mean?