Roland files for City Council
by Chris Wilson
He ran in 1994 and again two years ago, now Bruce Roland is
driving his shoot-from-the-hip sensibility onto the City Council
Living in Ojai since 1966, Roland holds that Ojai is not the
mythic and mystic Shangri-La it's been purported to be in legend.
Instead, he sees it and wants to keep it as the bedroom community
he's come to know and enjoy.
"It's just been lately that it's turned into this weird
little town." The assorted fruits and nuts are here, he
said, "And we put up with them."
A staunch proponent of private property rights and an auto mechanic,
Roland has worked feverishly over the years to keep his local
neighbors informed of the ways government spends their tax dollars
and the activities of special interest groups who badger City
Hall, he said. He's done this primarily by writing hundreds of
letters, opinion and editorial pieces in the OVN and in the Los
"If I can wake people up, it will save me money," he
said. "I just want to keep the taxpayers aware."
When Los Arboles came on the seen, Roland was one of the few
who came out in support of the project.
"And I got pummeled for it," he said relaxing in his
Ojai front yard while a pink moment settled in behind him.
Roland said he was happy to see the dumpy cottages torn out,
but would like to see more homes in the $200,000s instead of
the half million dollar range.
"It's no surprise that new home prices are going up in Southern
California," he said. "Look what it takes to get one
built. By the time all the court costs and legal fees are paid,
it's no wonder they are so expensive. It's like value added taxation."
These escalating housing prices are forcing young families out
and bringing the older ones in. And they're the ones who have
the teens who drive and create more traffic. Forcing individuals
out is just plain wrong he said.
"Someday I'd like to leave Ojai, but on my own terms, not
because I got forced out."
Roland doesn't support the upcoming traffic initiative and said
it could threaten to take Ojai Avenue to four lanes in order
to bring level of service back to the C and D levels the initiative's
proponents are aiming for. Instead he has suggested to local
officials that eliminating the two Montgomery Street crosswalks
and placing a pedestrian controlled stoplight at the Pergola
crosswalk that is timed to match the red lights at Signal Street
would help keep traffic flowing more smoothly.
"We've got traffic so calm it stops all the time,"
Another issue he sees as important is keeping the tree ordinance
off of private property.
"If you're going to tell someone what they can do with a
tree on their own property, then you've taken it from them,"
Finally, those there's plenty more that he'll share with you,
Roland insists on honesty.
"I'm going to tell you the truth, even if it hurts. But
if you catch me being hypocritical, I want you to let me know."
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
Back to the news
ROLAND ponders if his third-time candidacy may be the charm.