Affordable housing limits
by Jesse Phelps
The Ojai City Council convened Tuesday night and worked through
its pre-Thanksgiving docket.
The main items on the agenda were a commendation of the Libbey
Park Bridge Committee and a discussion and passing of two new
motions involving the Sycamore Homes development on Fulton Street,
including the naming of a new street.
The meeting began when Mayor Pro Tem Joe DeVito read a proclamation
dedicating the remaining months of this year and all of 2003
as the Buckle Up For Life Challenge, pledging to "make every
effort to encourage the citizens of Ojai" to buckle their
Next, Councilman Steve Olsen read a resolution of appreciation
commending the Libbey Park Bridge Committee, "whose purpose
was to raise funds and guide construction" of the new 40-foot
pedestrian bridge linking Libbey Park and the South Montgomery
Committee members Neva Williams and Tom Bostrom accepted the
award and graciously thanked all the many people involved in
its construction, including the "Civic Association for the
lion's share of the funds," the Art Center and Mendez Concrete,
who, Bostrom said, "went beyond the call of duty in their
Starrett Kreissman, representing Ventura County libraries, followed
with the annual state-of-the-library report. She mentioned many
programs the library hosts for the community, including three
weekly story times for kids, including the "Amigos"
bilingual story time, which she said is filled with 10 to 30
participants every session.
Kreissman gave the citizens of Ojai kudos for their care and
support for the library. "I do want to offer special thanks
to the Ojai Valley Friends and Foundation members and board members
for their ongoing support of the library. They've done a great
deal not only for the Ojai Library but for the other two libraries
in the valley."
During open council time, local political activist Ivor Benci-Woodward
spoke about a legal issue and a Mr. Dressler from Australia made
a heartfelt appeal for the city to name a street after his recently
departed brother, longtime Ojai resident and businessman, Bernd
This was directly followed by the aforementioned street-naming
ceremony. City Manager Dan Singer went on at some length regarding
the propriety of adding the suffix "way," as opposed
to "circle" or "street," finally officially
dubbing the avenue in question "Olive Mill Lane" as
Dressler looked on.
It seems Ojai has quite a history with olives, including many
trees now gone and what used to be a working mill, in a basement
on what is now Bald Street.
Singer then brought a motion for a one-year extension of the
city's current franchise agreement with waste management specialists
E.J. Harrison and Sons. Discussion included whether or not new
recycling methods could be implemented and larger containers
E.J. Harrison contract manager Tom Sherwood talked about the
concept of "unicycling" or combining all non-disposables
into one container for once-a-week pickup, and assured the concerned
parties that larger recycling containers could be provided at
minimal extra cost.
The next big issue once again concerned the Sycamore Homes on
Fulton Street, this time discussion of the establishment of the
final documents surrounding the development. These included extra
provisions limiting the opportunities for the homes to go to
Monte L. Widders, city attorney, excused himself due to a conflict
and his chair was taken by Carpinteria's city attorney, Peter
Brown, who discussed the specifics. The council listened to his
presentation and unilaterally voted to accept the terms laid
out in the new documents.
The last issue of the night regarded providing funding support
outside the current budget for an Entrepreneur's Academy for
small business owners in Ojai. Brought forth by Councilwoman
Sue Horgan, the motion was warmly accepted by her fellows. Olsen
said, "I support every form of education, and this is education
for our local businesspeople."
The night ended on an up note. Just before newly elected Councilwoman
Carol Smith was welcomed by her new colleagues and "Happy
Thanksgivings" were disbursed all around, Councilman David
Bury presented a special thank-you to Ventura County Volunteer
of the Year, Joan Kemper, for all her hard work for various causes.
"Joan Kemper is most deserving of this award," he said.
"Her contributions to the valley are so great and numerous.
We are fortunate to have her here in the valley."
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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