By Michael Hernandez
THOUSAND OAKS—“You consoled a community of broken hearts after the Borderline mass shooting,” said Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks—who served as Thousand Oaks Mayor from 1998-1999—during comments and proclamations made at Tuesday evening’s City Council re-organization meeting which feted the outgoing Mayor Rob McCoy.
Certificates were presented to Mayor McCoy from field representatives of Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA 26th District) and California State Senator Henry Stern (D-27th District) with a coffee mug presented from Chuck W. Cohen (former Thousand Oaks Mayors) and special comments made by representatives of the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Conejo Recreation and Park District, as well as a crystal plaque from the City of Thousand Oaks executive team.
“You were the right mayor at the right time,” said Thousand Oaks City Manager Andrew Powers. “The Healing Gardens Memorial was because of Rob McCoy, said Mayor Pro Tem Al Adam. “It was his idea and he made it happen. You made the entire Council look good and on a personal note, you being there when my father passed, met a lot to me.”
“You were the right mayor to heal us, unite us for these last 12 months,” said Councilmember Claudia Bill-de la Pena. “You have done a formative job to lead our city over the last year. We will never have a mayor like you again. I appreciate your friendship.”
“I’ve never know someone who worked as hard as you,” said Councilmember Ed Jones. “You bring people together, it is a marvelous gift you have. You have my unending gratitude and respect.”
“I have had my eye on you taking notes,” said Councilmember Bob Engler. “Your patience was noted with our public speakers giving them respect and the time they needed.”
Public comments were made by Don Lanson, Planning Commissioner Vice Chair (appointed by Rob McCoy); Angela Nardone who thanked the Mayor for assisting with the Persian New Year holiday; Angie Simpson who campaigned against McCoy in two different campaigns and now sees him as a “mentor and friend”; and Chaise Rusheed, who despite ideological difference also said he became a friend especially after he got sick; and Tom Hunt, a political supporter that McCoy said made 20,000 phone calls for him when he ran for City Council and who stated “you never let me down.”
“I have a deep love for each one of you,” said Mayor McCoy to the City Council members. I am grateful for the service you provide and for the support of this community. What a great privilege to serve such a wonderful city. My life has been blessed and none of this would be possible without my best friend, my wife, Michelle. My kids are here too, I love them all.”
Al Adam named new mayor; James Fryhoff named new Police Chief
Mayor Pro Tem Al Adam was nominated as new Thousand Oaks Mayor and Councilmember Claudia Bill-de la Pena as Mayor Pro Tem in motions made by Councilmember Bob Engler and passed 5-0 by City Council members.
New Mayor Al Adam recounted a story shared by his daughters, both home from college during the Thanksgiving holidays and how it was “good to be home in Thousand Oaks.”
According to Mayor Adam, “129,000 live in this city. It is good to be home in Thousand Oaks.” If our young kids can say this “10 years from now” we have “paved the way for the next generation.” (We want to) “see the best of Thousand Oaks, especially for the younger generation.”
“Thousand Oaks is a caring community—a community that people inspire to live in this city…the best place for families to thrive (that) we all love…make this an enviable place to live and work and for all future generations. It is good to be home in Thousand Oaks.”
Ventura County Under Sheriff Monica McGrath announced the selection of new Thousand Oaks Police Chief James Fryhoff who replaces retiring Police Chief Tim Hagel—a 31-year veteran of the department on January 5.
Police Chief James Fryhoff, a 29-year veteran, began his service in Ojai and most recently served as Ojai Chief of Police. The former Thousand Oaks officer lives in Simi Valley with his wife, Traci and two teen daughters. Fryhoff is a 1997 Medal of Valor recipient and has been named deputy of the year twice in his career. He served as Assistant Police Chief in Thousand Oaks from 2012-17 and graduated from the Federal Bureau Investigation national academy in September, 2015.
In other City Council business, a council chamber seat was dedicated to Carol Freeman, a Thousand Oaks resident for 40 years who started as a Los Robles Hospital emergency room nurse in 1968 and became a healthcare executive; served as the former president of Senior Concerns (2007-2012), Meals on Wheels, and was Past President of the Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks.
“It is a blessing to live in Thousand Oaks,” said Freeman. “I am honored by this evening.”
Photo Credits: Michael Hernandez
Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service, editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He has worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected].