Profiles: The Race for Thousand Oaks City Council

By Kelsey Stuart and Shelby Baker

The votes are due November 4th for the quaint City Council of Thousand Oaks, but who are the new runners and who are the weathered incumbents and what is their connection to Thousand Oaks?

In an effort to know a little bit more about the candidates that are running to represent our city’s best interests, we have put together a short profile of, yes, the candidate, but also the person behind the campaign.

Meet, Chaise Maguire Rasheed, Raymond Sobrino, Claudia Bill-da la Pena and Eric Henderson, Joel Price and Andy Fox:

 

Chaise Maguire Rasheed:

Chaise Maguire Rasheed

Chaise Maguire Rasheed


Chaise Maguire has lived in Thousand Oaks for fifteen years and is drawn to the “spirit and tranquility” of the community. Chaise would like to keep Thousand Oaks moving forward by encouraging business growth and bring “realness” to the Council. He was influenced by his veteran grandfather and caring grandmother to be involved in public service and politically aware in his community.

Chaise advocates affordable housing in mixed market ranges, better public transportation through the creation of the East County Transit Association, business growth in vacant developments, the Thousand Oaks Boulevard Specific Plan, an environmentally healthy city, and community outreach projects. Chaise is endorsed by the Ventura County Democratic Party.

Citizens Journal grabbed a quick interview with Rasheed:

CJ: Why do you want to run for city council?

Rasheed: To increase resident engagement and bring more realness to government. Pretense runs high in government and I want to help change that. I also want to improve public transportation and boost affordable housing in the city.

CJ: What can the city expect to see from you during a four-year term?

Rasheed: Resident engagement would be boosted greatly, as I would keep an open line of dialogue with the citizens. In working with the residents and council members, I would draft a master infill plan that would help guide our city through the future. With the city being build out, infill is a critical focus now and we need such a plan to move forward. I would also act as an ambassador for the city and encourage more volunteerism to support our local charitable organizations.

CJ: What is your favorite memory or tradition while living in Thousand Oaks?

Rasheed: The holiday season is always special here, the decorations at the malls and the lights at the Civic Arts Plaza are a pleasant tradition, and I always look forward to seeing them.

CJ: What will be your top priority on the council?

Rasheed: Making a transit system for East County a reality. Streamlining the system between the cities would save money and make for better transit connections, which would increase ridership.

CJ: What makes you an asset to the city?

Rasheed: My experience in customer service and retail has given me the ability to make tough decisions, make plans and deal with difficult situations from a very balanced, realistic point of view.

CJ: What gives you an edge over the incumbent runners?

Rasheed: Communicating with people and listening to them is something that I like to do, and I believe that people appreciate being listened to and having their concerns taken seriously. I am very approachable and it’s what I strive for.

Political Party: Democratic

 

_________________________________________________

Raymond Sobrino Jr.

Sabrino

Raymond Sabrino Jr.

 

Raymond has lived in Thousand Oaks since 1973. He is a small business owner of a pest control company and married with two children and one on the way. He is politically conservative and wants to focus on growing small businesses, protecting the elderly, supporting safety measures for children in school and in their neighborhoods, and the traffic situation in Thousand Oaks. Raymond is “looking to keep a small town attitude to a large city.”

Citizens Journal contacted Sobrino to hear more first-hand about his campaign for city council:

CJ: Why do you want to run for city council?

Sobrino: I bring a new face and new attitude to the council. I served on the ad hoc Social services committee last winter and gained experience to serve as a representative of the residents.

CJ: What can the city expect to see from you during a four-year term?

Sobrino: I hope to help with the traffic situation in the city. I also hope to help make the boulevard more friendly, [a place] where a family can spend a Sunday afternoon together. I hope to encourage more mom and pop shops on the Boulevard

CJ: What is your favorite memory or tradition while living in Thousand Oaks?

Sobrino: I enjoyed the parks around the city growing up and now I can share the parks with my kids.

CJ: What will be your top priority on the council?

Sobrino: My top priority will be helping improve the traffic situation in all areas of the city, especially around our schools.

CJ: What makes you an asset to the city?

Sobrino: I am an asset because I care about what the residents want. I am Bilingual and able to communicate to the residents especially those in the Spanish speaking neighborhoods. I am loyal to the city as I have lived here through all my life. I want to encourage small businesses to build in the community and as a small business owner want to see the city flourish economically.

CJ: What gives you an edge over the incumbent runners?

Sobrino: I bring a new face and and new attitude to the council. As a life long resident I believe i know what the residents want. I believe in helping bring an end to bureaucracy in city government and help provide service.

Political Party: Republican

 

______________________________________________________

Claudia Bill-de la Pena:

Claudia Bill-de la Pena

Claudia Bill-de la Pena

 

Bill-de la Pena is the only woman running for council this election. She is running for her fourth consecutive term as councilmember. She has served as Mayor of Thousand Oaks for two terms and has consistently advocated against over-development and council salary increases. She has stood for the protection of small businesses and landmark trees, T.O.’s relationship with the Chinese Sister City, Qingdao, and the 2064 Visioning project.

Previously, Claudia was an Emmy Award-winning Television News writer/Journalist for CBS2/KCAL9. She is married and a mother of twin boys, Dante and Luca. She and her husband have lived in Thousand Oaks since 1995 and Claudia wants to see Thousand Oaks remain safe and healthy for future generations.

Bill-de la Pena is endorsed by former T.O. mayor Richard Hus, MAC members Janis Gardner, Mark Burley, and Rosemary Allison, Mayor Pro Tem Al Adam, Kimberly Hribal, Joel and Janet Goldberg, and Dr. Elise and E.J. Bukont. She is currently 2015 Co-Chair for the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” Ventura County campaign and the 2014 Woman of the Year by the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Claudia Bill-de la Pena answer’s Citizen’s Journal in a short interview:

CJ: What is your favorite memory or tradition of living in this area?

Bill-de la Pena: The sight of rolling hillsides, the oak trees and almost 16,000 acres of public open space always bring a smile to my face.

CJ: What is your greatest strength by running for the city council?

Bill-de la Pena: I am a fiscal conservative with a place in my heart for the environment. I have a strong voting record of tightening the city’s belt, leading the fight for pension reform, and saving our oak and landmark trees. My strength includes listening to residents, and fighting for those who need protection the most, such as our seniors.

CJ: There are a lot of issues that will be raised with this upcoming election. What do you think is the most relevant to this area?

Bill-de la Pena: The most relevant right now is Measure E, which affects the Thousand Oaks Boulevard Specific Plan, transportation, as well as the drought. But let’s not forget that our population is aging rapidly. We have to make sure we provide enough housing, such as Assisted Living, for our seniors. And, of course, public safety will always be tops. It is crucial to maintaining our quality of life, which continues to attract new residents and businesses.

Political Party: Independent

 

_____________________________________________________

Eric Henderson:

No photo provided

Henderson is the youngest running nominee, aged 21 and wrapping up a BS in Physics at CLU this December, he is contesting to bring a youthful voice onto the City Council and get the next generation involved in city politics.

Eric is a registered Libertarian, but he specifies that his political philosophy will not always reflect his votes and policy platform if elected to City Council. Along with his impressive research positions in the complex field of physics, Henderson has fostered a mature understanding of public policy and a passion for community awareness.

CJ was able to sit down with Henderson and ask him a few questions:

CJ: Why do you want to run for city council?

Henderson: I have been here for 16 years and I want to offer another option for city council. I don’t know if you have heard of measure L, but in 2012 citizens voted to put a cap on consecutive terms for city council members. Although this is not enforced, I do think it portrays public opinion so I personally want to give voters a different option. I am not saying they are bad, but I would like to bring new, younger, and fiscally responsible leadership to the city.

CJ: What can the city expect to see from you during a four-year term?

Henderson: I have heard that people want more housing units along Thousand Oaks Blvd. It sounds like a great idea on the face of it, but I would also really like to see more commercial property on the blvd.  I want to work towards more of a family friendly atmosphere as well- more pedestrian friendly, time and money should go into making this a reality. I also think it would be beneficial to parse through all the city regulations, just revaluate them, some are unnecessary and make it difficult for business to expand, lets take a look at that and make it easier for businesses.

CJ: What is your favorite memory or tradition while living in Thousand Oaks?

Henderson: Thousand Oaks Little League. I will always remember this because I hit a home run and made it into the paper. I think I was twelve. We still have that cut out.

CJ: What will be your top priority on the council?

Henderson: My top priority is making the city more business friendly to continue our economic success. It is a commute city, but it doesn’t need to be like that. We can turn ourselves into a business friendly city that can support multiple industries.

On a side note, though I am very business friendly, I do bring a high level of environmental consciousness. I would never blindly sacrifice the environment in which we live for jobs.

CJ: What makes you an asset to the city?

Henderson: I am born and raised middle class and although I am registered as a libertarian, I don’t owe allegiance to any party. I have a physics background so I have quite a bit of analytical and problem solving skills. I can come up with solutions. I follow politics and I always hear the debate about the problem but very little solutions that would actually benefit the society as a whole instead of just a few special interests.

CJ: What gives you an edge over the incumbent runners?

Henderson: I am new and I have no prior political experience, and that is good because I owe my potential votes on the council to no one except the voters of Thousand Oaks.

Political Party: Libertarian 

 ______________________________________________________

 

Joel Price:

Joel Price

Joel Price

 

This will be Price’s first election for City Council, although he has served on the council for the past (30) 18 months. He is proud of his city and wants to contribute to the success he has witnessed from the past visionary council members. He is only months away from retiring from the LAPD and looks forward to continuing his public service to the city of Thousand Oaks. 

Price’s top priorities are public safety, fiscal responsibility, and environment. Price is endorsed by Sheriff Geoff Dean, former T.O. Mayor’s Judy Lazar and Dennis Gillette, Sue Holt and Joe Gibson of the CRPD Board, and Community College Board of Trustees Dianne McKay.     

Price said he is a registered Republican, a moderate and in some cases agrees with the other side. 

 “This is the first time in a long time that the Council has really gelled together. We don’t always agree, but we make it work, I think the city has ben3fitted over the last few years because of it.” 

Citizen’s Journal interviews Joel Price:

CJ: How long have you lived in Thousand Oaks?

Price: 24 years

CJ: What is your favorite memory or tradition of living in this area?

Price: Probably goes back to the early days when my kids were younger and went to the early Conejo Valley Days and the Parade.

CJ: As far as your background goes, what do you think is your greatest strength by running for the city council? 

 Price: The fact that I have been in public service for 36 years with the police department, it’s part of my DNA, this just seems like a natural transition. I am (trained?) a natural at solving problems, and the last two years it is something that I’ve found I have a passion for. 

CJ: There is a lot of issues that will be raised with this upcoming election, what do you think are the most relevant to this area?

Price: The Thousand Oaks Blvd Specific Plan area is a well thought out plan that will bring a more pedestrian friendly downtown area to our city.  The wide sidewalks and public gathering areas will encourage residents and visitors to spend time in the downtown area.  This will result in a thriving business district that will positively impact our city.

The mixed-use development will bring much needed housing to our city and provide for the employees of businesses already located here and those that are contemplating moving into Thousand Oaks.  “We have heard from a number of local businesses that there is a lack of housing for the millennia’s that they need to attract for their workforce.”  This development will likely cause the city to reach it’s Measure E allotment and any necessary increases to housing numbers would be subject to a vote of the people.  “This is the way that Measure E was intended to work, once we reached the cap, the people would decide whether or not to allow any further development.”

 Creating a downtown area will help to take Thousand Oaks through the next 50 years. It will help to boost the Civics Arts Plaza and revitalize the town in a well-conceived plan that will also provide the much-needed housing to the community.

Political Party: Republican

Andrew Fox:

Andy Fox

Andy Fox

Andrew Fox is running for his sixth term as a Councilmember and remains enthusiastic and passionate about Thousand Oaks and the people of his city. He is an assistant fire chief with the LAFD and has served on the council since 1994. He looks forward to opening up more doors to enhance public safety, the “ring of green,” and complete the 2064 Visioning process.

Along with working on the council and as the Assistant Fire Chief, Fox is an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine Law School, and has held a noteworthy amount of leadership positions in local politics, including serving at the Thousand Oaks Mayor for a total of five years, including this current year. He and his wife have eight kids, two of which attend Westlake High School. Fox is a registered Republican, but says this is a non-partisan race and that he would best be described as an Independent. 

Citizen’s Journal interviews Andrew Fox:

CJ: How long have you lived in Thousand Oaks?

Fox: For 32 years. 

CJ: What is your favorite memory or tradition of living in this area?

Andrew Fox: The early Conejo Valley Days! 

CJ: As far as your background goes, what do you think is your greatest strength by running for the city council?

Fox: My experience and knowledge of the community and long term vision and leadership. 

CJ: There are a lot of issues that will be raised with this upcoming election, (from draught, proposition repeals, Thousand Oaks Blvd expansion,..) What do you think is the most relevant to this area? 

Fox: We are in the middle of implementing the beginning phases of the Vision 2064 project.  The committee groups over the next few years will be the biggest initiates in the final report and essential leaders in starting to activate this vision. 

 Political Party: Republican

 

Kelsey Stuart is a freelance journalist in Ventura County, her home office is amongst ninja turtle action figures, toddler sippy cups and German shepherd chew toys. She writes for multiple publications in the area and works as a social media manager for local companies. 

Shelby Baker  recently graduated with a BA in Political Science Cum Laude. She has done research, humanitarian, and mission work in Brazil, Bolivia, and India. Most recently, Shelby spent two months in India researching culture, religion, and society and volunteering as an English teacher. She is pursuing a career in international justice.

______________________________________

Get free Citizensjournal.us BULLETINS. Please patronize our advertisers to keep us publishing and/or DONATE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *