Thousand Oaks: Jacqui Irwin says goodbye to seat she held for a decade

By Kelsey Stuart

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in others,” said Lou Lichtl Thousand Oaks High School Principal as he commemorated Councilmember Jacqui Irwin’s service to the community.

Over 20 members of the community came to congratulate and thank Irwin for her decade of service to the city on her last night on the council before she heads to the hill to serve in the California’s Assembly.

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Assemblywoman Irwin

“Thirteen or fourteen years ago, when I was coaching Pop Warner football, a tall brunette, who was the mother of one of my players, walked up to me and asked me how I did it every Tuesday night,” Mayor Andy Fox said.

He said it was shortly after he recommended Irwin for a place on the Planning Commission and now, as they say, the rest is history.

“She has been serving this community long before you were reading about it in the paper and that service has been the foundation of who she is,” Fox said.

Irwin was honored by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department with a rare challenge coin from Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean.

She was honored as well by Congresswoman Julia Brownley, who expressed her gratitude at having Irwin represent the 44th District of Assembly.

“I’m very lucky to have her,” Brownley said.

City Manager, Scott Mitnick, said that in the last ten years he has done his math, “I think Jacqui and I have been in over 400 one on one meetings.”

Mitnick said that one of the best examples of Irwin’s impact on the community was involvement in turning the wastewater treatment plan into one of the most advanced and cutting edge waste water treatment programs in the country. (http://www.toaks.org/government/depts/public_works/environmental/residential/hazardous_waste/)

“It was your first visit out there and I remember you asking if we could envision having solar panels out there to generate electricity. Ten years later we built it and it now generates enough electricity to manage itself,” Mitnick said.

Irwin received plaque after plaque with many a heartfelt thank-you from the community members.

Fox noted that, as with all past council members, a seat has been dedicated in the forum, K17, for Irwin as a memento for her years of service.

“We do a lot of things right in this area, whether it is cutting edge with environmental or making the city the fourth best place to raise children – it has all happened because we have an outstanding unparalleled executive team,” Irwin said, thanking the community and congratulating the council members (Price, Bill-de la Pena and Fox) on reelections.

Irwin’s last city council meeting was heartfelt. She will relinquish her seat early next month to represent in the 44th Assembly District in Sacramento.

The city will be holding a special election to fill her council seat in the spring.

In other matters, the council approved a grant totaling $100,000 for sport facility upgrades to Thousand Oaks and Newbury Park high schools.

Fox and councilman Joel Price commented on their time spent in Austin, Texas at the National League of Cities Congress and Exposition on November 19.

“It is where we are able to share the best practices with other city officials,” Price said.

Price noted that because of the council’s annual involvement in the exposition, the Federal Highway construction has been funded in loans that will be reimbursed. (http://www.toaks.org/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=25486)

“Dennis Gillette, former mayor/councilmember, lobbied for funds,” Price said.

The 101/23 construction update was presented by Deputy of Public Works Director, Cliff Finely.
http://www.toaks.org/government/depts/public_works/construction_projects/current_projects/route_101_23_interchange_improvement_project/construction_info_n_road_closures.asp

Finley said that Caltrans is requested a 55-hour closure of one of the 23 ramps as a condensed closure, “the unexpected closure and traffic control was outside the scope and the estimated cost is now 12.5 million, which is still significantly lower than the original estimated fee of 15 million.”

In conclusion, Fox announced a reminder of the breakfast and meeting for the city to piece together the final touches to the Vision 2064 project, concentrating on the city’s next 50 years.

The meeting will offer a light breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and begin promptly at 9, at the Grant Brimhall Library community room.

To attend please contact Christine Broughton at (805) 449-2122 or [email protected], further information on Vision2064 can be found at, www.toaks.org/2064.

Prior CJ article on Thousand Oaks Vision2064: https://citizensjournal.us/2064-visioning-project-city-of-thousand-oaks-looks-into-the-future/

AGENDA:

http://www.toaks.org/cityvideos.asp

http://www.toaks.org/government/agendas_minutes/agendas/city_council.asp

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Kelsey Stuart is a freelance journalist in Ventura County; she is a published writer of more than 200 articles ranging from the Fresno Bee to the Ventura County Star, and everything in between.

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