Thousand Oaks: State of the City 2014–A time to remember the past and embrace the future

By Kelsey Stuart

Folded linen table napkins, decadent cheesecakes and 400 members of the community attended Thousand Oaks’ 2014 State of the City at California Lutheran University.

“Today is really about being here to support the city,” Dan Roundtree said, chairman of the city’s planning commission.

Roundtree mentioned that in his three years on the planning commission, he has never seen the public work on a project together from scratch,like they have with Vision 2064.

Executive Director of Under One Roof, Robin Britt, said she came to the $45 per person event, to support the community and its leaders.

“We also want to hear what the community needs and wants are, to better serve them,” Britt said.

Under One Roof is a Human Services Center, located at 80 E. Hillcrest Dr., Suite 110, that provides rent-free services to 12 nonprofits so that they can better serve others in the community.

“If families need help paying rent or a water bill, we are there to help them – we help them find hope,” Britt said.

Hope was an underlying theme in the State of the City event: that the next 50 years will be even brighter than the last.

“Our city began as Jungleland in 1927, in 1950 the motion pictures got a hold of our landscapes, in 1964 the City of Thousand Oaks was incorporated with 20,000 people,” said MC of the event, Leonard Greenlee of Baxter Health Corporation and Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce Chairmen of the Board

Mayor Andy Fox said Thousand Oaks has been guided and led by strong people.

“We have built a premier city,” Fox said. “Thousand Oaks has been blessed with people who care.  Behind all those achievements are people who give back to the community.”

Fox said that in memory of the 50th year it is fitting to reflect on past leaders who implemented key policies that helped to shape Thousand Oaks to what it is today.

While enjoying a catered lunch from Sodexo, the audience watched a series of interviews from the 1960’s to today of Thousand Oaks past Mayors and councilmembers

Councilmember Robert Lewis: “In 1992 Thousand Oaks reached 100,000 residents and was recognized as one of the safest cities in the nation.”

“This City was instilled in a long term vision,” Dennis Gillette, former mayor and councilmember.

Fox asked the audience to realize that this city is not on autopilot.  “We still face new challenges.  But with a vision, courage and compromise we can continue to make Thousand Oaks a great place to live.”

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Go West Creative Group Photographer, J.D. Laske, shoots pictures of the attendees posing with their favorite part of Thousand Oaks scripted on framed chalk boards.

The presentation included a slide show of pictures taken at the entrance that day as attendees entered the facility.  Photographer J.D. Laske of Go West Creative Group shot photos of people posing with small chalkboards where they wrote their favorite thing about Thousand Oaks.

Many inscriptions included; The people–The open space–The trees and Family.

Over 400 business leaders from the area attended the event, all hopeful to hear the latest on the city’s development.

“We are expanding in this market and it is helpful to see what financial products and services will best serve this area,” Art Aguilar, vice president of branch services for Logix banking.

Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce member, Lisa Oliver, dressed in workout gear to promote, “Title Boxing Club” located at 1714 Newbury Road. “It’s one of the only boxing clubs in the area,” she said proudly.

“We are very fortunate to have a city that partners with us and a chance to serve as a venue,” Cindy Keitel said.  Keitel is with Community Relations for CLU.

Keitel added that she is looking forward to the next year and the event summed up the last year perfectly.

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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