Can we talk about local politics for a minute? I know, we’re all exhausted. But locally … there is going to be a LOT happening that y’all need to be aware of … and now is early enough for you to start familiarizing yourself.
In 2022, we’ve got three seats in the mix for Thousand Oaks City Council, three seats in the mix for CVUSD, a board of supervisor’s seat for District 2, a VC Sheriff race (Ayub v Fryhoff, at the very least), plus, RIGHT NOW, we’ve got a special elections against Governor Newsom, the current recall effort against BOS District 2 Supervisor Linda Parks, and the CVUSD trustee appointment process for the vacant Area 2 seat.
IT’S A LOT, but I’m going to break it down for you.
First up, let’s tackle what is happening at this very moment: the local recalls (neither of which I support).
Governor Newsom Recall Effort
The required number of signatures needed (1,495,970) to trigger a recall election were verified, which means this special election will take place on Sept. 14, 2021.
Per Ballotpedia: “The recall election will present voters with two questions. The first will ask whether Newsom should be recalled from the office of governor. The second will ask who should succeed Newsom if he is recalled. A majority vote is required on the first question for the governor to be recalled.”
All registered voters will receive a mail ballot for this recall election.
Here is the VC Elections page info related to this recall effort.
Ventura County Board of Supervisors District 2 Supervisor Linda Parks
A recall effort is also taking place against Supervisor Parks, who terms out in 2022, mostly organized by individuals who don’t believe in COVID-19 and oppose Parks (and the board of supervisors as a whole) for adhering to the health guidelines set forth by during the peak of COVID-19 and economy shutdown. In order for a special recall election to be triggered, 11,067 signatures must be collected and verified.
Most notably, the recall effort is being led by Deb Baber … and y’all, that in and of itself should tell you that this isn’t a recall effort worth supporting. Deb Baber is known in the Ventura County area for her disruptive behavior and board meetings throughout the county, her heavily biased hit pieces she has published in the far-right online website Citizen’s Journal, and her absolute meltdown (that went viral) at a BOS meeting last year about the mask mandate.
Per the Thousand Oaks Acorn: “The recall group has until Sept. 14, three months from now, to gather signatures from 11,000 voters (10%) in District 2 to trigger a special election. While the county clerk-recorder has estimated the cost of a stand-alone election to be $500,000, it would cost less if Parks’ opponents were able to qualify in time to earn a spot on the ballot with the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom.”
At this time, Deb and the recall coalition has not revealed where they are in terms of reaching the needed signatures.
If you signed it, and are now reconsidering, just email the county clerk’s office with your name and address and attach a photo of your actual signature. (It’s Election Code Section 9602).
(805) 654-3665 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Also CURRENTLY happening:
Conejo Valley Unified School District Trustee 2 Appointment
OK, here’s the deal with this. Board Member Fitzgerald resigned in June. This past Tuesday, the board approved to move forward with appointing a trustee to serve out the remainder of her term (November 2022). That is happening now and applications are being accepted through the end of the month. On Aug. 12, the board will make this selection.
At that time, should residents want to force a special election, they may file a petition within 30 days. To trigger a special election, the petition would need to garner signatures from only 1.5% of registered voters in Area 2, which Fitzgerald represented. If the petition gets the required signatures, the county superintendent would be required to order a special election within 130 days, about four months. Otherwise, the appointee will hold office until the next regularly scheduled election in November 2022.
OK, we’re on to some local elections in 2022:
Conejo Valley Unified School District
Three seats in the mix …
Up for re-election in 2022:
Cindy Goldberg (Area 4)
Bill Gorback (Area 3)
TBD (Area 2) the seat that’s currently vacant after Fitzgerald’s resignation
In recent years, there’s been a lot of tension surrounding our school board, and next year doesn’t indicate that’s going to let up any time soon. Parents who are anti-sex education, anti-public schools and anti-inclusive … anything, have been gearing up to wage a massive war against public schools, and you can bet the Tim Cooleys of the Conejo Valley (California Parent Alliance) and ousted trustee Sandee Everett’s Conservative Moms of Conejo Valley group will heavily pursue candidates to support in these areas who embrace their far-right fringe ideals.
To stay up to date on school board meetings, agenda, etc., you can access it all via the district’s website: HERE.
Thousand Oaks City Council
Three seats in the mix …
Up for re-election in 2022:
Bob Engler — I believe he will run again
Ed Jones — I’ve been led to believe he isn’t running again … ?
Claudia Bill-de la Pena — Claudia will not be running for city council; she has announced that she will be running for District 2 Ventura County Board of Supervisors seat (currently held by Linda Parks … wondering if Parks will make a run for Claudia’s council seat? I sure am!)
Your city council determines everything from city budgets to decisions related to our city’s general plan, land use, etc. We’ve got a lot of massive decisions happening over the next year and a half, and welp, somehow he got stuck with Kevin McNamee as the swing vote on these issues because people didn’t pay attention last year. How special for us.
For access to all things City Council-related, here’s your LINK.
VC Sheriff Race
Bill Ayub is our current sheriff — he ran unopposed. This isn’t entirely unusual. Even though it’s an elected seat, it’s kind of a “tap the shoulder” process with the former Sheriff blessing a choice to step in when they retire.
That won’t be the case in 2022. James Fryhoff, who was TOPD’s police chief up until very recently when he was *mysteriously* reassigned to a less visible role, is running. People on both sides of this issue are swearing they’ve got intimate knowledge of what happened. Let’s just say this … it clearly wasn’t a mutual or well-received redistribution, given Fryhoff (who co-founded Safe Passage Youth Foundation with former TOPD Chief Tim Hagel), has filed paperwork to run against Ayub for the seat next year. This will be one to watch and get involved in.
Publications/Websites/Groups to be aware and WARY of:
Please note that these publications, websites and groups are known for far-right bias and disinformation campaigns:
The Conejo Guardian — presents itself as neutral nonpartisan Conejo Valley paper, despite being authored entirely by far-right activists in the community. The op-eds denounce public schools and COVID-19, and it’s consistently littered with grammatical errors. It makes great lining for the hamster cage.
Citizen’s Journal — An online website that allows Republican activists to coin fake byline names to author hit pieces against teachers and community citizens, with no actual fact-checking or journalistic standards in place. It hosts fundraisers for Republican candidates and serves as a site to bolster disinformation.
Conservative Moms of Conejo Valley (private Facebook group) — conversations steered by ousted CVUSD trustee Sandee Everett, which pretty much devolve into just straight up shit-talking posts about every person in the Conejo Valley that isn’t a Republican. They mobilize over fake outrage, create posts and images with inaccurate information, and run disinformation campaigns against the school district and city council in order to, as they describe it: “move the needle.”
California Parent Alliance (Tim Cooley’s group)
It’s just a straight-up anti-public school group presenting itself as a parent group. They hate the LGBTQ+ community, are opposed to accurate history lessons, livid over health education, and all around just absolutely loathe any public school effort launched to be inclusive of the entire student population the district supports. Members aligned with the group show up in numbers to the board meetings to heckle, hiss, boo, shout … and even bully students (no seriously, students had to be escorted safely to their cars after being heckled by these “adults.”)
Informed Conejo Valley
Spin-off of California Parent Alliance and Conservative Moms of Conejo Valley — same people, just another platform to spread disinformation and hateful rhetoric, mostly about our LGBTQ+ community.