CALABASAS INFIGHTING BLASTED.Byline: Rachel Uranga Staff Writer
CALABASAS - An anti-tax measure and insider bickering bick·er
intr.v. bick·ered, bick·er·ing, bick·ers
1. To engage in a petty, bad-tempered quarrel; squabble. See Synonyms at argue.
2. at City Hall, along with Calabasas' decade-long challenge to Ahmanson Ranch, are driving the campaign of six City Council candidates in Tuesday's election.
Former Councilman Robert Sibilia, incumbents Dennis Washburn and Janice Lee, and three others - pharmacist and political novice Gail Schroeder, environmental lawyer Barry Groveman and two-time candidate Karmen Brower - are vying for two seats on the five-member council.
This wealthy, largely white city of 20,000 has a $67 million budget and sits next to one of the region's most controversial land-development sites.
Most candidates agree that the city's opposition to the 3,050-home Ahmanson Ranch project - to be built just north of Calabasas - should be a top priority, but some question the direction of the current council. All concur that traffic and pollution from the development could erode the quality of life in Calabasas.
But Groveman, co-author of California's Safe Drinking Water Act The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is a United States federal law passed by the U.S. Congress on December 16, 1974. It is the main federal law that ensures safe drinking water for Americans. and a candidate in the March 2000 primary for Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. County district attorney, contends that neighboring neigh·bor
1. One who lives near or next to another.
2. A person, place, or thing adjacent to or located near another.
3. A fellow human.
4. Used as a form of familiar address.
v. cities should share more of the financial burden of the fight. Calabasas has spent $1.6 million in the past decade on unsuccessful lawsuits against the development.
Given that failure rate, Brower said, the city should find new legal counsel. Lee is pushing ahead with the city's current strategy, eventually hoping to place Ahmanson Ranch in the public trust, while Washburn wants more traffic studies.
Sibilia said that with backing from Los Angeles and other cities, Calabasas is in its best legal position in years. In Schroeder's view, none of the problems facing the city will be solved until the City Council addresses its infighting in·fight·ing
1. Contentious rivalry or disagreement among members of a group or organization: infighting on the President's staff.
2. Fighting or boxing at close range. . The other challengers agree.
Last year, the council agreed to spend up to $6,000 on a facilitator to help city leaders work better together. Schroeder says a clash of personalities stalls decision making.
Groveman called it a crisis in leadership. He and Sibilia said they favor more tact and diplomacy in council dealings, but deemed spending on a facilitator a waste.
A city founder, Washburn contends that he has avoided confrontational politics and refers to himself as a natural mediator.
But Lee, an ardent environmentalist environmentalist
a person with an interest and knowledge about the interaction of humans and animals with the environment. who angrily resigned at a heated council meeting last year, calls the disagreements a byproduct by·prod·uct or by-prod·uct
1. Something produced in the making of something else.
2. A secondary result; a side effect.
Noun 1. of the democratic process.
Lee, who sits on the Save Ahmanson Ranch committee, has raised thousands of dollars from political heavyweights, including Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine, Thousand Oaks Thousand Oaks, residential city (1990 pop. 104,352), Ventura co., S Calif., in a farm area; inc. 1964. Avocados, citrus, vegetables, strawberries, and nursery products are grown. City Councilman Ed Masry and Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks.
So, too, has Groveman, a former assistant district attorney for environmental crimes, who has said he would use his political connections and savvy to resolve sticky local issues. Though much of his campaign is self-financed, he also garnered the support of high-powered Los Angeles law firms This list of the world's largest law firms by revenue is taken from The Lawyer and The American Lawyer and is ordered by 2006 revenue:
Washburn has relied mostly on contributions of local residents and merchants, as has Sibilia.
Brower funded most of her own campaign. The assiduous as·sid·u·ous
1. Constant in application or attention; diligent: an assiduous worker who strove for perfection. See Synonyms at busy.
2. council critic has distinguished herself from her counterparts by supporting a measure to ban the city's utility tax. The tax, which accounts for 18 percent of the city's $16.4 million general fund, is a burden on taxpayers and unnecessary, she said.
Lee, however, said that with California's budget shortfall nearing $35 billion, the ballot measure is premature. The other candidates also oppose the ban.
It's one of the city's biggest revenue sources next to sales taxes sales tax, levy on the sale of goods or services, generally calculated as a percentage of the selling price, and sometimes called a purchase tax. It is usually collected in the form of an extra charge by the retailer, who remits the tax to the government. , they argue, and Calabasas depends on the money to pay for police services and to maintain a good quality of life.
CALABASAS CITY COUNCIL