THOUSAND OAKS COUNCIL RESORTS TO MUSICAL CHAIRS.
The first meeting of the new Thousand Oaks City Council got off to a rocky start Tuesday when members couldn't agree on where to sit.
In the first vote of the night for the new council, which has made overtures to better get along, rivals Linda Parks, the new mayor, and Michael Markey, the outgoing mayor, deadlocked over the issue.
The result was a split vote of 1-1, with three abstentions.
``It was a little bit of a bumpy start,'' said new Councilman Dan Del Campo. ``I just said I was happy to have a seat.''
At issue was whether Parks, historically part of the council's slow-growth minority and who is serving her first term as mayor, has the authority to tell council members where to sit.
She had wanted to put newcomers Del Campo and Dennis Gillette next to one another on the left side of the dais according to the audience's point of view, and Councilmen Andy Fox and Michael Markey, who have often been voting allies against Parks, to the right.
Parks said she wanted to arrange the council in a way she thought members would best work together.
The new council was seated last week during official ceremonies when the former council members stepped down and the new ones assumed the dais. A change would have meant having Fox and Gillette swap the seats they had taken last week, but Gillette said Fox liked his seat on the far end, and Gillette preferred to sit where he was, according to council members.
When the issue came to a vote, Gillette, Fox and Del Campo abstained, leaving Parks and Markey to oppose one another on the issue in a vote typical of the division that had characterized the last council for years.
The vote failed, and the council members stayed put.
``Everyone wanted to sit where they wanted to sit; I don't see a problem with it,'' Markey said. ``I don't think it was the council - you've got one person who wasn't happy.''
Said Parks: ``I can live with this. I'm just saying it's a bad sign that they overrode me on something so minor. It's just simply a courtesy, and they did not want to extend that courtesy to me.''
CHART: SEATING ARRANGEMENTS