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Articles

Blatz To Focus On Eyesores

By Mary M. Long

Newly elected Ojai City Councilman Paul Blatz responded to the following questions before being sworn in Tuesday night:
Q: Tonight you will be sworn in and you will take your seat on the City Council. How does that feel?
A: It feels good. You know, I was on city commissions for so long, an excess of 10 years on the Planning Commission, that it’s nice to be getting back involved.
Q: What issues are you most anxious to take on?
A: The first issue that I’m going to take on, and I’m going to take it on tonight, is that of the empty blighted buildings on Ojai Avenue. One of the things that I feel that I have been mandated to do is to have an ordinance put into place to address the blighted buildings. For instance, the gas station across the street from The Oaks, the old Bronk Vreeland building, the Mandulay building and the bowling alley. I will be asking staff to begin preparation of an ordinance to have those buildings declared as public nuisances if they don’t agree to a landscaping plan and a guideline for design, if they are going to be vacant for more than 90 days. If they don’t go along with the ordinance, then I’m proposing that the city charge them $1,000 a month.
Q: Have there been proposals that didn’t pass on some of these properties?
A: The bowling alley has had a couple of proposals. The owners and the purchasers have not come together on the price — same thing with the old Texaco building across from The Oaks.
The second thing I’m going to do is, not having a shelter at the bus stop at the “Y” is absolutely ridiculous. It’s taking too long … I was involved with the construction of the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga., and it was constructed in one-third of the time that it took the Skateboard Park to be approved. The other thing I will be concentrating on is to make sure that the management of the Libbey Bowl reconstruction is done properly. That’s probably the biggest thing in the city right now.
Q: Have you studied the Music Festival’s proposed Libbey Bowl lease and what do you think about it?
A: Well, first of all, the lease as it currently exists, is not a lease that was proposed by the Ojai Festivals. The Festivals proposed a lease and it was given to the city, and now the city has negotiated it and has written the lease which is before us now. However, the council is going to be going into executive sessions tonight with the city attorney and the city man

Newly elected Ojai City Councilman Paul Blatz responded to the following questions before being sworn in Tuesday night: Q: Tonight you will be sworn in and you will take your seat on the City Council. How does that feel? A: It feels good. You know, I was on city commissions for so long, an excess of 10 years on the Planning Commission, that it’s nice to be getting back involved. Q: What issues are you most anxious to take on? A: The first issue that I’m going to take on, and I’m going to take it on tonight, is that of the empty

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