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Trevor Quirk to hold public meeting Jan. 26 to gauge support for a write-in campaign to challenge Ventura Mayor LaVere for supervisor seat in March 3 election; LaVere may issue statement today about city suing Ojai Valley water users

web Cooper TownHall Quirk01Photo by Greg A. Cooper

Trevor Quirk at a Jan. 21 town hall, organized by the Ojai Valley News, on the Ventura water litigation. Quirk is holding a public meeting Jan. 26, at 1 p.m. at the Oak View Community Center, 555 Mahoney Ave., to "to give the voters an option to Matt LaVere."

 

Trevor Quirk, an Upper Ojai resident, who is an attorney, is holding a meeting Jan. 26, at 1 p.m. at the Oak View Community Center, 555 Mahoney Ave. The purpose of the meeting, he said is: “To lay out the specifics and the organizational structure of how we are going to give the voters an option to Matt Lavere. I advised people about it via social media.”

The option Quirk is referring to is him running as a write-in candidate for District 1 Ventura County supervisor in the March 3 election. District 1 includes the Ojai Valley. LaVere, the Ventura mayor and an attorney, is on the ballot for the seat, along with Jeff Ketelsen of Ojai.

“We are still gauging support for running” for Ventura County supervisor as a write-in candidate, Quirk told the Ojai Valley News on Sunday morning. “It’s looking like I’m going to be announcing very soon, most likely Monday.”

Quirk’s possible bid for office is in response to the city of Ventura suing Ojai Valley residents en masse over water use. The city of Ventura, and the State Water Resources Control Board were sued in 2014 by environmental group Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, which claimed the city of Ventura was endangering steelhead and other fish by using too much water. 

The city of Ventura filed a cross-complaint against water users in the Ojai Valley in 2018 and expanded its lawsuit this month, mailing 10,500 summonses and legal notices to Ojai Valley residents on Jan. 8. It is also sending process servers to serve Ojai Valley residents and some Ventura residents with additional summonses. Court fees to respond to the summonses are $435 each.

(See Jan. 24 Ojai Valley News article to learn more at https://www.ojaivalleynews.com/?view=article&id=16775:flood-of-concern-ventura-water-lawsuits-spur-ojai-valley-action&catid=856:news)

In an exchange of Facebook posts on Quirk’s personal Facebook page Sunday morning, Jan. 26, LaVere stated:

“I’m releasing a full statement later today which addresses all of this. I’m 100% committed to resolving this situation.”

A petition for the city of Ventura to drop the lawsuit is being circulated online at https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/march-to-matilija-thursday-jan-30th-5-6-pm?just_launched=true&fbclid=IwAR3aPZPDBFsVDjx_02sj0K7xHXURKai9Lib9XwBC_QvPi_G2dSPdt1VM3lk

The online petition site is also promoting a march to protest the lawsuit from Ojai’s Libbey Park to Matilija Auditorium, 703 El Paseo Road, on Thursday, Jan. 30, from 5 to 6 p.m., in advance of the city of Ventura first of three publicized public meetings to discuss Ventura’s lawsuit against residents of the Ojai Valley and Ventura regarding water adjudication.

That meeting, scheduled by the city of Ventura, is to be Thursday, Jan. 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Matilija Auditorium.

Quirk wrote an Op-Ed in the Ojai Valley News on Jan. 24, laying out concerns about the city of Ventura’s lawsuit:

https://www.ojaivalleynews.com/opinion/op-ed?view=article&id=16776:we-elect-politicians-to-deliver-solutions-not-lawsuits&catid=914:op-ed

The deadline to file as a write-in candidate for the open supervisor seat on the March 3 primary ballot is Feb. 18 by 5 p.m. If a candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary election, he or she will be elected and take office late 2020. If none of the supervisorial candidates gets a majority in the March 3 election, the top two vote-getters in the primary election will be on the November general election ballot.

In a series of Facebook posts Sunday, Jan. 26:

LaVere wrote to Quirk early in the morning of Jan. 26, in part:

“Trevor, here is a copy of the entirety of the email I sent so people can see the whole story. I admit we screwed up, and I am absolutely ashamed about it, but we are working hard on a resolution which both protects everyone's water rights and protects the watershed. I just thought people should know this. Thank you.”

The email LaVere references — and which is posted on Quirk's Facebook account — is said to be from an Upper Ojai resident who wrote at an unspecified date to LaVere:
“Dear Mayor LaVere,

Since you are the Mayor of the City suing your own neighbors, I thought I should at least reach out to let you know that we are real people and that it is an emotional and upsetting shock to realize that a city in the county I grew up in is now attacking my family. We didn’t do anything to the water. We are just a family of three, a husband, wife, and 7-year-old son. We use water to shower, cook, drink, and take care of our home. We don’t farm, we are not commercial water users, we’re just a regular family living in Upper Ojai with a very old and very slow well that barely provides for our needs and one that was part of our home for years before we purchased it. How would you feel if you and your wife and children were sued for using water at your own home.? I was born and raised in Ventura County, too. Now I don’t want to live here anymore … why did you allow this to happen to the people you grew up with, to your neighbors, to their children?

Sad days, 

Your neighbor”

LaVere wrote in response to the sad neighbor:

“Thank you for taking the time to email me. Trust me, I completely understand why you are upset and have come to believe that the City could have done a lot of things differently. Hindsight is 20-20, but I’ll be the first person to admit we screwed up. I grew up in the Ojai Valley. I went to Mira Monte, Matilija and Villanova. I still have many family and friends who live in Ojai, and the entire Valley is really important to me. I am sick to my stomach about what has transpired.

However, there is also some really good news to share. We are really close to a settlement, which will not impact any one’s water rights. I have been working around the clock since the notices were sent to find a resolution that protects both Ventura and the Ojai Valley. I admit we could have done a lot of things different, and that’s why I have been working so hard to make things right.”

Quirk responded to LaVere via Facebook Jan. 26:

“Here’s a solution:

Drop the lawsuit, reimburse the people the money they had to pay lawyers to defend themselves from the LA lawsuit the City chose to file against its own people, reimburse the people the costs they had to pay a Los Angeles Court (that’s where you sued 'em) to answer the lawsuit you filed against them, reimburse the taxpayers the $3,000,000 the City chose to pay the Walnut Creek lawyers to sue its own people, reimburse the taxpayers the $850,000 the City agreed to pay the ChannelKeepers on September 30, 2019, the same day the City issued a Press Release claiming to be “proud to be working with the ChannelKeepers,” but curiously says nothing about the 850k, release the votes and tell the people, the same people you are asking to vote for you, whether you voted to sue them and, wait for it, fix the River.

That same River the State warned the City was a problem, in writing, 21 years ago in 1981, the same River the Feds warned the City, again in writing, was a problem in 2007, the same River your own consultant (Hopkins, the one you paid for w/ our taxpayer money), warned you about, in writing in 2013.

The River is a public resource. Had the City done its job appropriately, I’m not writing this, the people aren’t getting sued by their own government, the Walnut Creek lawyers aren’t raking in millions of our taxpayer money and we don’t know the ChannelKeepers’ name.

While you are at it, please tell us what part of this, and all the other information I put in Dropbox, constitutes “misinformation,” but please don’t pay the Walnut Creek lawyers to do it.

❤️❤️❤️

Please join the peoples’ movement by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

#Ventura#WestVentura#Ojai#UpperOjai#MeinersOaks#OakView#LiveOak #CasitasSprings#Montalvo#Saticoy#OjaiValley#Riverpark#NorthwestOxnard#NorthCoast#Vote#Supervisor#District1 "

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