This is the first in a series of candidate profiles before the Nov. 5 election.
Agoura Hills Patch: Why are you running for city council?
Denis Weber: I believe that I am still making a difference in the city of Agoura Hills and have a continuing need to contribute to the town in the same ways that I’ve always done. I hope people can see me as their advocate; I try to put a human face on government; one that is down to earth and uses the office to effect necessary changes without having an agenda.
Agoura Hills Patch: What do you think are some of the biggest issues Agoura will face during your first term if you are elected?
Denis Weber: The largest issue facing us is the ongoing economic recovery that still affects the local businesses to a great degree. While we’re a healthy city, we are affected by statewide and national decisions that we have no control over and our representatives need to be aware of how harmful many of their actions are. We need to manage our continuing balanced budgets the way we always have and that would include maintaining adequate reserves while building the new recreation center and not implementing any new taxes.
Agoura Hills Patch: How would you get people more involved in local government?
Denis Weber: The people that are already involved are the ones that monitor the outcomes of the council and planning commission meetings by watching or attending the council meetings; that volunteer for Reyes Adobe Days, docents at the Reyes Adobe and the many parents that offer their time for the needs our schools have; they are on the various committees and commissions that we have; local merchants that tell me when things are tough or policies that are in place need adjusting. Each year we recognize 250 volunteers that offered their time, talent and treasure for FREE just because they love the city and what it means to them. I would ask that if you are happy here, talk to your neighbors about doing something FOR the community ; get to know each other and the leaders in your city, those on your HOAs, attend the Concerts in the Park; there are SO many opportunities to get involved and we thrive on and applaud your commitment to our town.
Agoura Hills Patch: Do you have any environmentally friendly endeavors you would like to pursue if elected?
Denis Weber: This council has always taken open space seriously and we have another opportunity to add to the 40 percent of land in Agoura Hills that’s already in that category; the addition of 50 acres of open space that we would get from the developer of equestrian homes in Old Agoura. To go from preventing a huge school from being built to 15 homes AND open space is big victory. I’m also looking forward to the Medea Creek trail to be established along the newly revamped channel near Chumash Park; thanks to the kind gift of funds from Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky we’ll be moving forward after years of delay. We also have additional monies to establish trailheads along Ladyface Mountain from the new recreation center. I also hope to see more horse trails throughout Old Agoura.
The one huge problem facing all the cities in our area is the coming water quality issue where the cities will be forced to spend funds (potentially thousands of dollars per DAY) they simply don’t have only to try and make the water quality in the creeks and streams purer than is possible and it is due to lawsuits and legal decisions and NOT good science. This will be devastating to cities that try to adhere to these rules and fines.Agoura Hills Patch: What's the first thing you would like to do if elected to the council?
Denis Weber: REST !!!!!! Renew my commitment to the city and to my colleagues to work together to maintain the kind of city we have come to love to come home to.
Agoura Hills Patch: What is your stance on development in the city? Do you think Agoura needs more or do you think the city is at its status quo when it comes to commercial or non-residential developments?
Denis Weber: We have close to 500,000 square feet of vacant office space in the city and we need to fill those offices with the sort of companies that will supply a workforce that will come into the city, gas up their cars, eat in the restaurants, shop in the retail stores and possibly move here. We don’t need more office buildings!!
I happen to believe that we not only need to reach out to attract these companies but also provide a bit more housing in the way of pockets of condominiums or apartments. We don’t have any room to build many more houses and per our general plan the bulk of single family home sites are in Old Agoura and that area simply shouldn’t be expected to embrace that many homes. I think we need to consider rezoning certain segments on the south side of the freeway to allow retail and housing and attract our own young sons and daughters that may want to live here but can’t due to the shortage of starter type housing.
Agoura Hills Patch: What do you think of the job the current council has done?
Denis Weber: I am proud to have worked with the men and women of the council over the years and while we can agree to disagree, I’m very happy to have had the opportunity to be part of a group that shows respect and has genuine affection for each other. No one can expect to get their way all the time nor should we (it would be nice though!!!) and we all serve on multiple committees that do a great deal of work on a myriad of issues that are then presented to the entire council which then debates and votes on the issues. I hope that it can always be this way. There should be no grandstanding by any member of the council.
Agoura Hills Patch: Do you have any ideas or programs in mind that could help generate some additional revenue for the city?
Denis Weber: I think that small government is the best government and toward that end, I would hope that the council and staff can find a way to encourage more interaction between local businesses and the city. Business knows how to generate profits, hire workers, offer goods and services that shoppers or other businesses want and we need to constantly review and adjust where needed, any obstacles that impede that success. All we have to do is use common sense and not rely solely on arcane rules.
Agoura Hills Patch: Anything else you'd like to add?
Denis Weber: It has been a wonderful and most special time to be associated with this city for the past 26 years; first as a member of the Morrison Ranch HOA, then a member of the advisory panel to the city that discussed the finances of the city and finally to be elected to the council.
The partnerships we’ve established with the Las Virgenes School District, the L.A County Sherriff’s Department at Lost Hills Station, L.A County Fire on Canwood, the CERT team that’s ready to help anywhere in the city, and the aforementioned volunteers that we could not do without, are the things that any city would love to emulate, but it’s Agoura Hills that has them and we need to congratulate ourselves as what we’ve become over the last 30 years.
When you come to Agoura Hills, you want to feel you’re really home and safe, peaceful, in a place with prosperous business, good schools, families that care about each other….the good life.