By Janet Stephenson
The City of Thousand Oaks starts off 2020 with a new mayor, Al Adam. Mayor Adam is a managing director of investments for Wells Fargo Advisors and will be using his talents to focus on economic development in our community. He has a long record of public service and was elected to the City Council in 2012. In addition to economic development, Mayor Adam has also expressed a commitment to preserving the environment in Thousand Oaks.
In Thousand Oaks, the role of mayor is a position that rotates among the city council members. Al Adam was appointed mayor at the council reorganization meeting on December 3, 2019. “It is an honor to serve as your Mayor,” Adam commented about his new role. “Thank you to the good people of Thousand Oaks.”
One problem that will be facing the new mayor is the growing number of homeless residents, especially in light of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last year that banned municipalities from criminalizing sleeping on public property when the individual has nowhere else to go. The current homeless population in Thousand Oaks was over 100 in 2019 and indications are that this number is not only underestimated, but will likely increase in the years to come. Finding an adequate and compassionate solution to the problem will be a challenge for the City Council in 2020.
Mayor Adam has also expressed a commitment to providing affordable entry-level and senior housing in Thousand Oaks, as well as a dedication to revitalizing Thousand Oaks Boulevard and attracting younger residents. He plans to do all this while having a fiscally conservative government, which means that he will need to be able to find creative solutions to the city’s problems if he wants to remain budget conscious.
As the City Council moves forward with new residential planning, it will need to remain mindful of Thousand Oaks’ trails and open spaces that help make this community attractive to current and new residents through its beautiful landscape and public hiking, equestrian, and biking trails. Preserving the environment, while increasing economic development, will definitely put the leadership abilities of our new mayor, Al Adam, to the test.