Thousand Oaks has straightforward regulations when it comes to the placement of signs promoting political candidates: Don’t place them on public property and don’t place them on private land without the express consent of the property owner. Simple, right?
So why is it that three candidates for local school boards—Angie Simpson, Amy Chen and Craig Everett—are going to such great lengths to disobey those rules? And what does it say about the ethics they’ll bring to government if they won’t follow the basic rules of running for office?
We’ve seen their signs everywhere: freeway on-ramps, corners of major intersections, the parking lot at Target, in front of schools. Each of those locations is illegal, yet every weekend they return: Simpson, Chen, Everett.
The city collects the signs during the work week and stores them in a warehouse until someone— who?—comes to pick them up. And then by Friday afternoon, when it’s too late for the city to get back on the case before the weekend, the signs reappear.
Candidates spend thousands of dollars designing, printing and placing signs for a reason: because they improve name recognition. In elections where many voters know little about the candidates, that can make all the difference.
In this particular election, however, it’s crucial that voters educate themselves about these candidates and our schools’ issues. And it’s essential to place Simpson, Chen and Everett’s unethical behavior in the context of the horror show that has unfolded on the CVUSD board over the last two years.
Simpson and Chen are running to join extremist Mike Dunn on a CVUSD board majority that has been a disaster of poor governance, lack of transparency and even illegality. Everett is running for the Ventura County Community College board, but he’s the husband of far-right Sandee Everett, who joined the CVUSD board last year and immediately became a driving force behind many of those misdeeds.
Simpson, Chen and Craig Everett are betraying the public trust with something as simple as sign placements. Why would we trust them with our schools and students?