California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

T.O. Mayor Receives Support, Resistance After Appointment

Thousand Oaks started the new year with a new mayor. On Dec. 10, 2018, Thousand Oaks City Council voted unanimously to appoint Rob McCoy as mayor. His term began Jan. 1.

McCoy has been serving as a member of city council since 2015, and he served as mayor pro tem in 2018. The council consists of five members elected by the community and each council member serves a four-year term.

McCoy is the senior pastor at Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Newbury Park. He was a prominent figure at Borderline vigils, fundraisers and community events as the mayor pro tem and a pastor.

Recently, letters about McCoy have been sent to the editor of the Thousand Oaks Acorn newspaper, Kyle Jorrey. Eleven letters, written both in support of McCoy and against, have been published on the Acornโ€™s website.

One of the letters sent to The Acorn was written by Newbury Park resident Carrie Howard on Jan. 24. In her letter, Howard wrote that she feels McCoy poses as a โ€œmenaceโ€ฆto millions of Americansโ€ behind his โ€œfundamentalist beliefs and his tea party ideology.โ€

Additionally, Howard wrote that McCoy โ€œput ideology above pragmatism last yearโ€ in being the only council member to vote for a resolution opposing Californiaโ€™s sanctuary law, Senate Bill 54 (SB54).

The bill prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies, school police and security departments from โ€œusing money or personnel to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes,โ€ according to the California legislature website. The bill was approved by former Gov. Jerry Brown Oct. 5, 2017.

โ€œIf he demonstrated a better balance between civic concerns and fundamentalist ones, I would not have a problem with his blending of politics and religion,โ€ Howard wrote in her letter.

The Acorn has also received letters defending the mayor. On Feb. 7, the newspaper published a letter written by Thousand Oaks resident Michael Platt in which he says McCoyโ€™s โ€œday job has no bearing on his qualifications as a public servant.โ€

โ€œBeing religious or the leader of a religious congregation of any denomination does not disqualify you from serving in government, because one is church and the other is state, and one has nothing to do with the other,โ€ Platt wrote in his letter.

All letters to the editor were published on The Acorn website. They can be read at

Jorrey said that these types of letters โ€œhappen oftenโ€ for public figures in Thousand Oaks.

โ€œSo, he particularly is this lightning-rod character where you get very negative letters and then will get a bunch of letters defending [McCoy] in response,โ€ Jorrey said. โ€œSo, he’s not the only time thatโ€™s ever happened.โ€

Jorrey said that it is The Acornโ€™s โ€œprivilege and policyโ€ to post practically all letters sent to the editor if they have a verified author and phone number attached.

โ€œIโ€™m sure folks like Rob McCoy donโ€™t appreciate these letters bashing him, but that comes with the officeโ€”weโ€™re happy to share them,โ€ Jorrey said.

With or without support from the community, McCoy will continue to serve as mayor until his term ends in December 2019.

Cal Lutheran alumna Ashlee Bowen said she attended Godspeak often while she was still a student. Bowen graduated from Cal Lutheran in 2016 and was former president of Young Life on campus. She said she remembered McCoy placed a lot of importance on family.

โ€œI remember big groups of us used to go out to lunch afterwardsโ€”he’s super generous… the thing that stands out most is that he is a very big family person,โ€ Bowen said.

Cal Lutheran senior Natalie Elliott joined Young Life her first year on campus and said she started attending Godspeak after hearing about it from Bowen.ย  She described the church as โ€œa family.โ€

Even though Elliott and Bowen no longer attend Godspeak, they said they enjoyed their time there and have fond memories of the chapel.

As the current mayor, McCoy will begin a series called โ€œ#TOtalksโ€ in late February. According to the city council website, McCoy will highlight people and places that stand out in the community through a series of videos.

Becca Whitnall, a reporter for the Thousand Oaks Acorn, wrote about the new mayor starting his first term. According to that article, the first thing McCoy expects to address as mayor is โ€œthe establishment of a permanent memorial for Borderline victims.โ€

She wrote that McCoy also wants to begin addressing the rising homeless population in Thousand Oaks.

โ€œThis city is going to pick up the pieces and itโ€™s an honor to be your mayor, following some big footsteps and I will do the best I can, but I am surrounded by some pretty amazing people including the [more than] 130 thousand citizens of the city of Thousand Oaks,โ€ McCoy said at the council meeting where he was appointed mayor. โ€œSo, God bless you all and thank you.โ€

According to the city council website, McCoy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from California State University, Fresno where he was an All-American swimmer. He is married with five children.

Lindsey Potter

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