The most unusual city council procedure I have ever witnessed took place Tuesday, about 4:45 p.m.

The chambers had filled when Mayor Walker stood stiffly before the inquiring crowd and told everyone except city employees to leave the chambers. I asked why we had to leave. In her most authoritative tone, without explanation, the Mayor repeated her command. Four council members were among the ejected mass which then waited for about an hour in the flourier after the door was closed and a meeting between two lawyers, many city employees, and the Mayor took place. When the doors opened we all filed in.

At this point, former Mayor Scott Lee took to the podium and announced that he would read a statement which was sealed and which he had not previously read. Just prior this, sealed press releases were handed to newspaper reporters. Lee then read the letter which appears verbatim on page two of this edition [“Vote of No Confidence”].
The letter, consisting of a list of serious accusations against the management style of our present City Manager, Yvonne Quiring, demands the council’s attention. Nothing further was said concerning the issue.

The letter was read. No announcement was forthcoming. This was a very spooky proceeding.

The council then adjourned to the Fillmore High School cafeteria for a joint meeting with the Fillmore-Piru School District, catered by the Fillmore-Piru Future Farmers of America. As usual, a delicious dinner was served by the FFA members, which was followed by a lengthy meeting.

I spoke briefly with Ms. Quiring during the dinner. She expressed surprise with the letter, and stated that she is always ready to hear complaints.

Following the dinner, council members returned to city hall for an executive session.

I am greatly surprised that no contemplated action was announced to address this issue. It seems that this letter is not being taken seriously by the Mayor. And, why were the other four council members excluded?
Why the closed session excluding four council members? This is all highly unusual. Is this what is meant by “open government?”

I’m still trying to understand why Mayor Walker demanded that she alone of five council members could attend the executive session. Is she steering this complaint into obscurity? She should know that the employees have the right to strike is they are completely ignored.

Something is very wrong here. Is this the sort of thing that prompted Mayor Walker to refuse signing that ethics pledge? She is the only one to refuse, making further attempts to pass an ethics pledge futile. She is also the only council member in Fillmore history to be censured for unethical conduct (Fillmore Gazette, August 12, 2004).
I regret there is too little time this week to mention many other important issues.