I have to confess that I’m not in a good frame of mind to write a last minute editorial today. Although I am elated at the prospect of a sweeping conservative triumph on November 2, other issues of primary importance to the health and safety of our nation are about to destroy us.

The American judiciary, that part of our government’s checks and balances which the Founding Fathers believed to be least powerful, has proven to be all powerful, thwarting the will of the people and trashing the soul of the nation.

Since the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade which opened abortion on demand Americans have killed 50 million of its most innocent and vulnerable children, those waiting to be born. Only communist China has surpassed this bloody effort. But for illegal immigration, and its birth rate, America would lack a birth rate sufficient to maintain our present population.

Today, it is reported that a single federal judge (a feminist appointed to the court by President Clinton) has dictated that our entire military must accept homosexuals who practice their homosexuality openly. A short while ago a single male judge in California (who happens to be homosexual) threw out Proposition 8, (passed by millions of Californians) which sought to define “marriage” as a union of one man and one woman. This definition has been in place among all societies and civilizations from pre-history. But this judge was burning to “marry” his boyfriend and wanted to legitimate his own desire. Anyone spot a conflict of interest here? Across the board today our judicial system, federal, state, and local has been, with few important exceptions, utterly corrupted. America is becoming a pagan nation, and its government is spitting in the face of God. What on earth has caused the empowerment of three percent of our population to such an extent that it results in the heart of our Judeo-Christian society being wiped-out?

But its not just the judicial and legislative branches that are infected with this pagan virus; our chief executive, President Obama, is orchestrating the financial destruction of what has been the most vibrant and successful nation in world history. No one in this nation is more pro-abortion, anti-military, pro-socialist, and pro-gay “rights” than Mr. Obama. Thanks to these forces we are witnessing the collapse of America as we have known her for more than two centuries. This is not an hysterical overstatement. This is an ongoing fact.
So, contemplating these things, and witnessing their effects on our civil, military, and spiritual society, I don’t feel like commenting on our local election, but I think I should.

The results of Fillmore’s last election, and the events leading up to it, have seriously altered the way our city government works. Recalling the great council members, mayors and managers we’ve had during the past 20 years, we seem to have run out of qualified candidates. We are in serious need of people like Don Gunderson, Scott Lee, Evaristo Barajas, Cecilia Cuevas, Linda Brewster, Roger Campbell, Roy Payne, and many more. Today we have accumulated an assortment of agenda driven pipsqueaks and micromanaging political wanabes. The Katzenjammer plan has succeeded in driving away the gifted, competent, honest leaders and staff of the recent past – as was its intent. I see the current council majority as utterly political, devious, self-serving and incompetent. There’s also a nagging question of intellectual capacity.

For an example, let’s take last week’s letter from Mr. Roegner, a charter member of the Katzenjammers, like all of the current council majority.

Roegner is a complainer, but his complaints are always wrong-headed. He never seems to get his facts straight, even when he is repeatedly corrected. This is a characteristic of the Katzenjammers.

In his letter, which was sent to all council members for comment (except the evasive Mr. Brooks) Roegner blames Councilman Conaway for “getting our sales tax revenue frozen.” Wrong, again, Dave. Conaway wasn’t on the council when that highly beneficial contract was entered into.

He defends candidate Brian Sipes for getting his facts straight. Wrong, Dave. Brian hasn’t had his facts straight for years. He continues to tell people that citizen opinion on the water treatment plant was ignored, when more opinion was taken, and questions about the plant answered than for any other project in Fillmore’s history. At the largest workshop (Memorial Building) six nationally recognized experts and city staff appeared to answer questions from a huge audience. This is one of Sipes’ favorite lies.

But the misrepresentations continue. Council member Washburn, responding to Roegner’s letter (which responded to Councilman Conaway’s letter) referring to the financing of the treatment plant:
“The City Council made a resolution in February 2004 to obtain the SRF Loans. But at some point someone chose to use municipal bonds and RDA bonds. A public records act request was submitted to determine how and when the decision was made to forego the loans. There were no records of any public discussion or decision so it is not clear who is responsible” is false.

Washburn continues to say the decision to finance the plant was done in secret and that a public records request did not turn up anything. All she needs to do is read the 4/10/07 city council package item 8A. It was all clearly presented in the public meeting. The SRF Loan was discussed, along with other options. Council member Walker was the person who seconded the motion to use municipal bonds. The vote was unanimous to use muni bonds.
Can then citizen Washburn provide proof that a Public Records Request was made “to determine how and when the decision was made”? The Approved City Council Minutes of 4/10/07 and 4/24/07 is where she should have looked. Her statement “there were no records of any public discussion or decision so it is not clear who is responsible” is false.

Council Member Walker seconded the motion to select the current financings. The vote was unanimous. It was conducted in the 4/10/07 meeting. At the 4/24/10 meeting Patti Walker abstained from the vote to issue the bonds. She supported the 40 year bonds. Curiously, at the next meeting she abstained from voting on selling the bonds. Katzenjammers always seem to be confused by facts.

[See excerpts from minutes below]

In the 4/24/10 Approved City Council Minutes Patti Walker says it was not an easy decision to finance the plant. I disagree, since she abstained to vote at all.

Washburn was also present at the meeting, see her comments on the Gazette’s website.

Brian Sipes remarked that he would have to raise his rent. Lucky that he was able to provide a residence for our new city manager.

I’ve gone too long. I don’t know what Fillmore residents can do to improve the council with the cast of characters provided this year. Patti Walker’s recent attack on Council member Laurie Hernandez (in the Ventura Star) makes her candidacy even more repugnant to me, but the alternatives are even more unpalatable. Patti is obviously corrupt enough now to seek higher office.

Excerpts from 4/10/07 Approved City Council Minutes below.

"CALL BACK TO Mayor Conaway called the City Council back to order at ORDER 9:30 p.m. He said there was nothing to report from Executive Session.

WATER Special Projects Manager Roy Payne said there are RECYCLING representatives from Bear Stearns that would like to PROJECT - provide a financing scenario overview. The FINANCING recommendation is direction on the financing structure STRUCTURE for the water recycling project. A public hearing will be held. We have a $79 million dollar project. We are drawing on the Development Impact Fee funds and Redevelopment funds to minimize the sewer rates. The pro-forma for Scenario 4 was distributed. Six scenarios were presented. Callable bonds have a schedule and you pay a premium and at certain points may refinance. Not knowing what interest rates will be in the future, it gives the best option. With non-callable you are unable to refinance. He reviewed the various scenarios. Councilmember Lee asked about the growth rate. Mr. Payne said we have assumed 46 new units per year. Discussion ensued on callable vs. non callable. Mr. Payne said with the GE Commercial Scenario they came late in the game and we are concerned with the accuracy of their proposal. The State Revolving Fund Scenario has a maximum of 20-year secured financing. We believe that if that option were selected we would not meet the time schedule order. There is a significant risk with this option. Mr. Payne said he has listed certainties with regard to the SRF. We cannot start construction and we would need to take the time for the State to review the Design- Build-Operate process. It could take between 1.38-3.5 years. Our estimate is 2 years. Public Works Director Bert Rapp said Boyle went through this with us. Applications cannot be made to the Regional Board until environmental work is done and we have 100% funds. We knew we would never meet the deadline. It increases the cost to the rate payers. We would be eligible to start construction in March or April of 2009 and complete in November 2010. Councilmember Cuevas said there have been comments that we can ignore the fines. Mr. Payne said the discretionary powers changed in 2002. These fines are mandatory and shall be paid. Mayor Conaway asked if we were currently paying fines. Mr. Payne said yes. We can take the risk but have to be willing to lose that risk. Councilmember Cuevas asked what would happen if we chose not to pay the fines. Mr. Rapp said there is a provision on the resolution and there is a clause with not paying. They multiply the costs. If we incur delay, we will pay more. The fines are real. Mr. Payne said with regard to the SRF, the total debt service cost over the life of the loan will decrease, the monthly sewer rate will increase, future rate payers will get the benefit of using the water recycling without paying for the debt required to build it, it will take 1.4 years to 3.4 years to secure an SRF loan, and the City and its rate payers will be exposed to mandatory fines of up to $9.3 million per year. Mr. Rapp said our fines are limited because we have our time schedule order. It will expire September 10, 2009. Our penalties will then go way up. Staff is recommending moving forward with Bear Stearns.

Steve Dworken, Bear Stearns, said they have been working with the City since 2005. He said this project is important to the City. Given all the work by staff and consultants, they have attempted to put together a program that will qualify for investment ratings and bond insurance. They have updated the numbers on the debt service to reflect changes in the last week and a half. They will develop a program to match council’s overall requirements. He said the way they have structured the particular financing is to structure bonds that have callability. It allows for flexibility which is worth more than the potential savings. Anything through 10 years would be non-callable. They have the ability to call bonds for refinancing or refunding. Councilmember Walker asked if there is a penalty for refinancing before 10 years. Mr. Dworken said no, you are allowed one opportunity.

Mr. Chris Roberts, Bear Stearns, said long term interest rates have remained low relative to historical levels. Based on the current market and Bear Stearns’ efficient frontier analysis, it is appropriate for the City to utilize fixed rate debt for its wastewater financing. Updated rates were provided to council. The City is proposing to fund approximately $79.7 million of CIP for the wastewater enterprise. The project fund was net funded. Structure 1 is a 10-year callable bond. This is the basic structure. It is straight forward financing. Structure 2 is a combination of 10 year callable bonds and non-callable bonds. Structure 3 is non-callable bonds. Structure 4 is 10-year callable bonds. Structure 5 is a combination of 10-year callable bonds and non-callable bonds. Structure 6 is non-callable bonds.

Mr. Gary Creagle asked what the ramifications are if the City fails to pay. Mr. Steve Dworken said they would present a package to secure an investment rating. Bond insurance would have a claim against the City and would process the claim. The City would ultimately be sued if they failed to pay and it would affect all funds. Mr. Payne said the question creates the circumstance of double jeopardy. Staff would like to receive direction from council on the financing structure. Councilmember Lee said this is the biggest bond that Fillmore has ever issued. With interest rates the way they are today, being the lowest historically, he favors the bond at this point in time. He would like to do the 30% non-callable bond. He said we are at historic loans. Mr. Dworken said if it was non-callable there is no savings by refinancing. Councilmember Lee is in favor of Scenario #5. Councilmember Cuevas said when the table was presented she was looking to address the issues in the majority of the callable scenarios vs. the SRF. The rate payers of the first 20 years are going to finance the majority of a 50 year old asset. She prefers Scenario #4. She likes the callable feature. The flexibility provides optimum value. The difference between #4 and #5 is miniscule in terms of rates. The flexibility is warranted. She is not in favor of the SRF option. Councilmember Hernandez is in favor of Scenario #4. We do not know what the future entails. We could lower costs down the road. Councilmember Walker said it may be a benefit to have the $.25 savings overall. She is more in favor of Scenario #5. Mayor Conaway said we have heard from the public that the monthly bill is the issue. We have promised to work to lower rates. We have 2 scenarios between #4 and #5. Scenario #5 has a $.25 premium. He supports Scenario #5.
ACTION Motion: Cuevas; Second: Hernandez; UNANIMOUS by voice PREPARATION OF vote to direct staff to proceed with preparation of DOCUMENTS FOR documents for the issuance of Revenue Bonds utilizing ISSUANCE OF Scenario #5 for City Council review and approval at the REVENUE BONDS earliest possible date.
Councilmember Lee said he would like the Finance Committee to review all possible ways of saving.
ACTION Motion: Cuevas; Second: Walker; UNANIMOUS by voice vote UTILIZE BEAR to utilize Bear Stearns as the financial underwriter STEARNS AS for the issuance of Revenue Bonds.FINANCIAL UNDERWRITER
ACTION Motion: Cuevas; Second; Lee; MOTION PASSES by the ADOPT PUBLIC following vote that the Public Financing Authority FINANCING adopt Resolution No. 07-22: Resolution Authorizing the AUTHORITY Issuance and Sale of Revenue Bonds to Finance RESOLUTION Wastewater System Improvements for the City of NO. 07-22 Fillmore, Approving Related Documents and Official Actions and Retaining Consultants”.

AYE: Conaway, Cuevas, Hernandez, Lee; NO: None; ABSTAIN: Walker; ABSENT: None.

ACTION Motion: Cuevas; Second: Lee; MOTION PASSES by the ADOPT CITY
following voice vote to adopt City Council Resolution COUNCIL RESO. No. 07-3013: Approving Proceedings to Finance
NO. 07-3013 Improvements to the City’s Wastewater System, Approving Issuance of Revenue bonds by the Fillmore Public Financing Authority for such Purposes, Approving Related Documents and Official Actions and Retaining Consultants.

AYE: Conaway, Cuevas, Hernandez, Lee; NO: None; ABSTAIN: Walker; ABSENT: None.

Councilmember Walker said this has not been an easy decision. In conversations she hears that there was not a political will to change the direction we are going. She is not sure this is good for the community. She recognizes we have to meet the new permit. It is so expensive. She does not know how to lower this."