I recall, partially, an old saying my Dad once told me. It had to do with avoiding bad company. It went something like this: A drunk stumbled out of a frontier-age bar and fell into the earthen street gutter, where a pig happened to be resting. I only remember the final words, “You can tell a man who boozes by the company he chooses, and the pig got up and slowly walked away.”

This image came to mind as I received the great news that Fillmore has, again, won its argument with the Board of Equalization. The city’s much-condemned tax sharing contract concerning Owens and Minor, which has existed since 2003, has been validated by the Board. The bad company alluded to in the short scenario is like Fillmore’s Katzenjammers; reasonable residents of Fillmore should walk away from their infamous political shenanigans.
This political cabal has swept away virtually all of the honorable, competent members of city government in the past two years. It’s truly amazing. Gone is more than a hundred years of city government experience, driven away by insufferable arrogance and micromanagement habits of the Katzenjammers who have opposed the great achievements of prior councils and city managers, and staff.

I would like to refer readers to the Fillmore Gazette website:, to a letter submitted by former (20-year) City Manager Roy Payne. It is dated 06-08-2009. Roy identifies the hierarchy in the Klub Katz cabal, as Washburn, Brooks, Westling, Creagle, Stroh, Walker, Sipes, etc. Roy focuses on this tax sharing contract with remarkable clarity. It’s worth a read. And, Roy is correct!

Everything this group has touched has turned to economic rot. They pushed the north Fillmore Measures H and I, which will cost the city at least $300,000. They fought against the water treatment plant, completely ignorant of what they were opposing. They have repeatedly criticized the Owens and Minor tax sharing contract, which has brought millions of dollars into our city coffers, designated for the Reserve General Fund, earmarked for additional police services. (Please see: Sales Tax Revenue Sharing, September 24, 2008 for more detail)

Four of five city council members are charter member Katzenjammers, as is our new city clerk. Only Councilman Steve Conaway remains to stem the flow of enthusiastic council stupidity.

Well, the election is over. Let’s see how Walker, Washburn, Brooks, and Sipes unscramble the mess they have created. Wait until the money begins to flow out of city coffers to re-do the entire north Fillmore plan. Wait to see exactly where all of that mandated low and very low income housing has to be shoehorned in the few remaining buildable areas within city limits. Watch as all of the remaining (now unbuildable) land in north Fillmore goes back to weeds as landowners abandon their plans.

How many times must we hear Katzenjammers like Bob Stroh jabber away about how terribly dishonorable and “unethical, illegal, and immoral” the tax contract is? It’s just incredible. Talk about keeping bad company! I have to wonder if most of the City of Fillmore is asleep while this sort of deception continues.

With Obama at the helm it seems America is headed across the river Styx without a guide. Let’s hope Fillmore can somehow avoid finding itself up that infamous creek without a decent fiscal paddle.