A happy, merry, and holy Christmas to all Gazette readers! We don’t celebrate the season, or the holiday; we celebrate the birth of the Christ Child, the Prince of Peace, and the Redeemer of the human race. So, let’s all rejoice!


Are you shopkeepers located on south Central Avenue dry today? Are you experiencing any flooding during this heavy rainstorm? If not, you owe your new comfort to the man who has just resigned as Fillmore’s Director of Public Works (city engineer) Bert Rapp.

During the nearly 20 years of his employment Bert has essentially rebuilt Fillmore’s infrastructure with courage, skill, and imagination. He re-designed and rebuilt the city’s decrepit and dangerous old water system. He designed and built four city parks, our Class One bike path, re-engineered our Towne Theatre after the quake, designed our Pole Creek debris basin (which saves El Dorado Mobil Home Park from flooding), built our new city hall, and, best of all, caused to be built our great new, award-winning, water treatment plant.

There is virtually no place in the City of Fillmore that he has not in some beneficial way changed.

With all of these major achievements, and the official accolades his work has received, he remains one of the most humble, modest men I have ever known, a true Christian gentleman.

Bert is one of the last of many upper management city employees to leave since our city council has been overrun by the Katzenjammers, a highly organized political group determined to drive-off all long-term city employees. He has been personally disrespected, and his professional expertise ignored, by the most ignorant, inexperienced bunch of micromanagers ever to sit on the council. Bert could have resigned for several more lucrative engineering positions at any time, but he loved this city and wanted to complete his ideas. Politics finally made this impossible.

Beginning with our former City Manager Roy Payne, who was deliberately insulted to the point that he also resigned, through several other upper-level employees who left to avoid having to deal with Patti Walker, Gayle Washburn, Jamey Brooks, and now Brian Sipes, our city hall is now like a wind-swept barn. Virtually every city employee has signed a letter of no confidence in city management – only to be ignored, twice.

Good luck to Bert Rapp. He’s our loss and his new employer’s gain – much like Steve McClary and the others who have gone to greener places earlier.

A spirit of stupidity has settled upon the City of Fillmore.