By Martin Farrell — Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
My condolences to the family and friends of Malcolm Jackson who passed away a week ago last Sunday.
I knew Malcolm for 23 years, but not as well as others. I attended many tributes, birthday celebrations and other events in his honor over the years, and still wear my distinctive green Malcolm Jackson 12-10-2007 Petroleum Club cap on special occasions. He was a friend to many, especially those who love fishing, hunting, and firearms. Malcolm was a devoted family man and consummate gunsmith with strong ideals. He lived a wonderful life surrounded by friends, doing the things he loved best.
Rest in peace, Malcolm. I will remember you as a kindly, quintessential American man.
The battle for public access to our high school track is well into its third year. Only recently, after John Scoles was struck by a vehicle while running on the bike path at night, has any progress been made. John had been using the track for about 30 years before the all-weather replacement was installed. Since that time, despite strong verbal assurances of the school district to permit public use before construction, the track has been locked-up. Though most Ventura County high school all-weather tracks are open for public use, our school district has been all but paranoid about track security being lost to any public use.
A runners club has been formed, with hundreds of potential track users signed-up. After years of fumbling and extended delays by the District, construction of a special gate has been agreed upon. However, an issue remains concerning who will pay for the gate, estimated to cost $8,000. Everyone claims to be broke.
The club has offered to pay part of the cost, but the city has not committed as yet. With the swimming pool operation running a serious deficit, and serving very few customers, the track club seems to be short-changed. It has hundreds of users waiting, and costs very little to operate.
The City of Fillmore does not maintain a financial profit/loss record on the Lap Swim Program. Pool operations have never been in the black. Instead, it has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars since opening.
A detailed report and audit should be completed by the city to show whether or not the pool is financially feasible. This is a serious budget problem.
Let’s support opening the track to the public and expediting the construction of that gate. In terms of usage, it makes no sense to favor the pool over the track.