As I expected, the Katzenjammer wing of our city council gave me both barrels at Tuesday’s meeting. Public comment sessions have degenerated to such a low point that I wonder if some of those folks who express such contempt and hatred towards me should be required to wear spit masks like some convicts are required to wear. The intensity and acrimony they spout at every council meeting these days is truly venomous.

The usual suspects are mostly responsible and they have set a bad example for others. For the third meeting in a row extra police back-up was provided at Gayle Washburn’s request. Another needless expense because she can’t control her campaign friends.

This handful of hysterics share many things in common, but what they share most of all is fear of the Truth, sometimes unwittingly. Most of them are like Sandra Pella, only “knowing” what they’ve been told by their political friends and neighbors. Others think that newspapers should not criticize those in public office, and should remain silent in the face of repeated, outrageous slurs and verifiable falsehoods methodically delivered in a public forum – by them. Unfortunately, this infantile attitude is inflamed by uncontrolled emotion which sometimes makes them appear unstable at the podium.

But behind all this gushing malevolence is that group that formed about 8 years ago for the purpose of halting development in north Fillmore, and to halt the construction of our new wastewater treatment plant. They succeeded in destroying the North Fillmore Specific Plan, some 6 years in production, by supporting Measures H and I. These measures would never have passed had the citizens of Fillmore understood what they would do to the city housing plan and to our long-term financial health. As explained before, it will take much more than $300,000 to repair the damage H and I caused, and any reasonable development in north Fillmore (jobs and businesses) can be forgotten. Fillmore’s last large development space will continue for decades as a weed lot. Now we must scramble to find what small lots remain for development around the city to fulfill the state low income housing mandate. This means three and four-story apartment buildings instead of smaller, friendlier, cleaner, safer homes, condos, and apartments. This council has done nothing to solve this problem they created.

Thank God they couldn’t stop the water treatment plant. The Katzenjammers and company go wild when this subject is brought up. The entire present city council majority (Gayle Washburn, Jamey Brooks, Brian Sipes, and recently appointed councilman Gonzalez) delayed the plant’s completion for more than 18 months. It is a miracle the plant was completed slightly ahead of schedule and under budget. With only a couple of months left to meet the state and federal MANDATED deadline for completion, the city narrowly avoided fines of up to $25,000 PER DAY.

Was this, as these bitter critics forever claim, an “overpriced, over-engineered, "customized" “Cadillac”- type of plant that we have built?” That was how Gayle Washburn described it back in 2007 when she, and the Katzenjammer groups: (Gayle Washburn, Citizens for Responsible Growth; Bob Stroh, Citizens United for Fillmore; Clay Westling, Concerned Citizens Committee of Fillmore; Richard Schuck (RIP), El Dorado Citizens for Affordable Sewage; Eduardo Gonzalez, Orange Blossom Village and Fillmore Convalescent Center) went on the attack. Gary Creagle provided his support at workshops and public meetings (LA Regional Water Quality Control Board, June and April of 2007)

Here is the Truth. After an exhaustive study of all available technologies compatible with Fillmore’s geographic and geologic area, three companies bid on the project. Rather than go over this process again, I refer readers to last week’s "Realitied Revealed". You might start with LINK 8 PART 1 and LINK 8 PART 2, which explains the plant and answers a “Letter of Concerns About the Water Recycling Program”, sent to our city engineer in 2007. This letter of response from City Engineer Bert Rapp answers all of the main questions presented, including type of technology, cost, function, financing (why bonds over state funds) and much more. Read all the pertinent communications, data, and charts. After you understand this information, I CHALLENGE ANYONE (especially Bob Stroh, Gary Creagle, Patti Walker, Gayle Washburn, Jamey Brooks, and Brian Sipes) to refute these facts. For 8 years you have harangued the council that authorized the new plant and insulted, ridiculed, and impugned the reputation of City Engineer Bert Rapp who, with City Manager Roy Payne, gave us our award-winning new water treatment plant.

The extraordinarily high cost of water to the citizens and businesses of Fillmore was not the fault of these two city employees, or of American Water and the contributing engineering firms. We built the best plant, with the best technology, for the lowest cost which would satisfy all strict state and federal mandated water quality standards, on time. This was a plant that the city was forced to build; patching-up the old plant would not work. And, failing to complete construction on deadline subjected us to $25,000 fines – per day! Read the official explanations in LINK 8 PART 1 and LINK 8 PART 2.

Again, I challenge these high volume liars to show what plant they would have built instead. This horse pucky about a technology that would have saved us “$20 million” is just that. Gayle Washburn, the most technology-challenged of the entire council majority, constantly demanded a different construction company, technology, location, etc. She didn’t (doesn’t) know what she was talking about, and the rest of them followed Gayle like sheep.

Tell us what you would have built, Gayle – after reading the voluminous answers Bert Rapp provided your groups back in 2007, which explain why we couldn’t adopt your loony ideas. You can’t. Yet you continue to blame American Water, Bert Rapp, and Roy Payne for Fillmore’s financial situation in order to get re-elected and cover your own pathetic incompetence. Gayle’s favorite company, PERC, chose not to bid on the job. That company built Santa Paula’s plant. Ask how that plant is doing today. I hear hey had to replace their filters after the first year, and their water bills have also skyrocketed.

Fillmore should ask itself: Do we really want Gayle Washburn, Jamey Brooks, and Clay Westling to continue to destroy our city with hair-brained policies, personal agendas and vendettas? It’s time to break the grip this cabal of Katzenjammers has on city government! Four years ago they wanted to “Take Our City Back.” They did it – and broke it. Just ask all those who had to work under them.


On another matter. Patti Walker and her groupies canonized Eduardo Gonzalez last night. All of us understand the importance of his convalescent hospital and senior living unit, for our senior residents. Most of us, however, should understand the importance of informing citizens of Fillmore that 20 percent of the city’s $500,000 delinquent water bills is due to Mr. Gonzalez’ businesses.

Gonzalez was appointed to the council by his long-time cronies in the council majority. He actually created the slogan Sewercide in his effort to stop the treatment plant. His delinquencies were kept quiet by Mayor Washburn, Jamey Brooks, and Brian Sipes, because they have worked together for many years, back to 2007.

Patti Walker, in her lengthy diatribe, falsely alleged the Gazette refused to publish Gonzalez’ letter to the editor. This is completely false. His letter last week arrived after we had gone to press, but we immediately posted it here on our website, with our clarifications. His letter is published in this week’s print edition of The Gazette, and remains online.

However, if Mr. Gonzalez really wishes to expound upon his business practices, as he himself, Patti Walker and the council majority seem to desire, maybe that should be included in this discussion. Should we ask his employees? Would his halo slip a little? The last man to speak to this issue during public comment spoke briefly, but poignantly. His question was, “Mr. Gonzalez, are you a respectful man?”

Clearly, the Katzenjammers are panicking. They will do or say anything to hang on to the city council majority.

If the citizens of Fillmore want a sane, honest, and open government again, Gayle Washburn, Jamey Brooks, and Clay Westling must be removed from office.