This a response to Bob Morris’ letter appearing in this week’s paper.

Thanks for your opinions Bob. Wish more readers would do the same.

About the gas pump caper, your numbers are too close for me to dispute. I don’t know exactly how many gallons are involved in what appeared to be a little more than an eighth of a tank. Had to be at least 10 gallons. However, to keep the peace I’ll concede your point.

About the two other issues: You wish the Gazette would “spend a little more time on some of the real issues that impact Fillmore” “like school issues and the Transportation Commission vs Fillmore Western Railriad.” Interesting questions.

No other newspaper, or website for that matter, has covered Fillmore like the Gazette has for the past 25 years. I have personally attended about 600 school board meetings as the District has gone through a half-dozen or so superintendents. The Gazette has covered scandals, disruptions, debates, fights between teachers and the board, unions and the board, and parents and the board, teachers, and superintendents.

We always have a photographer and reporter in attendance, for many important meetings a videographer as well. Most recently the Gazette participated in exposing the seriously improper hiring of one principal and the seriously wrongful behavior of a board member. The board member was chastised by the Ventura County District Attorney, and the principal will be leaving.

A great deal of money has been spent creating, maintaining and promoting our popular website, I emphasize the word “great”. The site was designed to provide (take note) a special page for each teacher in the Fillmore school district, also for the board, free of charge for the past 8 years or so. All that was required of these beneficiaries was to email stories, photos, or notices to the Gazette for publication. This service was greeted with much joy. To my recollection during that time two teachers took advantage of this free service; I traveled to her classroom to photograph one occasion for publication. With about two exceptions – silence. These, remarkable exceptions, were Ms. Jan Marholin at San Cayetano School, and Principal John Wilber. I may have missed a few others, but you get the idea. I am positively embarrassed to think of the cost of the website adventure.

Yes, Bob, we’ve been there – for 25 years.

As for troubles with the “Transportation Commission vs. Fillmore Western Railroad” like other news sources, we cover what is available. The confrontation is long-standing. The railroad has lost all of its appeals regarding the cancellation of the contract for use of the track and we have received no information of any new progress. Allegations of Commission incompetence, even if true, would be irrelevant to the findings of the court.

So, Bob, I regret your disapproval with Gazette coverage. You might keep in mind that there are large newspapers, medium-sized newspapers, and small newspapers. With a staff of three (and one on the website) the Gazette might be characterized as a nano-newspaper. We are the last traditional weekly community newspaper in Ventura County that I am aware of.

I am proud of what we have been doing for the City of Fillmore for the past 25 years, under extraordinary challenges.