Those of us who know of the extraordinary work Fillmore’s former City Manager Roy Payne has done during his 20 years on the job, and how essential his talents and experience have been to the smooth operation of business park plans, and the water treatment plant, also know how much his presence will be missed now that he has resigned.

Mr. Payne submitted his resignation Tuesday. Mark that day on your calendar and take note of where city development stands today. Check city development progress six months from now; I predict a dramatic and expensive downturn. Why? Because there is no one with Mr. Payne’s talents, experience, integrity, and institutional memory to take his place. The blind forces of arrogant stupidity have inflicted enormous damage to city development through its gratuitous, unremitting stream of disrespect for Mr. Payne.

Watch closely the cost in time to be lost and treasure to be wasted in attempts to fill Mr. Payne’s shoes, all because three intellectual pygmies on council (and two off) persistently and deliberately chose to ignore the advice of legal and business experts, and took disagreements personally.

Read Mr. Payne’s letter of resignation thoughtfully. It is also posted on For me, it brings back vivid memories of the past 20-plus years in Fillmore. It evokes memories of Fillmore before and after the catastrophic Northridge earthquake. It also illuminates the achievements of the man who rebuilt this town from the scattered bricks and massive, post quake confusion. He gave us hope – he gave us a sparkling new town!

Roy Payne was the man who orchestrated our recovery, who found the grants, ordered the work, and hired the people necessary to get the job done. Ask the opinion of any previous Fillmore City Council member about Mr. Payne’s achievements. They all agree (except for Gary Creagle; see intellectual pygmy reference) his work has been indispensable to our success.

Goodbye Mr. Payne. Thanks for 20 spectacular years of hard work.

(More on this next week)