The tagging team that messed-up the town a few weeks ago has done it again this week. These little punks sprayed graffiti on several Sespe School walls, the School District building, softball field, Memorial Building, library, and elsewhere.

At a time when the city has laid-off scores of employees and staff at every level (who face the Christmas season without jobs) when the city budget is in the red, and with people running city hall who haven’t a clue how to fix things, we now have to pay to paint-over this criminal scribbling. Records show that in the past graffiti removal has cost the city from $30,000 to $40,000 per year. That’s wasted money – your tax money – that’s money that could have gone into the school. It was your softball field, library, elementary school, and Memorial Building that was vandalized.

This is expensive, destructive, felony activity, and it’s time to arrest these cowardly felons and put them in jail. These cowardly little bastards think it's great fun to hurt our community and steal our hard-earned money, just for kicks.

The Gazette will pay $200 for the arrest and conviction of any one of the five in this tagging crew. We will pay a $100 bonus for the names of this group’s members. We don’t need to know who provides this information, just call the Sheriff’s Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477). Just think, you could earn an easy $300, plus up to $1,000 more that Crime Stoppers would add to the pot – just in time for Christmas!

So, if you’re tired of having this little band of bed-wetters messing-up your town, it’s time to give Crime Stoppers a call. They won’t ask for your name – and you’ll be a hero!


John Scoles, prominent Fillmore attorney and avid runner, was badly injured this week, in a collision with a vehicle, while jogging along the footpath crossing A Street. He is recovering at home after the incident, and expected to return to work in two weeks, according to his law partner Laura Bartels.

It is ironic in the extreme that John should have suffered this accident because he has lobbied our school district for years to be able to use the school track, as he had done for 40 years prior to the installation of our new all-weather track. He repeatedly told the district (and city hall) that it was both dangerous for joggers to use the streets, and physically (and unnecessarily) punishing. The District has stubbornly refused (until recently) to permit any public use of the new track, fearing damage due to vandalism or misuse. John has patiently addressed the necessity for public use in his numerous addresses to city hall and the school district, with only grudging success.

Had the public known that they would be excluded from the hugely expensive track before it was purchased, they would not have provided the funds. I distinctly recall extensive talks, and an agreement between then superintendent Contini and city hall permitting public use.

It’s time to open that track!
Get well soon, John.



A Happy Thanksgiving to all Gazette readers. It's that special day of the year when we thank God for the incredible blessings we enjoy for being Americans. I hope you all are able to enjoy family and friends and a rich Thanksgiving meal.


I agree with the authors of letters to the editor who are calling for Mayor Washburn to leave open the council seat recently vacated by Patti Walker. It's obvious that Walker deliberately delayed providing notice of her intent to resign from the council months ago so that her replacement could not be placed on the last election ballot. This way the council majority is able to appoint its own replacement instead of giving Fillmore residents a chance to elect the replacement.

I ask the three council majority members, Jamey Brooks, Gayle Washburn, and Brian Sipes, to leave open the vacant seat, as the law provides, until the next election, June 5th. Otherwise, you would be making a 3-year appointment about which the electorate would have nothing to say. What reason could the majority have for not doing this? They would still have a majority, and this would avoid the appearance of serious, unethical conduct -which many now anticipate. Give the city a chance to vote-in a new council member. So, slow down Ms. Washburn. There is no reason to hurry. I know you are anxious to appoint a friend or political crony to replace Patti, but this is a great opportunity to show everyone how you keep your campaign promises for open and ethical government. Now's your time to shine, to rise above the customary Katzenjammer venality! We're all watching with bated breath.



Last night’s city council meeting was special, for a number of reasons.

Patti Walker announced her resignation from the council. This had been long anticipated, since, as reported in the Gazette weeks ago, her house was for sale. It was known that she sought to move out of town, making her ineligible to remain on the council. This was newsworthy because the move could open the council to an appointment.

When first reported by the Gazette, this news was met with great indignation, anger, even tears from Ms. Walker at the dais. The news was false, they pretended. As usual, my editorial was blamed for her tears, which immediately caused Mayor Gayle to tear-up as well. Though the tears were caused by Walker’s revelation of a personal family tragedy, the emotion set the stage for another of Bob Stroh’s melodramatic moments. The evil publisher made Patti cry.

Last night Walker announced the sale of her house and her move out of town. An opportunity she could not resist, she claimed.

Note: Had Ms. Walker announced her plans four months ago, her seat on the council would have been made part of this recent election, without additional cost. But, the council majority (Katzenjammers) wanted to make an appointment from within their own ranks. To hell with any public participation. I noticed a clean-shaven Marcoz Hernandez (twice failed Katzenjammer candidate for the council, and buddy of failed former Fillmore Mayor Gary Creagle, also a Katzenjammer stalwart) waiting in the wings at this meeting. Another lean and hungry Katzenjammer councilman-in-waiting?

Well, as they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Listening to Patti announce her resignation enkindled a spark of hope, immediately doused by a bucket of reality. While I concede Patti’s diligence on the council, her deviousness is legendary. The day she first announced her candidacy for the council was the day city hall staff members and department heads made plans to leave. Absent her close friends and political cohorts, no one trusted Patti. Her conniving ways attracted like-minded incompetents which soon led to a wholesale exodus of all long-term staff and department heads. Today they are all gone, and city government has collapsed, after two public letters of no confidence in our present city manager.

The danger now, and a backhanded compliment to Patti’s native intelligence, is that among the three remaining members of the Katzenjammer council majority, none are smart enough to keep the city from sliding into bankruptcy. None of them can provide sufficient institutional memory of city business history to anticipate or deal with serious problems – and they’ve chased away those who could. Councilman Steve Conaway, alone, has the ability and experience, and the others would rather die than to take his advice.

There appears to be little doubt (for example) that Mayor Gayle prompted City Manager Quiring to set up a hasty Special Meeting for the day after this recent council meeting, anticipating an immediate appointment of the favored Katzenjammer. But, gosh! - the required notice to council members (of at least 24 hours) didn’t go out – to the embarrassed consternation of Mayor Gayle. Marcoz appeared crestfallen. There was nothing urgent about the new appointment that demanded a Special Meeting, said Councilman Conaway, in his usual calm, factual way. The council had done this (appointments) twice before, taking from one month to 6 weeks to accomplish the task, giving the working public plenty of time to voice their opinions. Clearly, Manager Quiring was following orders from the majority (though she has been given plenary powers) and they had no intentions of giving the public a chance to comment on potential appointees. State Govt. Code 36512 states that no appointment need be made, and the council has 60 days within which to act. Only political intentions made a Special Meeting necessary here.

And so it is that Patti Walker leaves her seat at the council in a puff of her characteristic deviousness. Nice try, Patti. Enjoy your rest at Klub Katz, but give us a heads-up before plying your talents in higher office. You’ve got the game down well.



There were an unusual number of traffic accidents around town this weekend, something like six. Luckily, I heard of no serious injuries.

* * *

It didn’t surprise me that Bill O’Reilly, even after bragging that he would ask really tough questions to GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry during last night’s TV interview, asked him about tuition for Texas illegals.
A true, traditional conservative should have had no trouble answering. Perry did a little soft shoe, and O’Reilly failed to ask anything about a fence on the Texas border. Very disappointing, and added nothing to my understanding of Perry’s conservative qualifications. No doubt Perry is a good guy, and a solid, traditional Christian conservative (especially on pro-life issues) but he doesn’t seem to have a clue about just how bad and dangerous our southern border is. The highest of tech equipment will only tell us where current invasion points are, so our border guards can hightail it over to head them off at the pass – while other streams open up elsewhere. Something like trying to plug holes in a sieve with one hand. Illegals from 70 countries have been caught crossing, many from terrorist areas. We need a fence-wall like Israel – plus high tech stuff, and state and federal troops. For this reason alone I could not vote for Perry – and O’Reilly is just a little too “balanced”.

* * *

I rarely recommend or give books away these days. I’ve found most are never read. But, once in a while one comes along that changes my mind, like Pat Buchanan’s latest “SUICIDE of a SUPERPOWER”. For anyone wishing to understand the world today, and the consequences of the recent past, this is a superb book.

Copious notes, brilliant writing, and indisputable conclusions will refresh memories and inform the reader of our future by showing our past. This will, no doubt, be Pat’s seventh New York Times best seller. I can’t remember when I last would wake up an hour early to continue reading a book.
From the Preface: “What happened to the country we grew up in?”

Like Death of the West, a decade ago, this book seeks to answer that question. But Suicide of a Superpower is being published in another time in another America. When Death of the West came out on New Year’s 2002, the nation was united and resolved. America had just swept to a bloodless victory over the Taliban and a triumphant George W. Bush had the approval of nine in ten of his countrymen....

This book is published after ten years of war in Afghanistan, eight in Iraq, the worst recession and debt crisis America has faced since the 1930s, with the nation divided and seemingly everywhere in retreat. We have entered an era of austerity and retrenchment unlike any this generation has ever known. But not only is it in the realm of economics and politics that America appears in a downward spiral. Socially, culturally, morally, America has taken on the aspect of a decadent society and a declining nation....”

“...When the faith dies, the culture dies, the civilization dies, the people die. That is the progression. And as the faith that gave birth to the West is dying in the West, peoples of European descent from the steppes of Russia to the coast of California have begun to die out, as the Third World treks north to claim the estate. The last decade provided corroborating if not conclusive proof that we are in the Indian summer of our civilization. Historian Arnold Toynbee wrote, “Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.” And so it is. We are the Prodigal Sons who squandered their inheritance; but, unlike the Prodigal Son, we can’t go home again.”
Pat provides a sweeping study of what America is today and how we got that way. There is still time to fix things, but very little.


Gazette photo outtakes
Gazette photo outtakes
Enlarge Photo

Though I took only eleven photos at the last council meeting, only two of council members, Mayor Washburn still complained of too many photos. Starting this week the Gazette has begun publishing photos taken at past council meetings and other city functions, which were discarded. This should clearly demonstrate the need for multiple pictures of a particular subject, which allows an opportunity to select the best of the bunch. Often, expressions change in awkward ways which the subject would find embarrassing, or the light, focus, or composition is poor. A photographer wants to be able to select the best. Group photos can be troublesome because every member (in a candid shot especially) is moving.

At council meetings each presentation should be photographed (multiple times for the above reasons) as well as speakers addressing the council. So, with a group council member shot, speaker and presentation shots, etc., covering these meetings often involves taking 20 to 30 photographs, which are always edited before publishing.

In an effort to preserve domestic tranquility (by showing the photos we didn’t use) I would ask our city council majority to let me know when they’ve seen enough to convince them that more should often be less. The archive is very large and we have only begun to delve into its depths.

I thank you for your anticipated cooperation.


I watched most of the Republican debate last night. I was embarrassed for Perry during his scolding of Romney about Romney’s use of a gardening company which had allegedly hired an illegal crew member. It was both petty and irrelevant to the serious issue of illegal immigration, and presidential qualifications. As usual, Romney did well. Cain also did well, though he needs to explain his 9-9-9 tax better. Newt, as usual, did best with his answers. Bachman was ready with solid answers as well.

Candidate religious affiliation, unfortunately, continues to be an issue with some folks. Romney happens to be a Mormon. He also happens to be a man with singularly high moral values, a bright, trustworthy, conservative candidate with great business and government experience. He is a man I would trust with the presidency, as I would each of the other candidates, though I differ sharply on some issues (Perry’s no-fence).

Think about this: There are somewhere between 30,000-40,000 Christian denominations today, all of which disagree with one another on doctrine (salvation). Many of us are destined for a big surprise! I happen to be a Catholic. Many, if not most, of the 30,000-something believe Catholics are not Christian, which means nothing to me.

During my lifetime I’ve had only one opportunity to vote for a Catholic presidential candidate (JFK) but I voted for Goldwater because he was the conservative. If Romney gets the nomination I will enthusiastically vote for him, and rejoice when he wins.

As things stand now, the only candidates I could not vote for are Ron Paul and Perry; Perry for his anti-fence attitude, and Paul because some of his ideas are a little kooky.

Ask yourselves this: How much of a Christian can Obama be after worshiping in the racist, bigoted church of the “reverend” Jeremiah Wright for 20 years? Remember this Jew-hating, white folks-hating, spiritual menace saying “Not God bless America - God damn America!” This is our president’s friend and mentor of 20 years speaking. This should delineate the choice for those calling themselves Christians who seek a candidate guided by traditional Christian ethics and morals.



I wish, as always, I had more time. With so many important things happening these days, everywhere, I’m sure that wish will stay with me.

* * *

City Hall failed to pay August and September’s employee health benefit premiums on time, causing an interruption in service. Employee turnover has been suggested by the city manager. Perhaps a standard exit-interview with the departing employee would have avoided the problem.

Since virtually nothing is going on at city hall these days, with most of the top staff gone, employees mostly gone, city coffers empty, the budget in disarray – with another $1.4 million threatening to sink us, and the council majority wanting to have fewer meetings, I’m going to skip that area today. Leaning on the city government alarm bell too long has caused Fillmore’s residents to believe things are normal. Someone please remember to turn out the lights.

* * *

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, or Herman Cain were my top presidential choices a few weeks ago. Now it’s between Cain and Romney. Perry seems to be a great guy, a wildly successful governor, and sincere Christian man. However, his opposition to a fence-secured border, and tuition assistance for all illegal aliens told me immediately that he had no chance to win the nomination, what’s more, the election.

“Boots on the ground” is his solution for securing the Texas border. Although he has at his disposal some of the very best law enforcement personnel in the nation, he should be smart enough to recognize that that tactic has not worked, and can never work. The reality of the invasion of illegals from all over the world, especially, if not exclusively, across our southern border with Mexico, demands a strong fence – as well as boots on the ground.
I am astounded that any governor of Texas, which has the longest border segment with Mexico, would not understand that the relatively few boots he has to put on the ground, and the most sophisticated surveillance available, alone can never work. The reality and extent of the criminal war (a virtual civil war) in Mexico, amongst cartels themselves and the federal government, despite massive media coverage, is not properly understood by the vast majority of Americans.

How bad is it? Mexico has been turned into a non-stop, indiscriminate slaughterhouse – quite literally. An exaggeration? I urge you to read the most recent, highly detailed assessment of the Texas border threat:

Those brave souls who might actually read this document would be enlightened. The report is very long (read at least pages 8-15). Then, ask yourself if all the Texas Rangers in the world, alone, could have any discernable effect on the blood and drug mayhem taking place along our border. Any sensible person would immediately answer “no”. They are far out-manned (in numbers, not quality) out-gunned (thanks in part to our Attorney General’s "Fast and Furious" firearms assistance to the Mexican cartels) and far out-funded (the cartels bring in about $35 billion a year – tax free of course). They have fleets of water craft (including 100-foot long completely submersible submarines), aircraft, and a huge inventory of military arms, including hand grenades, missiles, machine guns, and 50 caliber sniper rifles (which have brought down at least one helicopter so far). In short, they can obtain anything they want whenever they want it.

The federal government, whose primary job is to defend the country, despite its claims, has done effectively nothing to control the threat since President Eisenhower’s time. They have all promised, lied, and failed to make a significant difference. Don’t blame our courageous border guards. The blame belongs with our politicians - presidents, senators, and congressmen, of BOTH parties. With the cartels now cooperating with Islamist terrorists (most recently revealed – Iran) and American street gangs, and with American citizen-residents threatened daily and dying along the border, Perry’s “boots on the ground” is deadly ridiculous. We need a strong, high fence (like Israel’s) intensely monitored with federal and state troops. This would also be a terrific, real time training exercise for our troops, and would open once again our border parks.

For myself, I want to hear both Romney and Cain publically commit to this sort of border solution.

Too extreme? Not Politically Correct enough? READ THAT OFFICIAL REPORT! Maybe this sort of action will prevent others from being “skinned alive” or being bathed in acid. Parental discretion is advised!



We have published some letters from our website,, in the paper this week. These letters indicate a storm of discontent with our present city council majority and city manager is rising.

The city is advertising for an assistant city manager at a time when all city employees have publically expressed (twice) no confidence in the present manager. At a time when the council agenda can be contained in two to four pages because nothing is going on, and our present manager is being paid at the highest rate ever (less a small give-back in keeping with all staff members) residents want to know why we are seeking to hire a management assistant. With our city staff skeletonized, employees laid off, and important work out-sourced why can’t our new manager and clerk handle the job?

No council minutes have been produced for the past four months. Maybe it’s time to out-source the city clerk and manager’s jobs.


Well, my efforts to compile a chronological list (for Brian Sipes) of city staff and employees targeted for personal reasons by the Katzenjammers continue. It will begin with former City Manager Roy Payne, whose 20-year service to the city resulted in our phoenix-like recovery from the Northridge earthquake devastation. He was first among the four primary Katzenjammer targets.

Refusing to compromise on the north Fillmore development, the “Jammers” caused much time and money to be wasted; that area has gone back to seed (with businesses and jobs destroyed) and legal mandates remain unfinished. Then there was the water treatment plant opposition (remember the colorful “Sewercide” movement?).There was also the constant drumbeat for open government (where are our minutes today; how many Brown Act violations have we paid for?) and accusations of wrongdoing by the former city council (none was ever uncovered). Bitter complaints and vicious attacks concerning the Owens & Minor tax contract, falsely characterized as unlawful, possibly criminal, and especially unethical and “IMMORAL”! Brooks, Sipes, Washburn, and Walker slandered former city managers and councils for personal and political purposes. They were said to be underhanded, and IMMORAL, in executing this contract which will bring into city coffers approximately $1million, every year, for the next 20 years! Now, of course, they are on their knees, begging for that money. So, it was always about the money (they squandered) and never about ethics or morality. It was all about getting elected by Sewerciding their political opponents.


Concerning (appointed) Mayor Washburn’s letter to the editor, please notice two things: First, there is no substance, just generalities, as usual. Second, she remains incapable of distinguishing between news and opinion. Ignorance can be remedied; stupidity is invincible.


After a couple hours listening to city council jabber about the pitiable state of our finances, witnessing a stream of congratulatory presentations to escaping Planning Commissioners, being depressed by the truthfulness of former Council Member Cecilia Quevas’s no confidence statement from the dais (characterizing our council as a county “laughingstock”), I was ready to document my depression on multiple pages today. But I don’t have the time.

Comfort was to be found only in a large chocolate chip cookie and cup of coffee in the forier. This was part of a nice spread prepared to honor the planning commissioners who had resigned in protest over the disrespectful treatment they had received at the hands of those council members who had prepared the treats. It must have been embarrassing for council members Brooks, Sipes, and Washburn, who precipitated their resignations, to host the affair. And, Mayor Washburn who instigated the resignations with witless recommendations (due in part to cell tower emissions) had to make the individual presentations. It was all very awkward.

Diminishing the enjoyment of my cookie were complaints about excessive photo activity during council sessions. The council majority still has no idea why multiple photos of the same subject are often required. First Amendment considerations aside, subjects are frequently photographed with unflattering expressions; lighting and lens changes can also necessitate multiple shots.

I’ve explained this many times during the past 22 years and 500-plus meetings. It’s time to demonstrate the validity of these explanations. So, very soon, I will publish some of the more unflattering photos taken of council members during the past year or so. These are among the photos discarded in an effort to avoid personal embarrassment and social distress. These photos are monuments to benignity and compassion. But no! They have gone unrequited!

Therefore, council members, brace yourselves for an in-your-face reality lesson. It is my hope that thereafter you will understand why I take so many photos. But – please hold your apologies until after the event.

Moving right along, Councilman Sipes got his shorts in a bunch when it was reported that he had personal motives for attempting to oust our present legal counsel. He claims it is untrue. He states he had no personal motives. If so, this contradicts several years of personal targeting of city staff and employees as a part of the Katzenjammer cabal. I’m tired of the denials. It’s time to enumerate the multitude of targeted employees and staff members. I have begun the chronological list and hope to include it with the upcoming mug shots. Sipes, being utterly incompetent in legal matters, would like to see such a change “every five years or so.” He has personal disagreements with city counsel decisions – like the newspaper of record issue?

Lastly, City Clerk Clay Westling has failed to produce the minutes for several months. He has no explanation for this. It is a flagrant violation of Katzenjammer election promises. It may take a lawsuit to have these important records produced.

Talk about feet of Clay!


Well, another of Fillmore’s long-time, competent Planning Commissioners has resigned. Tom Fennell has joined three others who resigned within the past month or so. They could stand council puerility no longer; I’m speaking of the council majority of four.

The city council majority of Brooks, Washburn, Walker and Sipes strikes again! It seems no rational, sensible, and otherwise normal person can stand to work with these people.

Since these four clueless clowns squeaked into office these past several years, their plan to deplete city hall of every single experienced staff member, as well as the city clerk, finance director, and city manager, city engineer, etc., has succeeded. With a couple of exceptions, they’re all now gone and city business is left in a state of weightlessness. Everything is being “outsourced” (maybe to India?) including common sense. Gone are all those competent caretakers of our city’s welfare. Gone are scores of good employees (and institutional memory) with whom the present council majority had personal issues.

The scene, and future, is grim.

For anyone wishing to glimpse Fillmore’s probable future under the clownistocracy now in charge of city business, visit this link:


Frankly, I don’t feel much like writing anything today. And it seems harder to find positive themes these days. But, we never seem to run out of bad news; that’s always a dependable source.

With the tenth anniversary of the Shariah 9-11 attack on the twin towers approaching I’m sure government agencies are taking extra precautions. By this time prudent Americans should all have taken special measures in anticipation of national emergencies. Those who haven’t should begin soon because the variety of probable disasters (by official assessment)has never been greater. Without exception, government agencies responsible for the health, safety, and defense of our country have been alerting us to these dangers for more than a decade, telling us to be prepared for major disasters.

I was contacted by a high-level official in charge of an emergency management agency a while ago. I was told that a main concern had to do with a nuclear attack on the City of Los Angeles. This didn’t surprise me because LA is among the top 10 cities targeted by our Jihadist friends. Nuclear weapons and materials have been distributed throughout the world for a long time, thanks to Russia, North Korea, and evil men like Dr. A.Q. Kahn, the Pakistani thief (and national hero). Such an attack anywhere in the US will effect all of us in a major way. It will directly and immediately effect all financial merkets, food distribution, and public safety and order. It will being out the very best in us, and the very worst.

There are other terrorist threats, including chemical, biological attacks, etc., each of which can result in famine, disease, social disorder, and war. Be prepared by at least storing the recommended basic supplies of water (one glallon per per person per day)and food (minimum of 72 hours-worth)and necessary medications. We all know how quickly stores will be depleted of these supplies when disaster causes panic. You don’t have do everything at once, but make preparations regularly, little by little. Your life and the lives and welfare of your family members (according to our own government experts) are at risk.

Look for the emergency preparations page, soon.


“All the world's a stage”, says the Bard. Last night’s council meeting resembled a circus stage, with City Clerk Clay Westling unable to explain why months have gone by without producing the minutes, Mayor Washburn struggling to finally tell the truth about asking for an appeal of Planning Commission’s non-decision of the Verizon cellular tower, and Councilguys Brooks and Sipes weeping over their failed attempt to fire our city counsel (for avowed personal reasons). In theatrical terms this was a melodrama. Don’t miss the re-run on Channel 10, 6:30.
There was something there for everyone! Oh, I almost forgot a cameo part played by Bob Stroh where he attempts to blame the Gazette for stories he attributes to the now defunct Fillmore Herald. You can view Bob’s last videotaped public performance here: where he creeps across the floor towards my chair, camera to his face, to sneak a picture of me. We are considering adding some spooky music and posting it on YouTube. Bob’s a real crack-up.


The Gazette had a difficult time last week. To begin with, we lost all internet communications from 8 a.m. until after noon, due to our provider up-dating its code. We were not informed of the up-date, and our router could not handle the change. After this, another provider in Texas suffered the loss of a major piece of hardware which took us down again. Anyway, we survived to get the paper out.

* * *

I received a call from an indignant reader concerning a story on page 2, headlined “Representative Gallegly Votes to “’Cut, Cap and End Medicare”’ In the confusion of last week we neglected to check the source and failed to notice that there was no byline.

In short, we were snookered. The story was false. Congressman Gallegly certainly did not “vote to end Medicare”, and the Gazette has supported Gallegly since the first year he ran for office. We regret the oversight.

* * *

I am disgusted to learn that two pieces of graffiti have sullied the Fillmore environment for more than a week without being removed. One is an elaborate stencil of Ollie the Aztec, complete with veil. Ollie is prominently displaying his funny face on the eastern wall of the bank building across the street from city hall.
Question: Why hasn’t this been painted-over? It’s an impertinent advertisement for the stupidity of being in a criminal gang. Where are you City Manager Quiring?

* * *

Moving right along, I have also noticed that the bicycle storage unit in the city parking lot, across the street (south) from city hall also has some prominent gang graffiti on it. Our city manager must see this on her afternoon walks, as others do. Why hasn’t this been removed? Why advertise a stupid criminal presence in town? Another city manager failure.

* * *

My next negative observation involves our appointed Mayor, Gayle Washburn.

Having to tolerate rank incompetence is one thing, tolerating an obviously clumsy lie is quite another.

The Gazette will have a more complete story next week concerning the now infamous attempt by Washburn, and council members Brooks and Sipes, to appeal a non-existent decision of the city’s Planning Commission. That attempt, and Washburn’s slurs against the city’s most competent commission, caused three long-serving commissioners to resign in protest. Washburn now claims that the event never happened (see “The Bottom Line”, this page). She says (Brooks and Sipes included) they never requested to have the cell phone tower decision appealed. This is contrary to all evidence, including personal “ear-witnesses”, and the records of the San Francisco law firm of Mackenzie & Albritton LLP. The denial is also contrary to the approved minutes of the meeting in question. Any such attempt to appeal the Commission’s approval of the tower is unlawful according to the Federal Telecommunications Act, as stated in the law firm’s letter dated July 11, 2011. The letter states, “Without considering the impact on due process, the Mayor announced an intent on behalf of Council to appeal the Planning Commission approval before the Planning Commission had even heard the matter, which usurped the Planning Commission’s authority, and demonstrated bias against the project...”

The Gazette is awaiting documentation from Mackenzie & Albritton which corroborates the accusation against Washburn, Brooks, and Sipes. We hope to have the full story next week. At that time we will document the words and actions of these three Katzenjammers and compare them to established facts.

Washburn also characterized the Commission’s remarks as “theatrics” proven, in her mind, by the fact that the Gazette videotaped the reading of the letters of resignation. Note to the Mayor: the city videotapes all council meetings as well.

It’s too late for a recall. The next best thing would be to hose-out that Augean stable located at 500 Central Avenue.

Final note: This week marks the Fillmore Gazette’s 22nd anniversary.


The City of Fillmore has lost another talented employee. Patrick Maynard worked full time for the city, in several capacities, for six years. His title of Disaster Coordinator obscures the multi-faceted responsibilities he had for critically important city functions. He was one of those multi-tasking people upon whose expertise much of the efficiency of city government rests. Under the city’s new austerity program, involving the layoff of 12 employees, his position was eliminated. Offered a new position as a city technician, with significantly less pay, negotiations over a period of days went nowhere and prompted him to move on. He will, however, maintain a position as tech consultant on an as-needed basis.

Patrick was appointed captain on the fire department two years ago. His duties with the city included creating, operating and maintaining the city’s essential communications network. He was the city’s Public Information Officer responsible for all press releases, all graphic design, and maintaining all city websites. He was also responsible for film permitting, which brought in more than $60,000 last year.

An EMT, Patrick did extensive triage training for the fire department and gave five classes for the El Dorado Mobile Home Park (Block Capt. Group). He significantly up-graded the city’s Channel 10 TV station, set up permanent camera equipment for council meetings, and around the city, created the communications network for the fire department and maintained all hardware for those systems. He set up the city’s emergency policies and training programs. In other words, Patrick Maynard was an indispensable civil servant whose lost services will greatly diminish city safety and efficiency. He was also an incredibly reliable volunteer who always anticipated the need.

A life-long Fillmore resident, Patrick told me that he enjoyed his work with the city, learned a lot, and hated to see it go.

We hate to see you go, as well, Patrick. I wish you luck, but I know you don’t need it. Thanks for your years of service.


Fillmore lost another great long-term employee with the resignation of Angela Mumme, the city’s Human Resources Officer. Angela served in many different positions, including Deputy City Clerk and as Risk Manager. She was offered the position of Deputy Clerk again, but could not, as she had explained for more than a year, attend late council meetings. I didn’t have the opportunity to interview Angela, but her reputation for diligence and excellence over 12 years speaks for itself.

We will all miss you, Angela.


And so it goes with our city hall, rapidly - downhill.

Think RECALL – while we still have a city hall.


Our fearless city council majority continues its gravity-defying efforts to run city’s business. Having run-off most of our long-time staff and employees, eliminated most of our institutional memory and talent, alienated all city employees, and squandered our financial recourses, they have now prompted three Planning Commissioners to resign.

At the whim of Councilman Jamey Brooks, Planning Commissioner Diane McCall was not reappointed to the Commission a few months ago. This move had to be motivated by personal reasons because Ms. McCall was a much valued commissioner, and Brooks and his bench buddy Brian Sipes simply informed the Commission, through the mayor, that “It is time for a change.” No other excuse for not reappointing this experienced, hard-working volunteer, who worked so well with the other commissioners, was given. No members of other commissions were touched, and no Planning Commissioners were consulted about any change. Were some sensitive council feelings hurt here? Inquiring minds seek an answer.

This meeting also witnessed the resignation of Planning Commissioners Vance Johnson and Douglas Tucker. Johnson read his and Tucker’s letters of resignation to the council (see Gazette video). This followed the resignation of the CP’s Chair, Mark Austin, at the last scheduled PC meeting. These resignations resulted from anger, disgust, and deep frustration with the city council majority’s freewheeling incompetence. Arguably the best planning commission in Fillmore’s history has been broken-up by council stupidity. I don’t say this to be mean, just to be factual. Our city council, with the exception of Steve Conaway, doesn’t know what it’s doing, and Fillmore is paying the price.

We’ve all heard of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. This is the case of the council that couldn’t think straight.

Only two scenarios will save this town from more long-term damage: a recall election, or the election of three new council members having integrity, intelligence, experience, and a little humility.

Heck, at this point I’ll settle for the humility.


My search for positive news is, once again, proving fruitless.

I’ve lost confidence in the majority of American people to make the right decisions, whether economic, military, institutional, social, or (fundamental to it all) moral.

We are apparently about to sell the world’s best, most sophisticated tank, the M1A1 Abrams, to Egypt. Egypt will soon be completely under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood and will turn against the US when the money runs out. So far only Rep. Allen West is “strongly opposed” to this crazy idea, which will certainly “seriously jeopardize the safety and security of the state of Israel.” Should anyone have to explain why this is a bad idea? The answer to that question is yes, and that’s the real problem. Obama is doing his best to destroy, by bits and pieces, our only friend in the Middle East, Israel. This is the leadership that 54 percent of American voters have given us – an ignorant, ideological community organizer. We deserve what we’re getting.


California has become the first state to mandate gay history lessons in public schools. “In public school classrooms across the state students will soon be taught a subject that hasn't been part of the curriculum before: gay history, the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”

Every American citizen has a legal right, to be free from persecution for their socio-religious beliefs. We’ve even passed so-called hate laws to add additional protection in these cases (especially sex-related cases). By the same token the rest (98 percent in this issue) have a right to be free from forced government indoctrination of our children in the area of sexual preference. I would not want my children, especially young children, to learn anything about these issues; and they would not normally have any interest in them. Teaching this is tantamount to child sexual molestation.

Regardless of what California’s radically liberal lawmakers may believe, homosexuality, in particular, is and has always been anathema to traditional Judeo-Christian teaching. All of this recent official acceptance and promotion (since 1973) of aberrant sexual practices is alien to mostly all of our cultural tradition during the past 2,000-plus years.

By all means let the gay and lesbian population do as they wish in peace, without harassment. Equal justice under law also mandates that the traditional Judeo-Christian morals should be actively protected against assault. This new law is a frontal assault against traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs. It should be fought head-on as such. I am amazed that so few have spoken out against this attack to date.

It’s past time for a major promotion of home schooling. It’s time to reject public education in California. After this outrage I can no longer support it.

Bob Stroh
Bob Stroh
Enlarge Photo

Last night’s city council meeting was both dramatic and anticlimactic.

I owe Mayor Walker an apology for stating in last week’s editorial that it appeared she was packing-up, selling her house, and headed out of state. I was wrong in assuming she was leaving the state, or the county, or city, for that matter. She took it upon herself to speak as a private citizen at last night’s meeting and bitterly criticize my carelessness in not verifying. She said she had no plans to leave the city. Therefore my concerns about who might be appointed to her seat on the council in the event she decided to leave were irrelevant.

For jumping to the conclusion that she would change her present city residency after selling her house I apologize. I learned of the sale of her house on press day and failed to check my facts. Again, I apologize. I will be sure to verify my facts in the future.

* * *

I guess this mistake lit my old nemesis Bob Stroh’s fuse. We haven’t heard from Bob in a long time, but he has apparently used this absence to distil and compress his once notorious vitriol.

Prior to the opening of the meeting he ambushed me by sneaking up and pointing a camera in my face and taking several photos. By “in my face” I mean within three or four inches. I returned the favor, and he skulked away to his seat.

During the public comments time, Bob excoriated my reputation as he has done so many times before. Bob has always had difficulty distinguishing fact from fiction during his diatribes. When I make a mistake Bob sees it as a lie, a filthy lie.

But when Bob lies about me it’s no mistake. One whopper I can never forget was when he completely lost it, referring to “my favorite abortion center.” Making such a scurrilous remark about someone who professes to be pro-life makes it the more outrageous. But, Bob did apologize that time, a couple of weeks later, in one medium, after posting in two. Of course, I have to forgive him, as I do once again for last night’s irrational tantrum.

Press the Play button above to see Bob Stroh.

There is a live wire running through all of this emotion and name-calling. It began with the local political group I dubbed the Katzenjammers. This is a tightly knit, highly focused, well organized and financed group of like-minded friends and acquaintances who set out to “take back our town”. Commendable for awakening community interest in city government, it has proved to be a financial and civic disaster. It began in earnest when the north Fillmore Specific Plan, showing nearly 1,000 homes first appeared in a half-page rendering in the Gazette. This led them to Measures H and I which they won. Then it was an exhausting fight over our new water treatment plant, which they lost. It goes on and on, past our hoped-for Business Park, etc.

Highest on its list of objectives was replacing city officials and employees whom they found to disagree with their agenda. A Katzenjammer majority succeeded in taking over the city council. Thereafter, we began to lose the most talented and experienced city officials and employees and all of their historical knowledge. After eliminating virtually all opposition (city manager, city engineer, city finance director, city clerk, etc. and three council members, they brought in interim and temporary replacements, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. They even criticized city legal counsel, after he reduced his fees by 20 percent to help in this fiscal emergency. They caused three fine planning commissioners to resign in protest. To this, Mayor Washburn said, “I don’t understand the animosity”. Councilman Brooks characterized the resignations as a political ploy. How clueless can they be?

They created a true mess, especially with the budget. They also created serious and expensive problems Vis ‘a vis state and federal laws and regulations, which must still be dealt with.

Without cause or reason even long-time professional firms dealing with city business were let go. A councilman dismisses a great Planning Commissioner arbitrarily, saying “time for new blood.” They bring in a new manager who every employee publically condemns as incompetent, and do nothing. They fought and criticized even the most beneficial programs (water plant) and financial arrangements (sales tax contract worth millions) without understanding what they were doing. Even today, recently, complaints are made about the tax contract which was lawful from the beginning (contrary to Bob Stroh’s opinion) by the court, and which will soon bring in $2Million. So, they hunger for that much needed money, but defame the city officials who created the contract. It was illegal, they said, it was even “immoral” they said, they’re now eagerly on the take.

The Katzenjammer issue is too long to relate here, but I am working at a detailed story to be published in the Gazette soon. A reasonable person will be shocked by the stubborn stupidity, malice, arrogance and incompetence of the Katzenjammers, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars their foolishness has cost the City of Fillmore.

I’m considering discontinuing all coverage of city council meetings if three good council members cannot be elected in November of 2012, or if a recall fails to materialize. These are the only two ways Fillmore can balance the council and replace our present city manager.

Consider this a preview of coming attractions.


Apparently all union employees working for the City of Fillmore called in sick today (Wednesday). No doubt this is to call attention to the fact that the city council majority has stubbornly refused to take any action at all to redress the serious, publically enumerated complaints about City Manager Yvonne Quiring’s failed management style. Two letters of no confidence have been read into record on two separate occasions by distinguished former Mayor Scott Lee. Councilman Brooks piped-in (last council meeting) “You reap what you sow.” Intelligent citizens ask “What are you talking about?” And the band plays on.

The virtual collapse of city revenues and budget, the disappearance of the city’s once vaunted 40 percent revenue surplus, widespread employee furloughs and layoffs, and hostility caused by council incompetence, has brought the city to a new low.

The grossly unprofessional, unlawful, and disrespectful treatment by the city council majority of the Fillmore Planning Commission caused Commissioner Mark Austin to resign following the last public meeting. Several more Commissioners are expected to follow suit. Mayor Gayle Washburn, Council members Jamey Brooks, Patti Walker, and Brian Sipes precipitated this expected mass resignation by acting to reject a decision of the Commission prior to any formal discussion or decision on the issue of a cellular tower along the railroad tracks. The council has treated, perhaps our most professional and competent Commission, with complete disrespect and disdain.

You picked a fine time to leave us Patti. It appears that Councilmember Patti Walker is packing-up, selling her house (see photo) and heading out of California. That’s like leaving the scene of a serious accident.

The big question now: What bozo will the reigning Katzenjammer regime appoint to fill the seat? Or, maybe we can find someone with common sense and an armadillo-like hide to enter the special election in November?

The rumors are truly frightening.

Think Recall!


One of the numerous facts which quickens my concern for the survival of our republic is simply the intellectual vacuum which abides within federal, state, and local authority. For various reasons, including a toxic blend of arrogance and ignorance, greed, an insatiable lust for power, and an absence of anything remotely resembling traditional Judeo-Christian character, these kings of the communal dunghill are killing our country.

Take last night’s council meeting for a colorful example. People of Fillmore, look at who you have voted to lead city government! They (excepting only Councilmembers Conaway and Walker) now preside over a broken system, which they themselves have broken.

By this time any rational, honest observer must recognize that the Katzenjammer disease has metastasized, killing-off virtually every talented, experienced long-term employee in sight. Remember all of those temporary, interim folks brought in to patch-up the pieces? First went our city manager, replaced with someone so managerially incapable that (after a single (and first) year at her previous job, had her contract bought out for more than $300,000. But, our own interim, provisional, rent-a-manager, and Patti Walker snookered Councilman Conaway out of the scheduled trip to interview her previous employers. This resulted in the hiring of our present manager, who apparently finds managing an insurmountable challenge.

We would do well to recall the managing talents of former City Manager Roy Payne, or Tom Ristau, who were always ready to answer questions and guide meetings.

Last night, with Conaway absent, Councilfolks Brooks, Sipes, and appointed Mayor Washburn (all members of the Katzenjammer coalition) under the sometimes drowsy prompting of our new city manager, managed to insult our Planning Commission members and reject the legal advice of our City Attorney, thus exposing the city to fresh litigation by formally requesting an appeal of a Planning Commission decision to approve a cellular tower on the property of Super Seal and Stripe, adjacent to the railroad tracks.

The City of Fillmore is undergoing a management disaster at this time. Our council majority is utterly incompetent, and should be voted out. Our city manager has managed to alienate ALL employees, as shown by two (2) letters of no confidence this past year. Our budget, roiled by alien hands, has only recently come together, with disasterous results. The thousands of dollars spent to redesign the budget were wasted.

Now we have Brooks, Sipes, and Washburn, insulting our Planning Commissioners by deciding to veto (in anticipation) a decision which the commission had not yet approved.

Commissioner Mark Austin was absolutely correct in observing (shortly before resigning from the Commission) “...I hope the City of Fillmore in this next election wakes up and sees what’s going on with city instead of sitting in the back and bitching about what’s going on in this community. They [should] step forward and remove some of these council members who are causing some of this. There’s a chance in November to do it, so wake up Fillmore!”

Most of the Katzenjammers were voted in by the skin of their teeth. I would ask those who voted for them, what have they done to keep all of those promises? Have they made things better, or worse?

How do we explain the hostile stupidity of Councilguy Jamey Brooks, when, pondering the many city employees losing their jobs, he stated “I feel bad for the reap what you sow...I think the town was mismanaged in the past...this started years ago.” This is the pipsqueak that roared. “Mismanaged in the past”! What the hell are you talking about? – Until you and your idiot friends arrived (led by failed former mayor Gary Creagle) Fillmore was a THRIVING, PROSPEROUS city, with a 40 percent SURPLUS! Thriving, until we caught the Katzenjammer disease.



As we look at larger and larger scales of government things only grow worse.

The State of California has spent itself into near oblivion, and wants even more of our money in taxes for more spending. If I had fewer commitments in this state I would have left long ago – and my children are fifth generation Californians.


Now, for the greatest governmental disaster of all, our federal government.

Incompetence at every level, driven by huge surges of socialistic, anti-Judeo-Christian tradition, resulting in anti-family, pro-abortion, acidic facilitation of same-sex “marriage”, confiscatory taxation, weakened defense, and a determined failure to defend our borders or provide practical “civil defense.” An openly gay military was facilitated by long-standing and deeply seditious leadership at the highest level, taking advantage of the fact that insubordination is not tolerated. Military whistleblowers are rare, and rarely survive. This outrage was promoted and approved only at the highest levels, against the objections of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and thousands of hotly expressed objections from active and retired flag officers and enlisted men of every service. This was a treacherous betrayal of unprecedented proportions which will never be accepted by the rank and file without massive disruption of unit cohesion.

Why do we continue to belong to that “parliament of weasels” called the United Nations, or that ridiculous paper tiger called NATO?

With the nuclear catastrophe in Japan, and floods and fires in America, is it too much to expect that the federal government would have secured our nuclear facilities against fires and floods such as are happening at Fort Calhoun, Nebraska, and Los Alamos? Is it really that difficult to clear a fire space around a threatened nuclear plant, or build a concrete barrier against flooding at another?

Have we become too stupid and naive as a nationality to survive in this world of unprecedented and lethal instability? The voters of the City of Fillmore, the State of California, and the nation of the United States of America will reveal the answer in November.


Pray for the residents of Minot, North Dakota. They are facing the greatest flood in that state’s history. MINOT FLOOD: Disastrous. Unstoppable. Historic. Unprecedented...

Well, another budget workshop concluded last night. The tedious work of cutting programs and jobs continues. Some of the cuts suggested by City Manager Quiring seemed unworthy of the time spent on them. For example, it was estimated that $1,300 would be saved by turning off the water to the city hall fountain. After a discussion which reminded everyone of the income derived from weddings and parties at the city park, it was unanimously decided to keep the water flowing.

Also on the chopping block was north Fillmore’s “Storefront” complex which is presided over by retired sheriff’s deputy Max Pina. All council members but Mayor Gayle Washburn wanted to avoid any cuts to this much-used city asset. Washburn asked for an hour-by-hour assessment of costs at mid-term. With the loss of one gang officer, any cuts of Storefront services would seem to be counter-productive.

I’m just learning of a broad survey of Orange County executive salaries; maybe it’s broader than a single county. Many, if not most, of the salaries were found to be “excessive” but not “abusive”. I believe the salary for our new city manager is excessive, especially since she requires an assistant (two assistants?) to do the job when very little is going on. I believe California Assemblymen make less than $100,000 per year. Our manager (in a city of only 14,000) makes a total of about $230,000. Remember all the emotional fuss Councilman Jamey Brooks made about excessive salaries? And who can forget his now infamous June 3, 2008 proclamation before council: "Last year at this time, the city manager had sharply criticized my motives for being up here so I just want to make my motives crystal clear tonight. I have not come for peace, I have come with a sword. I HAVE COME TO CREATE DIVISION, if it doesn't exist, but I think division already exists."

He also opined that Fillmore’s city manager should not make more than $85,000 per year. Jamey’s conservative passion seems to have melted away after he was elected. Where are his outbursts of protest about excessive salaries now, when our city manager is making more than California State Senators, State Assemblymen, U.S. Senators, and the Vice President of the United States? Do I really have to say that this is NUTS!?


I was going to write a column this week but was sidelined at the last minute, which is the time I usually write this column.

I was just going to comment on several Drudge postings, such as:

New Egypt? 7,000 civilians jailed since Mubarak fell...

Protesters burn American flag during Obama visit to Puerto Rico -- a U.S. territory...

China refuses to help US investigate counterfeit weapons parts...

Mexican narco gangster reveals the underworld...

US Army finally ditches beret...

Metal Thieves Stripping Critical Parts From Fire Sprinkler Systems...Gay judge's same-sex marriage ruling upheld...

And the Stuxnet virus.

But, doing it this way really saves time and space!

Next week I promise to really annoy somebody.

Be well.