The Fillmore Chamber of Commerce is please to invite you to a City Council Candidates Forum on Wednesday October 24, 2012 from 6:30 – 8:30 P. M. at City Hall Council Chambers.

This forum will allow the Citizens of Fillmore to make a more informed choice when they vote to elect three new council members and allow each candidate the opportunity to clearly present their positions on current issues facing the City of Fillmore. If you have a particular question you would like addressed please submit your questions by either email: or mail to P. O. Box 815 Fillmore, Ca 93016 no later than October 12, 2012.

The Chamber of Commerce is hosting this form as a service to the businesses and citizens of Fillmore and neither supports nor endorsed any candidate.

For further information contact Co-Chair Raylene Chaney at (805) 407-5759


Nancy Blendermann-Meyer
Nancy Blendermann-Meyer

My name is Nancy Blendermann-Meyer. I was born and raised in Simi Valley, California and have continued to be a long time resident of Ventura County. I moved to Fillmore 22 years ago with my husband and three children. My family was drawn to Fillmore for its close proximity to the outdoors and our love for the Sespe Wilderness. Simi Valley was a wonderful community however it quickly grew too large for our liking. My husband and I wanted our children to grow up in a small town atmosphere just as we were blessed with growing up.

I have been a working mother most of my life regularly juggling family life and work life on a very regular basis. I currently work as an account manager of a large Radiology medical billing company that includes five major Los Angeles hospitals. For several years I have functioned in various capacities for youth little-league and softball.

I am running for City Clerk because of my passion and belief in community service. I feel as though my management and leadership experience would greatly benefit the residents of Fillmore should I be provided the opportunity to work as City Clerk. I am committed to working tirelessly ensuring all meeting minutes are provided in a timely manner and all matters dealt with by the City Clerk are done so in a fair and unbiased manner.

I would like to see some changes in City Hall. I do my best to learn the job of City Clerk and serve effectively. I do not mind hard work or a challenge. It seems like sometimes people get too comfortable in their position and lose all of the reasoning as to why they ran in the first place. I believe people can solve problems without bickering and backbiting. I look forward to service my constiuents of Fillmore.


The City of Fillmore is looking for volunteers to help with Coastal Cleanup Day this Saturday September 15th from 9am-12pm. The Coastal Clean Up volunteers will meet at Sheills Park & take a short walk over to our Sespe Creek bed to do our part in keeping our waterways clean. For more information/to register 805-524-1500 ext. 713 OR email


I’m Rick Neal and I am running for the Fillmore City Council. As a Fillmore native I am excited for the opportunity to represent my community.

Fillmore is my home. I graduated from Fillmore High School in 1993 and I am raising my family here. My wife and I operate two businesses in Fillmore, “Central Music” and “The Service Professional Plumbing”. To contribute to my community, I volunteer as a “Firefighter / EMT for the Fillmore Fire Department and I am a volunteer member of Fillmore Mountain Search and Rescue Team where I have served in a leadership role as the team’s Captain.

I am not a career politician. My primary goal as candidate for City Council is to provide for future economic stability. We can do this by having a firm, well planned infrastructure to prevent wasteful spending, to encourage an entrepreneurial atmosphere and continue to support local businesses. We can cut staffing and services to the bare bones but at some point we will need to address the revenue side of things. Increasing Fillmore’s revenue means increasing property values, and exploring carefully planned, specific growth to keep spending local. The people of Fillmore and the businesses they operate are the backbone of our economy and we must responsibly support this type of growth.

I believe I differ from other candidates in that I am approachable to discuss any subject concerning the City. I promise to research the issues, get back to you and make a decision based on what is best for the majority of the citizens of Fillmore. I have some personal thoughts about what I would like to see but as a Councilmember I will do what is best for the community as a whole and not any special interests.


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Doug Tucker
Doug Tucker

I currently work as an administrator of a 98 bed skilled nursing facility. Prior to that, I worked as a physical therapist aide and then assistant from 1992-2006. In 2006 I completed my Administrator in Training Program and successfully passed my state and federal exams to become a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator through California’s NHAP program. I have been working as the Administrator of a private nursing home for the past 6 years. I have and continue to manage a multi-million dollar budget successfully, and regularly oversee the activities of over 125 employees. While working in the capacity of Administrator, I am responsible for human resources related tasks, payroll, budget management, customer service, insurance billing, contract negotiations and implementation, marketing activities, ensuring regulatory compliance and running the daily operation of the care facility .

I grew up in Simi Valley where I enjoyed the small town atmosphere and pride that had developed within the community. I graduated in 1990 from Royal High School and then began working and going to college until I graduated from the University of Phoenix with my Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management.

I have lived in Fillmore the past 11 years with my wife of 21 years. We truly love Fillmore and appreciate every aspect of its small town character.


Are you ready to Trunk-or-Treat?! Calling all groups, clubs and organizations that are interested in partaking in a FREE family-friendly Halloween activity! On September 24th the Parks and Recreation Department will be hosting an informational meeting at City Hall in the Council Chambers from 5:30pm-6:30pm. We invite you to join us on Monday September 24th to answer any questions and accept registration for spots available at our Trunk-or-Treat event.
Registration packets are available for pick up at City Hall on the 2nd floor in the Parks and Recreation Department. Feel free to call 805-524-1500 ext. 713 or for more information.

Manuel "Manny" Minjares

I was born and raised in Monterey Park, California by my loving parents and one older brother. I am married to my wonderful wife Susan, have two beautiful children ages 12 and 7 and have a third little one on the way! They both attend school in Fillmore and participate in local youth sports programs.

I attended California State University Northridge and became an Urban Studies and Planning major after an undergraduate Urban Studies class sparked my interest in the built environment. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies and Planning in 2003.

While in school I worked for the Associated Students Recreation Department as a sports official. I completed a one year internship with the City of Los Angeles Housing Department in their Planning and Policy Division and followed that up with a one year internship with the CIty of El Monte’s Planning Department while simultaneously working with the United Parcel Service. I applied, interviewed, was offered and accepted the position of Assistant Planner for the City of Fillmore immediately following my internship at the City of El Monte. In addition to my duties as an urban planner, I was tasked with administering the City’s First Time Home Buyer, Housing Rehabilitation, Downtown Storefront Rehabilitation and Demolition Programs.

As a planner I had the fortunate opportunity to work on the Annexation of the 3 Rivers Park property, North Fillmore Specific Plan, Fillmore Business Park Master Plan, Fillmore Community Aquatics and Tennis Facility amongst many other commercial and residential projects.

During my first year in Fillmore I volunteered to become a youth basketball coach and basketball official in the Fillmore Youth Basketball league. This past basketball season was especially significant to me as I was asked to manage the basketball program and made the decision to join the Channel Coast Basketball Officals Association. My goal was to become a better sports offical and bring those skills back to the community I love to share with the officials in the Fillmore Youth Basketball league. The result was a resounding success as the level of officiating was the best I have seen since I’ve been in Fillmore. We topped the season off with all-star games for each age group and had the first ever Referees versus Coaches game.

I am presently employed as a Property Supervisor with Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation. I directly supervise 28 employees and oversee the day to day operations at 24 affordable rental communities with over a thousand units in Ventura County. Being responsible for finding eligible, upstanding residents while maintaining safe, attractive, and financially sound communities is a huge challenge. A challenge I love taking on day in and day out in an effort to enhance the quality of life of our residents and the communities within which they reside.

I learned a great deal about this wonderful community and made lifelong relationships in my roles as a City Staff member and member of the Youth Basketball Program. I feel the combination of my past and present employment experience, education and humble eagerness to assist the community will be extremely valuable assets to the Fillmore City Council.


Shannon Godfrey
Shannon Godfrey

Shannon Godfrey currently works as a fiscal assistant II for the City of Fillmore. She began her employment with the City in January of 2004 where she was employed part time as an administrative receptionist. Looking to take her career to the next level, she applied and was hired within the City of Fillmore Finance Department in July of 2004. Upon employment, she has been made responsible for all accounts payable matters, business licensing and numerous other customer service related responsibilities.

Godfrey graduated from Fillmore High School in 1999 and attended Moorpark College where she received her associate’s degree. She has been a resident of Fillmore for 27 years where she resides with her daughter Calista.

Shannon enjoys spending time in the outdoors and takes great pleasure in hunting, fishing, camping & snow skiing. In addition, she serves as a role model to local youth by volunteer with a local 4-h club.


Grace Donahue
Grace Donahue

I am Grace Donahue and I am running for the City of Fillmore’s Treasurer’s seat because I want to give back to Fillmore and be a part of my Local Government. I know I can bring experience.

My experience includes being the City of Fillmore Treasurer during 2007 and 2008. I worked in banking with Security Pacific Bank. Presently, I am employed with Morgan & Braly, LLP, Certified Public Accountants’. My duties include Accounting, Tax Preparation and I am the Firm’s Payroll Specialist. I have been a consultant to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office to provide assistance with Expert Witness Testimony in a Business Embezzlement Case.

I am a long time resident since 1980; raising my children here in Fillmore. Living here, I learned that city residents need to get involved in order for life and government to exist. Our City is known for its residents' participation, that is why Fillmore is what it is today; “The Last Best Small Town in Southern California".

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA., graduated from St. Bernard's High School in Playa Del Rey, attended Santa Monica City College, Ventura College and H&R Block Tax School. Since 1997, I am a registered and bonded Tax Preparer with the California Tax Education Council.

I volunteered as a Track Coach and Treasurer for the Fillmore Condors Youth Track Club. At the Fillmore Senior Center, I assisted with getting the Center back on track with programs. Today I continue to assist and volunteer my services and I am happy to say the Center is flourishing.

No matter where one lives, participation, volunteer work and involvement to your community is what makes your community a better place to live.
Winning the City Treasurer seat this November will allow me to continue to serve my Community and give back to the City of Fillmore for the wonderful life I have enjoyed here.

I am available for any questions or suggestions.
Evenings and Weekends for your convenience
805 524-3204, or


2012 Fillmore City Council Candidates (l-r) Manuel Minjaras, Rick Neal, Douglas Tucker, Gayle Washburn. Not Pictured, Sandy Pella.
2012 Fillmore City Council Candidates (l-r) Manuel Minjaras, Rick Neal, Douglas Tucker, Gayle Washburn. Not Pictured, Sandy Pella.
Enlarge Photo
City of Fillmore
City of Fillmore

Each election year The Fillmore Gazette sends out a number of questions for the candidates to publicly answer, giving the community a chance to make an informed decision on election day. This year we will provide them with seven questions, one a week. The answers will appear in the Gazette, placed in alphabetical order the first week and rotating each week after.

Question #1 - "What personal, business or government experiences qualify you to be a good council candidate? How would your election to a seat make this a better city council?"

From a personal stand point, I feel my neutral demeanor, communication skills and love for this town will be great assets to the City Council. Additionally, raising a young family in Fillmore also gives me a significant incentive to put my best effort forward to ensure that I do my part to make this a safe, economically sound, and thriving town with recreational opportunities for residents of all ages.
From a professional standpoint, I feel my combination of education and professional work experience have helped me develop a unique skill set that I feel qualify me as a strong City Council candidate. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies and Planning from California State University Northridge and have worked in the Planning and Policy Division of the City of Los Angeles’ Housing Department, City of El Monte and City of Fillmore Planning Departments. These positions taught me how to work effectively with the public, present well written reports at public hearings, and understand how all departments within City Hall work together to efficiently serve the community. In addition to my work at City Hall I’ve been coaching, officiating, mentoring youth sports officials, and assisting with the management of the gym for the Fillmore Youth Basketball league since 2005.
I currently supervise 28 employees and oversee the day to day operations at 24 affordable rental communities with over 1,500 units in Ventura County as a Property Supervisor for CEDC.
It is my belief that my election to a seat on the City Council will bring a sense of balance, common sense and professionalism. I understand that the challenges facing our community at this point and time are daunting however I truly believe my natural talents and acquired skills will have an immediate and positive impact on the council that will help steer our town back on track.

I was raised in CONTINUED »


City of Fillmore
City of Fillmore

[Editorial Note: Last month, Fillmore City Clerk Clay Westling refused to accept candidate statements from Douglas Tucker and Manuel Minjares which would appear on the November ballot. Westling demanded changes to unobjectionable wording. Below are the before/after statements. The question is – was politically motivated bias shown against the candidates by the present City Clerk?]

Manuel Minjares
REFUSED STATEMENT: The City of Fillmore is and has been facing significant hurdles in all aspects of City governance. Parks and community facilities face closure, local residents have been laid off in favor of high priced out town consultants, businesses have left and commercial vacancies continue to linger. Our city attorney has been removed and replaced with more expensive legal counsel and our sewer treatment plant operator may soon be replaced which can lead to dire financial consequences in the future.
Getting the City back on solid financial ground, keeping our cherished parks and community facilities open and attracting new businesses will be the main goals of my tenure as a City Council member. I understand that this will not be an easy task. However I feel that my love for this community, previous experience as a city planner for Fillmore and present experience as a property supervisor have afforded me with the technical and communicative skills to be the City Council member our town needs. Together we can make a difference in our community. I respectfully ask for your vote.
ACCEPTED STATEMENT: The City of Fillmore is and has been facing significant hurdles in all aspects of city governance. The choices we make today will chart our path for years to come. I feel that my love for this community, previous experience as a city planner for Fillmore, present experience as a property supervisor, and manager of the Fillmore Youth Basketball League have afforded me with the technical and communicative skills to be the City Council member our town needs. Together we can make a difference in our community. I respectfully ask for your vote.
La Ciudad de Fillmore está y se ha enfrentado a obstáculos significativos en todos los aspectos del gobierno de la ciudad. Las decisiones que tomamos hoy en día trazarán nuestro camino en los próximos años. Siento que mi amor por esta comunidad, la experiencia previa como planificador de la ciudad de Fillmore, la experiencia presente como supervisor de propiedad y de gerente de la Liga Juvenil de Baloncesto de Fillmore me han proporcionado con las habilidades técnicas y comunicativas para ser el miembro del Concejo Municipal que nuestra ciudad necesita. Juntos podemos hacer una diferencia en nuestra comunidad. Respetuosamente les pido su voto.

Doug tucker


September 11, 2012 – Today Magellan Strategies, a national public opinion research firm, released results of a survey of 240 likely general election voters in the City of Fillmore, California. The survey tested a variety of community-based questions, including what voters consider to be priorities the Fillmore City Council should be addressing. The survey was commissioned by Communities Building Together, Inc.

“The survey shows that Fillmore voters believe their community and their City Council can do better,” said David Flaherty, CEO of Magellan Strategies. "Fillmore voters desire change in government leadership and how city services are prioritized and provided.” The survey finds that a majority of respondents – across all demographics – are dissatisfied with the City of Fillmore Council. Among all respondents, only 31 percent approve of the job they are doing and 52 percent disapprove. Top issues for voters include the budget, the cost of water, growing the economy, attracting businesses, and creating jobs.

“Clearly voters would like to see Fillmore go in a new direction,” added Flaherty. “A majority, 53 percent, believe the City Council has been self-serving, taking advantage of their positions in power, and acting without any regard for the taxpayers and citizens of Fillmore. In addition, a whopping 78 percent disagree with the City Council laying off and replacing city staff with consultants, thereby increasing the size of the City budget rather than reducing it. More evidence of voter dissatisfaction is that 62 percent of voters believe the City Council has engaged in reckless spending and has done a poor job of managing the city budget. This is going to be a tough year for incumbent members of the City Council.”

The full topline results of the survey are included in this document.

Interviews for this survey were completed using both English and Spanish interviewers. The landline and cell phone sample for the survey was randomly drawn from a Fillmore, California voter file. The survey response data was weighted based upon voting demographics from past Fillmore general election cycles. Interviews were conducted between August 28th and September 3rd, 2012. Three attempts were made to interview each household in the sample. This survey has a margin of error of 6.2 percent at the 95 percent confidence interval. Any questions regarding the methodology of this survey should be directed to David Flaherty. He can be reached at (303) 861-8585 or For information on Communities Building Together, Inc. contact Roger Campbell at (805) 857-2785 or

About Magellan Strategies
Magellan Strategies offers a wide array of political data products and services to political candidates and organizations. Services include live, automated and online survey research, modeling, microtargeting and predictive analytics, enhanced voter registration databases, voter data analysis, demographic analysis, mapping, and redistricting data and technology consulting. Visit for more information about the firm.