Citrus Fungus, update on injured officers highlight council meeting
Leslie Leavens-Crowe of Santa Paula spoke to City Council Tuesday regarding the Asian Citrus Psyllis threat to agriculture.
Leslie Leavens-Crowe of Santa Paula spoke to City Council Tuesday regarding the Asian Citrus Psyllis threat to agriculture.

Fillmore City Council, April 27, 2010 Tuesday:

Note: Mayor Patti Walker and Councilmember Jamey Brooks were absent from the council meeting due to family matters.

The State of the Utility in California
Nancy Williams, Regional Manager of Public Affairs for Southern California Edison gave a presentation highlighting Southern California Edison’s plans to help meet the region’s growing energy demands.

SCE is putting forth $21 billion over the next five years for infrastructure, with $45 million allocated for projects in this region during 2010-2012. Infrastructure enhancements include the installation of Remote Control Switches that decrease the duration of unplanned outages, increased capacity of the Fillmore Substation, deteriorated pole replacement, and annual system-wide line clearing.

Williams noted that customers can save energy and money through SCE’s Special Programs and Services, which offers programs for new couples and retirees on fixed income. SCE also offers help for the higher rates during the four-month summer season, such as incentives on the purchase of qualifying energy-efficient equipment and fixtures, a level payment plan, and payment assistance. For further information, visit or contact Williams at the Ventura office.

Citrus Killer Coming
Leslie Leavens-Crowe of Santa Paula gave a presentation on the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) threat to agriculture in Ventura County. Huanglongbing (HLB) is a deadly bacterial disease that kills all varieties of citrus trees, transmitted by ACP, an aphid-like inset that feeds on the leaves and stems of citrus trees and related plants.
ACP has been found in Van Nuys, seven miles from the Ventura County line. ACP is expected to arrive in the county this year, and HLB is on its way. IF ACP and HLB reach Ventura County and cannot be contained or eradicated, the county risks ceasing to be a significant producer of citrus corps within a decade. There is no cure for HLB.

While quarantines, trapping, eradication, research, public education, and state, national, and international efforts are underway, every backyard tree is at risk. Leavens-Crowe advises citizen not to move plants or fruit into the county from other areas, inspect citrus trees often for ACP, and report suspicious finds to CDFA at (800) 491-1899. “It is our lifestyle, landscape, and heritage is at stake here,” she concluded. For more information, visit

Public Comments
City Clerk Clay Westling spoke before the Council as a private citizen regarding Roger Keller’s comments at the last council meeting. He said that Keller’s address “sounds like political disinformation,” and that the letter he referenced does not exist. While acknowledging, “of course Measure I affects North Fillmore,” Westling disapproved of Keller’s blaming the Council, noting that “Measure I did not change the zoning.” He described his experience campaigning for Measure I, noting the involvement of a quality control person and local sign-maker paid for by campaign contributions, among other accountability provisions. Westling stressed that the “voting public passed Measure I.”

Fillmore resident Brian Sipes spoke on previous comments made on Measures H and I, saying that there seems to be “a lot of devious conjectures out there by a few folk out there about how it was passed.” He noted that there had been a map showing where the 700 houses on 100 acres would be located and that information was available to the public. He articulated that the measures were decisions passed by the people; “that’s what democracy’s about.”

Trinka Reynolds of Market Mortgage expressed her chagrin at Fillmore Gazette editor Martin Farrell, accusing him of belittling and ridiculing individuals and expressing “his hatred for certain members of the city council” in his newspaper. Her exhortation included a suggested list of ethical guidelines, such as not to distort the content or to stereotype by race, gender, or other characteristic. Her address was met with applause from several audience members, including Farrell.

Citizen Evaristo Barajas spoke in support of Piru Charter School, offering “the right information” about the proposed school. He described a charter school as a state-legislated, independent public school mandated to teach children of all backgrounds. Charter schools may not charge tuition or have a religious affiliation, its admissions may not be restricted to intellectual or athletic prowess, and is outcome-based: students must demonstrate what they have learned before moving forward. Barajas asserted that a charter school is not a private school; students do not pay to attend, parents are not required to complete volunteer hours, and after-school programs, a school bus, and a special ed class are included in the plan. He noted that budget was set by one of the best charter school budgeting organizations in the state. He asks citizens with any questions to see a copy of the comprehensive petition which discloses the details. Barajas ended with his hope for a successful school “for the betterment of the students.”

Citizen Paul Fitzgerald spoke in place of Debbie Galarza, calling the Unsung Heroes Music Festival an “extraordinarily magical time of community-building.” He thanked the community for their participation and especially the mayor, councilmembers and City Parks and Recreation for their assistance. In particular, he acknowledged Councilwoman Laurie Hernandez’s personal attendance at the show. Fitzgerald mentioned that through Lynn Edmonds he had received funding from Big Brothers Big Sisters slated for a future Fillmore arts council.
Citizen Tom Dawson cited the unfinished Bridges development, arguing that it’s “the same thing happening in north Fillmore,” calling the strained financial issues a “sign of the times.” After stating that it’s “not just H and I, not just certain council members,” Dawson charged Farrell with bias, speaking “only good of people he likes.” Dawson suggested to “maybe keep some things in the house” and “trying to respect the community,” rather than “trying to tear up the town.” He concluded that “a paper should report, not editorialize,” and not “hide behind the 1st Amendment to slander people.”
Increase in Funding for B Street Extension

Due to unplanned costs on the B Street Extension from 2nd to 3rd Street project caused by soft soil conditions, Public Works Director Bert Rapp requested an increase in funding from the Proposition 1B monies to the project by $27,000 to pay for this new work and to reduce the same amount from the Proposition 1B Flex Cape Seal Project. Rapp says the Cape Seal should start in the third week of May and the B Street extension should be done by the second week of May. Recommendations were passed 3-0.

Award of Contract for drilling Production Well No. 9
Jack Maxwell of Santa Barbara spoke as a substantial landowner with Sespe Creek Properties to “strongly support and recommend” the proposed measures. He said “this well is extremely important for the KDF-PAC 10 transaction” and awarding the contract would bring the Fillmore Business Park “one step closer to reality.”

Developer Bill Burnett reminded the council the city’s making a commitment to support the business park nearly five years ago and urged the council to proceed with the well project, calling it of “paramount importance.”
The recommendations to award the Production Well No. 9 contract to Bakersfield Well & Pump Company in the amount of $529,981 and authorize the City Manager to approve change orders to a combined maximum of $75,000, for a total potential construction cost not to exceed $604,981, and to authorize the City Manager to approve a contract amendment with Entrix to prepare the Well Permit documents for the State of California department of Public Health’s Drinking Water Source Assessment and Protection Program in the amount not to exceed $19,650 both passed unanimously.

Conaway said he “appreciates the tenacity of the businesses in appearing before the council again” and Mayor Pro-tem Washburn assured the speakers that “all five members support the business park moving forward.”

Update on Injured Fillmore Deputies
Police Chief Tim Hagel spoke on the condition of Deputies William Meixner and Beau Rodriguez, who were involved in a car collision the evening of April 17. He was pleased to give a “fantastic report; both are doing great.” Hagel described the outpouring support from the community in the form of meals delivered to the hospital, boxes and boxes of cards, flowers to fill a room, and “enough food to feed an army—including donuts!” Hagel noted that Rodriguez was released earlier that day on the 27th, and Officer Meixner will be transferred to a rehabilitative hospital to learn to walk again. Hagel remains hopeful; “We anticipate his coming back to work again; he has a spirit you can’t believe.”