Council votes to put north Fillmore initiative on Nov. ballot
The new 2008 Ventura County Fair poster was presented to Mayor Steve Conaway during Tuesday’s regular City Council meeting.
The new 2008 Ventura County Fair poster was presented to Mayor Steve Conaway during Tuesday’s regular City Council meeting.

Fillmore City Council held its regular monthly meeting July 8, 2008, at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. Councilmember Laurie Hernandez was welcomed back. The City of Fillmore Redevelopment Agency also met during the Council meeting.
The North Fillmore Area General Plan Amendment Initiative was thoroughly discussed. City Attorney Ted Schneider explained that because the initiative has received verified voters’ signatures for over ten percent of the City’s voters, the Council must either adopt the initiative or place it on a regular election ballot. The initiative must be placed on the ballot at least 88 days before the election. The Council also had the option of ordering an impact report. The Council ordered an impact report, including an analysis of the initiative’s impact on affordable housing, circulation, and its potential economic impact on jobs. The report will be ready by August 7th, and is estimated to cost less than $20,000. The Council voted to put the initiative itself on the November 4, 2008 ballot.
The Council approved the “Fillmore Realities” position paper in response to the FEMA flood map problem and its impact on the proposed annexation of certain areas to the City. The Council adopted the June 27th Addendum to Initial Study and Negative Declaration Fillmore Business Park Master Plan Final Environmental Impact Report. The Addendum and position paper will be conveyed to the Local Agency Formation Commission of Ventura County (LAFCO). The Council approved sending the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem to Washington D.C. to lobby against the FEMA flood map. The Council approved a Memo of Understanding with Ventura County Watershed Protection District for preparing a response to FEMA flood map revisions.
Marcus Hernandez alleged that a volunteer firefighter has been carrying a taser and harassing and intimidating people in Fillmore. Hernandez pointed out that there were no city guidelines regarding the use of tasers by city employees, and asked the council to look into whether the use of tasers was appropriate and authorized in this case. Mayor Steve Conaway stated that this was a personnel matter, but added, “City policies stipulate that harassment is not tolerated.” The council respectfully considered Hernandez’s comments, requested that any victims come forward to provide the council with more information in writing or in person, and assured the public that complaints like those are confidential. This matter was placed on the agenda for the next Council meeting.
The Council adopted resolutions regarding a change in the Traffic Level of Service for the intersection of Highway 126 and A Street. The standard was lowered from D to E. This accurately reflects the number of lanes and turn lanes there. The City’s General Plan was amended accordingly. No physical development is involved. The change was reflected in the Fillmore Business Park Master Plan Final Environmental Impact Report.
The Council approved a response to the Ventura County Grand Jury report titled “Fillmore-Piru Memorial District Reorganization.” The Grand Jury’s report called for the special district responsible for operating and maintaining the Memorial Building to be dissolved. The Council is urging the LAFCO board not to dissolve the District because it provides and maintains an essential service to the community.
The Council approved a letter from Mayor Steve Conaway to the Ventura County Board of Supervisors regarding the truck traffic going through Ojai from the Ozena Valley Ranch Gravel Mine. The strongly-worded letter effectively argues that the trucks should not be re-routed through Fillmore.
There was discussion about which position the Council should take on Proposition 7. According to a representative from Southern California Edison, the proposition would “mandate utilities by the year 2025 have 50% of the energy that we procure on behalf of all of our customers be renewable.” He argued that the proposition does not take into account the costs to do so, is poorly written, and does not provide enough time. Brian Sipes made a public comment that the proposition is 42 pages long, and should be thoroughly considered before the Council determines its position. The matter will be discussed further at the next City Council meeting.
A representative from the Ventura County Fair presented this year’s Fair poster. The Ventura County Fair will be from July 30th to August 10th. The entertainment schedule has been determined, and the Beach Boys will be performing.
Upon the recommendation of Public Works Director Bert Rapp, the Council approved the contract plans and specifications for the construction of the Santa Clara River Permeable Weirs. The Council also authorized advertising for bids on the project.
A loan agreement was made between the Council and the Fillmore Redevelopment Agency. The City is providing a short-term loan of $142,500 for the Central City Project Area Fund.
The Council designated Mayor Steve Conaway as the voting delegate to the League of California Cities Annual Conference in Long Beach in late September. Mayor Pro Tem Cecilia Cuevas and Patti Walker are alternates.
The contract for Fire Department and Public Works Yard Improvements is going back out for bids because the generator was not included in the original advertisement.
Construction on River Park is proceeding. The contract was awarded to PIMA Corporation. If the contract’s contingency money is not spent, then the City will add tennis courts, more bathrooms, and/or basketball courts to the contract later. The skate park will be finished in December.
The Council approved a change order enlarging the drainage pipes for the Fillmore Recycling Plant. The cost increase will be paid for by the two developers involved. The exact amount of the cost increase is not yet determined.
The Council discussed the deplorable state of the Shiells Park restrooms and is considering remedies.
At the August 26th City Council meeting, the policy of publicizing city employee salaries will be discussed. Jamey Brooks had commented earlier that he did not believe city salaries should be secret.