Councilwoman Hernandez asks for leave of absence
From left, Mayor Steve Conaway, Councilman Scott Lee, and Councilwoman Patti Walker, accomplished substantial business at Tuesday’s regular meeting, though two other council members were absent.
From left, Mayor Steve Conaway, Councilman Scott Lee, and Councilwoman Patti Walker, accomplished substantial business at Tuesday’s regular meeting, though two other council members were absent.

City council agenda item 9-A, Request for Leave of Absence by Councilmember Lauri Hernandez, was unanimously approved at Tuesday’s regular city council meeting.
Ms. Hernandez apologized to the Council for the necessity of her request, stating she was struggling with alcoholism and that she deeply regretted letting people down. She also told the Council she anticipated taking up her responsibilities again sometime in late August.
Mayor Conaway, Councilmembers Scott Lee and Patti Walker expressed their sympathy and support, unanimously approving the request. Councilwoman Cecilia Cuevas was absent.
Administrative Services Manager, Steve McClary, presented a report certifying the Results of the examination of a referendum filed against resolutions approving the Reider project off Goodenough Road, adjacent to the Traditions tract. The referendum was filed May 1, 2008, and 700 signatures have been verified, which exceeds the minimum number required. McClary told the Council it had two options, it could either place the issue on the ballot for the November 4 election, or repeal, in whole or in part, the resolutions which approved the Reider plan. Council certified receipt and findings of the report. The issue will be reconsidered in the near future.
Director of Public Works, Bert Rapp, announced that recently increased sewer rates can now be reduced. According to Finance Director Barbara Smith, “...revised sewer service rates for Fiscal Years 2008/09 ($72.00) and 2009/10 ($80.00) are 15% and 18% respectively below the authorized maximums.” “Since then, WRP construction has progressed significantly (now 50% complete) and is under budget by $3 to 4 million, construction cost savings have been identified and implemented, detail planning for the transition from the existing treatment plant to the new WRP has become more detailed, reducing the number of unknowns and associated contingencies.” The reduction was attributed to the hard work of Roy Payne and Dave Berkhart. He also cautioned that if the future financial picture should change dramatically, the rate could revert to $98 per month because bond obligations required that revenues be maintained in the black.
Council announced that the Fillmore, 1887 Southern Pacific depot will be dedicated an historical building on Saturday, May 31, 2 to 4 p.m. This concludes 10years of planning and restoration. Refreshments will be served and plans for the future discussed. All are welcome at 350 Main Street.
Council was reminded that the lease contract on the Fillmore Equestrian Center will soon expire. No date was mentioned. This lease has been the subject of significant controversy in the past due to alleged breaches of contractual obligations by the lessee.
Approval of a permanent four-way stop at the intersection of Central Avenue and Santa Clara Street was approved. Both the police and acting interim Fire Chief, Bill Herrera and Police Chief Tim Hagel both approved of the plan, stating this move would improve traffic safety significantly.
The plan for the B Street extension from Old Telegraph Road into north Fillmore was approved. Negotiations to acquire a strip of land on the east side of B Street failed, which necessitates building a jog in the roadway. Mr. Rapp told the Council that $400,000 in grant money is available now to finish the work. $25,000 in Redevelopment money was appropriated to pay for removal of sidewalk on the west side of B Street, and the construction of a three-foot tall link fence as well as curb, gutter, and street, all in asphalt.
Mayor Conaway stated that Lemon Way Home Owners Association members were very positively disposed to the work.
Councilman Scott Lee lauded those who attended the special meeting of the Senior Center Board of Directors last week. He said he was anxious to see a staff report of Center issues, and looked forward to more volunteer workers to make the facility more attractive to senior residents.
Lee also alluded to the fact that the construction of Fillmore’s swimming pool complex is taking its first steps with final details on the timeline being discussed with contractors.