Fillmore - 100 Years of Pride
By Manuel Minjares — Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
A message from Fillmore Mayor Manuel Minjares
Mayor Manuel Minjares
Having recently been selected by our City Council to serve as the City of Fillmore’s Mayor for our Centennial year, I am appreciative of the opportunity to let the citizens of our City, and all of Ventura County, know of the great strides that our community is making, and of our hopes and aspirations for the coming year. As many know, Fillmore has faced some significant financial challenges in the recent past. Rather than simply try to work within the constraints of these challenges, our City Council has worked together cooperatively and collegially to face down and successfully abate these challenges, and we are looking forward to brighter days ahead for our citizens. Our City Council, by continuing to work cooperatively with each other and with those at all levels of government, anticipates the ability to achieve success in many different areas during the coming year.
Through a coordinated effort with the City of Santa Paula, the County of Ventura, and the Ventura County Transportation Commission, we anticipate developing and implementing a seamless system of transit and transportation for those in the Heritage Valley, a system that can become a model for other areas to emulate.
By maintaining a close working relationship with Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean and our Police Chief, Monica McGrath, our City Council has continued to emphasize the value of a safe community and has focused law enforcement and community efforts on both crime prevention and firm, fair enforcement of our laws.
We are also working hard to upgrade the environmental aspects of our community, coordinating with the Chamber of Commerce to attract new business to our downtown area, working with Caltrans to beautify the 126 corridor through town, supporting our Film Commission in their successful efforts to bring more filming to our City, and bringing community groups and economic development together to find common ground for making Fillmore an ever greater City to live in and raise a family.
At the same time that we will be working on these issues, we also realize that there are significant challenges that we still must face on behalf of our residents. Due to federal and state regulations our City was required to build a wastewater treatment plant that although was very sophisticated and expensive for a community of our size, it will perform its needed functions well in the decades to come. Our City Council will be working closely this year with County, State, and federal officials to seek ways to bring our operating costs down for the benefit of our residents, never losing sight of our goal to lower our rates while maintaining all of the required environmental safeguards.
Another challenge that we will face this year is that of finding a way to keep the Fillmore and Western Railroad a viable, operating, and safe tourist train. This train benefits not just the Heritage Valley, but is a major tourist attraction for Southern California. Unfortunately the need for costly maintenance of the tracks and their infrastructure, as well as the needed renewal of the lease for the operating rights on the tracks, have combined to cloud the future operation of this important regional attraction. Our City Council knows of the important economic benefits of Fillmore and Western, yet at the same time we also know the importance of a safe facility and the fiscal viability of the operation.
Our City Council is proud of our community and we know that our residents are proud to call Fillmore their home. Our community continues to be shown in movies and on television worldwide as a picture-perfect downtown setting of small town America. Our shops and businesses are proud of this recognition and we invite all of Ventura County to stroll our downtown sidewalks on any weekend. We’re proud of our community and know that as all of Ventura County gets to know us, that same pride in Fillmore will spread throughout the County.
And to our residents, friends, and governmental colleagues, thank you for your contributions to Fillmore’s first one hundred years. May our next hundred be as successful!!