New Track slated for Fillmore Middle School October 2009
City Council and Fillmore School Board held their meeting at the School Farm Tuesday evening.
City Council and Fillmore School Board held their meeting at the School Farm Tuesday evening.
Everyone enjoyed their BBQ.
Everyone enjoyed their BBQ.

Fillmore City Council and Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) School Board held a joint meeting September 30, 2008, at 6:30 p.m. at the School Farm. The Council and Board are working together to promote health, share resources, provide public access to a track, restrain street vendors, and honor individuals for their military service.

The Council and Board approved a proclamation declaring October 8, 2008, as Walk to School/Work Day in Fillmore. This is the first event sponsored by Fillmore's Wellness Committee. Fillmore Middle School (FMS) Assistant Principal Tricia Godfrey explained that this project is the result of collaboration between the City and FUSD. The idea is to promote physical activity, and for those who live too far away to walk to school or work, the Fillmore High School (FHS) track will be open for supervised walking before school starts on October 8th. Superintendent Jeff Sweeney will participate by walking to each school except Piru. Police Captain Tim Hagel will provide extra patrols for walkers' safety.

City and FUSD staffers had met to re-evaluate their joint use agreements regarding facilities and equipment. There are three such agreements: one for Mountain Vista, one for the pool, and a general agreement that includes the FMS gym being used for community basketball. Other shared items include the Senior Center, the Boys and Girls Club, and tree chippers. Assistant Superintendent Mike Bush said that FUSD staffers are gathering data about costs. According to Ristau, the agreements were reviewed four years ago and determined to be equitable. FUSD and the City will review the data to determine whether the agreements are still equitable, and will make adjustments next year if necessary. Mayor Steve Conaway commended both parties for creating such a beneficial arrangement and maintaining it through open communication and a willingness to work through issues.

Board Member Virginia De La Piedra wants to honor Fillmore residents in active military service with banners hung throughout town. Deputy City Manager Bill Bartels suggested that, because banners are susceptible to sun damage, engraved bricks arranged in an area in front of City Hall would be a less expensive option. Bartels stated that there are only 43 poles available for hanging banners, and there will be 35 to 55 people honored. Banners would have to be rotated, unless two could be hung on each pole. Council Members Patti Walker and Laurie Hernandez expressed a preference for banners instead of bricks. The Council voted to hang banners. Names will be gathered by application, and the applicants will be required to pay for the banners, but the city will hang and maintain the banners. The banners will go to the military person's family at the end of his or her active service or after a predetermined amount of time. Costs and design are still being determined.

At the previous joint Council-Board meeting, city staff was directed to consider creating a city ordinance to restrict pushcart vendors from selling when children are being dismissed from school. On the 30th, Tom Dawson spoke up against pushcart vendors. He saw two vendors waiting for school to let out at a kindergarten gate. City Manager Tom Ristau has collected ordinances from several Ventura County cities, many of which restrict street vendors by time of day and distance from schools. For instance, vendors might be restricted from selling between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. or within 500 feet of school property. Mayor Pro-tem Cecilia Cuevas suggested that vendors be entirely banned from Fillmore. She argued that the vendors cause litter, sell unhealthy food, and take money from local businesses by intercepting students as they leave school and before they reach local stores. Board Member Liz Wilde pointed out that when thirty children gather around one vendor at a street corner, children end up in the street. City Attorney Ted Schneider said that no Ventura County cities have a complete ban on pushcart vendors, but he will look into it. City staff will finish reviewing the collected ordinances and prepare a recommendation for the Council.

On September 25, 2008, a committee of City Council Members, School Board Members, and community leaders met to brainstorm options for a public running facility in Fillmore. Liz Wilde, Michael Bush, Scott Lee, Jeff Sweeney, Steve Conaway, John Scoles, Evaristo Barajas, Virginia De La Piedra, and Bill Bartels participated. The committee recommended that crushed brick tracks be constructed at FMS and in the new city park, and that FUSD and City staff work together to resolve issues so that the FHS track can be used in the meantime. The committee recommended that the City, through Parks and Recreation, form a public running club to arrange for supervision and insurance. Building a track at FMS will not cost anything, because it will be part of the Effluent Disposal System construction already planned. The Council and Board approved the committee's recommendations. The FMS track should be completed by October 2009. It was agreed that City and FUSD staff will work out the issues involved before handing the mandate over to Parks and Recreation.

The Board requested specific street encroachments for school sites, and the Council directed City staff to proceed accordingly. The drop-off zone at San Cayetano will be adjusted to promote safer traffic flow. Signs and possibly an additional crosswalk will be placed on 2nd St. for FMS. There was general agreement that the fence along the north side of the FHS stadium needs to be moved back so that a sidewalk can be provided to keep people out of the street. Costs will be determined and alternatives considered.

Public Works Director Bert Rapp reported that the City had received 7 bids for the Effluent Disposal System at FMS, the low bid of $3.6 million was within budget, and the project is expected to stay on schedule. Glen Hille, VP and Director of Engineering for Boyle Engineering, provided the Council and Board with an update on the Effluent Disposal System at FMS and the 3rd St. Control Building design. Installing a track at FMS will not slow construction.

Shiells Park is over-utilized and Mayor Pro-tem Cecilia Cuevas requested that the bathrooms be cleaned more than once a day. Bartels reported that the paving overlay on Central Ave. will not be completed until Spring. The ArtHarvest is scheduled for October 25, 2008, and in November and December the City will cease construction downtown to allow for Holiday shopping.

The FUSD Board will meet on October 7th, and the City Council will hold its next regular meeting on October 14th.