(l-r) City Council candidates Carrie Broggie, Tim Holmgren and Diane McCall
(l-r) City Council candidates Carrie Broggie, Tim Holmgren and Diane McCall
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Question #5: The proposed Business Park is vital to Fillmore’s future tax base. What would you do to facilitate the success of the Business Park?
City of Fillmore
City of Fillmore

Carrie Broggie
Broadening the tax base in Fillmore is key to the community’s economic stability, and the business park plays a significant role in reaching that goal. Since the first Master Plan was released in 2008, the economic decline in our area, as well as the rest of the country, has given us pause on the original business park plan, and I will recommend that the Plan be re-evaluated in several areas.
For example: Re-evaluate the Development Impact Fees (DIFs) that each new business coming into the park is responsible for. (Schools, transportation, water, sewers, parks, etc.); Work with city staff and the businesses to create an equitable, workable, fee structure for the Common Area Infrastructure Formula (CAIF) to cover the costs of common roads, storm drains, levees, etc.; Alternatively, consider the inclusion of a Mello Roos fee to cover the DIF and CAIF. This would simplify the formulas currently in place, yet each business buying into the park would be contributing equitably.
I believe that changes to the above-referenced issues will make the business park a more attractive location for companies seeking establishment or relocation of their businesses. Without the confines of the fees structured in the original Business Park Plan, I believe that businesses will perceive the City of Fillmore as a “business-friendly” community.
Additionally, the current City Council has created the Fillmore Development Council – a 13-member council of business people who have varying degrees of experience in the business community within the state of California. While I would not want to put the responsibility of the development of this business park fully upon this council, I do have high expectations that the council, tasked with nothing other than attracting businesses to our community, will be instrumental in the success of the Fillmore Business Park.

Tim Holmgren
The business park promises not only to be vital to Fillmore’s future tax base, but also to the economic future of Fillmore’s citizens. It’s critical that we do everything we can to get the business park built and I’ve always believed that the best thing that government can do to help business grow and create jobs is to stay out of the way. If we want to see the business park develop and flourish, we need to make it as easier for them to get started.
How do we accomplish that? What is it that’s been in the way of development up to now? There are three major factors that need to be addressed. First, the development impact fees associated with developing the business park need to be revamped. The first developer to begin building can’t get hit with an enormous bill to pay. Second, the Common Area Infrastructure Fees (CAIFs) need to be modified for the same reason. We can’t make it so expensive to build that no one wants to get started.
Finally, we need to attract business to Fillmore. We need to actively and aggressively go out and find businesses that want to come to Fillmore and make it attractive for them to make the move. The city has already begun addressing all three of these factors and we’re moving in the right direction. The development impact fees and the CAIFs are being looked at to see how they can be adjusted to encourage developers. The Fillmore Development Council has been formed and is moving forward to identify and attract business.
What does Fillmore need to do to facilitate the success of the business park? We need to continue doing what we’ve already started.

Diane McCall
As a Planning Commissioner in 2005 I had the opportunity to review, comment and recommend the current business park project for approval. Today, in reflecting back to that original vision for what the business park would eventually become, I see a city that has persevered through some extremely challenging financial times, and yet our needs remain the same. As Council Members we set long term goals for a better community, and the business park has definitely been one of those goals. This critical project has always been earmarked to improve our financial health through an increased tax base and job creation. As a council member, I will ensure that we reach beyond Ventura County to locate and secure “employers” who are able to provide jobs, not just occupy space. We must locate and entice companies who may be manufacturers, warehousing or large equipment repair and sales that can enhance our tax base and provide viable employment opportunities for our residents. We will continue to re-vamp our development impact fees, making our location more financially appealing than our neighboring cities. It is important to market our selling points of our superior location due to our proximity to the Interstate 5, Highways 126 and 101. Our local employment base is rich with blue collar labor all the way up to college educated executives and our current housing mix is supportive of all employment classes, making Fillmore attractive to outside companies. Lastly, I will ensure that we are selective with the occupancy mix. We must market to companies that will be willing to partner with Fillmore and share in our long term goals and visions for a better community. It is important to remember that good council members react and GREAT council members have vision and work to make it happen.


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(l-r) Mike Saviers, Scott Beylik, Sean Morris, Lucy Rangel, Dave Wilde, Tony Prado
(l-r) Mike Saviers, Scott Beylik, Sean Morris, Lucy Rangel, Dave Wilde, Tony Prado
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Question #4: Are there any practices or policies utilized by other school districts you would like to see implemented at Fillmore Unified School District? Explain.
Fillmore Unified School District
Fillmore Unified School District

Mike Saviers
I would say that if I am given this opportunity to serve I would want to familiarize myself with all the policies and and practices of the Fillmore Unified School District before making that determination. There is always room for improvement and we would be foolish to think that all our programs and practices are the "best practices". If another District is doing something that has been tested and verified and is working better than ours we should look at those opportunities to better ourselves. If members of our own District have ideas that have the potential to better the District we should look at them to identify any and all opportunities for improvement. Other District's may have programs and policies that would strengthen our District if implemented here, but without a well informed and educated Board of Trustees to know the workings and current policies and programs currently in place we would be wasting valuable time, time that might be better spent on other objectives.

Scott Beylik
A number of key policies are in existence and have become industry standard around the nation that should be evaluated for adoption by the Fillmore Unified School District. Specifically, policies relating to open and transparent meetings that leverage a community-based approach to problem solving and decision-making are by far some of the most important. A number of other governing bodies encourage the public to participate in an open forum where questions are asked answered and vital input from the community is heard and factored in to the final decision making process.
Another beneficial practice currently in play in the Ventura Unified School District is a monthly review and report of the districts financial status. The Current practice in play at the Fillmore Unified School District ia a bi-annual financial report. By having more frequent updates available to board members, we can make and/or modify our decisions with the most current information available.
Ventura Unified has also made it common practice to ensure one board member is present at every school and community event. This practices sends a clear message to faculty, students & parents that the board is connected with the school system and is knowledgeable on present-day issues.
Lastly, I would be excited to see the board develop and utilize a committee approach for managing special projects. The committee would consist of numerous school faculty members as well as students and parents that would work collectively to ensure all perspectives are considered during the decision making process.

Sean Morris
At the School Board Training provided by the Ventura County Office of Education, two ideas where drilled in my head: Transparency and Planning. These are two policies/practices that I would like to emphasize.
Transparency. Transparency is assured by communication with all parties and finding ways to make sure the community knows what is occurring in the District. We need to communicate the District’s Vision. I will communicate our vison as a Board Member at school, community and city events. I will share with people what is happening within the district and proclaim our successes from the “Mountain Tops.” We must be the ambassadors of our District and Schools. We will bring down many of the perceived barriers that are inhibiting communication and trust by creating an environment of approachability and understanding.
Plan for Success. The Superintendent and Board need to develop a plan for success. We need to start with the three most important needs, for example; Improving English Learner (EL) Test Scores, Opening & Staffing Libraries, and Improving Facilities. We will outline a strategy to meet the goals and put in place the necessary steps to make sure we have long term success. This will be done by publishing our plan and outlining who is accountable to make sure that these goals are obtained. We will monitor the plan and make adjustments when necessary. I suggest we have a report card to the community every six months outlining our progress in obtaining these goals; because, ultimately we as Board Members are responsible for the success and failures of the district.
It really comes down to developing a Vision, Planning, Communicating and Accountability. This is how I plan to serve our District. I would appreciate your vote: Sean Morris for School Board.

Lucy Rangel
Research shows that one of the key factors that distinguishes high performing schools from low performing ones is not only their high expectations for academic achievement, but also their high expectations for student behavior. One such practice that has made a positive impact at Isbell Middle School these past few years is a program called CHAMPS. CHAMPS is a proactive and positive approach to classroom management. This program helps administrators and teachers establish common goals, set guidelines for success, promote positive expectations, and motivate students to want to succeed.
Even though one of CHAMPS major focus is academic achievement, I would like to address the character education component of this program. In my opinion, this is an area our district really needs to focus on. For CHAMPS, success begins with character development. While it focuses on reducing discipline referrals, it also increases positive student behavior and promotes a safe school environment. The behavior expectations that are set up for CHAMPS are incorporated into each activity at school whether it be walking in the hallway, eating in the cafeteria, or studying in the classroom. And when students follow these expectations, the learning experience is optimized for everyone.
We all know that students are more motivated to do well and realize their potential in schools that have a positive environment, where they feel safe, included, and supported. CHAMPS trains students to be leaders in their schools, homes, and communities. They also learn the value and integrity that go with the practice of giving back to their community. We need to foster the development of caring and responsible citizens. CHAMPS is a practice I would like to implement here in our district.

Dave Wilde
I used to be concerned about the relationship with the city and being more transparent with our parents and community. When we hired Dr Palazuelos he wanted that to be one of his focus points. He is already working to make those goals come true. I was also concerned about providing the community with a superintendent that is more visible and accessible. He has already shown he is moving in that direction. I used to be concerned about ESL instruction and all our school sites, but especially the high school, but Martha Hernandez, our assistant superintendent in charge of curriculum, has already made some great moves towards addressing that issue. If some of you were at the last board meeting, you know what I am referring to.
There are a couple of things I feel need to be addressed and that is collaboration, and RTI at the high school. A teacher driven collaboration system needs to be put in place that provides the teachers with time to work with their colleagues to improve instruction as we move into common core. This has not been in place for the past two or three years and I challenge you to find a successful district who does not have a great collaboration program in place. Like collaboration, the high school also needs a teacher and data driven intervention program to addresses the individual learning needs of our students as they surface. When a student is identified as having difficulty in any class that problem needs to be identified early and addressed right away. This program would help prevent students from falling behind where it becomes difficult to catch up.
Teachers at all grade levels know what needs their students have. After all, they are the ones working with them directly each school day. That is why the teachers should have a huge say in the way they use collaboration and intervention program to address the individual learning needs of their students.

Tony Prado
In Fillmore, there currently exists an "achievement gap" among student subgroups that threatens their future. Access to high-quality educational experiences should be the right of every student in Fillmore and it is the responsibility of each school in the District to work toward that end. The Fillmore Unified School District achieves this goal with the college prep students at Fillmore High School. But when it comes to the average or below average student the District falls short, this is why our schools are in Program Improvement.
The Fillmore community and its students deserve the bests educational experience possible. Our schools need to provide an equitable and rigorous education. Among the principals at each school site there needs to be established a spirit of competition towards achieving a "California Distinguish School" status. The FUSD is probably the only district in Ventura County without one school achieving this awqrd. A California Distinguish School is an award given by California State Board of Education to public schools within the state that best represent exemplary and quality educational programs. Elgibility is based on federal and state criteria including the "No Child Left Behind" program, "Academic Performance Index" (API), and "Adequate Yearly Progress" (AYP). These are areas that our District needs to address and improve upon. By working towards achieving California Distinguish School status we would be working towards removing the District out of Program Improvement.
Imagine the pride in this community if one or more schools achieved this award, there would be no excuse for any parent wanting to move their child to another school district. Imagine the honor and pride the teachers would attain, knowing their standards and expectations were being recognized by the state of California. Imagine the teachers realizing their effectiveness in the classroom was right on! And if one school in the District could do it, why not the others?
We are a small community and we should be able to control our students destiny - to excel beyond their dreams. Yes, it can be done in the Fillmore Unified School District. It is a challenge that must be taken! Vote for Tony Prado for School Board


Mayor Manuel Minjares displays a Proclamation from the Ventura Regional Sanitation District to the City of Fillmore recognizing the town’s 100 Year Centennial at Tuesday night’s council meeting.
Mayor Manuel Minjares displays a Proclamation from the Ventura Regional Sanitation District to the City of Fillmore recognizing the town’s 100 Year Centennial at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

The October 28, 2014 Fillmore City Council Meeting began with Mayor Manuel Minjares displaying a Proclamation from the Ventura Regional Sanitation District to the City of Fillmore recognizing the town's 100 Year Centennial.

The Council then gave unanimous approval to the first agenda item; a completed Economic Development Strategic Plan presented to them by City Manager David W. Rowlands. The Plan covers a wide breadth of actions for the City to pursue and was haled as forward thinking. Council Member Rick Neal responded, "This is a great step in the right direction."

The second agenda item was presented by Finance Director Gaylynn Brien on Fillmore's updated Investment Policy and asked for approval of Multi-Bank Securities, Inc (MBS) to conduct investment activities for the City of Fillmore. Brien explained the research she did to qualify MBS and that the firm is "a highly thought of brokerage dealer with 20 years of working with city governments." The expected return on investments is 2.4% to 2.5% with a 5 year ladder instead of 2 years.

Council Member Rick Neal said he was pleased that MBS was a service and not a contract company, and as a provider Fillmore could change source at any time.

Council Member Diane McCall told Brien she was also pleased saying "...we're not tied into a contract" and that she appreciated all Brien's research.

Council Member Douglas CONTINUED »


Part 2
Fillmore Unified School District
Fillmore Unified School District

Moderator: Bill Herrera
Timekeeper: Douglas Tucker

Candidates: Michael Saviors, Sean Morris, Scott Beylik

Incumbent Candidates: Lucy Rangel, Dave Wilde, Tony Prado

(7) The School Distinct has been identified as being in Program Improvement. What does this mean to you as a school board member/candidate and how do you intend to address this reality if you are elected?

Sean Morris; All our schools are in Program Improvement. We lost students as a result. How do we go from where we are to where we need to go? The answer is we set the bar high.

Scott Beylik; If I was a School Board Member it means I failed at my job. As a future Board Member it means I have a far way to go. We need our students to excel.

Lucy Rangel; Everyone needs to held accountable. We're looking forward to the Spring (semester). The Superintendent needs to make sure teachers are doing their jobs. Parents need to know a student in kindergarten is equal to what a 1st grader (kindergarten now teaches what used to be taught in 1st grade).

Tony Prado; If teachers motivate the students, they (the students) will learn. Part of the problem is the Principals.

Dave Wilde; Our teachers are in class every day they know what is happening. Those kids that are missing out, the teachers need to come up with solutions. When a kid falls behind the teachers need to focus on them.

Michael Saviors; We as a Board should be embarrassed. We need to provide the teachers with what ever they need. As a Board we need to be receptive to them, provide the extra help.

(8) Fillmore, as do other CONTINUED »

09/30/14 to 09/29/14
City of Fillmore
City of Fillmore

Stolen Vehicle
600 Blk. Clay St.
900 Blk. 3rd St.
200 Blk. Main St.
700 Blk. Ventura St.
600 Blk. Ventura St.
Accident – Injury
300 Blk. Main St.
Disturbance Party
600 Blk. Via Rodeo
Stolen Vehicle
400 Blk. 4th St.
900 Blk. 3rd St.
300 Blk. Main St.
Stolen Vehicle
700 Blk. Edison Ln.
Search Warrant
600 Blk. Via Rodeo CONTINUED »

Make Halloween a fun and safe night for trick-or-treaters

Costumes, jack-‘o-lanterns, haunted house and scary ghost stories mark this time of year as all kids of all ages enjoy the spirit of Halloween. But if precautions aren’t taken, scary things can happen. Decorations that ignited are the reported cause in 900 home fires nationwide each year. Two of every five of those were started by a candle.

To make this day a fun and festive event, just follow these few simple steps to ensure everyone stays safe:


• Children should always go trick-or-treating with a responsible adult
• Provide children with flashlights or glow sticks to carry for lighting and visibility
• Review how to cross a street with your child. Look left, right and left again to be sure no cars are approaching before crossing the street
• If driving, be sure to watch for trick-or-treaters who are too busy to watch for you
• Remind children to stay together as a group when walking from house to house


• Purchase costumes made of flame resistant or flame retardant. Fire resistant does not mean fireproof!
• Apply reflective tape to Halloween costumes
• Masks can obstruct vision – consider using make-up instead
• Avoid loose, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts
• Keep hemlines short enough to prevent tripping


• Keep decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters
• Light jack-‘o-lanterns with battery powered light – never use candles!
• Keep exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes
• Remove objects from the yard that could present a tripping hazard (garden tools, hoses, etc.)

Remember to closely inspect all candy before allowing children to eat it, discarding any unwrapped treats from a stranger. If in doubt, throw it out!

CAL FIRE wishes all Californians a safe and enjoyable Halloween! For more Halloween fire safety ideas and tips, please visit the CAL FIRE website at www.fire.ca.gov.

Deputy Eugene Kostiuchenko
Deputy Eugene Kostiuchenko

On October 28, 2014, Deputy Eugene Kostiuchenko was killed in the line of duty after being struck by a vehicle during a traffic stop. The driver of the vehicle was arrested by the California Highway Patrol for felony D.U.I. Deputy Kostiuchenko initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle on northbound Highway 101 at Lewis Rd. at about 1:14 a.m. He exited his vehicle to make contact with the driver. Two deputies arrived to assist with the traffic stop. Later in the contact, Eugene released the driver from the traffic stop and walked back to his vehicle when he was struck by another vehicle. The vehicle narrowly missed colliding with the assisting deputies. The driver of that vehicle continued traveling northbound at a high rate of speed. Responding deputies found the vehicle, which was involved in a solo collision off the roadway near Las Posas Rd. Deputy Kostiuchenko was pronounced deceased at the scene of the traffic stop. Deputy Kostiuchenko, age 41, was an 11-year veteran of the department. He was assigned to patrol in the City of Camarillo before his untimely passing. He is survived by his wife and two sons. Eugene also worked assignments in the Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services and in Detention Services during his career. The men and women of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office mourn the loss Deputy Kostiuchenko and are keeping his family in their thoughts during this difficult time.

Nature of Incident: Sheriff’s Deputy Killed in the Line of Duty
Location: Northbound U.S. Highway 101 / Lewis Rd., Camarillo
Date & Time: 10/28/14 @ 1:14 a.m.
Unit(s) Responsible: Ventura County Sheriff’s Office
Prepared by: Captain Don Aguilar
Media Release Date: October 28, 2014
Follow-Up Contact: Captain Don Aguilar (805) 797-7349
Sergeant Denise Sliva (805) 947-9285
Approved by: Sheriff Geoff Dean

UC hospitals offer support, no reported cases in California

Oakland/Sacramento, CA – Though there are no confirmed or suspect cases of Ebola Virus Disease (Ebola) in California, today the University of California Office of the President informed the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) that all five UC Medical Centers are positioned to provide in-patient care for Californians who have confirmed cases of Ebola if necessary. CDPH continues working with health officials to prepare for potential cases of Ebola in California and the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) is providing updated, specific guidelines on the protective equipment, training and other measures that must be in place to protect workers’ health and safety.

“All of the UC Medical Centers specialize in complex care and operate as or staff level one trauma centers. We appreciate their leadership role in willingness to treat Ebola patients,” said Dr. Ron Chapman director of CDPH and state health officer. “The administration will support these hospitals in meeting this public health need in California. At the same time all hospitals and medical providers need to redouble preparedness efforts to ensure that they can effectively assess Ebola risk in their patients, while ensuring workplace safety.”

“As part of a public university, UC’s medical centers are far along in their preparation activities and are willing to care for confirmed Ebola patients,” said Dr. John Stobo, UC senior vice president for health sciences and services. “Stepping up to a public health crisis is what these medical centers do, and in the past weeks we have been actively readying ourselves for any health eventuality related to Ebola. We are committed to addressing the health needs of this population and the public at large, as well as ensuring the safety of our health care workers. It is our intent that only health care workers who are members of a core designated group or who volunteer to do so will provide care to confirmed Ebola patients.”

The UC Medical CONTINUED »

(l-r) City Council candidates Carrie Broggie, Tim Holmgren and Diane McCall
(l-r) City Council candidates Carrie Broggie, Tim Holmgren and Diane McCall
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Question #4: What is the greatest ONE issue facing the city in the next few years?

Carrie Broggie
The single greatest issue facing the City in the next few years is the broadening of our tax base through economic development. In order for Fillmore to be a healthier, more sustainable community, we must have an increase in tax revenue to improve our infrastructure, provide additional services to our citizens, and to enhance the quality of life of our residents.
The first step toward achieving this goal is through the carefully measured expansion of our business community. This includes not only the development of the126 industrial park by attracting the right businesses, but also by planning and implementing the revitalization of our downtown area. The City Council has taken an effective step toward this goal by creating the Fillmore Development Council. The purpose of this council is to seek out businesses that are a right fit for the industrial park. This council is also evaluating ways to enhance the downtown area and assisting merchants in the success of their businesses.
As new businesses move to Fillmore, we can anticipate an increase in housing demand. The Heritage Valley Parks housing development will undoubtedly see more home sales. Property taxes from these new home sales will contribute to the broadening of our tax base.
Critical to the success in achieving an expansion of the business community are two other factors: public safety and quality public schools. In order for business owners to make the decision to start up a business or move an existing business to Fillmore, they will evaluate these two important quality of life issues. Will their children receive a quality education attending schools in this community, and will their families and employees feel safe living here? As we work toward increasing business development, we must work equally as hard to support our law enforcement agency, fire department/paramedics, and our school district.

Tim Holmgren
Just a few short years ago, the city was facing some tremendous challenges. Over the past two years, many of these challenges have been taken on and dealt with. Fillmore is in much better shape now and our future looks bright.
However, there are still a few challenges to overcome and many of them fall into one category; Fillmore’s economic future. When the country’s economy fell apart in 2008, it hit Fillmore hard. Development that was poised to bring jobs to the area came to a halt. Several other factors, like the RDA being dissolved and the sales tax lawsuits, combined to affect the city and the citizens.
Today, the economy is showing signs of improvement. But it’s local jobs that will be the catalyst to launch us toward economic prosperity. Bringing jobs to Fillmore will put more of our neighbors to work and give options to those who are currently forced to commute. As jobs begin to come to Fillmore, the positive cycle will start. We’ll see more prosperity for the people of Fillmore and the downtown area will begin to revitalize.
Another issue that will have to be dealt with to ensure the economic prosperity of Fillmore is the train. The downtown merchants depend on the revenue generated by tourism. We need to focus on keeping the train running. But at the same time, we need to explore other options to make sure we keep tourism alive and well in Fillmore.
As I’ve said before, this is an exciting time for Fillmore. There are some challenges still facing us and Fillmore’s economic future is the biggest one we have. That being said, I am optimistic about our future and I am confident we are on the right track.

Diane McCall
Aside from the obvious need to secure revenues and maintain a balanced budget, the ONE greatest issue facing Fillmore in the next several years is our aging infrastructure. The lack of funding over the past number of years has left us with deferred maintenance items which are reaching critical levels. As a city council body we have addressed and resolved numerous immediate issues affecting our community and set the pendulum in motion for others. However, this particular growing concern will take a healthy general fund, some serious planning and possibly the location of some matching grants which may assist us in reaching our goals. Our current water and sewer infrastructure are in excess of 40 years old and we are beginning to see the effects of serious deterioration. Over the past year we have experienced at least 4 major breaks and numerous other emergency “band aid” repairs. Additionally, we need to begin accessing the condition of our streets and identify a plan for those repairs in order of priority. We need to look closely at our Transportation Development Act funds and identify funding for needed street repairs, but it will take dedication and time. Lastly, as we are our own water provider, and our city wells must be properly serviced, maintained and upgraded for the highest possible efficiency. We cannot afford to have wells down due to maintenance issues that could have been prevented due to age and funding. This is why we, as a council body are working to set a 40% general fund reserve going forward as we know these issues are looming and cannot wait indefinitely. As your city council member, I will work hard to ensure infrastructure remains on the top of our city goals and we are making all efforts to plan for the inevitable.

(l-r) Mike Saviers, Scott Beylik, Sean Morris, Lucy Rangel, Dave Wilde, Tony Prado
(l-r) Mike Saviers, Scott Beylik, Sean Morris, Lucy Rangel, Dave Wilde, Tony Prado
Enlarge Photo
Question #3: Our library is hurting badly and lacks a librarian. School board members serve without compensation, except for medical coverage. According to District records, the Board is provided approximately $55,000 per year, or $10,934.10 per member, in health benefits. Question: Would you be willing to forego this insurance in order to donate the proceeds to the Fillmore Library?

Mike Saviers
I will be foregoing my medical benefits if elected. I have family insurance through a private provider. If every other board member has their own family insurance and does not use that benefit that money should stay in FUSD. If in fact board members have their own insurance what is happening with that money set aside for that medical benefit if it is not being used for that purpose? The monies not used for medical benefits should be returned to the FUSD. It should be used for the District's business, like funding the school libraries needs. While I appreciate the predicament of the Fillmore Library it is part of the Ventura County Library system and should be funded through them, not with badly needed FUSD monies.

Scott Beylik
Yes, I would vote to discontinue my health insurance benefits, if I'm elected as a board member. I think the knowledge that each current board member receives heath insurance valued at $10,934.10 annually, will come as a surprise to many, including myself. This is due to the lack of transparency our district has struggled with over the past several years. I pledge to be open and completely transparent in all my decisions and actions.
With regards to opening the four elementary libraries, last board meeting the board voted to reclassify the library clerk’s job description. The district stated they would fund 2 hours per site for the rest of the school year, this would be at a cost of $6,000, which was very disappointing to hear. Yes, I think it is important to open the library, but two hours a day is barely enough time to boot up the computers, let alone actually do some benefit for the children that desperately need the resources. The cost per elementary school to fund a seven hour clerk for the rest of the school year is approximately $21,000. With our four elementary schools, we could fully fund our libraries for $84,000, compared to the districts $30 million annual budget. This is a necessary expense that should not have been cut out. As a point of comparison, a current city council member receives a stipend of $900 annually, and this will possibly increase to $3,600 annually, if voters approve. That is a huge discrepancy in compensation as compared to the time commitment of the city councils members versus the school board members. Even if the current school board members don't vote to change their current $55,000 compensation, we need to find the funds to maintain the libraries for all students. When making decisions my first thought will be to ensure that the students educational needs come first and foremost, and if that means I'm not compensated $10,934.10 annually, then it is a good day for Fillmore students.

Sean Morris
Yes, I am fortunate enough to have health coverage and will forgo the Insurance. There are two issues brought up by the questions, the first is funding for library and the second is School Board Trustee Compensation. I will answer them in that order.
It is important to understand the budget and what is being allocated for all programs including libraries. A school district is a service type of business so the majority of the outlays are for personnel including librarians. In order to compete with other schools, we must allocate funds for librarians and for the libraries as media resource centers. My vision for our libraries, especially the high school library, is to act as center for after school study, film discussion, lectures and guest speakers.
Our libraries need librarians. We also need the help of the community and the support of the school to bring in volunteers without impedance to help in all manners necessary for us to compete with other schools. Together we can make the libraries great with the necessary complement of school personnel and community volunteers.
As far as school board trustees are compensated, I do not have any issue with that. Many districts in our county provided a stipend and medical benefits to their board members. Being a board member is a lot of work and a small compensation is not out of order. That being said, I do not expect nor will I seek to receive compensation other than out of pocket expenses incurred for my duties as a board member from our district.
Sean Morris for School Board.

Lucy Rangel
It is unfortunate that with our current economy, funding for our schools and community is always lacking. At the same time, insurance rates and medical cost are rising to the extent that everyone needs health benefits. With this in mind, I would have to say that I would not be able to forego my health insurance in order to donate the proceeds to our community library. I understand the importance of libraries; however, if I were to donate the proceeds of my compensation to anyone, it would go back to the students I serve.

Dave Wilde
I think every community should have a community library. They can be used for so much more than checking out books. The library in Camarillo is always having different events that the community members can attend. If someone wanted to form a group to look at making our library used more by the public I would love to do that. Would I give up my insurance money to fund it? No, I think If my colleagues were to agree to a move like that, that the money should be spent on our students. That money could go to the music program, or school site libraries, etc.
I didn't run to be given health insurance. I wanted to serve our students. I asked that question at the VCOE four years ago. Their response helped me look at it a different way. They told me that I probably made about $36 an hour when I retired and you'll probably spend at least two hours a day with board related activities and it would amount to more than the cost of insurance each year. I easily spend more than two hours per day corresponding with other districts around the state and country discussing such things as; collaboration, RTI programs, instructional assessment plans, ESL instructional programs, peer coaching, etc. From most of those districts I get 50+ page program description plans, which I read at least twice. I just got two describing RTI programs that I need to read. That will take me at least three hours. It is what I like to do. I feel I should know as much as I can about programs and what other districts are doing. The county office said I should look at the compensation as a way the district says thanks. Since that discussion with VCOE officials, I just continue doing what I like to do. Visit schools, help with extra curricular programs, and research data from other districts.

Tony Prado
Yes , I would gladly donate $10,934.10, in health benefits if the Gazette, every farmer, business and city council person would match the donation! Remember, Vote for Tony Prado School Board.

[Editor's Note: The use of an outdated email for Tony Prado prevented him from receiving the first 2 questions. Please see them below]

Question #1: Who decides the direction of the District - the school board or the superintendent? What kind of relationship do you envision between them if you are elected?

Tony Prado
The school board decides the direction of the District, it does this by setting the vision of the District. The Board then collaborates with the Superintendent who carries out the vision. The Superintendent is accountable to the Board who sit on the Board of Trustees as representatives of the community. My role as a board member is to create a strong communicative relationship with the Superintendent and should the Board feel the Superintendent is off course, then the Board should seek information, provide feedback and support, to bring the efforts more in line with the intention of the Vision.
It is important that the Board have a strong sense of oversight and hold the Superintendent responsible for all the duties and responsibilities assigned to him including the quality of education, responding to issues and concerns raised by the community, administrators, teachers and staff. The Board needs to challenge and empower the Superintendent to utilize his management skills to improve and innovate to meet the needs of the District.
Ultimately the Board and the Superintendent are responsible for teacher effectiveness and student success in the classroom!

Question #2: What do you perceive as the most important issues for the school board and the District? What policies would you work to change, add or subtract?

Tony Prado
The most important issue for the school board and the District is our students receiving a first class education. The implementation of Common Core complemented with staff development will give the teachers and administration an opportunity to provide student success in the classroom. Reducing class size to 20 students or less in grades K-3 is vital to student achievement. I believe it is time to enhance technology in our District by eliminating textbooks and by issuing "tablets" to K-3 students, and laptops to students in grades 4-12. In order to achieve this idea it is necessary to initiate and pass a school bond. This school bond would include not only technology but monies for school improvements and repairs.
Another important issue that needs to be addressed is why so many parents are sending their children to other school districts. Our District loses thousands of dollars for every student that leaves our District, we cannot afford this flight of students. Every school district in Ventura County has one school that has achieved "California Distinguish School" status except Fillmore. The Principals in our District need to set a goal at working towards this achievement. An achievement of this kind would serve notice to all parents of this District that there is no reason to leave our District!