Letters to the Editor
June 12th, 2008

To the Editor:
Wow! Once again I am stunned by how much money we are spending on our city management. Are you aware that Fillmore's top six city employees could cost us over a million dollars next year? $1,001,818 to be exact. Specifically, our City Manager cost us $191,018 last year and now some on the City Council are thinking about giving him almost a $13,000 raise amounting to $203,994 for 2008 - 2009. (Base salary of $132,149 plus over $70,000 in benefits.) Let's compare that to Santa Paula, a city that is twice our size. Santa Paula's City Manager's base salary is $144,087. With benefits of $41,500 his total compensation is $185,587. Remember Santa Paula is a bout TWICE our size. It just doesn't seem right or fair for our City Council to be granting exorbitant raises to our top city workers who are already overpaid. Why not use the "extra" tens of thousands to lower our city's sewer and water bill? Which would YOU prefer?
Lynne Brooks,

To the Editor:
Dear Mayor and Council Members,
After viewing the available Minutes and Agendas of the Fillmore Senior Center, Inc. non-profit corporation, it appears that the Center conducted business as follows from January 2004 to present: No meetings held in 2004; Three meetings (March, June and August) verified by Agenda and Minutes in 2005: No meetings held in 2006; No meetings held in 2007.
No regular meetings held in 2008 (There have been two special meetings within the last 30 days. One on May 19 and the other on June 2 - setting off the unfortunate discovery that the Board has been virtually defunct since at least 2004). Technically, the last day the Board worked was August, 2005. And, purportedly, three members of the Board, the President, the Secretary/Treasurer and a Voting Member deny meeting at all in the last 4 years. If that in fact proves true, no quorum could have been reached. Still, the agenda and minutes for the three meetings do exist.
Wouldn’t you think the City would be aware of this, particularly since some funding to the Center is provided by the City and the City pays several employees to work in or for the Center?
Speaking of quorums, the last Bylaw documented is a Certificate of Amendment of the Bylaws of the Fillmore Sr. Center, Inc. dated 11/26/1985. Per the Certificate, the number of directors is at least 7 and up to 15. Looks like a minimum quorum under this document would seem to be 4?
The Articles of Incorporation for the Senior Center seem to be lost as do the minutes prior to 2000. This is per Annette Cardona who informs that she is in custody of some of the corporate records at the request of prior board members.
The Board Members are volunteers. On the other hand, there are employees who get paid to work the Center. =How much money does the City pay to the guy who opens the center door in the morning right on up the line to the supervisor in charge? And who's overseeing the supervisors? Doesn't this beg the question whose in charge and whose fault is this? Clearly, the board members aren't to blame. The center was once, by all accounts a vibrant, happy meeting place. What happened? Or, more correctly stated, what did not happen and who got paid for doing nothing?
Gloria Pagliano-Hansen,

To the Editor:
It is very easy to criticize the Fillmore Senior Center by those who have never shown any interest in the center. I help to fund and move the center to its location back in the Eighties. It has always struggled with money problems and participation from the Fillmore area seniors. The Fillmore Senior Center Board is and always has been independent of the City of Fillmore. Some years ago the center was about to close do to a lack of broad members and funding. The board came to the city and asked for help. It has been with that help the Senior Center has been able to keep open.
Folks should be aware that an important part of the funding for the Senior Center has been fireworks sells each year. Some years ago and to this day the Senior Center Board and seniors in Fillmore have not been able to work in the fireworks booth. Annette volunteered to take on the challenge. She called on other city hall employees and their friends to work the booth so that the Senior Center would not lose that funding. Barbara Smith not only works that booth every year she also accounts for the money that the booth brings in each year. Annette, Barbara and the others who volunteer their time, do this out of love for the seniors in Fillmore. They do not deserve the distasteful comments that others are making. Folks when you hear one of these comments ask the person;
“what have you done for the Fillmore Senior Center?”
Roger Campbell,
Retired Mayor City of Fillmore

To the Editor:
I write this letter with such a heavy heart. I am not a political person. I know that I will be the next to be verbally abused by the citizens of Fillmore because I'm taking a stand.
I don't understand how people think it's okay to verbally abuse people the way they have for quite sometime now. The internet and newspaper are full of it all the time. 1 hope you understand that the people you talk mean about have families and friends that have grown up in this town that we all use to be very proud of. NOT ANYMORE. I can't count the times I have read the newspaper and thought I was so sad that I lived in a community that is so disrespectful to other people.
To the people that are doing these things, think about your family, your kids seeing you as the role model in there lives. Seeing you be so disrespectful to others. Why do you think the world is the way it is today? We teach our children that it's okay to gossip, and swarm like sharks at feeding time when someone else is hurting. SHAME ON YOU!!!!
To the people that are under attack stay strong and know that everyone who knows you is supporting you and are praying for you.
To the people who are attacking it will be your turn someday to answer to the abusive things that are said and done. The next time you think it's okay to take a personnel stab at someone think how you would feel if it was your mother, father, sibling, our heaven forbid your child that was being treated the way you have treated other people. Please stop the attacks that are going on so my heart isn't so HEAVY.
Donneta Smallwood,

To the Editor:
Regarding the Petition Drive for the North Fillmore General Plan Amendment
I want to thank all of Fillmore residents who supported the Citizens for Responsible Growth in our petition drive to amend the city’s plans for the very dense development in North Fillmore.
On Tuesday (3 June, 2008) we presented the signatures of 1,021 Fillmore registered voters to the Fillmore Deputy City Clerk (Steve McClary). Steve has informed me that the signatures were transported to the Ventura County Registrar of Voters the next day.
After the validating of the signatures by the Registrar of Voters the Fillmore City Council will have to make a decision to amend the North Fillmore General Plan or submit our initiative to the voters.
It was encouraging to experience the support of the citizens in this effort. Very few Fillmore citizens indicated any opposition to our effort to limit the plan for 700 dwellings in North Fillmore. It is now very apparent that few Fillmore Citizens want this type of large development that will obviously alter the nature of Fillmore.
Again, as a group, we are not against growth, but we are against this type of development, which will adversely impact the quality of living in Fillmore. Thank you all.
Clay Westling,

To the Editor:
I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank the people of the 24th Congressional District for your support on Tuesday and for the past 22 years.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties in Washington, DC. This is a critical time in our nation's history and we have many challenges ahead. I do not take your support lightly and pledge to continue to serve with commitment and dedication.
Should you have any questions or concerns about any federal issue, please don't hesitate to contact my office in Thousand Oaks or Washington, DC.
Elton Gallegly
Member of Congress