Letters to the Editor
March 18th, 2010

To the Editor:
Council Member Brooks expressed (a belief) that he felt the City should not have recycled the water from the new sewer plant. He stated that (he believes) the cost is too much and will be a burden on the citizens for many years to come. No one is happy about paying our sewer bill, however Council decisions of this nature should be made on the facts not on one’s beliefs.
The decision to recycle the water instead of discharge to the river was made by the City Council after much careful consideration and study.
In 2004 the City had a comprehensive engineering Project Report prepared which studied both options: river discharge and recycling. If Council Member Brooks had read this detailed report he would have seen the 20-year lifecycle cost was the same for both options but not environmentally equal.
With the river discharge option the City would pay millions of dollars of Mandatory Minimum Penalties because the treated sewage would regularly violate the boron, chloride, TDS, Bis-2 and other limits polluting the Santa Clara River. These pollutants can only be removed with expensive reverse osmosis which would double the cost of a river discharge sewage treatment plant.
The City Council wisely pursued the water recycling project and obtained a $3,050,000 water recycling grant which made the water recycling the cheaper option by $3 million. There are other benefits to the recycled water as well.
By recycling the water the schools will see lower water bills in future years saving precious money for educating our children. Recycling the water reduces demand on the limited quality potable water supply in Fillmore and reduces the potable water system improvements that will be needed in the future. It also helps drought proof our community. Using the recycled water uses less energy than the potable system so there is a net energy savings.
I will grant Council Member Brooks that recycling the water is expensive but not recycling the water was more expensive and would have been a greater burden on the citizens according to the Project Report that I read.
Name Withheld

To the Editor:
Fillmore Mid-Year Budget Review
There are many ways to present a budget. For many years, I was the budget awards chair for a statewide municipal finance officers association and during those years saw many types of budgets. Each budget is designed to meet the distinct needs of the city in managing its finances. My role in Fillmore is to present to the City Council and the citizens of Fillmore the best and most easily read document I can develop. There are many challenges facing Fillmore; mainly because of the state of the economy. Focusing on how to face those challenges is more important than entering a debate about the merits of one budget format over another. I look forward to working with the City Manager, staff and Council to present the 2010-2011 budget.
Anita Lawrence
Transitional Finance Director
City of Fillmore

To the Editor:
Thank you for covering the Midyear Fiscal and helping to get the word out about the City’s finances. We want residents to be aware of how their tax dollars are spent. However, there was a statement which should be clarified. The paper reported that there were “some things budgeted more than once by $9 million, meaning the new budget which took place under interim finance director John Wooner and Interim CM Larry Pennell contained over $9 million in errors.” It is not accurate to say that there were $9 million in errors. Yes, the budget format was substantially revised and some entries needed to changed. However, the actual NET change proposed in the Midyear was $1, 433,515 to the City’s operating and Capital budget.
The City uses the midyear to reflect different types of changes in the City’s budget. Sometimes new grants are received; sometimes money needs to be redistributed in the budget from operating to Capital or vice-versa; and revenues need to be increased or decreased. All reasons why the budget did go up or down.
We want your readers to know that the General Fund is projected to end the fiscal year with a positive balance of about $1.15 million. The City also has another General Purpose Reserve (General Fund) of $1.5 million. Thanks for the opportunity to clarify what was written in the article.
Best Regards,
Yvonne Quiring
[Editor’s Note: “Some things were budgeted more than once by $9 million.” Anita Lawrence, Interim Finance Director, Council meeting, March 9, 2010. If Ms. Lawrence statement did not mean that “some things were budgeted more than once by $9 million” please explain what it did mean. If the $9 million was accurately allocated and counted for in the budget then there was no reason to move the money to other accounts. Was the $9 million accurately reported in the budget the council majority approved? Wanda Castel de Oro]

To the Editor:
Traveling toward Piru, heading Eastbound Hwy 126, I took to relevance of the beautiful, green Santa Clarita River Valley. It also dawned on me that it was also the 82nd Anniversary of California's 2nd largest Natural Disaster- the St. Francis Dam Disaster. Why that occurrence is imprinted into my memory is because I've heard so much on how it shaped the communities of Camulos Ranch, Piru, Buckhorn, Bardsdale, Fillmore, Santa Paula, and Saticoy. Literally, hundreds of people perished. Farms and livestock washed away. Homes, bridges, power lines gone. Total devastation in these communities bestowed shortly after Midnight, March 12th 1928. An Engineering failure caused the dam to break in the San Francisquito Canyon.
Think of it. Picture ourselves in that Era. A Life where there were no Cell Phones, little or no vehicles, not much Public Safety resources, really no warning of what was to come. Imagine being asleep in bed with our loved ones; at a moments notice, being washed away down a path of destruction, only where gravity pulls millions of cubic feet of water, up to 75 foot waves crashing. Knowing how to swim or stay afloat was of little importance to some, compared to wondering where your loved ones MIGHT be. Some families were found immediately. Unfortunately, some were never found at all.
I for one am a 3rd Generation of a Local Family that miraculously did survive. I am the Great-Grandson of the late Frank Savala. Many locals might remember this man's name still. He was a Rancher out in East Guiberson Road, near Torrey Canyon. He worked and raised his family out on Claude Baker's Ranch. It was to his strength and survival that he lived a Blessed Life with my Nana Sophie.
During the Disaster, Tata Frank, his 2 brothers- Mike and Albert, fought to survive by grasping onto a bed frame and floating downstream. Their Mother, Antonia Savala was found dead, still holding on to their baby brother- Jose. At that time, my Tata Frank was going on the young age of 17 years old. Damn! I ask myself, "What would I have done?" What if my Tata didn't survive? Would my Family have still existed? I thank God for he and his brothers' survival. I also pray that my Family Name- Savala, is never forgotten! Let us remind ourselves how fortunate we are to wake up each day, living in this beautiful River Valley. Let us also never forget the Families, victims, and survivors of this Disaster, who helped shape our surrounding communities. And, let us not forget the 82nd Anniversary of the St. Francis Dam Disaster.
I dedicate this Memory to the entire Savala Family. May God Bless us all!
Thank You,
Bobby Castaneda