Letters to the Editor
November 16, 2023

To the Editor:


As I’m sure you all know, based on the things I’ve said, eMailed and submitted as Letters to the Editor of the Gazette, I feel that the current attack on the City of Fillmore is the worst we’ve seen yet. It stands to have the most devastating effect on the community if it goes through and, even if it doesn’t, could destroy the town.

I just had a chance to watch the council meeting from October 24th, where a presentation was made by the National Demographics Corporation, whom the city has contracted to help with the districting. I’ve added a link to that presentation with the comments of citizens and the council members at the end of this letter. It is long but please watch it.

After seeing the presentation and then hearing the comments of the community and council. I am both excited and encouraged! First, I want to thank all those who yielded their time to Rhonda. Today, Rhonda is my hero! The points and the comments you made were extremely effective.

Remember, at this point we have one objective; to get three of the five council members to show the courage to stand up against this. At the first meeting, your mayor was the only one who voted against it. But at this meeting, after the comments from the community, two more council members are expressing the same sentiments and it will only take a little more encouragement for them to join with Mark in putting a stop to this.

Now, don’t think I don’t recognize what it may mean to the city if the council decides to fight. Losing a lawsuit in this matter could bankrupt Fillmore. But, I assure you that adopting district elections will destroy Fillmore just as surely. So, I reiterate what I’d said in an earlier message; sometimes you have to stand up and fight because something is right…regardless of what that might mean.

What follows are some random thoughts I had while watching the council meeting.

1) In response to Carrie’s question about damages, the city attorney made the point that, by virtue of the CVRA, the alleged injury is that the number of Hispanic council members is not representative of the racial makeup of the town (paraphrasing). I’d just like to point out, and I’ve been making this point for years; the number of Hispanics in Fillmore make up the overwhelming majority of her citizens. If the Hispanic community of Fillmore so desired, every council member and every mayor ever elected could be Hispanic. That shows that there has been no injury as presumed by the CVRA. If anything, it shows that Hispanics in Fillmore vote according to what they feel is in the best interest for the town…not along racial lines and I would commend their community for that.

2) In discussing this matter, perhaps the issues of the baker and the photographer who were sued for not going against their convictions when asked to participate in same-sex weddings could be mentioned. Like Fillmore, they were targeted by bullies. Even when faced with lawsuits, these courageous individuals did not back down. Why? Because their cause was right. Fillmore MUST do the same thing for the same reason.

3) Christina Villasenor keeps talking about how few Hispanics have been on the council; she keeps raising her seven fingers to illustrate how small that number is. She talks about Ernie as having been the last mayor who was Hispanic. Is she forgetting about Manny Minjarez, who was elected twice and served as mayor just a few years ago?

Here’s a link to the portion of the October 24th council meeting discussing the issue of district elections in Fillmore. I grant you, it’s long. But, if you care about Fillmore, you will watch it. Especially if you’re going to make any comments about at the next meeting.


Tim Holmgren
Former Fillmore Citizen