Letters to the Editor
November 24, 2011

To the Editor:
Re: Mayor Washburn’s desire to rush appointment of council vacancy
The now ill-fated ploy to hold a meeting to appoint a person to fill the remaining three years of Patti Walker’s term has been exposed. The whole tale, from the beginning to yet to be written last chapter, is playing out so clearly that Ray Charles could see it coming. The Gazette Editorial even reported that the heir-apparent was at the meeting waiting in the wings. Had Walker been intellectually and morally honest with Fillmore when the news first broke , the voters could have settled the issue earlier this month, but that isn’t the group’s plan. The plan was to pass the date which would allow citizens to vote on the matter, then spring the news of Walker’s pending exit stage left, then pick the next person, a person closely joined at the hip to current leadership. The voters should fill this appointment given the length of the term remaining. To the council you still have time to rewrite the final chapter of this tale. I suggest you do the right thing and stop playing games. Let the people speak and accept the outcome.
A Concerned and Vested Citizen,
M. Cecilia Cuevas


To the Editor:
In response to Gayle Washburn’s Letter to the Editor:
For the Benefit of the Public:
Expenses increased from 2009 and 2010 totaling almost $3 million, while it is true that expenses have increased, what you represent still does not cover the total increase to the $3 million. 2010 Expense increase = $1,300,000.00 based on your numbers; $1,000,000.00 was accounted for, for 2011 Expenses increased by $1,600,00.00 compared to 2009 (all number rounded to hundred thousand) again based on your numbers $1,000,000.00 accounted for (I believe but am not sure because you did not break it down by the year). Thus, there is still $900,000.00 (total for both years) still unaccounted for. Additionally, your numbers do not account for the 18% reduction in employee salaries, the 20% reduction in labor hour expense due to Furlough days, the reduction in expenses by a 25% reduction in workforce (25% reduction seems low due to open positions at city hall that have not been filled), and finally the reduction in employee benefits.
Since, as you say Salaries are one of the city’s biggest expenses the city has, than the actual expenses are significantly higher than what you are representing with your data. I would strongly suggest that you take another look at your expenses and determine how these reductions have affected the tax payers when expenses are apparently out of control. Since, you discuss pension and benefits, how much does the city manager pay to these accounts? My understanding is that the tax payers are paying all of her benefits and retirement.
Lastly, A mid-year budget review would indicate that the city manager and council made adjustments to the budget due to declining revenues, lawsuits and other increases in expenditures. When the city manager was asked about recommendations by Patti Walker and Steve Conway I believe her response was that she preferred to wait until the end of the budget cycle to make changes. Thus, your statement of a mid-year budget review was more of a "state of the city" address, in my opinion. I firmly believe that going forward the city council should request monthly financial statements and/or analysis be conducted, a true mid-year budget review should be conducted as well as a review of the cost of out of town consultants compared to the in town laid off employee should be conducted. I feel that these few steps could help to avert any additional budgetary gaps and will allow the city council to gain knowledge and data with regards to the effectiveness of its decisions.
Douglas Tucker, Fillmore Citizen

To the Editor:
Several years ago our then City Attorney, Roger Myers, gave me $50 to buy pies for needy families that could use the help with their Thanksgiving Dinner. Since then I have had donated “Pie Money” given by more people each year. These are people that aren’t going to be home for the Holiday or not able to take a pie on their trip.
Last year we changed the plan to give the pies to the Senior Center for their Thanksgiving Lunch and for The Meals on Wheels. It has worked very well.
So thanks to all that have given in the past and the ones that donated this year:
Marge Le Bard, Martha Gentry, Bev Gage-Haase, Kristy Dunst (San Cayetano teacher), Jim Herbert, Don Downey, Chris and Ernie Villegas, Helen and Doug Shaw, Kathy and Jim Le Bard, Jennifer Fitzpatrick (FHS teacher), Pam Garcia and Trinka Reynolds (Mortgage).
Raelene Chaney
Grad Nite Live