Letters to the Editor
October 23rd, 2008

To the Editor:
A few years ago, a Fillmore grandmother actually wired “bail” money to a complete stranger who posed as a friend if her grandson .I remembered her when I received a phone call this week.
The caller said ‘This is your grandson’ I answered which one and all he repeated is ‘your favorite, of course’ At this point, since I didn’t recognize his voice, I said ‘ are you Annette’s Michael?’ He said “YES!’ I need help, I’m in Canada and got arrested and need bail money. At this point, I remembered the other grandmother and hung up. I have no grandson named Michael. The phone company said they could not trace the call.
I suggest if this happens to you, get his information – where to send the money, etc. Maybe we can stop this scam before any other grandmother is hurt.
This is also being used in the Bakersfield area!
Marjorie R. Aguirre,

To the Editor:
Thank you for the invitation to be part of the City Council Candidate Forum on October 21. I highly respect the League of Women Voters and appreciate the great work they do in every election. Also, I have enjoyed and respected the Fillmore Gazette since its beginnings. Therefore, I was looking forward to the possibility of this forum. However, I am not able to attend the candidate forum. My wife Lynne has been entitled to a free trip to Hawaii for over a year and half. The trip was of course scheduled long before we heard of the forum. I have never been to Hawaii, so Aloha. I am sure the Gazette and the League of Women Voters will host a fine educational forum. Thanks again for your efforts in bringing this event to our community.
Jamey Brooks,

To the Editor:
I really like the way our current city public works manager keeps reminding people that the Central drain will curb flooding woes for everybody, it will really help out for the propose Foothill build out also, do you think! Oh Joy MORE TRAFFIC AND SCHOOL CROWDING. I am glad that over in North Fillmore, 3rd and A st area we won’t be flooded out, but then again that was fixed 8 years or so ago so what up City Hall? More half truths on what’s really taking place in our future. I am also so glad that we have put in a school/public pool as WE THE PEOPLE have been paying for it for 3 years, as for the MULTI MILLIONS of dollars spent on this town in last several years WE THE PEOPLE will be paying for that FOR YEARS to come also, and how nice we gave our city managers raises, one got $12,000.00 a year, remember WE THE PEOPLE are paying that raise along with ALL of the great new developments (multi millions) our local leader have put in the past several years.
If North Fillmore builds out like OUR current city leaders want WE THE PEOPLE need come up with lots more money to support roads, fire department, police, storm water, sewer, water and just every day maintenance, OH did I mention a NEW SCHOOL also! The Middle School cost WE THE PEOPLE $18,000,000.000 and it is over crowded so WE THE PEOPLE will need to fund a new one when WE BUILD OUT North Fillmore and Foothill drive areas along with the homes in the river bottom.
WE THE PEOPLE need to GET OUT AND VOTE, NEW LEADERSHIP IS NEEDED, SUPPORT MEASURES H and I STOP THE BUILD OUT!! We need leaders who listen to LOCAL PEOPLE and not the pipe dreams OUTSIDERS sell! We need to FIX what we have now, people will say it will cost us money to stop it, but it won’t cost as much as ALL OF THE ABOVE put together.
Tom Dawson,
20 years North Fillmore

To the Editor:
The most serious issue relating to development in North Fillmore is the truth! This area has been studied and planned for a maximum of 700 homes over the course of development, however long that takes, 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now. The North Fillmore Specific Plan (NFSP) is a plan that provides orderly development of a variety of housing types and an opportunity for neighborhood retail. It is NOT, a project of affordable housing! Fifteen percent (15%) of the total built is required to be affordable. As I walk the community, I am constantly asked, “Is the City building high density low income housing in North Fillmore?” The City doesn’t build anything! The City is responsible for the planning of orderly development that pays its own way. Under the current NFSP, all 14 property owners are held to an orderly planned community, not hodge podge, dependent on the developer’s whim or budget. Each is held to the financing of infrastructure and open space. If the plan is abandoned, there will be no funding mechanism in place to ensure all mitigation is completed and all open park space is purchased. Vote NO on Measures H & I!
Cecilia Cuevas,

To the Editor:
There has been much talk, rumor and innuendo going around town concerning city staff and the desire of future or current council member’s ability to fire various employees. This topic has been discussed from the dais. It is time to set the record straight in print.
I, Jamey Brooks nor Gayle Washburn have [n]ever indicated that there is a desire to “get rid of several city staff so they can put in their own people.” Every city employee knows full well that the city council has control over only two employees - the city manager and city attorney. The only way to remove either is when their individual contracts expire or for just cause. Only the city manager can hire or fire an employee. Even then the city manager’s actions are governed by the City Employee Handbook.
I am a supporter of Jamey Brooks and Gayle Washburn for City Council, Clay Westling for City Clerk and Grace Donahue for City Treasurer. I hope the majority of the people of Fillmore will join me on November 4.
Patti Walker,

To the Editor:
A Response to Shirley Spitler's Letter:
Elections should be a time when idea's and solutions are brought to the table so a city can fully acknowledge what democracy sincerely means; the will of the people. I find this election season more malicious and lacking much substance compared to the 2006 and 2004 election. We the people should be demanding that all candidates bring forth their idea's so that the voter will have a clear distinction on whom will represent them fairly and most importantly respectively. The incumbents, Steve Conaway and M. Cecilia Cuevas have the most to answer for since they are requesting to be re-elected for another four years. Their past votes and ethical conduct are what matters in this election, not personalities or who ranks high in popularity.
After reading Shirley Spitler's letter, I can honestly say I wasn't too surprised by tone and the content that she without any reservation evoked to the public. Thereby, I am befuddled by some of Shirley's remarks:
"If Mr. Brooks and Ms. Washburn win they along with Ms. Walker will have majority vote. Their goal is to “Bring Back Our Town”, which was fine until they decided to create so much friction and time for city staff. And by the way they want to get rid of several city staff so they can put in their own people. It will be a horrific scene when they run the council and city staff."
Shirley, the words you use such as "friction" and "Demeaning" with respect to candidates Washburn and Brooks are in itself hypocritical.
I remember not too long ago in the 2006 city council election you wrote a vile and untrue letter about Patti Walker seizing the opportunity to be a "Dictator" and how "Polarizing" Patti Walker was in her first term in office. Who is causing the friction at this moment in time? By the tone of your letter, I see the friction that you are causing just as you did in 2006 and 2004.
I would like the opportunity to let the people of Fillmore know just how dedicated Gayle Washburn has been on making the City of Fillmore a more fiscally responsible government when decisions were made on the infamous sewer plant. Gayle Washburn spent countless hours and days bringing forth viable solutions and ideas to the city council and city staff with the remote possibility that the ratepayers would not be responsible for such a monstrosity in sewer rates. That has been Gayle's sole purpose here, no masked agendas as some incumbents have alluded to. It would be appropriately wise to mention that the research that was done by Gayle Washburn was completed on her own time and without being compensated for such tedious research. That should in itself speak in volumes on what kind of city council member Gayle Washburn would be and the forward thinking she would bring to the city council. Gayle Washburn is a problem solver.
On a personal level, Gayle Washburn has not once ever demeaned a city council member as well as the city staff. The probity of Gayle Washburn is a valued trait that Fillmore hungers for at this moment in time. I trust that clears one of Shirley's squeamish, nonsensical assertions with respect to Gayle Washburn's ethical character.
As for Jamey Brooks, the same could be said of why Jamey is pursuing elected office. Jamey Brooks wants to bring forth fiscal responsibility and the idea that citizens have every right to remain active in the decision making process in our local government without being disenfranchised and denigrated. A good example would be of the North Fillmore growth measures that are on your ballot this year. Jamey Brooks among others have diligently worked hard to bring these local measures to the voters hands. That is democracy pure and simple. I can honestly say that if Jamey Brooks or Gayle Washburn were on the city council today, Jamey nor Gayle would never promote or float the idea that the City of Fillmore and potential developers should originate lawsuits against the citizens of Fillmore who authored or who supports these local measure's. Steve Conaway along with Cecilia Cuevas both tag teamed this destructive notion.
As for Patti Walker and Gary Creagle, well, you won't find them on the ballot. There are so many critical issue's Fillmore is up against and the constant diversions made by the same few individuals just deter possible solutions. This will only enhance failure.
In closing, Trinka Reynolds and I are most proud and honored to endorse the following for Fillmore City Council - Gayle Washburn and Jamey Brooks.
Fillmore City Clerk - Clay Westling
Fillmore City Treasurer- Incumbent-Grace Donahue.
It's my hope that all registered voters of Fillmore will join us in supporting these fine slate of candidates because they will be on YOUR side of the isle.
Thank you,
Trinka Reynolds and Brian N. Sipes,
Small business owners of Fillmore since 1978

To the Editor:
RE: Shirley Spitler letter
Are we dealing with times of desperation or times for a change?
Desperation in my opinion means High Sewer Rates. Do I pay my Sewer Bill, Groceries or my Medication? High Density in North Fillmore, Crime, Traffic and a City Council who does not listen to their Constituents.
As for you Shirley Spitler, it seems your running scared. You’re scared of "CHANGE" and scared the Public is tired of not being heard. Scared of you losing your seat, a seat you earned during the past Election, yet you don't do your Elected Duties. The City Management has replaced you with 2 Deputies who are City employees. Never did your Constituents elect them. The Public did not know that, they do now. These Deputy City Clerks do not live in the City of Fillmore and there is no accountability if they act in error.
OOPS has been the response over and over.
No More!
Accountability, Responsibility and Transparency are what we want. We want those Elected to do their part to balance hired City Employees with Elected Officials, to all participate in the Balance of Government.
Checks and Balance, sounds good to me, why does that scare you?
What is wrong with that Shirley Spitler?
Oh by the way, the 1994 Earthquake was 14 years ago, that is the past. We are dealing with the present and our future.
Yes! Washburn, Brooks, Westling and myself Grace Donahue, "We Want Our Town Back". We want back Responsibility, Transparency, Empathetic small town Democracy. Nothing wrong with that!
We want balance in Government.
Checks and Balance!
Next time you use my name, "Grace Donahue", please use it with respect. Because my agenda is for the people and my home Town, Fillmore California.
Not yours and not City Management. But for my constituents, who are residents of Fillmore California.
Grace Donahue,
Treasurer of the City of Fillmore

To the Editor:
Right now I’m looking at a letter from the City to a North Fillmore developer dated June 6, 2008 asking for money so the City can pay Roy Payne for billed time on his project. That’s for the guy wanting to be shown the money.
But what’s important is that we don’t fall for the “sky is falling” tactics when we consider how we vote on city measures H and I and council candidates. Ask yourself, do you want traffic to more than double all over town and a road going from North Fillmore to the north end of Central Ave? Or would you prefer North Fillmore property owners to be able to develop at a lower density that will eliminate the need for a new road to Central and create a more tolerable traffic level? We are faced with a decision that will forever change our city so it needs to be right.
Gayle Washburn and Jamey Brooks have worked on these measures because they feel it’s right for Fillmore; that’s why I’m supporting them and I hope you will consider casting your vote for both of them on Nov. 4.
Bob Stroh,

To the Editor:
Looking at Jamey Brooks website for the city council election which also promotes Gale Washburn among others. This website lists a number of reasons he believes that Fillmore is being mismanaged.
One reason alleges that the bus stop shelter, which in fact was built the wrong height, cost $800,000. Reverend Brooks and self described project analyst Washburn know that money includes completely rebuilding the senior center parking lot which eliminated entry flooding among other things.Continuing to represent the $800,000 as being only for the shelter is at best ,misleading, disingenuos and wrong.
A theme running through the website concerns "out of town top managers", and "high pay". For at least two years I have heard Reverend Brooks compare other cities top managers salary to Fillmore top managers total compensation package. the last time he addressed the City Council on this issue he was careful to state "total compensation" but didn't compare to other cities total compensation. Why the deceptive data?
The out of town managers not caring about the town is ludicrous. How many of you have alwayslived where you worked? Not many Iwould presume! For the most part, I have observed that people do their utmost to support their employers best interest. To suggest otherwise is self serving.
Does anyonewant to apply this kind of judgement to our school teachers, volunteer fire and emts and police, many of whom do not live in Fillmore? Thimk about it!
Ray Johnson,

To the Editor:
Before the citizens of Fillmore vote on Nov. 4th I hope they all consider what will happen if a slate of people get elected. I don't want to get into how divisive this group has been for the last two to four years. Or how much miss information they have spead through out our town. Or how they have not had any constructive ideas. Right now we have 5 very different people on the city council and that is good for our town. I would ask the voters of Fillmore to really look at all the positive leadership that this City Council has shown and reelect Steve Conaway and Cecelia Cuevas. Lets keep moving in a positive direction.
There is one race in Fillmore that may go largely unnoticed. The position of City Treasurer . It is very important to have the City Treasurer available during normal business hours. Our present Treasurer was appointed a short time ago (not elected) and was available at that time. However now Grace Donuhue works out of town and is not able to carry out her duties as Treasurer. For that reason and that reason alone I hope the voters of Fillmore will elect Norma Gutierrez ( she works in the city's finiance department). It just makes common sense, she is there every day.
Roger Campbell retired Mayor of Fillmore

The supporters of Measure H and I have been misleading the public about Measure H and I. For example, campaign signs and posters in support of Measure H and I say “stop eminent domain to stop Hillside Drive”. Read Measure H and Measure I, there is not one word in either measure about eminent domain. So if eminent domain is not mentioned in Measure H and Measure I, how can those measures stop eminent domain? The answer is they cannot and do not.
In the voter pamphlet, the rebuttal to the argument against Measure I (signed by Gayle Washburn, Paul Tholl, Dorsey Smith, Jamey Brooks and Clay Westling) states “The North Fillmore Plan requires the taking of a citizen's property through Eminent Domain.” This is also false. There is not one word in the North Fillmore Plan or the North Fillmore environmental impact report (EIR) that mentions eminent domain or the taking of property. So why do the supporters of Measure I make these misleading statements? There are, I believe, a couple of reasons. First, Page 4-13.6 of the North Fillmore EIR states “The Hillside Drive extension is part of the planned future circulation system. In the 2003 Fillmore General Plan Circulation Element Update and the Citywide Traffic and Circulation Impact Study, Hillside Drive is shown connecting “A” Street and Central Avenue in north Fillmore. The Hillside Drive extension will provide a new roadway linking the northwest and northeast portions of the City of Fillmore. New traffic would be introduced along Central Avenue”. Second, mitigation measure T-1(b) of the EIR states “No more than 480 residences shall be built within the North Fillmore Specific Plan area prior to completion of the planned Hillside Drive extension”. Based upon these two statements, I think the supporters of Measures H and I have erroneously and deceitfully jumped to their own conclusions for their own political purposes in an attempt to discredit the current city council and staff and to evoke fear in the minds of the voters.
Let’s talk about eminent domain. The State and all local governments are authorized and entitled to exercise the power of eminent domain for public purposes pursuant to Article I, Section 19 of the California Constitution. The State and local governments may only exercise the power of eminent domain for the purpose of acquiring private property for a public work or improvement. Is the City required to use eminent domain to move forward with the legally adopted North Fillmore Plan? The answer is no. First, the North Fillmore Plan says 480 units can be built in north Fillmore without Hillside Drive, and second once 480 units are built, the City can say no to any developer who wants to build additional units unless that developer secures the property for Hillside Drive through the normal real estate negotiation process of a willing buyer and a willing seller. Can the City of Fillmore use eminent domain even if Measure I is approved? The answer is yes. As stated above, nothing in Measure H or I prevent the use of eminent domain, and if in the future the City decides that Hillside Drive is needed as a public improvement for the health and safety of the community, then in accordance with the State Constitution the City could acquire the property through eminent domain even if Measure H and I are approved. Measure H and I have nothing to do with eminent domain and it is misleading for Gayle Washburn, Paul Tholl, Dorsey Smith, Jamey Brooks and Clay Westling to say otherwise.
Here are some other misleading statements made by the supporters of Measures H and I. At the September 23, 2008 City Council meeting the Fillmore Gazette reports "Gloria Hansen spoke in favor of Measure I. She said that North Fillmore residents have been telling the Council for three years that they do not want 700 units on 60 acres". 700 units on 60 acres equal 11.67 units per acre. The fact is that the City's North Fillmore plan calls for 700 units on 100 acres which equals 7 units per acre. Not quite the high-density that Gloria Hansen and the supporters of Measure I would like you to believe. The overall density of the North Fillmore plan is well under the maximum density of the 2003 General Plan and is in full compliance with the City’s adopted General Plan. Gayle Washburn, in the Fillmore Gazette blog of 10/13/08 stated “The project was never feasible at 700 homes anyway due to the high cost of the infrastructure”. However, Section 7.3 of the North Fillmore plan states “The financing and maintenance plan for the Specific Plan Area is intended to ensure the timely completion of public facilities, streets, utilities, and other necessary capital improvements, as well as the proper maintenance of these facilities. A Master Infrastructure Report prepared by Jensen Design & Survey, Inc., dated May 2005 and a Fiscal Impact Study prepared by Economics Research Associates, dated February
7, 2006 have been prepared for the North Fillmore plan. No EIR, infrastructure plan or financial plan has been prepared for either Measure H or Measure I and it will be very expensive for the City to prepare these plans if Measures H and I are approved by the voters.
Both Gayle Washburn and Clay Westling want to put 52 affordable housing units that are planned for North Fillmore in somebody else’s neighborhood and if Measures H and I are passed that is what they will try to do. Gayle Washburn, in her letter to the Editor on 10/2/08 stated “The issues are the number of affordable homes not built in North Fillmore. That could be resolved by planning 52 more affordable homes elsewhere in Fillmore”. Clay Westling, in his letter to the Editor on 10/2/08 stated “According to the city’s report, on the initiative, passing the Initiative will require the planning for 52 affordable homes in areas other than North Fillmore. Big Deal. I can drive around town this morning and find locations to plan for 52 low-income homes”. Gayle and Clay, it is a big deal. First, it will cost the City time and money to find the locations for those 52 affordable homes that you do not want in north Fillmore and second it requires an EIR, a public hearing, an opportunity for the neighbors who may not want an affordable housing unit next to their home to speak and be heard and the preparation and approval by the State of a revised Housing Element. Without Measures H and I this expensive work does not need to be done.
In the voter pamphlet, the rebuttal to the argument against Measure I (signed by Gayle Washburn, Paul Tholl, Dorsey Smith, Jamey Brooks and Clay Westling) states “Measure I will allow for a 10-acre park and for Ameron to expand their operations if desired”. Read the words carefully. “Will allow for a 10-acre park” means somebody else will pay for it but we do not know who because Measure I has no EIR or financial plan and we don’t know where the park will go or whose private property we are going to take to build the park. On the other hand the existing North Fillmore plan provides for 15 acres of park land, has an approved EIR and a financial plan to pay for the park. Regarding allowing “Ameron to expand their operations if desired”, read Measure I and read the North Fillmore plan, they both state “Existing industrial uses will be allowed to continue in their present state, expand or be modified subject to section 7.5 of the North Fillmore Specific Plan”. So Measure I offers no new protections for Ameron. The protections are already in place and Measure I supporters are trying to mislead the voters by suggesting that Measure I is needed to protect Ameron. Ameron is already protected by the legally adopted North Fillmore plan.
If the supporters of Measures H and I are using this many misleading, non-factual statements (there are many others) to convince voters to vote for these ill-conceived measures, then I can only imagine that this same misinformation was used to convince the people to sign the petition for these two initiatives in the first place. As Martin Farrell stated in his editorial of October 16, 2008 “Though I supported Measure H and I in the beginning, I now see they were (as previous Measures) carelessly drafted and, if passed, will cost Fillmore many millions of dollars in lawsuit damages. Vote NO on Measure H and I”.
Roy Payne
Fillmore City Manager (1989-2005)

To the Editor:
As I see it...!"
As the man with a hundred eyes what else can I do, but tell it as I see it!
I am, however, faced with a bit of a dilemma. What will I have to do in order to also be allowed to exceed the 250 word limitation. You know, like that guy a few weeks ago that sputtered and rambled on for what seemed like forever. You know who I'm talking about. You know, "whats-iz-name."
Oh well, it'll come to me, just give it some time. Anyway, this guy, he's a real work of art. He spends well over a thousand words; first attacking what this guy said... and then that other guy....and without even coming up for air – he plunges head first after his next victim. I mean this guy is a real Rocky Balboa. He's either the underdog he claims to be, or he's a rattlesnake plunging his venom when and where he can.
As I see it...
From venom to roses – from bitter lemon to sweeet molasses, he pats himself on the back (puts me in mind of the Cheshire Cat) as he proclaims of his own exalted importance, how he's so selflessly given to this poor little - oh so needful town. How he's invested so many years, or was it decades...[Reading it--felt more like centuries.) All for the town he loves so much. The town he's sacrificed so much for. His very own "Beloved" town of Fillmore.
Oh, come on people, you know who it is I'm talking about. What's his name? It's right on the tip of my tongue, but I can't spit it out. Speaking of which, that's another thing this guy always does; he ALWAYS leaves a real bad taste in my mouth. Maybe that's why I'm having such a hard time remembering his name – selective memory!
I know you know-- who I'm talking about. You know!..that guy who used to be the City Manager. That guy who loves this town so much he moved to another town. That guy who's retired on the city's coffers, invented a new (city and developer funded) position for himself and is always spouting off all the many reasons why Fillmore residents have to do this, or pay for that, or cannot do this thing or that thing. That guy who lives in another town and (just like an unwanted house-guest) just..will..Not..GO AWAY!!!
As I see it, (in my most humble opinion) HE IS A ROYAL PAIN IN THE *** !
Oh, now I remember his name...it's Roy AL. Payne
Sly-er than the sly-est fox — Busier than the busiest bee
Never to leave, forever to stay — won't he...oh, won't he; just please go away
He flutters about and loudly he brays — puffs out his chest as he most brazenly says;
"That is not caviar on my chin that you see --- and all that silver?... can't trace it to me!"
Be alert, all you people, and you just might see...
A sly, busy beaver, peeking from behind your own tree.
In my opinion, this is quite simply "As I See It".
Todd Vandemheen,