Letters to the Editor
October 30th, 2008

To the Editor:
A vote for Gayle Washburn and Jamey Brooks is a vote for strong, sensible leadership. Gayle and Jamey have made a commitment to stop wasteful spending. They will work to form a city government structure that will live within its means.
Join me and vote for Gayle Washburn and Jamey Brooks – Fillmore City Council.
Sarah Hansen,

To the Editor:
ArtHarvest 2008 is over - and along with the inevitable back glancing to scrutinize our successes and failures comes the enjoyable task of doling out thanks to the many whose efforts congealed into a bona fide event! So here we go:
First and foremost thanks must go to Andrew Whaley of Coffeeboy, Wendy Hellstrom of Colors, Roberta Andrino, artist and teacher, Scott Duckett of the Fillmore Gazette, Penny Henschel of Ever After Designs, Kathy Vargas of Fillmore Mail Stop, Alex Mollkoy of AmPet, Bill Bartels of the City of Fillmore and our sponsor, Fillmore Ebell Club. These folks provided the go-juice that jumpstarted the whole event. Special thanks to Andrew for providing us with a meeting space and drinks and snacks to make those long evening meetings easier on our bellies. Blake Allred, Kathleen McCreary, Lynn Edmonds, Brian Hightower, Molly McGuire and Alex Mollkoy also played important roles in facilitating a flow of ideas from which to harvest the shape of the event.
Chalk Art sponsors were: Ludlum Landscaping, KSSP Photoraphic Studios, Edison’s Up in Arms, Curves, The Scented Path Apothecary, Fillmore Tattoo & Piercing, Giessinger Winery, Johanna’s Ice Cream & Candy, The Skateboard Shop, Gloria Cardona, Treasure Station, Tia’s House of Sweets, Lizette’s Jewelry/Telcel, Sandi Ward’s Crafts n Things, Terri’s Salon & Boutique, Central Station Bar & Grill, Central Music, and Aim Glass & Mirror as well as Cofeeboy, AmPet, and Colors. We applaud the imagination it took for you to participate in a vision. And what a beautiful reality occurred as a result.
Next, a hearty handshake to the volunteers who ran the chalk art festival and kids’s art project pavilion. You were great - and what a wonderful event you provided for the artists and children of Fillmore. Also, to Al Huerta, Bill Herrera and their volunteer fireman crew: your support and presence made everything work on Central Avenue. Plus you’re just such nice guys!
To the artists and musicians, more than fifty-seven individuals in all, you provided the sparkle and color to our street and sidewalks that we seldom get to see here. What a pleasure to host you right in downtown Fillmore. We hope you consider playing and displaying for us again
And finally to the merchants and businesses who opened their doors to the Fillmore citizenry and guests in order to provide them with a special occasion - we are most grateful for your hospitality. Just goes to show what we can do when we put our heads together!
Janine Rees and the ArtHarvest Committee
Fillmore, CA

To the Editor:
I have been a strong supporter of Gayle Washburn and Jamey Brooks for many years. The City of Fillmore needs elected officials that will listen to and represent the community. You will find that Gayle and Jamey will do just that. I know they will remain accountable to you as your representative on the Fillmore City Council.
Please cast your vote on November 4 for Fillmore City Council candidates Gayle Washburn and Jamey Brooks.
Jack Stethem,

To the Editor:
On November 4, the citizens of Fillmore have an opportunity to vote for change - a change for accountability, financial responsibility and integrity. A vote for Gayle Washburn and Jamey Brooks will bring the City of Fillmore back to the citizens of Fillmore.
Maryellen and Charley Alvarez,

To the Editor:
Mark Austin has served the city of Fillmore on the Planning Commission and has proven his ability to serve his community faithfully. In my opinion Mark listens to all sides of an issue, weighs the facts and can reach a decision on the matter. Mark is fair minded and is not afraid to roll up his sleeves to get work done. As past Chair of the Planning Commission he ran very efficient meetings and arrived prepared to conduct business. It’s my belief that he can bring solutions to the table and bridge the roles of policy maker and advocate. Mark is seeking office as a Fillmore School Board Member and for these reason I can recommend Mark Austin for the job.
Steve Conaway,

To the Editor:
M. Cecelia Cuevas has a grass roots campaign going. I think her grass roots are amazing. I assume she is talking about her hair. It can't be grass roots of voters. She has a whopping 2 voters who have contributed $25.00 or more. Now, if the population of Fillmore was 3 she would have a grass roots campaign. I'm gonna have to get up close and personal with her and see if I can find some green hair.
The Harrison garbage company had 4 people (Harrison family) donate $1,000 to Cecelia's campaign. Apparently, they think she's interested in their company because of all the garbage she puts out at City Council meetings and with her campaign.
Two builders who want to build in North Fillmore gave her the maximum law allows, $250. In return, Cecelia wants to give them the maximum number of homes to build. Cecelia is really fair like that. She gives back!
American Water has given Cecelia the maximum twice. I suppose it's because they know how to handle all of the sewerage at City Hall. Since American Water's bid was twice as high as PERC's, twice the maximum. Perc, obviously underestimated how much sewerage comes out of City Hall.
Some out of town lawyer gave her money. I thought it worked the other way around, you pay them a retainer.
California Rock gave her the maximum as well. We all can see why that happened, you know, the thing on her shoulders. I'm not saying she's stubborn, but have you heard her rants at council meetings?
So, we can see Cecelia's interests by looking at who gave her money. She likes 2 citizens, garbage, home builders, sewerage, rocks and a lawyer. Oh, Dr. Phil, I think we need your help.
Also, the debate that I attended had only 3 either against or withholding judgment about revisiting rent control.
Raul, you've heard us say many times that rent control is not mandatory if a law comes into place. You may choose a long term lease that is not bound by rent control. So why do you want to tell the rest of us what to do? We want lower rents and it will not come close to bankrupting the owner or management if we get it. It would be nothing like the hurt they put on many of us. There are ways to avoid becoming a family park and condoizing, so that is not in the picture. You have no legitimate argument to be against rent control. You just like being bossy. Did your HOA have an emergency disaster plan (other than running like heck)? This HOA has many C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team) graduates, taught by the Fire Department, in a block captain program to assist even you if disaster strikes El Dorado again. We have emergency equipment and are seeking to buy all the supplies the Fire Dept. has recommended we should have on hand. What better use could a HOA have than possibly saving the lives of our neighbors? Yes, this is being done by rent control people. I think this plainly shows the difference between you and me. 'Nuff said!
Dave Roegner,

To the Editor:
November 4th, 2008 election is fast approaching and we as voters must decide who shall fill the city council seats. The candidate shall have these following qualities.
Have served on one or more elected or appointed positions. Have served on one or more committees within the City. Have been active in various activities within the City. Have demonstrated their leadership in various positions, and have demonstrated their ability in resolving issues and concerns for the city and the public.
Steve Conaway has exhibited all of these qualities with integrity and honesty. These are the reasons we support Steve for City Council.
Ray and Judy Dressler,

To the Editor:
So now we are about to get into the voting booth to pick a leader. We have listened to all of the Song and Dance tunes and now we must decide which one's we liked the best. We have four great musicians.
Sen. Obama is a well educated and articulate man that has a team of fine advisors and money raisers. He chose Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate, who has years of political experience.
Sen. Obama has also some friends that don't really like the American way of life--but that's his privilege. He would like all of us to share our income, pay more tax and live happily ever after.
Then we have Sen. John McCain, well educated with experience and served in the United States Navy. He chose Sarah Palin as his running mate who is the Governor (direction and control) of the State of Alaska. She was also a mayor or chief magistrate of a city.
Sen. McCain also had some friends that did not really like the American way of life--he fought them with us in mind, and how he paid for it!
He would like all of us to be secure, have health insurance and pay less tax. We could live happily ever after.
I know what it cost John McCain to be a fighter. I cannot charge him more by not voting for him.
Robert Hansen
WWII Veteran

To the Editor:
At the October 21st City Council candidate forum, Gayle Washburn indicated that she would have increased City staff rather than hire consultants to design and build the water recycling project. Since Washburn is the only Council candidate advocating this method of doing business, let's consider the wisdom of this idea.
to staff this 6 year project the city would need to hire, provide office space, computers, printers and other office equipment, phone system etc for at least 35 specialists such as Environmental Planner, Waste Water Treatment process Engineer, Pipeline Engineer, Design Engineers, Project Engineers, Architect, Surveyors, Hydrogeolic Engineer and others.
Each of the professions would be utilized for from a few months to about four man years on this six year project. Their work load often starts and stops with many months of inactivity in between.
The city would have to offer very high rates of pay to attract quality personnel away from their employers to take a temporary job with Fillmore.
Not to mention the paid benefits and retirement.
Public agencies do not staff up to do short duration projects such as Fillmore's water recycling program but instead select qualified professional consultants to do the work with City staff and the City Council providing Policy and general oversight of the project.
We don't need to set up a constant Professional Staff vs Washburn on any future Projects by electing Her to the Council.
Ray Johnson

To The Editor:
As we approach the upcoming election, I would like to address one of the critical issues facing us here in Fillmore, which I have lived in for twenty years. I moved to the beauty and serenity of Fillmore to escape the oppressive congestion and pollution of the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys. To my great dismay, however, there has been a concerted effort for several years now to jeopardize the small-town character of Fillmore by excessive development, lately by planning to build 700 units in North Fillmore. Among other things, this would force the construction of a new street from North Fillmore to the north end of Central Avenue. As a result of this overcrowded development, there would be adverse impacts on air quality, infrastructure costs, and traffic (with significantly more congestion on Central Ave., A, B, C and D Streets down to Hwy 126).
Two candidates for city council, Gayle Washburn and Jamey Brooks, with whom I have spoken at length, are committed to mitigating this destructive plan. They are also determined to foster a more responsive, accountable and transparent city government to ensure the best interests of the people of Fillmore. Joining them in these goals are Clay Westling (for City Clerk) and Grace Donahue (for City Treasurer). Please vote YES for them and YES on Measures H and I. Our vote will have enormous consequences with respect to the character of our town for generations to come.
George Krestyn,

To the Editor:
Concerning Measures H & I:
Some reasons why the Citizens for Responsible Growth have put Measures H & I on next Tuesday’s ballot:
First, in order to help fulfill some of the goals set-forth in our Vision 2020 plan which states the North Fillmore area will be patterned after the traditional East part of town which has a density of 5-6 houses per acre. There are approximately 65 buildable acres in the 101 total acreage. If you multiply those 65 acres by 5 houses per acre you get 325 houses. Out of the goodness of our hearts we gave them 25 extra houses and that’s how we arrived at the 350 houses in North Fillmore.
Second, the Vision 2020 plan also states in the Vision Statement: “Preserve our small-town atmosphere and quality of life through slow, well planned growth in order to protect open space, allow agriculture to thrive and strengthen our local economy”. That’s where we differ with city staff on “small town atmosphere and quality of life”. We don’t believe our present quality of life will be enhanced by building 700 homes on those 65 buildable acres. At two cars per house minimum the 700 homes will generate nearly 2800 trips to and from work daily plus extra trips taking kids to and from school, for shopping, Little League and all the other miscellaneous trips we all must make daily. This all adds up to horrendous traffic, congestion, noise and air pollution on just A, B & C Streets through West Fillmore and all the added traffic on our freeways.
Third, looking at the Hillside Drive project it works like this: Assume the city is allowed to build the 700 houses. Once 480 houses are built no more can be built until after Hillside Drive is constructed. The owner of the orange orchard at the north end of Central Avenue where Hillside Drive must pass through to connect Goodenough and Central Avenues has no desire to sell his orchard. The city would have to take the land by Eminent Domain. If the 350 houses Measure I allows - there will be no need for a Hillside Drive project.
Finally, concerning Mr. Rieder’s proposed project just east of the Ameron plant, the city is going to allow him to build 51 dwellings on three acres; that’s a density of 17 houses per acre. Some of those lots will be just 37 feet wide and over half of the dwellings will be three stories high. If that isn’t the making of a drug saturated ghetto in a few years I’ll be greatly surprised.
The main thing most developers are interested in is making as much money as possible by building as many houses as possible as close together as possible and as high as possible. They leave town with the homeowners’ millions of dollars and the town gets all the resulting traffic and impacts on roads, schools, police, fire and city services.
One parting thought to chew on: If bigger were better – Los Angeles would be heaven!
Ralph Rees,
55 Year Resident of Fillmore

To the Editor:
I have a real problem understanding this party of four running for office especially Clay Westling who is saying he can do a better job than I have done. I always thought 2 + 2 was 4 but his figures come out different 2 + 2 is 3. Here is how I came to this conclusion. I worked for the City of Fillmore for over 8 years as Economic Development and retired. I was elected 2 times to be City Clerk and won, making me 8 years as City Clerk. Now Mr. Westling has never worked for the government, never been City Clerk and yet he can do a better job. He has these big ideas that he has thrown at you that make absolutely no sense if he actually knew anything about government and especially City Clerk. So if you add the same way I do you will vote for me, Shirley Spitler for City Clerk for the third time. And I might add I have lived here 48 years and he has lived here 7 and proclaims to know Fillmore better than I. Of those 48 years all but 3 of them I have been working, owned a business, volunteering for many organizations and all of this was done in Fillmore. What has Clay Westling done for this community? Let me see! He gets up at every council meeting and complains about something. Oh I forgot he is going to work at city hall 5 days a week from 8 - 5 and will be paid the same salary I am now getting, which is $25.00 per MONTH. Again I have a problem with his 2 + 2 = 3. I hope all of the citizens of Fillmore read this before you vote so you will know the real truth.
Thank you and please vote.
Shirley Spitler,
City Clerk

To the Editor:
Cecilia Cuevas and Steve Conaway think that in the last two years the one negative occurring on the council was the elimination of the Code of Ethics. Not our huge monthly sewer bills?
Cuevas and Conaway approved the expenditure of $80 million to fund the new plant. The primary contactor, American Water, paid Conaway’s way to Washington D.C. to sell their company to other mayors around the country. The New York law firm doing the project legal work said they could do it for $175 thousand. After Cuevas voted to approve their final add-on request for $60,000, bringing the total up to $475,000, she said they were doing a good job for us. Us? Hundreds of us asked council to put the project back out to bid, Gayle Washburn, in an effort to ease the burden on the rate-payers, had found at least three other companies that were interested and estimated they could do it for much less. Cuevas and Conaway said no.
By contrast, Santa Paula’s bids were too high; they started over. Their plant handles twice the sewage ours will and cost only $56 million; the builder is a company that said they could help Fillmore.
I trust Gayle Washburn and Jamey Brooks to look deep before rendering decisions that impact the community. They haven’t been funded by outside interests or developers and are not supported by ex-mayor-turned lobbyist, Roger Campbell. They are supported by Fillmore folks who just want our elected officials to look out for our best interests.
Bob Stroh,

To the Editor:
Response to letter of 10-16-08 from David Roegner
David gets everything mixed up when he writes a letter to the editor. He said “everyone said yes” about revisiting rent control. In fact the only ones that said yes were Washburn and Brooks. Pennington “Maybe”-- Martinez“ Not Sure”, Conaway and Cuevas both “No” That means only “TWO” said yes. David said “Cecilia’s excuse was that it created divisiveness in El Dorado” David, it did more than that in El Dorado. It was the most disruptive mess to ever hit our park, thanks old buddy. It turned neighbor against neighbor. With phony accusations, outright lies and name calling. Why David? Mr. Roegner states “We wanted a Real HOA”. Typically, HOA is formed to oversee the maintenance of common areas (Common Ground), such as roads, parks, recreation facilities, landscaping, Painting, insurance, regular maintenance etc, are Included in the HOA dues. HOA dues are calculated by dividing the cost of improvement by the number of years until the improvements are made. (David, Ask Paul or Joyce Schifanelli, where are our common areas. I wonder how much their DUES were at their last HOA residence), Bet, not a DOLLAR a month) One of the hidden responsibilities of a Real True HOA is to negotiate a lease with park Management and Ownership. (Kenneth Creason’s March 31-2004)Since there are no COMMON AREAS in our case, and at best this is a TENANT Association.--WE ALL PAY RENT (To a Landlord).
Raul Torres of El Dorado

To the Editor:
I have known Mark Austin for over 10 years and had the opportunity to work with him while on the Planning Commission.
I find Mark to be a problem solver with a strong capability to work to unite both sides. Mark believes in local control at the school district level and will stand strong to fight for our children.
I know Mark will be an effective advocate to assure our children get the type of public schools we can be proud of. Mark is committed to raising standards and expectations so our children get the quality education we strive for.
Mark Austin is a well respected member and supporter of our community. I hope you will join me and vote for Mark Austin, Fillmore School Board on November 4.
Patti Walker,

To the Editor:
I have been a resident of Fillmore for over 2 years know and have enjoyed living in this community. My daughter is 5 years old and is in her 2nd year of AYSO. We usually have practices at Shields park and when I got there last week the whole Raiders Football Team(s) were taking up the whole park! I was told that they are taking over Shields Park starting today. My daughter will no longer have her usually ( 1 ) practice a week. They only have 2 weeks left and they allow the Football team to take over the field. Not only that they had the lights on for them. My daughters team has been practicing in the dark for the last couple of weeks. It seems the City rather have the football team take over the field then have the AYSO finish off there last 2 weeks of the season. I payed money to have my daughter play AYSO and know all she has to look forward to is 2 last games! I pay property taxes. It is just simply not fair. I am not even sure if I will sign my daughter up again for next year. I am really disappointed with the City for allowing this. This whole soccer season I have not seen 1 picture of a child playing soccer in the newspaper. Oh but you always see Football pictures! I am considering signing up my daughter in the Ventura league. They seem to be fair to all kids in sports!
Yolanda Santa Rosa,

To the Editor:
Re: Fillmore Senior Center
Years ago we had an active and interesting senior center, which unfortunately due to lack of tender loving care faded almost into nonexistence.
Good news! Like the legendary Phoenix rising from the ashes I see new life burgeoning. We have a new Board of Directors with new ideas, we have volunteers conducting great programs, and I sense new enthusiasm by the community at large.
There is a lot of activity going on now and I am sampling some of the activities offered just to see what “fits” with me. I live in the rural area of Fillmore, but have been made more than welcome on the Monday “Nature” walks conducted by Sarah Hansen. (These are not really just nature walks, but local history, landmarks, etc. and very enjoyable). I was then convinced to try out the Yoga Stretch class on Tuesdays at 9:00…Janine from The Scented Path conducts the class; I couldn’t believe you could do Yoga in a chair. This class is wonderful if you need to get the “kinks” out. Wednesday and Friday you can participate in Yvette Chavez’ Stretch Band and Cardio sessions…a good “low impact” tailor made class. I have joined in a couple of craft classes on Friday, and now the center offers Wana Klassen’s watercolor classes that has sparked a lot of interest. The Book Club, under the direction of Sarah Hansen, meets on the third Wednesday of the month with a lively discussion, as well as great camaraderie. Computer Classes are going great guns, they are so popular there is even a waiting list and they are hoping to expand the computer lab.
There are a lot of changes going on in the senior center itself, Lori Nunez greets everyone with a smile and explains the activities that are available, she has made the various areas attractive and welcoming. Some of the improvements are new furniture in the TV area, the thrift store area is undergoing renovation as a reading/game room, a salad bar to supplement the standard lunch once a week is in progress, and many other activities.
I am impressed and applaud all who are giving of their time and talents to restore our Senior Center. You have got to drop by and see it for yourself.
Donna Voelker,

To the Editor:
Concerning Prop. 8
There have been many arguments stating various reasons for voting yes or no on the Protect Marriage Amendment to the State Constitution, also known as Proposition 8. All arguments and opinions offered so far have stated human views on whether marriage should only be legal between a man and a woman, or between any combination of persons. No on, I have observed, has stated what God has said about marriage.
I'm not a prophet, priest, pastor or phony, just an average guy who believes what God said in his love letter to mankind, the Bible, concerning marriage. In Matthew, Chapter 19 verses 4 & 5 the Bible states "it is written that at the beginning God created man and woman and that a man should leave his father & mother and be forever united to his wife." And in Luke 10:6 Jesus again says "For from the very first He made man and woman to be joined together permanently in marriage." In Romans 7:2 it states "when a woman marries, the law binds her to her husband as long as he is alive." Lastly Hebrews 13:4 God says "Honor your marriage and its vows, and be pure, for I will surely punish all those who are immoral or commit adultery."
This whole controversy centers on who should marry whom and on nothing else. Romans 1:26 puts it very plainly when it says "That is why God let them go and let them do all these evil things, so that even their women turned against God's natural plan for them and indulged in sex with each other. And the man, instead of having normal sex relationship with women, burned with lust for each other, men doing shameful things with other men and as a result, getting paid within their own souls with the penalty they so richly deserve. Finally in 1 Timothy 1:10 it says "Those who live immoral lives, who are idol worshipers, adulterers or homosexuals will have no share in his Kingdom."
Consider this musing. Haven’t you heard it said that all sorts of natural disasters are termed "Acts of God"? Isn't it coincidental that 800 + bolts of lightning came showering down over central California starting hundreds of fires, exactly two days after four Supreme Court justices declared a new "right" to same-sex marriage this past June. In my opinion I hate to contemplate what kind of "Acts of God" will happen if millions of voters turn down Prop. 8 this November 4.
It seems abundantly clear from what the Bible says that God intends for marriage to be for one man and one woman. If we mess with that, eventually we will pay a high price one way or another.
Ralph Page,

To the Editor:
The hallmark of the Brooks/Washburn City Council Campaign is City Mismanagement.
Is it mismanagement for Mayor Conaway and Mayor Pro tem Cuevas to go to Washington and convince FEMA that their model of the railroad penetration of the Sespe Levy Was wrong? Is it mismanagement For City staff to work With FEMA to challenge the Models being used for the 126 Sespe bridge Flow? It is Financially imperative for the west Fillmore residents to continue The momentum on this challenge of FEMA flood zone maps.
Is it mismanagement to build an Industry standard MBR Waste Water Treatment Plant with an expected 50 year life expectation And probably of membrane development to meet future regulations and extend lifetime?
Is it mismanagement to include recyled water usage in the project? State water management has already announced a not too far away "Requirement" to use treated water for irrigation. We are already there due to the Staff and Council foresight to Conserve the water rather than discharge water to the river.Is that mismanagement?
Is having a swim and tennis facility under construction mismanagement?
Is having a new 22 acre park with play fields and a skateboard park
under construction mismagement?
Is it mismanagement to work with property owners and developers to develop the southwest business park, bringing jobs and income to Fillmore.
Ray Johnson