Letters to the Editor
September 17th, 2009

To the Editor:
Well it looks like the amazing Mr. Sipes is breaking out the cabal playbook to try and discredit Cecilia Cuevas for her eight years of commendable and dedicated service to the citizens of Fillmore. Contrary to Sipes’ twisted and closed mind, during her term on the City Council, Cecilia consistently made sound business decisions for Fillmore taking all the factors into consideration, particularly the financial aspects. Even though she and I didn’t see eye to eye on everything, when it came to city business involving financial issues, I had utmost respect for her knowledge. Unlike Mr. Sipes’ friends on the council today, she possessed an incredible ability to read and interpret spreadsheets, pro-formas and balance sheets.

While trying to provide political cover for the incompetence and hypocrisy of the current council majority (Walker, Washburn & Brooks), Sipes attempts to label Cecilia Cuevas as a big spender and supporter of management increases. What Sipes fails to tell you, Walker won’t, and Washburn & Brooks haven’t yet realized, is that they just approved the most costly budget in the history of Fillmore which included raises of 6% to 20% for management employees. Is this kind of reckless decision Mr. Sipes supports to “… make the City of Fillmore the best and most financially secure town in Ventura County”?

This is sheer incompetence of the highest order in the face of a severe economic downturn and knowing that there still may be severe budget cuts coming from Sacramento that could soon affect the Fillmore city budget. By the way, the only reason they were able to make these huge budget expenditures and to grant unprecedented raises is because of the fact that the prior City Council (including Cecilia Cuevas) left the city in great financial shape. Even Mayor Walker acknowledged this fact back in March 2009 when she reported that Fillmore's conservative budgeting has resulted in $1.8 million dollars in reserves and the City's economic health was just fine.

As I recall, Sipes along with his mentor Gary Creagle, and other cabal cronies Stroh, Washburn, Brooks, Westling and Walker have been the most outspoken critics of what they claimed were excessive management salaries that were too expensive for the little town of Fillmore. So how do they justify paying the new city manager $156,000 per year in salary with a total compensation package of over $240,000 ($37,000 more than the previous city manager) and giving 6% to 20% raises to other management employees? Mr. Sipes has conveniently forgotten complimenting Walker last year for voting against the budget because it contained management salary increases. What is different about the management salary increases Walker voted for this year and the ones she voted against last year?

You and your group are well recognized for your ability to disregard facts while continuing to talk out of both sides of your mouth, saying whatever is necessary to gain political traction at the moment. Yes, November 2010 should be interesting.
Ken Smedley

To the Editor:
On November 3rd, the registered voters in Fillmore will be asked to vote on Measure F which adversely impacts senior residents in El Dorado Estates. Measure F is labeled “The Fair Rent and Home Ownership Initiative.” An advertising piece recently mailed to Fillmore homes sells this measure as a solution to the growing financial burden to seniors with fixed incomes. It states, “With a small mortgage our cost per month would stay fixed.

That is important now that we are on a fixed income.” The fact is, property taxes would increase as an assessment would include both the mobile home and the space lot. Residents purchasing space lots would also be required to pay homeowner’s association dues. These additional costs alone guarantee that additional expenses would negatively affect fixed incomes. The mail piece states that individuals who purchase space lots in the park would have a say in keeping El Dorado a senior park. Once the first lot is purchased, the park owner has the option to convert El Dorado to an all age park. The bottom of the advertising piece says that it was paid for by “Residents for Fair Rent and Home Ownership Measure F Sponsored (sic) by El Dorado Estates (sic) a Limited California Partnership.

It’s interesting that “residents” of El Dorado paid to support Measure F. The park was recently surveyed regarding a yes or no vote on this measure. The results contradict that statement. There are 302 spaces in El Dorado with a large number vacant. The 135 surveys returned vote-NO, and 0-YES. This number represents approximately one half of the spaces in the park. Measure F is not good for the seniors at El Dorado. Protect our homes; vote NO on Measure F.
Sandra Pella, Voice of El Dorado HOA, President

To the Editor:
To Cecila Cuevas: Are you planning to run next year? Acceptable answer: NO!
To Roy Payne: Is there an opening in the city for an Oracle? You should apply.
Gloria Hansen,