Letters to the Editor
March 22, 2018

To the Editor:
We would like to thank the Lions Club of Fillmore for their continued support of the arts programs at Fillmore High School. Their generous donation to the upcoming April Arts show will allow us to continue putting on this event. On behalf of the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Fillmore High School, thank you!
Rosalind Mitzenmacher, Visual & Performing Arts Dept. Chair
Fillmore High School


Letters to the Editor
February 29, 2018

To the Editor:
The Fillmore Basin, an aquifer that sits below the city and extends beneath the Santa Clara River locally, is the only source of water for local residents and farmers.
But the safety of this basin and its water supplies is currently under threat from plans by the oil industry to double the size of the Sespe Oilfield uphill from the city, which would over time allow for hundreds of new oil wells to be drilled in an area where around 400 oil wells are already located.
California’s Department of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources, DOGGR for short, has been planning for this expansion for some years now. Unfortunately their 159-page analysis of this proposal omitted any discussion of the risk to the Fillmore Basin from an earthquake on the active San Cayetano fault, which runs east/west close to the north end of Goodenough Road.
The San Cayetano fault has been studied in published journals. In December 2001, the
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America published an article that concluded that the fault’s last major quake, in around 1812, caused the ground along the fault to shift by 4.3 meters, at an estimated 7.5 on the Richter Scale.
While DOGGR concluded that the Fillmore Basin is safe from oilfield contamination, the seismological evidence suggests otherwise. A major quake would disrupt oil wells, their casings and the multiple pipelines across the Sespe Oilfield, which is only about a half mile uphill from the Fillmore Basin’s northern edge, near the end of Goodenough Road. DOGGR conducted no risk assessment of this fault - though they know it’s there - and no analysis of how a major quake could pollute the Fillmore Basin.
Then there’s the one big pipeline that transports all the oil from the oilfield down the hill past Fillmore. It actually crosses the faultline. This represents another potential hazard to the Fillmore Basin in an earthquake.
There are hundreds of wells in the Sespe Oilfield already. Adding perhaps hundreds more only puts Fillmore’s water supply at increased risk. The City of Fillmore wrote opposing this proposal. The Fillmore Basin’s management board just voted to send a letter expressing their concern.
The people of Fillmore have an opportunity to voice their own concerns. On Tuesday March 06, at Fillmore’s Active Adult Center, 533 Santa Clara Street, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., local groups have organized a letter-writing campaign opposing this oilfield expansion. Please come along for a few minutes!
Alasdair Coyne,
Keep Sespe Wild,
PO Box 715, Ojai


Letters to the Editor
February 22, 2018

To the Editor:
Fillmore residents and businesses can save 4% on their electricity bills, while also getting more renewable energy, by joining Clean Power Alliance (CPA). The city council has until March 27 to join Clean Power Alliance at no cost. All cities in Ventura County were invited to join CPA back in November. Since then, the cities of Moorpark, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, Simi, Oxnard, Ojai, and unincorporated Ventura County have all voted to join, leaving just Fillmore, Santa Paula, Port Hueneme and Ventura yet to decide. It would be a shame if ratepayers in Fillmore have to pay more and get dirtier energy than their neighbors because city staff and city council failed to prioritize this and act in time.
Hopefully they will do the right thing and join. By way of background, the Clean Power Alliance is a newly formed local not-for profit public agency that provides electricity. It serves an alternative to our current provider, SoCal Edison. Clean Power Alliance produces or purchases electricity, while Edison still delivers the electricity and handles billing.
The resulting benefits are cost savings, cleaner energy, customer choice and greater local control. If Fillmore joins, every customer will get to choose if they want cheaper, cleaner energy through CPA or to stay with Edison, and they get to select their preferred level of renewable energy - 36%, 50%, or 100%. Projected cost savings are 4% at the lowest renewable tier and 3% at the middle renewable tier compared to Edison standard rates. Why not join?
Michelle Ellison


Letters to the Editor
January 24, 2018

To the Editor:
We would like to thank the Soroptomists International Club of Fillmore for their continued support of the arts programs at Fillmore High School. Their generous donation to the upcoming April Arts show will allow us to continue putting on this event. On behalf of the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Fillmore High School, thank you!
Rosalind Mitzenmacher,
Visual & Performing Arts Dept. Chair, Fillmore High School


Letters to the Editor
January 17, 2018

To The Editor:
I was wondering what they’re going to put in place of Burger King. My personal suggestion would be Popeye’s Chicken. Why? Because everyone loves Chicken and also all my people here in Fillmore Love Spicy Chicken and Mashed Potatoes & Gravy.
Mr. Vacetti


To the Editor:
I am saddened to be writing again about the Pacific Coast Pipelines Superfund Site here in my hometown of Fillmore, California. I am a lifetime resident and live next to the Superfund Site. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes a partial deletion from the Superfund Site. This partial deletion is the surface soil on this former Texaco Oil Refinery property. I oppose this proposal by the EPA.
Living close to the Superfund Site has been a horrible experience. I have lived at my residence since 1974. The Texaco/ Chevron Site has gone through several cleanups over the years. The last “cleanup” conducted during 2013-2014 was a nightmare. The residents close to the Site experienced questionable exposure as heavy equipment unearthed the toxic soil. Some of this contaminated soil was physically removed from the site in hazardous containers. Tons of contaminated soil was disposed into a consolidation area on the property. I find it amazing that the EPA does not explain where the consolidation is located and does not have a map on it’s website for residents and others to learn about the placement of the contaminated soil. The EPA is leaving the groundwater that is contaminated with benzene under the Site on the partial deletion intent on the Federal EPA Register.
To say that this property is now clean enough to be deleted from the Superfund list is a bad decision. Residents of Fillmore and especially those living close to the Site need to feel safe and comfortable about what’s buried there and about the benzene that is still in the groundwater. Who’s to say that this contaminated soil could be exposed again during a catastrophe. We have had devastating fires, landslides from heavy rains and earthquakes here in California. Any of these catastrophic episodes could happen at any time making the condition at the Site unpredictable. The consolidated contaminated soil is buried next to Pole Creek. That creek has overflowed many times over the years. It could happen again. An overflow from rain could erode the consolidated soil and send it down Pole Creek and into the Santa Clara River. Holly Hadlock, the project manager for the EPA said the underground water cleanup will take about 50 years. Both of these polluted areas need to be brought to the attention of all of those living close to the site.
There is a 30-day public comment period starting on the day the EPA publishes the Notice of Intent for Partial Deletion in the Federal Register, from Dec. 26, 2017- January 25, 2018. Please express your concerns about the Partial Deletion from the Superfund list. You can submit your comments online at the Federal Register Docket website http://www. regulations.gov or email Holly Hadlock at hadlock.holly@epa.gov Let’s keep all the Pacific Coast Pipeline Site on the Superfund list. We owe it to the citizens of Fillmore and to our children and grandchildren who will be the one’s living here in years to come.
Thank you, Christine Villasenor


To the Editor:
Happy New Year, our Fillmore City council held their first meeting of the new year, January 9, 2018. It was for certain contentious. The major subject matter was the issue of Cannabis, and whether or not the City would allow sales and distribution. The chamber was nearly full of residents, but dwindled down as other subject issues were completed. Still and all there was significant resident commentary given, most of which was to disallow sales and distribution in Fillmore.
As we now know the City Council voted against approving the prospect of sales, distribution or storage of cannabis.
I am not writing this letter to repeat what the Gazette has already shared on this subject.
The purpose of this writing is to share an inadequate process for the residents of Fillmore to collaborate with the Fillmore City Council.
I had prepared a hard copy presentation for the purpose of sharing an upcoming issue that will be a part of city staff business, a part of a City Council agendized meeting issues in the near future.
The request for City support, is to provide a pedestrian gate at the R.V parking area of the El Dorado Mobil Home park, for our now family park children.
To provide safe passage to Rio Vista Elementary School. As I know it neither the Developer or the Park ownership have made this necessary gate a planned approved item of the development. I am not sure it ever crossed their minds.
El Dorado is alike a little Vatican with in Fillmore, autonomous, park owners are not in touch with their tenants, or needs of the park. The City treats it like it is a fiefdom, out of their control. We absolutely are Fillmore residents and the park is just an entity with in Fillmore and should comply with normal and expected behavior and cooperative interaction with our City, Municipal code and other ordinances as well.( I Recognize that the owners must comply with the States Mobilehome Residency Law. as their primary required base of, compliance/ operation. This should not preclude the Cities rights and authorities as City Government)
My issue is/was, I had a request in my presentation, for the council to be aware of a need for the pedestrian gate, prior to the upcoming staff agenda item.
Wanting, the gate to be a conditional approval by the Council for the latest HVP development planning. The Owners made this a family park, yes we had some people who caused the change, (they have all moved now). Even so managing this park with Children most clearly must include Resident/children safety planning, by the City for its residents, and the park owner for safety/liability concerns.
A lot said here, but what became very clear is, we apparently do not have a process to give resident/citizen /constituent input to the council, unless we can do it in 3 to 5 minutes. This is the time all who attended were allotted.
I will confess that my choice of Jan. 9, to try and share my presentation, was a horrible night. The time over all was too tight because of the major cannabis cross talk.
It did illustrate however the inadequacy, and lack of a process, for other items of interest or need, for Fillmore residents to share and collaborate with our City Council.
Two City Council meetings a month and resident comment time set at two to three minutes is insignificant time.
There are other items of City life, and ideas to share that make us a tight community, other than the monthly agendized issues. We need to get other issues out there for our leaders to review and consider. (just to be aware of other issues.)
We seem to get close with them only when there is a near delirious crowd of upset people, or if it is an agenda item.
That said-- I am in no way discrediting any of the City Council or City staff.
I appreciate that the Mayor and City Council have another life, they all work and have families.
I have shared other issues and concerns with the City Council, the City manager and his staff. All endeavors and interactions have been very amiable and rewarding.
We are very fortunate to have them all. I am now a twelve year resident of Fillmore, of forty nine years in Ventura county. These last years in Fillmore have provided me with clear appreciation of the successes these fellow citizens have afforded us.
There are opportunities to be realized from collaborative work with the residents, and the City council. We need to plan a way to work together, it is our City too.
We need more residents to get involved with positive issues in support of our City. Quit hiding!!
Raymond s Brown Sr.


Letters to the Editor
January 10, 2018

To the Editor:
In your first sentence you say that for the “reasonably informed” person, knowledge of American history (necessarily?) leads to the conclusion of American exceptionalism. If your claim is that knowledge of American history necessarily leads to the conclusion that America is exceptional in every way, then we disagree on this. Let’s call this view Total Exceptionalism. If Total Exceptionalism is not your position, then we may be in agreement. In the same paragraph you discuss knowledge of facts about the Civil War that a “reasonable and informed” person would know, which is why I inferred that your point was that the deaths of 600,000+ white men was evidence of American exceptionalism.
To challenge Total Exceptionalism, we only need to find one counterexample. I meant for my short argument on Jan. 3rd to be a counterexample which shows that America’s moral actions have not always been exceptional compared to other nations. I do not equate American institutions, such as the Bill of Rights and Constitution, with American morality (although there is overlap). The Bill of Rights may be exceptional even though America's moral actions are not. My Jan. 3rd letter was meant to give a counterexample to Total Exceptionalism by showing that knowledge of the Civil War death of 600,000+ white men in American history does not lead everyone to affirm American moral exceptionalism. On Jan 3rd you wrote that you “did not rely only upon our Civil War as an example of America’s exceptional status among nations,” which leads me to believe that you do think the Civil War is a piece of evidence in favor of American exceptionalism. Although you also say that your point was merely that America fighting the civil war to end slavery was “in itself, a good thing.” I agree that going to war to end slavery is a good thing, but I don't see the Civil War as a piece of evidence in favor of American exceptionalism.
I was a bit dismayed that I was misquoted in support of your argument in your Jan. 3rd editorial. You quoted me as saying that I “don’t view this fact [emancipation of slaves] as evidence, alone, of America’s moral exceptionalism.” If you look back at my Jan 3rd letter you will see that the word “alone” does not appear in that sentence. Perhaps this, in part, leads to your characterization of my argument as claiming that you are basing American exceptionalism solely on Civil War facts. I’ll assume that you meant to bracket “alone.” My argument was not that this is your only evidence, but that this evidence, as I understood it, did not necessarily support the conclusion that America is morally exceptional. As a side question, why does the fundamental Judeo-Christian moral base provide a basis for civil blessings, as you claim, and not for things that aren’t blessings, i.e., slavery?
I’m not opposed to your claim that America is exceptional in a general sense – it clearly is exceptional in many ways (e.g., politically, institutionally, economically) and unexceptional in other ways, historically and in the present day. So far, in my letters to you I have not disputed American exceptionalism in its freedom, political institutions, generosity, etc. My worry is about us believing that American history shows that America is morally exceptional in its actions (distinct from institutions such as the Constitution and Bill of Rights). I have only disputed the claim that knowledge of American history necessarily leads to the conclusion that America is an exceptional moral place. I have arguments about compensating people of color, but I’ll save them for another time.
Lastly, towards the end of your response you say that “ending slavery…was much more than ‘merely’ a step in the right direction.” The word “merely” is in quotations, and so I think it reasonable to assume that you meant to be quoting me, as your editorial was a response to me and there is no other source cited. If you look back at my letter published on Jan 3rd you’ll see that I said “…emancipation was a big step in the right direction.” I did not use the word “merely” in that sentence, although I did use the word “merely” earlier in the letter, so I assume it just got misplaced in your editorial.
A belief of mine is that a way to better our institutions is to be critical of them, and to have dialogues such as this one, in which we both sharpen our reasons and so rationally move closer to how we should view and/or improve our institutions. You have helped me sharpen my views and so you have my gratitude. There is much more we could discuss and clarify, more definitions to be given, and more arguments to be made in this exchange, but this will be my last letter on this topic. I look forward to your comments.
With respect,
Jacob Zellmer


To the Editor:
Our city leaders will once again be voting on if they should allow pot related business in your town. Despite that the majority of you have voted in 2016 with 57% against it while other cities in the county voted for it. Despite that many of you signed petitions against it and now it has been contently lost. They are back to trying to get it in yet another way. Deliveries and warehouses. The few who need this product currently can grow their own or are getting it from other communities. We do not have facilities for cancer related problems in our town or even a hospital of which all of our community could use why do we need pot related business in our town when the needs of a few are clearly being met by other communities. Why not take a wait and see approach for 2-3 years and see how those cities fair and if it really is worth the risk. Please show up to council meeting January 9th to voice your opinion once again.
Kathy Pace

Letters to the Editor
January 3, 2018

To the Editor:
There's some strange goings-on in Fillmore these days... For the last two years a large majority of citizens has gone on record to oppose having the marijuana industry come to town, but the City Council keeps pushing it. Why? And whose bright idea is it for Fillmore to store large quantities of marijuana in warehouses around our town? Picturing armed guards patrolling the facilities also conjures up the likelihood of criminals being attracted to our last, best, small California town.
After two years of carefully studying the issue of having the marijuana industry take hold here in Fillmore, our Council voted 4 - 1 in August not to allow it. Yet on Tuesday, January 9th, at the City Council Mtg at 6:30 p.m., the Council wants to "reconsider" its decision. What new information have they received? What's the benefit to our city? We are owed an explanation by our Council as to what each of them is thinking in going against the will of the citizens that they represent, not to mention dismissing the views of city and county law enforcement officials.
Lynne Brooks


To the Editor:
Thank you for your friendly Dec. 20th response to my letter. Thanks also to Susan Cuttriss for her kind words. I’ll keep this follow-up to one line of thought.
One of your claims on Dec. 20th was that America is exceptional (outstanding or unusually good) because 600,000+ white Americans died to end slavery (Let me know if I am misconstruing your position). I don’t view this fact as evidence of America’s moral exceptionalism for the following reasons.
First, the Civil War shows that a large portion of Americans did not think slavery was wrong. The 600,000+ number represents Union and Confederate soldier deaths. I’ll grant that it was praiseworthy for Union soldiers to have given their lives for emancipation, but those who fought to keep slavery act as a counterbalance: presumably, Union soldiers died because Confederates were willing to kill to preserve slavery. This seems unfortunate rather than exceptional.
Second, after extorting unpaid labor from slaves, there was never any compensation. As an analogy, when a thief continually steals from a victim, justice requires that the thief not only stop stealing, but also repay the victim, and compensate the victim for how the stealing hurt them. To merely stop American thievery of unpaid labor we had the Civil War, but America never repaid ex-slaves for the years of unpaid labor, nor compensated them for the land, education, voting rights, wealth accumulation, cultural affluence, etc. that blacks would have accrued, had blacks not been systematically exploited. Merely ending slavery didn’t undo the damage done.
In short, the 600,000+ white deaths evinced something lower than exceptionalism. Although, emancipation was a big step in the right direction. I almost got this down to 250 words! Thanks for dialoguing and happy new year!
With respect,
Jacob Zellmer

Letters to the Editor
December 27, 2017

To The Editor:
If Jacob Zellmer is representative of our millennials, we can be proud of our educational system. His respectful, well reasoned response to your editorial reflects well on our next generation of leaders.
Sincerely, Susan Cuttriss

Letters to the Editor
December 20, 2017

To the Editor:
Soroptimist International of Fillmore would like to extend a big “toy filled” thank you to all of those that attended and helped with the annual fashion show. It was held on December 9th, and was a wonderful distraction to the challenges that surrounded Fillmore that week. The theme was “Toyland”, and the members and guests had the option of decorating their tables and bringing toys to donate towards the City of Fillmore Fire Department toy give away. The toys were abundant, as well as the friendships! The fashions were provided by Chico’s at the Collection, and the models were gorgeous!! Another “bear hug” of a thank you to the Fillmore Citizen’s Patrol and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Explorer Post #2958 out of Fillmore for their excellent help in the kitchen, and serving all that attended the fashion show.
Jane David,
Soroptimist International of Fillmore


Response to Dec. 6th Editorial
To the editor:

Dear Martin Farrell,

I grew up in Fillmore and still consider it home. The Fillmore Gazette has been a way for me to check in on what’s happening in Fillmore while I am out of town and for that I am grateful.

I am writing in response to your Dec. 6th editorial. The structure of some of your arguments don’t seem valid and I find it difficult to accept the truth of some of your premises. I’ve written this rather quickly, and so despite the critical nature of my response, I hope this comes across as respectful.

Your first paragraph cites an anonymous polling organization as evidence that millennials are more attracted to socialism than democracy. It is then asserted that this data is “proof” of the wholesale failure of our educational system. To make this assertion you need to have the following assumptions, (1) every form of socialism is a bad political or economic system, (2) anyone who thinks otherwise must have received a bad education, and (3) an educational system that produces people who disagree with my opinions is a failed educational system. This is an interested line of argument, but it has flaws. First, there is no reasoning given in your op-ed for why we should believe (1). And so (2) is a non-starter. (3) is odd because it assumes that everyone with opinions opposed to your own are irrational or at least their arguments are irrational or unintelligible.

The second paragraph then narrows in on how you think educational systems are flawed: American history has been hijacked by “radical Left fake history.” I think your point here is that because American millennials are ignorant of American heritage, they are more likely to think socialism is better than democracy. It isn’t clear what makes you say that millennials are ignorant of American heritage. Do you mean that (1) millennials must be ignorant of American heritage based on their attraction to socialism, or (2) millennials are ignorant based on personal experience you’ve had with them, or (3) millennials are ignorant of American history because of external data/polling? You also don’t make clear how knowing American history causes a person to think socialism is a bad thing. First, socialism isn’t defined in your op-ed, so it isn’t clear what you consider socialism to be. Part of the confusion here is that you contrast socialism with democracy even though socialism as a form of government isn’t mutually excluded from democracy. This is why “social democracy” and “democratic socialism” are forms of government. So, I wonder if socialism vs. democracy is in some ways a false dichotomy. If I had to guess, I’d say that millennials are more critical of capitalism than of democracy.

Your argument for why American history is important is that America is “exceptional”: it has thrived for 240 years as a democratic republic. The assumption you make is that students who know American history better will be more critical of socialism in all its forms. I don’t see why this is the case, unless learning American history is a form of brainwashing in which all political systems besides American democracy and capitalism are portrayed as irrational. Studying American history should let students see the ways in which democracy (and capitalism) have been both successful and not perfect, i.e., both systems have flaws.

Part of your op-ed criticizes elite colleges and universities for devaluing studies of Western Civilization, which was mostly, as far as I know, universities dropping the requirement for students to take Western Civilization courses. You claim that the chant was “Hey-hey, ho-ho, American Civ has got to go,” but my Google search of this phrase only brought up, “Hey-hey, ho-ho, Western Civ has got to go,” (at least for what happened at Stanford; if I am wrong here, point me to the relevant news articles). Western Civilization would include all European, American, and colonial history, which is much more than just American history. (Interestingly, Plato is a part of Western Civilization, and he hated democracy.) The required courses that were dropped were in Western Civilization, but charitability causes me to think the university still required courses in history, philosophy, art, etc. of world civilizations (and this might include western civilization).

So, your most pointed claim here strikes me as odd. You say: “Some (most ?) of our colleges and universities, those touted as the greatest, have for decades now produced a crowd of history ignoramuses.” First, it seems likely to me that students who get accepted into elite colleges probably have a better understanding of history (world, western, and American) than those who are not accepted into elite colleges; They probably did well in their high school history courses. Hence, calling people with elite college degrees “a crowd of history ignoramuses” seems mistaken. I think this point holds even if you only mean that they are American-history ignoramuses. Second, requiring college students to take American history doesn’t necessarily make them less of an American history ignoramus. Students can do the minimum to pass classes and so remain “ignoramuses.”

I think part of your conclusion on this subject is viable: “…it’s not too much of a stretch to conclude that most American citizens are dangerously ignorant of their own American history…” But it doesn’t necessarily follow that knowledge of American history will make you “acknowledge its greatness” and think America an “exceptional” place. Yes, America is good in certain ways, but history also shows the ways in which America has slaughtered and enslaved people. Why would people of color, after coming to know American History, ipso facto think that America is an “exceptional” place?

Lastly, you make this excessive claim: “No intellectually honest person can fail to acknowledge Divine intervention in its [America’s] birth and growth.” My understanding of Divine intervention is that it is a matter of faith (for the most part) and not knowledge. So, it is odd for you to claim that every intellectually honest person must hold certain faith beliefs. This conflates faith and reason and it also claims that everyone who doesn’t hold your beliefs is intellectually dishonest – this seems unreasonable to me. This letter has already become very long, so I won’t go deeper into this part.

With respect,
Jacob Zellmer
PhD Student in the Department of Philosophy
University of California, San Diego

Letters to the Editor
November 23, 2017

To the Editor:
What a nice surprise I received on my daily walk downtown....music!
Someone decided to install speakers on a few poles in the downtown business district! Fantastic, great choice of music, maybe a little holiday music would be appropriate too!
Ray Hoover

Letters to the Editor
October 26, 2017

To the Editor:
If you buy local picture postcards, you will find evidence of what Roger Campbell accomplished here! As our Mayor, Roger was a visionary. He: looked ahead, planned, listened, brought about consensus, and built memories. He also prepared for the worst. Such was the case when this city’s leaders and volunteers trained for what to do when an earthquake hit - three weeks before the 1994 quake left our businesses’ bricks all over Central Avenue and took hundreds of houses off their foundations. Just after my family made it safely outside, we heard Roger on a police scanner asking how things looked on our very street! That was so reassuring. Even with the eastern sky full of fire. I knew that my neighbors and we were not forgotten! Fillmore showed bigger cities how disasters were supposed to be handled! Then, Roger and the City Council brought good out of bad by building our much-needed new city hall.
When this man represented Fillmore on a county or statewide level, I was confident that he would be heard and respected. He made issues easy for reporters to write about and for citizens to understand. Roger Campbell was ready, willing, and able to lead on a bigger scale. Yet he continued to serve this town in many ways — most behind the scenes — mentoring new leaders for one. I will always be grateful to the Campbell family for all they have given Fillmore. Roger will be missed.
Stephenie Thomas

Letters to the Editor
October 19, 2017

To the Editor:
I have a theory as to why Paddick decided to kill country music fans at the concert outside the Mandalay Bay Hotel on 12/1/17.
But first your reporters need to look at how Paddick voted in the last general election. IF he voted for Clinton or Sanders (which he probably did) then he like thousands of other voters did, made him very angry.
Millions of Clinton and Sander's voters have never since the November, 2017 election, accepted the fact the President Trump won. The legions of NO TRUMP VOTERS have been angry since the results of that election gave Mr. Trump the office of the President of the United States.
Paddick is one of those VERY ANGRY VOTERS and could not nor would not accept that President won! So Paddick decided to do something about it!
What better place than a country music event where Country Artist were preforming and Country Music Fans were in attendance to rain down this terrible horror. It's pretty well known that Country artist and fans are conservative, flag waving, pro-life, and USA loving. Probably everything Paddick was against!
So he takes out his anger on this Country Music loving crow, kills 59 and wounds close to 500 fans.
Then he kills himself. How about checking into Paddock's voting record. I shared my theory with one of your reports a couple days ago and also shared it with the FBI office in Las Vegas. Didn't get a response. Thank you.
Charles Richardson

Letters to the Editor
September 13, 2017

To the Editor:
In the column, Realities, published on September 7th, the editor talks about the Voyager 1 spacecraft reaching 'the very edge of space.' Unfortunately, this is a misrepresentation of what Voyager 1 is accomplishing.
Voyager 1's extended mission was to reach the edge of the solar system, as defined by how far the Sun's solar wind reaches or influences are felt. It achieved that goal five years ago. It is now exploring interstellar space. The space environment is different within the Sun's influence and in interstellar space. Understanding the differences is important to our scientific knowledge.
Voyager 2 is still within the solar system moving in a different direction. At some point, Voyager 2 will also enter interstellar space, where both spacecraft are likely to remain forever. Neither spacecraft will ever get near the 'very edge of space,' whatever that might be.
Charles S. Morris
Astronomer and Educator

Letters to the Editor
August 16, 2017

To the Editor:
Another fun and busy year of raising animals for the Ventura County Fair has come and gone for our 4-H youth. Our 2 sons have been a part of Sespe 4-H for the past 2 years, raising swine and goats. Our swine project leaders, Lynn Hicks and Patrick Zavala, donate countless hours to helping our youth properly raise their pigs and help maintain our part of the 4-H farm at the Fillmore Equestrian Center and lead the meetings besides working their full time jobs. We’d like to say a BIG thank you to them! Our swine advisor, Sue Maynard, who has volunteered for the past 30 plus years in 4-H, currently volunteers full time, teaching our youth how to select a pig, feed it, showmanship skills, as well as snaring and giving injections when needed. She even goes to the farm morning and evening to check on our swine, making sure they’re cooled down, eating, checking pen conditions and answering endless question from parents and our kiddos. Thank you isn’t enough but Thank you, thank you, thank you for mentoring our youth, year after year! If you’re looking for a program to help your child learn hard work and raise livestock then join Sespe 4-H!
Grateful Parents,
Adrian and Pam Hernandez

Letters to the Editor
July 27, 2017

To the Editor:
I would like to thank everyone that contributed and donated to my Cross Country efforts. I was able to pay for my trip and received a donation from Nova Storage. Thank you to the Following Paula and Laura Ortega, Pat and Susan Golson, Chris Ann Barker, Jesse and Claudia Rivera, Larry and Valerie Tovar, Karen Hawkins, Donna Stepp and Kenny Talent, Angie Villalobos, Maggie Herrera, Tona Jacinto, Emilio Jacinto, Kim Tafoya, Terri and Rod Cordero, Susie Herrera, Tammy Polanco, Sally Rangel, Greg Dejarnette, Mary Gonzalez, Reena Villa, Rudy and Renee Vasquez, Armando and Gabby Rodriguez, Isaac and Rosie Loya, Claudia Andrade, Betty and Kevin Warring, Louie and Cristina Rodriguez, and Donna. Thank you so much for supporting Fillmore Flashes Cross Country Team.
Vanessa Ray'nee Avila

Letters to the Editor
July 12, 2017

To the Editor:
To the citizens of Fillmore, Piru, Sespe and Bardsdale.
In the last few weeks we have seen Ventura Museum have to close, at least temporarily, because of financial difficulties.
Fillmore is fortunate to have a museum which is solvent and operating a regular schedule every week because of the efforts of its Board of Directors and volunteers. We have no paid staff and no federal, state or city funding. We depend on fireworks, poinsettia sales, donations and membership to keep the lights on and the doors open, Our volunteers gave over 1700 hours of their time in 2016 to greet visitors, lead tours, do research and maintain the collection.
The Fillmore Historical Museum is the repository of the history of the Santa Clara River Valley. If you want to learn about our rich history come to the museum, ask questions, check out the artifacts. There have been people here since before 1887 and their stories are fascinating. We have programs about various aspects of our history which can be presented to any interested group.
On behalf of the Museum Board of Directors, I want to thank all of our volunteers, members and friends whose efforts and financial donations have made the continuing operations of museum possible.
Come for a visit. We are open Tuesday through Saturday every week. Or call for a tour, 805-524-0948. We are located at 350 Main St. in Fillmore. Our office is in the two story bunkhouse building next to the big yellow depot and across from the Hinckley House and garage.
Martha Gentry,
Executive Director

Letters to the Editor
July 6, 2017

To the Editor:
My name is Vanessa Ray’nee Avila I am going to be a Sophomore at Fillmore High School this year. At first I had no idea what Cross Country was or what the point is for high school. Someone told me I should give Cross Country a try when they saw me playing soccer. High school came and I switched schools so that I could participate in sports. I joined Cross Country a little late and had no idea what I was capable of. I ended up making the Varsity Team my Freshman year. It was such a privilege to be on the team. We’ve made a lot of memories together as a team, going to meets and giving it our all. I have met a lot of great people along the way. It’s an honor to have such AWESOME coaches to be spending their time making us better runners. I want to let everyone know that they should give Cross Country a try because you’ll never know what you can accomplish. On July 23rd the Fillmore Flashes Cross Country Team will be going to Mammoth Lake for an 8 day trip. We will be training like the professional runners and create strong bonds between teammates. It will be a fun experience and many memories will be made. I am doing a fundraiser to raise money for this once in a lifetime experience for a trip that the Cross Country Team takes every year to Mammoth. I will be selling Pork Tamales and Lumpias. If anyone is interested in placing an order it would be greatly appreciated. Tamales are $20 a dozen n Lumpias $10 for a dozen. Please call 805 620-2375 or send donations to PO Box 672 Piru Ca 93040 I will not let my hometown down. Thank you in advance
Thank you,
Vanessa R. Avila

Letters to the Editor
June 29, 2017

To the Editor,
As a member of the Fillmore Unified Teachers Association bargaining team, it is prudent to offer clarification of the unresolved calendar issues that have halted progress in negotiations. Fillmore Unified School District was informed that 94% of their teachers wished to continue the tradition of the Fall break that has been a staple within Fillmore for over 25 years. A welcome respite that FUTA members feel benefits both student and teacher attendance, then directly benefits student learning. Without warning or discussion, Fillmore Unified sought to remove it. Rather, Fillmore Unified has felt the 2017-2018 calendar could best be used as a bargaining chip to obtain a collaboration model that adds 30 minutes to the school day. FUTA members have awaited a collaboration model that allows teachers to meet regularly to plan, evaluate, and fine tune instructional strategies for the benefit of students and were hopeful this could allow for an appropriate resolution. However, FUTA feels that a model that adds 30 minutes to the school day, when Fillmore students are already in excess of the Ed Code recommendation of minutes, is not what is best for students, and frankly unfair. Many of our students begin their school day long before the first bell rings with transportation in the rural community, and end their day long after due to sports and other activities.
The Chicago Tribune states there is not a single study linking academic improvement with a longer school day and increased instructional minutes simply sweep the real problem under the rug. Rather than increase instructional time, FUTA members feel it would be more beneficial to increase instructional effectiveness via collaboration to target specific areas of student need for improvement, directly impacting student achievement. It is not enough to solve the achievement difficulties of Fillmore students by simply adding more time; rather, teachers are desperately seeking to improve the quality of student time.
FUTA proceeded to propose a collaboration model that worked within existing minutes, with collaboration weekly for 90 minutes, but again was met with an increase of 15 minutes a day. The district’s position to add 60 minutes was intended to account for instructional minutes perceived lost due to the collaboration schedule, but they neglected to consider the potential instructional impact of a weekly collaboration model. The value added potential that collaboration provides student learning far exceeds 60 minutes of instructional time. As administrators, our leadership should know that this is imperative to effective instruction for students. While FUTA seeks to improve the quality of Fillmore student’s education, the district’s solution is to increase the quantity of instruction.
Ultimately, to bridge the gap towards a calendar resolution, FUTA was willing to meet half way, increasing the instructional day by seven minutes, a net loss of 32 minutes a week to existing instructional time, but the district would not budge. Over 32 minutes, under the leadership of Superintendent Palazuelos and via representation hired with district funds, Fillmore Unified left the bargaining table, left the calendar, left our teachers, and ultimately left our students. For 32 minutes, Superintendent Palazuelos was willing to further the wedge between FUTA members rather than unite to work collaboratively with teachers to solve a problem that is vital to the success of students in the Fillmore community. For students, we need to do better than this.
Kelley Hess
FUTA member
Fillmore Teacher


To the Editor,
Unbelievable! So there we were again, after we have told our City Leaders and City Manager Rowlands over and over at earlier meetings, trying to get them to hear us at the "Listening Meeting". We overwhelmingly showed in numbers and voice our opposition to bringing the pot growing industry and its ensuing effects into our community. Yet it seems we just can't get OUR voice heard.
I was talking to a council member that justifiably said the Council just wants everyone to come out to say their feelings on the subject. Well there has been at least three city meetings on this topic, and now a 'listening session' Sunday afternoon- so I ask you the Council: just how many of these gatherings do we have to stand up in before the City Leaders are satisfied with what the vast majority of our town wants for its future. It sure feels like it is a study in who can hold out the longest. The Council member said they are doing this because pro pot folks are uncomfortable talking about this- really? How about my time and discomfort? I know that I gain five pounds and a dozen white hairs every time I force myself to stand up to speak about this topic- but I do it because I love this town! Again I ask, at what point will the Council and City Manager be satisfied?
When it was my turn to speak I said that my criteria of a business that would be good for our town should be whether the kid's athletic teams could go to a business to ask it to support it with a banner at the athletic field. It was then the mostly out-of-town pro pot growers yelled 'yah!', they would love to advertise it there at the children's play areas...I was floored. Here is an industry that professes it will not involve children as it is a 'adult decision' to take pot, but yet these same people have no qualms advertising their product to our kids...(catch 'em young and get those brains fried early!) Please City Council, did you not see and hear the same thing as I did?
The two pro pot individuals that stood up, talked about it being a booming business and boost to agriculture. Seriously? The truly Medicinal pot growers (growing strains of marijuana lacking the 'high' inducing THC, but leaving the chemical components for pain control) can't find a decent market for their product and are struggling. It is the drug-high producing marijuana that is the overwhelming pot of choice, that is the 'booming business'- a "medicinal use" that is seven to twenty times stronger in THC then anything when I was growing up. A 'medicine' that has no precise dosage, no purity standards, that is absolutely known to permanently lower the IQ of young people's brains.. I can go on, but why? Can't we be honest about what is going on here? Is this a product that any true farmer will want to be involved with? And we haven't even mentioned the known cartel issues, the water issues, the transparency issues of an all-cash market, the huge amounts of fungicides and miticides poured on this indoor monoculture crop...Do you not have the same problem seeing this as the future of our agricultural industry in Fillmore?
I have tried up to now to stay respectful and open-minded about what our City is doing on this issue, but the end of last Sunday's gathering really shook me up. The designated moderator asked of us two questions that the City Leaders gave him to end the meeting with: and they were 1. How did you feel about how the session was run? and 2. What would you want the City to do with all the tax monies that would be collected through pot growing? Have you or I ever been asked in our entire lives what we want our possible tax money to be spent on?!! It's all about the almighty dollar folks! The Marijuana Santa Claus wants to enter our town and shower us with its gifts so it can grow the stuff here...and once they get their toe in the door to grow, it is a slippery slope to all the other aspects of the pot industry that destroy communities. City Leaders and City Manager Rowlands, our town is NOT for sale!
For sure there will be more meetings to come, and we will continue to ask the City to end this issue...without a doubt, I will continue to gain weight and my hair will go silver every time I stand up at these meetings - but I, and so many others, will be there to speak for the safety of our community...our voice will be heard in the end because I do believe in the basic goodness of our people.
Regina Stehly Nunez

Letters to the Editor
June 22, 2017

To the Editor:
Fillmore was voted “America’s last best small town” several years ago. Since that time, we have had many outside investors try to turn us into many other things: urban sprawl, which resulted in Fillmore buying a sewer plant that almost bankrupted our city, and would have resulted in Fillmore losing its name, and becoming just a part of the Heritage Valley sprawl. We all hope and pray we can survive that one.
The latest attempt to change Fillmore is commercial marijuana conglomerates who want to set up in our area (not their own neighborhood). If you remember, many months ago, one of these set up without even asking permission, in the surrounding county area off Grand Ave right next to homes. When they were busted, 89,000 plants were confiscated, and we found out that they were stealing water and power from members of our community.
Once again, the people of our community are being asked to consider commercial marijuana at the “City of Fillmore Medical Marijuana Listening Session”. This meeting is scheduled for Sunday June 25 at 3:30 at the Fillmore Memorial Building.
Last year, hundreds of us turned out to express our opposition to any form of commercial marijuana business in Fillmore. We also turned in petitions with over 1000 signatures, expressing the same sentiments to the city council. All of our community was welcomed to the meeting, yet only a small number of our residents expressed support for Marijuana business.
Furthermore, this small but mighty town was the only city in Ventura County to vote no on Proposition 64 (legalizing recreational pot). Marijuana is still a federally illegal section 1 drug, along with heroin, LSD, and Ecstasy.
To our city officials, I ask, are you listening to the people you promised to serve and protect? What part of “NO” do you not understand? We do appreciate your hard work and commitment, but we ask that you please support us in our efforts to stay America’s last best small town. Please create stronger ordinances and zoning laws to keep Fillmore growing conservatively, along with what we value here. I’ve coined my own motto for us “if it’s good for the family it’s good for Fillmore”.
Of particular concern to us is the property on the west end of the 126, which is adjacent to our newest park, across from a mostly residential area, in short our children and homes. We in Fillmore grumble about our once a year traffic problems due to our fireworks sales, but are happy to do it because it supports local service clubs, faith communities, service leagues, etc., in short our families and lifestyle. A cultivation facility permanently installed on the 126 would ruin our lovely light traffic, one of the many reasons I made Fillmore my home 30 plus years ago.
Even as I write this, daily reports flood in from other states and communities who have taken on this industry: reports of criminal activity, deaths, broken monetary promises, destruction to youths, etc.
Finally, the ‘Safeguard our Fillmore Community Citizen Group” (founded last year) and I ask you to show up on Sunday June 25 in the Fillmore Memorial Building from 3:30-6:00 pm. We need to make clear to all that we love our town, and will not stand idly by while it is destroyed by outsiders who don’t appreciated her beauty and worth.
Annette M Sula
Spokesperson of the Safeguard the Fillmore Citizen Group and its members


To the Editor:
The City of Fillmore invites Fillmore residents pro, against or neutral on this topic to a “City of Fillmore Medical Marijuana Listening Session.” At this facilitated, bilingual session, the City Council seeks to share information with Fillmore residents on its deliberation of requests for permission to cultivate medical (NOT recreational) marijuana within the city limits. City council is not considering or entertaining dispensaries, advertising or deliveries in Fillmore. There will be no speakers advocating positive or negative views regarding the cultivation of medical marijuana.
Residents will be engaged in a structured and respectful sharing of personal views to inform the City Council of the breadth of views on this important topic. Your City Council is committed to assuring that Fillmore remains a secure, safe and livable city, and your input on this important topic is invited. Please come prepared to listen and share your views with fellow residents and your City Council. The listening session will be held at the Veterans Memorial Building, 511 Second Street, Sunday, June 25, from 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm. Spanish language translation will be provided throughout the meeting.
David W. Rowlands
City Manager
City of Fillmore


To the Editor:
I am a concerned parent and member of our community. Last night I spoke at city hall to make the public aware of what has been going on within our community. First let me re iterate since there seemed to be some confusion, Fillmore has 2 competition cheer teams in our community. The two competition teams are the So Cal Fillmore Bears Cheer and Voltage Extreme Cheer. There is also Raiders cheer but they do not currently have a competition team. I am speaking solely on the side of the competition teams. My daughter is currently on the Bears team.
Parks and Rec has a long standing tradition & policy to make sure to split facilities evenly with all teams in our community. For the last three years our team has been practicing in the memorial building. We have split days evenly with the other team as it should be done. We had a verbal contract with the city for Tuesdays and Thursdays 4pm-8pm on the books for 2017/2018 season which is September through March. An email was received from the city stating that payment would needed to be made in full from here on out. Then they decided they would change the policy again to work with teams in the city and they would take a deposit. When the cheer director went in to put a deposit down as requested she was told sorry the Voltage cheer had already booked Monday, Wednesday and Thursday through the end of the year. When she tried to explain we had already had a verbal contract for Tuesdays and Thursdays she was met with a finger in her face and told to shut up. She of course made an immediate complaint as she walked away from city hall. So it was decided lets try to go ahead and book the old boys n girls club with the mats since the mats where not mentioned in the original contract with Voltage. The old boys n girls club is literally like 3 steps down the back door. Its not like its across town at an entirely different facility. Of course we where met with a response of mats are included in the Memorial building rental and are not able to be moved to other facilities, even though this is just out the back door. I was under the impression that the mats where moved to the senior center for self defense class. Last year a certain city council members daughter had tumbling class in the old boys n girls club which the mats where moved for. When the Memorial building has very large events the mats are moved. Also, last year we used that building with the mats. Which sets a precedence.
I happen to know the Memorial board is not happy with current turn of events as far as this is concerned. As I understand they do not even really want the mats in the Memorial building. The Memorial board asked the both teams to work it out. Voltage is refusing. The Bears don't want to lock out another team from practicing we just want to split the facility evenly like has been done traditionally.
I think this is an equality issue. All teams in the city should be able to use facilities equally. The Voltage team has been boisterous in their claim of a private facility in the vicinity they are able to practice at. Even if they do, we are still happy to split the Memorial facility with them. Our teams only other option to drive to Camarillo to a private gym which is another huge expense for the team, which brings me to my next point.
Fillmore is a small town. It is a historically poor town. Gathering the funds to rent any facilities is difficult to say the least. The city was supposed to work with us on a deposit and payments for Tuesday and Thursday rental but once again they refuse to do so, only for Tuesdays.
I very truly believe this is a small town politics issue which city council denies. But how convenient is it that a member of city councils daughter is a coach for the Voltage team. This small town plays a lot of games of who knows who and whos friends with who when it comes to how they juggle things. You would think that Diane McCall would push for the city to operate fairly so it didn't look like their was obvious favoritism going on and who she is friends with. While she doesn't over see these issues she has a huge influence within the city hall. The city manager Dave Rowlands said last night that he hopes the cheer teams can come to a resolution but how can we do that if the city absolutely refuses to intervene and the other team is adamant about making any sort of resolution. Diane McCall was flabbergasted that I said her name last night in the middle of my small speech, but I only speak of what I truly know to be true. This has gone far enough. These back door politics need to end. I'm not even going to get into the nasty messages sent from the other team. This is all a calculated, mean spirited bullying going on. The city is aware and not handling it properly.
Finally the only ones who are suffering are the kids. Who in city council is concerned that the Bears competition team gets treated fairly??? Our kids are missing out and no one is doing anything about it.
Brandy Hollis
Mother of a So Cal Bears cheerleader


To the Editor:
The Parks and Recreation Department is in the process of updating outdated policies and procedures. Earlier this year all groups using public facilities in Fillmore were notified of the new facility rental policy change. The policy change applies to everyone. The So Cal Bears Cheer Director was provided the following notification May 4:
Any reservations that are currently “penciled in” (meaning reservations that don’t have an agreement and are unpaid), and are scheduled to take place before July 15, 2017, will be honored. However, any “penciled in” reservations after July 15, 2017 will be removed from the City’s calendar as of the end of the day on May 15, 2017. Paid and contracted reservations will not be deleted.
Organizations who wish to make their reservations for any dates past July 15, 2017 may do so beginning Monday, May 15, 2017 at 8:00 AM. At that time, you will be allowed to pay and contract for dates beyond July 15, 2017.
New policies:
1. Reservations are on a first come, first served basis.
2. Deposit or full payment and signed agreement are required to reserve.
3. Reimbursement policy:
(refunds will only be processed for the following non-usage or cancellation):
a. Rain or other weather restrictions
b. Facilities staff cancels due to emergency repairs or a safety hazard
c. Booked anticipating playoffs but do not make the playoffs
d. Cancellation 6 or more months in advance
When city staff was unable to accommodate the requested So Cal Bears schedule at the Memorial Building, a call was placed to the new Boys and Girls Club where mats are currently located. Although the City was advised that there are limited hours available, So Cal Bears Cheer declined those times as they would result in irregular practice times. With a limited staff, the City is unable to move very heavy mats between buildings.
City staff provided adequate and equal notification to all groups to ensure a fair and impartial process in reserving facilities and remains hopeful that the two groups can find a way to work together to meet the needs of the children in both groups.
David W. Rowlands
City Manager
City of Fillmore

Letters to the Editor
June 15, 2017

To the Editor:
Commercial marijuana is banned in Fillmore, partly due to public participation in the meeting at City Hall last July, however, the Fillmore City Council is considering removing the bans to allow industrial marijuana operations such as cultivation farms, dispensaries, advertising, processing or deliveries in Fillmore. The Fillmore City Council has planned an event to host leading advocates from the marijuana industry to convince Fillmore that commercial marijuana will be good for our city. Public attendance at the event will help show the City Council that we need the bans to be remain in place. The event is supposed to include some time for questions and comments from anybody who is willing to speak against commercialization of marijuana in Fillmore.
TIME: 3:30 PM – 6:00 PM
André Le Comte


To the Editor:
Thank you for your interest in teachers’ concerns. I would like to clarify some things that you heard at the board meeting. You said in your editorial that the disagreements expressed by teachers were centered on money, but there really are many issues that led to this no-confidence vote. Respect is the common expectation and it’s missing under Dr. Palazuelos’s leadership despite how congenial he appears. The fact that there were so many issues that passionate teachers had to speak about gave you the impression that we were beating-down on Dr. Palazuelos. In the midst of what he has been pressuring us with, we needed him and the school board members hear us clearly.
Instead of teamwork, he has:
• Stalled contract negotiations until May when the school year is nearly over despite announcing last year that they wanted to tackle this task early. FUTA announced they were ready in September, and monthly inquiries to the district received no response. January 30, District administration said they were very close to announcing their bargaining openers by the end of February. Tammy read the timeline of this to the board members on June 6.
• Proposed severe elimination of teachers’ Seniority rights
• Proposed elimination of contract language protecting Class Size at all grade levels – teachers voiced concerns about the ramifications of oversized classes. It is not good for students.
• Without discussion, he sprung the dramatically changed calendar. Adrien wants teachers to agree to add 15 minutes to the teaching day in order to achieve his model of Collaboration, and hoped October Break would be a deal maker for that. Two hours additional teaching time without increased compensation is not necessary at elementary school level, but Adrien refused to modify his plan. This information is contained on page 2 of this week’s Gazette.
• The district’s excessive spending for attorney fees. July 2016-Feb 2017 $79,091 spent to resolve bargaining issues, grievances, member discipline, layoffs, unfair labor practices and complaints. This is our tax dollars being spent on lawyer fees that could be used for students. They continue to add up.
• He has continually added Administrative layers to our District leadership so that the District offices now bulges firmly onto the old Sespe campus. I believe we have 10 Directors and 3 Assistant Superintendents. I need to locate Mary Ford’s letter to the Gazette where she researched and compared the number of Fillmore’s administrators to those in Ventura Unified. This money would be much better spent in the classroom in ways that benefit students.
• The district sent a negotiations update to its staff explaining that they proposed to meet for again for bargaining 6 days in June after school was let out. Conveniently, this is when Administrators are still working at their desks but teachers are on Break. Several are out of town as I type this email to you.
These issues led to our members insisting on implementing a vote to determine confidence in our leadership. A vast majority of our members voted, and 90% of those had no-confidence. This is a huge statement. That is why you heard such discontent. Dr. Palazuelos’s leadership is unprofessional towards teachers despite the hopefulness we felt when he took over after Nishino’s reign three years ago. We expect Adrien to treat us the way he would like to be treated and keep the valued teachers that Fillmore Unified employs. We are still hopeful that he will make a turnaround and do this.
I hope that I kept this overview simple although it is not brief. If you have questions I recommend that you click REPLY TO ALL to include Tammy Ferguson (our Bargaining Chair for Fillmore teachers FUTA) who is currently not away on vacation. Meanwhile, you may receive emails from teachers who want to share the details of their concerns as Letters to the Editor. This may spark more questions from you for the articles you plan to write.
Sandy Butts
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
--Eleanor Roosevelt


To the Editor:
Fillmore Superintendent Continues Disruptive Leadership
Fillmore Unified Teachers Association is both dismayed and disappointed by the behavior of Superintendent Adrian Palazuelos as he recommended a “tentative” work year calendar for teachers without getting their agreement. This come become a huge obstacle to an agreement on the current negotiations for 2016-2017. According to the Association of California School Administrators, a Superintendent should lead in a manner that models personal ethics, develops leadership capacity in those with whom he leads, and respects the rights of both students and staff. Having seen leadership come and go within Fillmore Unified, it is perplexing to identify these qualities under current leadership.
This year alone, under the administration of the Superintendent of Fillmore Unified School District, there has been:
1. 17 grievances filed by FUTA and members for alleged violations of the collective bargaining agreement,
2. 5 mediations,
3. 3 complaints,
4. 4 (2016-17) arbitrations and a possibility of 3 more in 2017. This is at a cost of roughly $35,000 to have substitutes for FUTA members away from students, for court transcribers, for the arbitrator, and other clerical fees,
5. A potential Unfair Labor Practice due to School Board’s June 6th adoption of a calendar
FUTA is an affiliate of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association and
is also affiliated with the 3 million-member National Education
that includes teacher work days and staff development days without agreement from the Fillmore Unified Teachers Association,
6. At least $110,000 of Fillmore Unified School District funds spent on legal fees beginning in the 2013-2014 fiscal year through February of this current fiscal year with yet unknown current totals to address contract negotiation sessions, labor issues, mediations, complaints, and consultations regarding calendar adoption.
Imagine the magnitude of time and still to be tabulated resources robbed from Fillmore students and their educational rights in an effort to address the issues from this school year alone? This excess spending is unnecessary and a direct reflection of the low ethical standards Superintendent Palazuelos possesses towards the staff he is responsible for developing. Rather than invest in students, Fillmore Unified School District consistently seeks to dismantle the rights of their teachers who facilitate such a crucial role in the education of students. Fillmore Unified teachers are dedicated, and tireless in their endeavors to serve students and meet the often very difficult needs within the Fillmore community. It is shameful that they continue to be broken down and devalued by Superintendent Palazuelos and his continual efforts to challenge and usurp the tenets of the contract, compounding an already arduous task significantly more than is necessary.
Fillmore Unified School district teachers and students deserve a leader that promotes respect and mutual understanding in the face of such monumental challenges.
Brian Ricards,
Vice President,
Fillmore Unified Teachers Association