Letters to the Editor
February 19th, 2009

To the Editor:
Thank you Roy Payne for your 20 year commitment to the City of Fillmore and its citizens. It was a privilage to work with you for most of your 20 dedicated years. I look back on those years and smile at the positive results your leadership provided to this community. Your leadership has made this community a wonderful place to live. Your honesty and integrity will never be in question in my opinion. Your leadership during the '94 earthquake was nothing short of remarkable. The City's downtown district and the City as a whole continues to thrive due to your visions and one can only hope this can continue. I could go on forever talking about your attributes, and your contributions to the city. Roy you will be truly missed, by not only me, but many others.
Retired Fire Chief Pat Askren
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Re. Martin Farrell’s Realities and his response to council member Gayle Washburn: It would be helpful if Farrell revealed his sources when he makes his claims. For example, when he questioned Washburn’s knowledge about spreadsheets and databases did Farrell know Washburn’s background? His claims were made up, by whom?
Roy Payne resigned as city manager four years ago. He left behind a handpicked city staff, he put in place a handpicked city manager and he negotiated his own contract to serve as a consultant to the city and has been paid, I’ll guess, based on what he got in ’08, over $300 thousand since he resigned. Mr. Farrell, are you telling us that Payne’s handpicked staff can’t do the job, if so, why? At a recent council meeting a council member asked if Payne had completed the seven tasks he was hired to do, the finance director said that he had. The city manager tacitly agreed. Did they mislead Washburn?
Mr. Farrell, if you want to talk about the sewer plant then make it clear to the Fillmore people why it’s good for us to be paying $80 million to handle our sewage when Santa Paula can handle twice the sewage at their new plant for $56 million. Yes, that’s one of the reasons why council members Washburn and Brooks were elected; over a thousand Fillmore citizens signed letters asking the City to take another look at our sewer future and all but council member Walker ignored the people. In fact, former Mayor Conaway went to Washington D.C. on behalf of American Water.
I like it when you challenge our elected officials, but only when your arguments are fact based.
Bob Stroh
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Your latest online edition is yet another blow to respectful, objective journalism. The cartoon (credited only to a staff writer) is neither satire, irony or based in civic duty to impart professional information. Is the game ultimately to undermine and demean the officials the people have elected? If so, consider the banality of the detractors. And, consider that our newly elected officials had the courage to campaign and run for office --- so many of us talk big but when called to perform, can't find the guts.
After 3 months and 3 meetings it is too soon to say who will look bad and who will look good at the end of two years.
Roy Payne seems to be the hottest issue. He, by his own admission, was the "Project Manager" for only the business park - not Griffin, not Heritage Valley, not North Fillmore, not Fillmore and Western, not Suncal and not Steiger. All of his other duties were in the role of "facilitator". For a definition of this title, contact City Hall. Facilitating is a staff function.....that is why staff is paid.
Gloria Hansen
Fillmore

To the Editor:
I have been driving by the new skate park since it has been open at least six or seven times and I have noticed something that should be of interest to the citizens of Fillmore. Each time that I have passed by the area, I have noticed large groups of boys using the area. Now this is good in that now some of the kids in the community have someplace to go with their skates and skateboards.
The bad thing is that none of those that I have observed using the park have been wearing the protective gear that I believe is required by law. In other words if little John, Bill, Chris or Carlos is injured on City Property, guess who has the deep pockets and will be sued? It is bad enough that the schools are now required to baby-sit and the city now must take on that responsibility for doing the same at the new skate park.
If we become the magnet that the promoters of the park claim it will become, then I guess that we also take on the responsibility for any injuries that will occur at the new park. It is my understanding that safety equipment is a State required law and who will become responsible for injuries received from not obeying that law. Surely according to some of these parents, the city will because as we all know, parents are not responsible for the actions of their children and if little Chris breaks an arm, leg or fractures his little skull because he is not obeying the law then the City and citizens who supplied that park are totally at fault.
It is time for the City to take a proactive measures, making sure the law is being enforced and make sure that anyone using that skate park be wearing the proper protective gear required. If we don’t it could cost us millions of dollars in settlements because parents won’t take on the responsibility of seeing that their kids are protected.
Terry Timmons
Fillmore

 

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Letters to the Editor
February 12th, 2009

To the Editor:
Re: Roy Payne letter.
It is unfortunate that Mr. Payne chose not to renegotiate his contract. My comments have been severely mischaracterized by Payne and the Gazette (where’s the editorial board?).
The 7 tasks outlined in the contract addendum have been completed. It is not necessary at this point to provide the $2,000 per month retainer – which partially comes out of the sewer fund and water fund – plus a free cell phone, computer workstation and office. The Business Park needed to be added to the contract and the other items removed. This is not a personal issue, it is a business decision.
I appreciate the past work that Mr. Payne has done. I love the City Hall building. The “last, best small town in Southern California” was a great slogan. And I thought that Vision 2020’s “slow, controlled growth” was a reason to be in Fillmore. I believe Mr. Payne was responsible for these items.
With that said however, I disagree with other decisions. While I have disagreed with Mr. Payne and others about some issues, I have not been disrespectful or abusive. Disagreements are normal but an inappropriate and unprofessional response from Mr. Payne and the Gazette are uncalled for.
By the way, if you Google “intellectual pygmy”, you get hits on George Bush, Al Gore, David Horowitz, John Roberts and Sarah Palin, all of whom are probably smarter than you and me.
Gayle Washburn
Councilmember
Fillmore

To the Editor:
SUBJECT: ROY PAYNE
On February 3, 2009 Mr. Roy Payne resigned as a Special Projects Manger to the City of Fillmore. He was working on the Business Park and to continue the effort to lower sewer rates. Mr. Payne states his reason is the attack on his personal integrity from the newly elected Council members. This is a tragedy for Fillmore because we are losing one of the most capable persons of the highest integrity who has a passionate love for Fillmore. I am writing this letter because we all need to remember the good things Roy brought to Fillmore and the wonderful person that he is.
Mr. Payne served as City Manager for 17 years under 8 different City Councils. Working with those City Councils he brought about significant positive change for Fillmore. One of his first actions was to attack weed infested City properties and have them landscaped and maintained. This effort was encouraged by Roy’s wife Donna who has an eye for beauty. Roy believed that if the City would take pride in its properties more residents would also begin to take pride in their properties.
Roy led the effort to rejuvenate Down Town with the store front rehab program and installation of decorative sidewalks, landscaping and crosswalks. He also spearheaded the Down Town Specific Plan that would enhance and preserve the historic nature of Down Town and enable businesses to add residential above the businesses. This adds economic strength to Down Town businesses and brings life and customers to Down Town.
When Southern Pacific Railroad was going bankrupt and selling land, Mr. Payne took advantage of the opportunity and Fillmore purchased the Station parcel from Central to east of Mountain View. On this parcel now sits the Fillmore Historical Society, Railroad turn table and their future museum, Gissinger Winery, City Hall and the Fillmore and Western Railroad. Some day there will be a two story railroad station hotel on the vacant lot north of City Hall. These amenities will enrich lives in Fillmore for many generations.
Fillmore’s beautiful landmark City Hall building and Central Park are to a large part the result of Donna and Roy Payne’s vision of a beautiful historic Fillmore. If it wasn’t for Roy’s vision and effort we wouldn’t have received the $1.3 Million dollar grant to build City Hall and it might have been a plain modern style building.
Roy Payne was instrumental in bringing the Fillmore and Western Railroad to town along with the Film Industry. These industries add another boost to the local economy to help make all businesses stronger.
You can see the impact of Mr. Payne’s leadership in the U.S. Census Bureau median household income data. Fillmore’s median income rose significantly from 1990 to 2007 while in Santa Paula and Port Hueneme they stayed fairly even with inflation. Fillmore is commonly compared to these two similar sized, lower income communities.
Thanks to Mr. Payne’s efforts the City has had a balanced budget and growing reserves for 20 years. The old Girls gym was renovated for the Boys and Girls club, the new municipal pool will be open this month and the 22 acre River Park is under construction with a skate board park, soccer and football fields and tennis and basket ball courts.
Working with former School Superintendent Mario Contini, Roy Payne helped to create a cooperative working relationship between the City Council and School Board which continues today. They also worked together to help the community to prepare the Vision 2020 plan.
On the residential side Mr. Payne recognized that Fillmore needed improved economic diversity and helped bring in new quality housing like Hometown, Riverwalk, Heritage Valley Parks, etc. When Fillmore would try to attract new businesses or restaurants they would always say we didn’t have the quality of housing or schools their employees want nor would we have higher income residents that could support their businesses. Once the economy improves the Heritage project will be occupied helping provide much needed upscale housing to help solve this problem.
We now have some new high quality restaurants like El Pescador and Central Station where you often have to wait in line to get seated. These restaurants and others need the Business Park to go forward to bring in more of the lunch crowd to help them prosper.
The last piece of Roy Payne’s vision for an economically strong Fillmore with a good housing/jobs balance is the Business Park. Since his retirement Mr. Payne has continued to work with the City to bring these 1,500 to 3,000 jobs to reality. As a Special Project’s Manager his hourly rate is $125 per hour which seems high until you consider that other professionals of the same caliber charge $160 to $200 per hour and Mr. Payne works significantly more hours than he charges the City. Also the City collects at least 40% of Mr. Payne’s cost from the builders of the Business Park.
Part of the controversy over Mr. Payne was in regard to the 700 housing units in north Fillmore Specific Plan verses 350 units approved by the voters in Measures H and I. If Mr. Payne were still City Manager he would be working to help the newly elected City Council adjust to the new 350 number. Mr. Payne is the kind of person who doesn’t hold grudges, respects the decisions of the voters and would fully implement the decisions of the City Council even if they don’t heed his professional advice.
The new sewer plant and resulting sewer bills have been a difficult burden for everyone. As City Manager Mr. Payne worked to keep the cost as low as possible and as Special Projects Manager continued to work to lower sewer rates. Last year he put in an extraordinary effort along with Dave Burkart and Barbara Smith to lower sewer rates from the projected rate of $85 per month to $72 per month saving the rate payers $814,000 in only one year.
Mr. Payne also led the City in using the Design Build Operate process to build the new Water Recycling Plant and saved the rate payers 15% or about $5,000,000. Mr. Payne took a lot of heat at the time from those opposed to the new plant until the City of Santa Paula threw away about $3,000,000 worth of plans and copied the Fillmore process and then the County of Ventura threw away about $1,000,000 worth of plans for the Piru plant and copied Fillmore.
Time and time again Mr. Payne has been proven to be a man of great integrity, clear vision and a great leader for Fillmore. It is a tragedy that he has to resign. The Business Park will surely be slowed down and hopefully not stopped because of it.
This short letter overlooks many other great accomplishments by Mr. Payne on behalf of Fillmore. He should be applauded and honored for all he has done and will be greatly missed.
I am proud to say I served on the Fillmore City Council during most of Roy’s service to our city.
Very truly yours,
Roger Campbell
Retired Councilmember and Mayor
City of Fillmore

 


 
Letters to the Editor
February 5th, 2009

To the Editor:
Dear Mr. Farrell,
Your editorial column is entitled “Realities”. Therefore, I am clarifying my position a bit for the newspaper readers in order to supply a sense of true reality. I suppose if we continue this process (extreme editorial and set the record straight retort) that the Fillmore Gazette readers will have some brief entertainment!
Previously, I voted “no” on the proposal to spend up to $10,000 on river bottom land appraisal and lawyer fees. In my opinion if the city is looking at purchasing land then the SELLER should pay for the appraisal. Because the amount of the purchase was open-ended, I voted no. It is my belief that a seller should come to the table with some ballpark figure in mind.
I voted “no” on parts of the bike trail grant proposed recommendations (There were five separate recommended action points). According to city staff, owning the land proposed would probably lead to the annexation of the area called “Sunken Village”. That event might cause some significant liabilities for the City. It was my position that this should be analyzed before plans were set in motion.
Respectfully,
Jamey Brooks, councilmember
Fillmore
(01/29/09 Editorial may be found at www.fillmoregazette.com under Editorial)

To the Editor:
“If I speak I am condemned. If I remain silent I am damned.” Valjean to Officer Galbert. (Les Miserables)
So President Barack Obama did not like Rush Limbaugh’s comments. If the President’s agenda is challenged but passes without a political struggle, dare anyone oppose the new triumvirate of D.C., ie: Obama, Pelosi, and Reid? Our political interests have always been tenuated by the debate and seasonal unanimity of the People, not Rush Limbaugh, liberal Democrats, or the media. And what certainty should we look to from our national leaders when in concert, the president and majority party have set in motion an effort to silence a strongly held but different point of view? Republicans have been warned by the president that one man should not be listened to. And now Democrats are circulating a petition vilifying Rush Limbaugh. It’s true that Obama has socialist tendencies. So why are we surprised that his political annoyance demonstrates a foretaste of censorship?
Norbert Castel de Oro,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
It’s going on almost two weeks now and the city has done nothing to clean up this ditch (see photo). The stagnant water is infested with mosquitoes and diseases. The school children walk by this open ditch every day. It seems that the city has no intentions of doing anything about it. If you are concerned about your children’s health you may want to contact Public Works Director Bert J. Rapp at City Hall. 524-1500 ext. 231.
Milan Boyanich,
Fillmore

 


 
Letters to the Editor
January 29th, 2009

To the Editor:
Rev. Leslie R. Lanier, speaking for the Wayfarer’s Chapel Lutheran Church, last week claimed that if our nation supports homosexuality then we will receive a “curse from God.” By “supports” I assume Lanier means assuring that gay and lesbian Americans are guaranteed the same equality and right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that all of us good heterosexuals are afforded. By “curse” I assume he means all future natural disasters.
In 1963 I was stationed at Fort Rucker, Alabama, a time when that state was segregated. The attitude and remarks about African Americans expressed by the whites justifying their racist behavior was of a similar self-righteous tone expressed by Lanier toward gays and lesbians.
Lanier’s claims about homosexuals are false, divisive and hurtful. The many gays and lesbians that are part of the Fillmore citizenry serve our community as educators, professionals, shoppers, business owners, artists, volunteers, taxpayers etc.; I’m embarrassed to read Lanier’s offensive public comments attempting to denigrate the citizenship of friends and neighbors.
Getting through adolescence is difficult for many youngsters but for the minority of teens who discover they have a gay sexual orientation it’s much more difficult. Imagine being told that the consequence of the sexual feelings you are experiencing could be the cause for God to bring a curse upon your country. The suicide rate is much higher for these kids than other teens, in part because of societal ignorance. Fortunately that is changing. I pray that Rev. Lanier can find it in his heart to tone down the dogma and recognize the destructive potential his unfounded and irresponsible claims can have on real people.
Bob Stroh,
Fillmore

 


 
Letters to the Editor
January 22nd, 2009

To the Editor:
Barak Obama faces serious challenges as he takes office as our next president, and he surely needs our prayers. There is good news in this, that our nation has shown that race should not be a hindrance in being elected to office. This is good, for God is not prejudiced, and neither should we be. It should make no difference if a man is white, black, or half white and half black, as President Obama is. Character and policies promoted by the individual should be the criteria for office, not race. However, as we also know, the news is not all good. We face very real security threats from abroad and the economy is not in good shape. People worry about terrorist threats, their jobs, and making ends meet.
We should pray for our president, that God would give him wisdom, good judgment, and, most importantly, the desire to do what is right in God's sight. For all of the motivational speeches and all of the economic policies in the world will not help us if our nation sanctions moral perversion and the murder of its children. Supporting homosexuality and abortion, as President Obama has done in the past, will not bring this nation blessings, but rather a curse from God.
In the Bible God says, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." (Psalm 33:12) He also says, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil." (Isaiah 5:20) We pray that God would give President Obama a repentant heart, the will and the courage to support the good rather than the evil, and that God would watch over him and his family and keep them from harm.
Rev. Leslie R. Lanier,
Wayfarer's Chapel Lutheran Church

To the Editor:
What a display of bizarre and disruptive conduct was exhibited by Councilperson Hernandez at the 1/13/09 meeting. While the new City Clerk was presenting his agenda item, Ms. Hernandez shook her head in a "No No No" side-to-side gesture while mouthing the word "No No No" repeatedly during the presentation and, for added effect, she slapped her desktop with papers and grimaced and smiled in disgust intermittently. It was obvious that she was not in accord with Mr. Westling's requests and/or recommendations. However, her uncontrolled body gestures and silent mouthings along with loud and disruptive outbursts are the last thing the public expects from an elected official. The only saving grace to this performance fiasco is that the video cameras never took a close-up of Ms. Hernandez. You had to be in the audience to see it to believe it. Sad!
Gloria Hansen,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
January 15th, 2009

To the Editor:
Mr. Sweeney:
I’m writing this letter not only as concerned parent but as a member of the community. It’s with great disbelieve that in this day of times we see the discrimination to our soccer program which is made of minority students. We had enough and feel that it’s time we speak up and let Fillmore School District know how unhappy we are with this situation. Time and time again the soccer program is put aside and our coaches have to find a place to practice or a place to play, because school administrators don’t feel that our children are important enough to accommodate and respect the soccer program schedule. Just last week the games were moved to Shields Park. This is unfair and we hope that you will take action and take care of this situation.
Respectfully,
Maria Vaca,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Mr. Sweeney:
As a proud supporter, father and previous assistant coach for over ten years at Fillmore High School, it saddens me to learn that once again, the Fillmore High Soccer Program is being discriminated. Specifically, I am appalled that the boys and girls cannot practice/play on the new turf.
Time and time again the soccer programs are pushed aside for other "more important" sports and in this case to fix the problems with the track. This is just not right and you as Superintendant should not allow for things like this to happen under your watch.
By cancelling and re-scheduling games to Shields Park you are opening up the students to the possibility of greater injury because of the poor condition of these fields.
Respectfully,
Joel Quintero,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Fillmore Unified School District,
as a concerned parent and Fillmore High School Soccer Alumni, I am writing about how Soccer has been discriminated against. Since I can remember soccer isn't a sport much recognized in Fillmore. Not only in our school district but also in our community. I personally know most of the female and male soccer players in our Fillmore High School program. Our school has always had a high number of students participating in the sport. We were all excited as a community to be able to watch our team play on our new field.
In understanding that the field has yet to be completed, none to minimal work was done to our field in the Winter break. Most of the unfinished work could have easily been completed in those 2 weeks. Due to lack on your part, our students have now been forced to play at a public park that needs much field repair. UNFAIR!
Our Football season was a hit, not to mention must have been a great feeling for those who played their last year on that field. This is being taken away from those seniors who play the sport of soccer. Our student’s pay the sport fees and should have equal rights to that field. Regardless of what sports brings in the revenue. It looks horrible on your part!!
Needless to say, this year's Soccer Alumni game was held at Shields Park due to the field not being completed. Myself along with many other Fillmore High School Soccer Alumni's were enraged at the thought.
Something needs to be done differently. Soon Fillmore Unified School District will find that less and fewer students will be participating in the sport of soccer.
A concerned parent,
Erika Huerta,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Mr. Sweeney,
I’m writing this letter as a concerned parent of three children who attend Fillmore School District and a tax payer who is very out raged of the situation regarding the high school boys and girls soccer program. I’m very upset to hear that the students who attend Fillmore High and play soccer are not being allowed to use their own soccer field to play the sport they enjoy! This field was built for the students use in ALL sports and that’s not what is happening!! The reason the field is closed is “work/repairs needed to be done”, why now, why during soccer season and not football season!!! Why not during winter break? The kids were off for over two weeks, that would have been a perfect time to do any work that needed to be done, but instead you have decided to take care of it during soccer season!!
By doing this, you have pushed these kids to play at the only public park in Fillmore: Shields Park, which is in a very poor condition for these students to play on. The soccer program has a lot of students participating in both boys and girls and they pay their fees as well as any other sport. Unfortuanaly for what ever reason time after time they are mistreated one way or another. This needs to stop. Equal opportunity should be for all students who attend Fillmore Unified School District, not just the sports that bring in the revenue.”
A concerned parent,
Jennie Andrade,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
January 8th, 2009

To the Editor:
Re: New Skateboard Park
I’m a little shocked and saddened by the pictures I see of our new skateboard park. I saw what may be one helmet in the first picture, but no other helmets anywhere. There are no elbow, knee or wrist pads. I also see what appear to be children on bicycles with no helmets. If I am not mistaken there is a law that states all children under 16 must wear helmets while riding a bicycle in Fillmore. I feel very sad that these children may be injured or killed because their parents do not ensure they are wearing the proper safety equipment while participating in these types of activities. I must also think that some of these parents will be the same ones that will blame the city of Fillmore should one of their children become injured. Parents, please teach your children to wear their safety gear. Maybe the city needs to make it a requirement to wear them, especially at the skateboard park.
Christina Thompson,
Concerned Fillmore Mom

 
Letters to the Editor
December 25th, 2008

To the Editor:
Dear Martin,
I was reading your "Realities" page on the Internet and noticed a "reality" about you. A ways down, you have an editorial blasting while at the top of the page you have an ad for a company selling "Super Obama" t-shirts. You sell out easily, don't you. Your so called "Realities" can be bought for a few bucks. That makes your opinion seem pretty cheap, huh?
Dave Roegner,
Fillmore

Dear Dave,
The ads that run on the side of our web page are part of an advertising topical words program based on an algorithm system, which randomly matches topical words on the website. We have no control over the contents of the ads. So, since I write about Obama, good or bad, their servers select ads which relate to Obama. To make it clearer, if it were your webpage, the ads would probably contain information on lobotomies.
Sincerely, Martin Farrell

To the Editor:
To The People of Fillmore
We, the people of the Fillmore First United Methodist Church, would like to thank you for your concern and love during our time of trouble. First of all, it was only the church sign on the corner of Sespe and Fillmore that suffered visible damage and vandalism, i.e. tagging the plastic by scratching and until the plastic fractured and broke, that became apparent because the other signs of tagging of our church walls are quickly covered by the efficient efforts of the City of Fillmore whom we also thank. We had many calls of concern that possibly we were going out of operation. No such thing! We continue to serve all who come - we have seats available every Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. Come and visit and be welcome.
The Congregation.

 
Letters to the Editor
December 18th, 2008

To the Editor
Dear Martin,
You are entitled to your opinion however over emphasized or over dramatized. When I asked for copies of contracts I did so knowing that the majority of people voting for me wanted the same fiscal accountability that "I want". This country, this state and this city need financial restructuring. I asked for information on items that are of the most cost to the city. In the past, I stated financial statements at budget workshops (the proper time and place). The place on the City Council agenda to ask for specific information is 10D (other discussion/information from Mayor, City Council and City Staff). I asked then because I wanted a consensus of the council. Then staff was directed after discussion from the whole council. That was the proper time and place to bring it forth. There is a group of people who will not like any direction of change I may propose. There is a large group of people who voted for me who are expecting a closer look at the finances of the city. You and I have two different opinions about how I should proceed as a city leader. You have dramatically said I was grinning like a three-year-old and acting like a little Caesar. I do not recall grinning at all (it might have been a grimace). I am short, but I am no little Caesar. Throughout the recent campaign, some people attacked others with name calling. I find it a pity that you would use this tactic. As "the Editor" of Fillmore's only newspaper, if you disagree with things, state your case without the name calling. We all can respect that.
Jamey Brooks,
Fillmore

To the Editor
Re. Martin Farrell’s Realities: After watching city council members come and go for over thirty years I have observed that, although they obviously have different personalities, styles, philosophies, experiences, backgrounds, intellect and knowledge, they all come to the office either familiar or unfamiliar with how city government operates.
The unfamiliar are those who we never knew were interested in city governance until they ran for office. We never heard them offer a public opinion on an issue either before the council or in the local press. They get elected, receive their orientation from city staff on how to be a city council member and quite often become nothing more than a “rubber stamp” for whatever staff says. At that point they cease being the people’s representative.
The familiar are those who have been engaged. They have researched issues and city documents, voiced their opinions before the City Council and/or public media outlets. We know where they stand on the issues when we go in the voting booth. Gayle Washburn and Jamey Brooks came into office familiar and engaged - for years.
Their agenda, if I’m not mistaken, is open government (transparency), provide oversight, demand accountability and fiscal responsibility. That should make it easy for the local press. Give them a call.
Personally, I want to know who was behind the scheme to cheat a couple of cities out of their share of sales tax monies so Fillmore could get some ill-gotten revenue. Would it be too much to ask our local newspaper to get to the bottom of this story? After all, we could be facing a multi-million dollar lawsuit over it.
Bob Stroh,
Fillmore

To the Editor
Why I support the Boys and Girls Club
#1. As you all know, the decisions kids make during their adolescence dramatically alter the rest of their lives. It’s often easier to make the wrong decisions due to several factors including peer pressure. While parents are the prime caregivers for children, work schedules and life do not allow children to be supervised all the time. So any supplemental guidance and mentoring can really make the difference.
#2. The mentoring received at the Boys and Girls Club can make a difference. Our well trained, dedicated yet underpaid staff are positive role models for so many of our valley’s children. I know in my life, one or two mentors really helped me chose the right direction just when I needed it.
#3. The Boys and Girls Club is time tested. For the past 75 years, clubs through out the country have been there for the youth of America performing their duties in a quiet humble manner.
Before I came on the Board, I thought substantial support came from the United Way and the national organization. Unfortunately, that is not the case. We need support from the communities we serve to cover our operating costs. I assure you, every dollar is spent wisely. Please send your donations to P. O. Box 152, Santa Paula or call 525-7910.
Mike Hause,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
December 11th, 2008

To the Editor:
Cyberbullying is becoming more prevalent into today’s society with the access of electronic mail, chat rooms, blogging sites, virtual worlds, instant messaging, social network sites like MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and other very common mediums like cell phones and PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) all creating a world of instant communication.
Forms of Cyberbullying consist of an individual or group willfully using information and communication to harass or threaten another individual or group by sending or posting cruel text or graphics using a technological means. Issues specific to Cyberbullying are: anonymity (no one knows who you are), no inhibition (free to act anyway you want), increased audience, limitless risk of victimization and 24/7 access.
As parents, we can talk about Cyberbullying to our children. Set clear rules regarding the use of computers and other technological devices. Monitor computer use (check website browser history). And of course install monitoring and filtering software.
Some on-line prevention resources are: i-SAFE Inc. (http://www.i-safe.org); NetSmartz (http://www.netsmartz.org); and CyberSmart (http://www.cybersmartcurriculum.org/home.
If you or someone you love is being bullied in cyberspace, tell someone. Report the harassment to the website, and of course if someone is threatening to do harm, report this to the police.
Think before you click! Words do hurt…
Mrs. Reyes-Deutsch,
Mom & School Counselor,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Dear Friends,
Here we go again! With Christmas just around the corner, most of us are asking already. Most of us agree that this Holiday Season is fortunate for some and unfortunate for others. Amidst the times we live in, we must realize that Christmas' true roots are from the spirit of giving and rejoice. Let us reflect on what we DO have. Most of all, lets not forget the kids. The kids are the ones who remember the great Christmas'. Put the kids first!
Being a part of the Fillmore and Piru community, as a kid, I couldn't wait to see Santa on the fire truck going up and down Clay St. As President of the local Carnales Motorcycle Club I am a part of putting together a Toy Run to benefit the kids in the Piru area. Why Piru? It is a small forgotten town that my family has been rooted to for over a hundred years-a prominent family. This town is "tight-knitted" and traditional. My brotherhood "Carnales Mc" looks forward to helping make the Christmas a great one for the kids of Piru, California. This is what we're all about.
Thank You to all our Supporters, family, friends, and Jesus "Chuy" Ortiz of El Pescador. Without their support, it would've been impossible. Remember, Support your Local
Carnales Motorcycle Club. God Bless.
Sincerely,
Bobby Castenada,
Carnales Mc.

 
Letters to the Editor
December 4th, 2008

To the Editor:
ALERT-ALERT-ALERT THIS IS A TRUE EMERGENCY
The California Supreme Court is preparing to hear a motion on the legality of a Vote by the People of California. This hearing is supposed to determine whether the vote on Proposition 8 will stand or fall. What will be determined is the right, given by the Constitution, for the people to govern and not the public officials. By law, those elected to office, and those appointed, are employees of the legal citizens of the State of California. Unless, We the People, are willing to give up the freedom our forefathers fought and died for, and become slaves to dictators once again, we must not wait for the outcome of their decision. We must act without hesitation to prepare a valid recall referendum of those officials and judges who stand in opposition to the will of the people. The people of the State of California allowed Judges to set aside their vote once before, and now we are faced with the possibility of a judgment which could be far worse.
We may expect immediate and possibly hostile opposition to this recall from the ACLU, the gay activists, and the Judges, all of whom wish to become a law unto themselves. Unless we are willing to become workers for dictators, and not
citizens with a voice as to our freedom and law, we can expect tyranny to follow.
Stan Mason,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
November 27th, 2008

To the Editor:
This letter was sent to Kevin McSweeney the day after the November 18 Housing Element Workshop. This Workshop stressed affordable housing requirements from the State.

I talked about El Dorado’s plight a little last night. El Dorado’s owner and management is determined to raise rents out of the affordable housing market. They want a more affluent tenancy throughout the park. They are driving low income residents into abandoning their retirement homes. By this method they are creating a greater burden on the city by removing affordable housing from your housing element. Many of the park’s residents tried to get the city to do something about this a year ago and it fell on deaf ears. So we have to pay again for the city’s ineptitude. Without a counter balance to this one sided equation, I too will loose my home and become homeless in a pretty short amount of time. I bring in about $30,000 and I can’t afford to live in a trailer?! I’m probably one of the higher earning residents of those living here 15 years or more (I’ve been here 21 years). When our old leases are up and we have to get on the current leases offered, we will lose everything. The owner’s costs are minimal and the rent increases are uncalled for. The space across the street from me is for sale and when it sells the rent will be $250 a month more than the present lease. How can this increase be justified? They only own the land. How much maintenance is that? There are very small common areas they have to take care of and the streets, the clubhouse and utilities, that’s about it. Bottom line, our seniors are being forced out of their retirement into squalor by a greedy corporation while the government does not do it’s job and protect affordable housing and it’s citizens. Then you bureaucrats have the nerve to throw all these numbers about “fairness” at us? And how you are trying to protect us?

To me the government pushing forced housing on a supply/demand market is ludicrous. It will never work.
First of all the numbers are meaningless. They do not take into account that some cities are in a better location for transportation. Those farther from major highways and rail service are less desirable for businesses and residents. Property costs are higher near major highways and rail, but once you purchase them it becomes a fixed cost. Transportation costs will never be fixed, but always rise. So, smart people will locate where they can save on transportation costs. In the long run, transportation savings will out weigh the higher property expense. The property value will also rise faster for them in a more desirable location.
Secondly, the numbers don’t make any concession to the fact that many landlords are bent on increasing rents out of the affordable housing market. The whole notion of providing housing to people who clearly can not afford to live there is ridiculous. There are just too many factors for governments to try to solve a problem that really doesn’t exist. The market is reality and trying to change that is like trying to change human nature. It just is what it is. It is not a solvable problem, it is not even a problem. The whole existence of this government structure is a waste of resources.
Sincerely,
David Roegner

 
Letters to the Editor
November 20th, 2008

To the Editor:
A number of misconceptions have arisen recently that need to be corrected.
First, there's the misconception that refusing to recognize homosexual marriage is akin to refusing to allow interracial marriage. In the eyes of the world, the two may be related, but not in the eyes of God. Nowhere in the Bible do we find that it is a sin for people of different races to marry. People who opposed interracial marriage did so simply out of prejudice, not because God says that it's wrong. However, God does condemn homosexuality (Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:18-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
Secondly, there's the misconception that homosexual marriage is simply a matter of rights. Actually, it's a matter of morality. Some actions are immoral, and some are not. Murder is immoral; stealing is immoral; lying is immoral; adultery is immoral; sex outside of marriage is immoral; and homosexual activity is immoral. On what basis are they immoral? On the basis of the foundation of our traditional moral standards, the law of God.
Thirdly, there's the misconception that while Jesus was tolerant (i.e. Jesus would OK homosexual marriage), the apostle Paul was not (because in his letters Paul condemns homosexuality), therefore we can listen to Jesus but ignore the writings of Paul. Actually, Jesus said, "Don't think that I came to destroy the law, but to fulfill it." (Matthew 5:17) Jesus did not do away with the moral law (the 10 Commandments and their applications), and Jesus never condoned sin. For to condone sin is sin itself, and Jesus never sinned. Jesus also said to those He sent out (which includes Paul). "He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me." (Luke 10:16) What Paul writes is the word of Jesus, and whoever rejects Paul's writings rejects Jesus who sent him.
Finally, there are misconceptions of where president-elect Obama stands on the issues of abortion and homosexual marriage.
There's the misconception that Obama opposes partial-birth abortion. He gave that impression in the third presidential debate when he stated that he does not support partial-birth or late-term abortion. The reality is that he not only doesn't oppose partial-birth abortion, but that he supports resumption of the practice in our country. Obama has promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which was drawn up in opposition to the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. The Freedom of Choice Act would allow partial-birth abortions to resume where the "health" of the mother is involved. Of course, the "health" of the mother can mean any mental or physical discomfort that she suffers, so the "health of the mother" exception clause in effect nullifies the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and makes it only so much worthless paper. For those who are not aware of what partial-birth abortion actually is, it's a procedure used late in a pregnancy where the child is delivered except for its head. Its skull is then cut open and its brains are sucked out so that it can be delivered dead.
By the way, on the issue of abortion there's a video that I would direct your attention to. It can be seen at www.obamamustsee.com.
There's also the misconception that Obama opposes homosexual marriage. The reality is that he favors repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996. DOMA, as it's called, states that the Federal government does not recognize same-sex marriage, nor are the states required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Since the Defense of Marriage Act deals exclusively with denying the validity of homosexual marriage, there's no reason to favor repealing it if one actually opposes homosexual marriage.
Lastly, a word on tolerance. I know several people here in Fillmore who had "Yes on 8" signs stolen from their property. One lady had her sign stolen twice. My wife and I had a different experience. We had roofing nails placed under the tires of our vehicles. A $30 tire repair bill was the price we paid.
Rev. Leslie R. Lanier
Wayfarer's Chapel Lutheran Church

To the Editor:
I know this is a very trivial point but it has been driving me crazy for years so I need to speak out! Can we please let people know that we DON'T have a Shields Park or Shields Drive. We have Shiells Park and Shiells Drive. There is NO "D" just two ll's pleas people pronounce and spell it correctly!!!!
Thank you,
Amy Berger

 
Letters to the Editor
November 13th, 2008

To the Editor:
I would like to say thanks to the hardest working campaign team ever and thanks to all of the supporters and volunteers who worked so hard – I could not do it without you. Thanks to all of the voters who cast their vote for me. For those who did not vote for me I hope to earn your support as we work together to face challenges ahead of us.
I also want to thank all of the candidates who participated in this election. It’s not easy being out in the public realm. But anyone who is willing to make the sacrifice in time and energy to try to make their community better deserves a lot of credit.
I am looking forward to fulfilling my duties on the Fillmore City Council and promise to do my best to represent all of the people in Fillmore to the best of my ability.
Gayle Washburn,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Dear friends and Fillmore voters,
I want to extend my thanks to all of you for your help and confidence during this recent election. We all worked very hard to win the election for myself, Jamie, Gayle plus Measures H&I.
As I have probably told you, I feel that portions of this city’s recent problems are because of the improper implementation of the California Government Code regarding the Office of City Clerk. I campaigned on the platform of establishing this office in Fillmore as an independent governing entity as defined in the code. And I want to again promise you that I will faithfully fulfill that promise.
Thank you again
Clay Westling,
Fillmore City Clerk - Elect

To the Editor:
Gallegly thanks the voters
It is an honor to serve the people of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in Washington, DC, and I want to thank the voters for your support again this week.
As a nation, we face challenges today unlike any we’ve faced in many decades. But the United States has faced great challenges before and we have always prevailed. There is much work ahead. I have no doubt that if we keep our eyes on the goal of peace and prosperity we will reach that goal.
Rebuilding our economy and winning the war against terrorism are not partisan issues, they are American issues. There is new leadership in the nation’s capital and they will find, as past leaders have, that leading is not easy. I have a record, as both a part of the majority and minority, of working in a bipartisan effort with my colleagues. I will continue to do so as we tackle the tasks ahead.
I have never taken your support lightly over the past 22 years and I never will. I pledge to continue to serve with commitment and dedication. Should you have any questions or concerns about any federal issue, please don’t hesitate to contact my office in Thousand Oaks, Solvang, or Washington, DC.
Sincerely,
ELTON GALLEGLY
Member of Congress

To the Editor:
As Mr. Martin Farrell took his last opportunity to endorse particular Measures before Election Day, he truly hit a home run! For the faithful supporters of Propositions 8 and 4 it was a breath of fresh air in the sea of media bashing of our cause. While all was not won in the election, you won our hearts by speaking up against the tide of media opinion against traditional values and candidates. While we are grateful that Proposition 8 passed successfully, we fully recognize that a large percentage of our population misunderstands our cause and the issue, which has nothing to do with rights or tolerance. A key issue that is missed by those who loudly proclaim that this is an issue of civil rights and that separation of church and state means that moral issues are not applicable miss the true meaning behind the founding of this great nation, "One Nation Under God". Separation of Church and State does not mean abandonment of God or those principals that underpin our constitution and nation. Tolerance that undermines basic and core values is not tolerance, but weakness! We must all recognize the task ahead to share with others those core issues of such importance so that we never again face such a challenge as we did with the passing of Proposition 8. We will move forward from the results of this election thankful that we all have the opportunity to express our vote in the governance of this Nation. Thanks again for speaking up for what is right!
David Starr,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Thankfully the election is finally over. I think that the outcome of the City election was the result of many things but most importantly it was the candidates and the issues. We were fortunate to have had so many who were willing to participate at that level.
We cannot overlook the good reporting of the Gazette and Martin Farrell who brought to our attention the problems that would be created by the North Fillmore Plan; Martin, credit to you for being the spark that ignited the movement behind Measures H and I.
It seems one of our citizens was cited for removing some Proposition 8 signs; I would have been proud to have had my picture along side his if his story is true. I saw a “Yes on Prop 8” sign illegally placed in the middle of Central Ave. near City Hall. I should have removed it from our property but I didn’t take the time, shame on me.
One last thought, Mr. Farrell, the previous two presidential elections you told us that we should vote for G.W. Bush – big mistake. This time we decided to try something different and vote for the candidate you didn’t support. Of course, Obama’s presidency will be judged by whether or not he can fix everything that G.W. broke. A daunting task but we can hope.
Bob Stroh,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Re: Cindy Blatt's November 6th. letter
A plethora of "Yes on 8" signs in and around Fillmore is based on an Article in the United States Constitution, known as The First Amendment, which guarantees the right of free speech, Fillmore included . Unfortunately, some in Fillmore believe free speech does not apply to ideas that they disagree with. Around 100 "Yes on 8" signs were stolen from front yards of Fillmore residences, mine included. According to newspaper accounts two individual Fillmore residents, including a former Mayor of Fillmore, were arrested or cited by Fillmore police for stealing "Yes on 8" signs. I don't know on any "No on 8" signs that were stolen but I do know that "No on 8" supporters were protesting in front of a polling place, (very illegal) and police were called and responded. Could that form of free speech be more acceptable to Ms. Blatt's standards of expression?
Tom Montali,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
The youth organizations of Fillmore have teamed together to find a solution with the school board regarding the use of the school fields for practicing. There are four youth sports that play throughout the year that require fields to practice on. If you think about how much public space is out there in our town, you know that it is not very much. Currently we all pay fees to the school district for the use of school fields to help keep them maintained. Since fees will increase for 2009 all youth organizations have been forced to raise registration fees to cover field use cost. Until the new 22 acre park is built we are going to continue to have this problem. We are asking parents and residents of Fillmore to help us go to speak to the school board and ask them not to raise field fees, so we do not have to raise registration fees. All around Ventura County, Fillmore is the least expensive for youth sports and we would like to keep in that way. The success of our youth sports continues to grown. Our mission is to keep our youth occupied and keep them off the streets. If we are forced to raise our registration fee, then some families may not be able to afford it, and that defeats our purpose. It is not our intention to be at war with anyone or point fingers at whom or how the challenge started. We are trying to come to an agreement that is best for everyone. We would like to form a youth organization board of directors and if you would like to be involved and want to be heard, please join us November 12th at 6:30pm at the Boys and Girls Club on First Street.
Angelica Richardson,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
1) Rent control is only for residents who want it. Those who don't like it can have their long term lease and the only effect rent control would have on you is you home will be worth more. You continually want to tell us what to do. You have no right to tell us we can't have rent control because you represent a minority group and rent control will not harm you.
2) If you did a little research, you would know other California cities have successfully used a moratorium to halt "condoizing".
3) The new City Council will save the city more than enough money to make up for administering a rent control board.
4) People have a right to have a choice, rather than being dictated to by your minority group.
5) Your group's interference is what has caused "the disruptive mess" and "divided the park". You would not accept the fact that rent control would not effect you and proceeded to side with management. Steve Conaway and Cecelia Cuevas also sided with management from the start. Funny how the guy with the big bucks gets your group's and 2 council persons support immediately when rent control first began. I think the key word in the last sentence is "bucks", because if you cared about people, you would want them to have what they want.
6) Yes, the Santa Paula park did get a $129 increase, but that was from an average rent of $370 in that park. The space across from me is facing a $250 increase from our wonderful owner. So what's better?
Dave Roegner,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
November 6th, 2008

To the Editor:
Who has the heart to tell 639 AYSO kids that their playing time is over? Why is one sport allowed to play at certain fields and another not given that same opportunity? For those answers one must approach city hall and ask. But for our AYSO children’s sake our town needs to know what is going on. Shields Park has always been the practice ground for our soccer kids. Every year the AYSO president submits our reservation from August through October. In doing so this year he was told that it was too early. After re-submitting according to deadline he was told that Fillmore Raiders requested the field from October 16th on. Apparently the football players needed the lights at night. Prior to needing these last two weeks the football players were practicing at Sespe School and the Little League field. When questioning where our 639 kids were supposed to practice the question of utilizing these fields was brought up only to be quickly turned down as they are off limits to soccer. At mid-season we were asked to cut our practices from two a week to one due to the adult softball games. Now we are told to not have any practice. We understand that somehow the football league requested the time before AYSO even though someone at city hall was well aware of the time we needed as our president requested ahead of time. But this unfairness has to stop. If one sport is allowed to play at certain fields then all sports should be allowed. Discrimination may be a heavy word but the right word in this case. 639 kids are depending on the leaders of this town to provide them with the same equality they have provided for the Football and baseball teams.
Alyssa Calder,
Concerned Parent

To the Editor:
In response to flyer sent to El Dorado Residents Nov -03- 2008
Paid for by (Washburn and Brooks).
You state that (1) each of you are both concerned about the quality of life at El Dorado (thanks for that). Since the rent control movement, our life has been a most disruptive mess & divided the park. Thanks to the anointed Gang.(2) Why your moratorium for us residents. Please cite for us your examples of cities that have stopped owners from converting their parks.(3) If elected and when you are informed, the cost to the City of FILLMORE, If you are both smart you just might do what the old council did and Vote-- NO. Then wait for the words to start. As to who paid you off.???? (4) On your flyer that was sent to us, both of you must think that we here in El Dorado are real naive old folks, if not senile. Just to get our Vote!! To some of us in El Dorado its looks like you're trying to sell us snake oil by the cup. And to think some will buy it by the drum. The photo you used of the mobile home is not at El Dorado. You did not even give us that COURTESY and you want what from us.
Are you both aware what happen in Santa Paula, Their rents are being raised $129.00. And they're on Rent Control.
Raul Torres of El Dorado

To the Editor:
Shame on the supporters of Proposition 8 for placing a plethora of “Yes on 8” campaign signs on public property throughout Fillmore – which, by the way, is illegal. What kind of lessons are you teaching your children?
Cindy Blatt,
Fillmore

 
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,
Fillmore

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!
Sincerely,
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,
Fillmore

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,
Fillmore

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,
Fillmore

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,
Fillmore

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,
Fillmore

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
Fillmore

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,
Fillmore

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,
Fillmore

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:
MARK AUSTIN FOR FILLMORE SCHOOL BOARD
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,
Fillmore

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,
Fillmore

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,
Fillmore

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,
Fillmore

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
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
October 23rd, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
Letters to the Editor
October 16th, 2008

To the Editor:
Today I read the paper online, and to my very surprise, there was an article "Personal Courage". Before I put my thoughts into this article, allow me to first convey my sincere gratitude to the Gazette for printing this.
I am the mother of SPC Juanita (Jenny) Altamirano. This deployment has not been easy for me, and I know that the parents and loved one of our other community members who are also in the military share my sentiments. We as a strong community are very proud of our sons, daughters, etc who have chosen to join the military. As a parent, I am very proud of the choice that my daughter made. Not only did she choose to serve her country, she chose to leave her family and friends to go to Iraq without hesitation. She was told that medically she did not have to go, but after talking it over with myself and her physician at Bautista Medical Group here in Fillmore (thank you Jorge), she made her decision to join her unit for deployment. Thus began the worry and countless sleepless nights.
The love of our family and friends, combined with the continuous support of many citizens of Fillmore/Piru have kept me strong for the little brother and sister my daughter misses very much. Be it a hug, a thank you, or a handshake, this community has made me very proud to live here.
My heartfelt thank you's go out to Fillmore Gazette for making it their weekly goal of honoring our military, Ventura County Library staff members who know my daughter (especially Cathy Krushell at Fillmore), Sgt. O'Sullivan of Fillmore PD who was very influential in my daughter's career choice, Nena at $6 Cuts for keeping Jenny's hair beautiful when she was home (and manageable for the "sock bun" that she now has to wear). A special thank you to Angel and Sista Soul at KHSU.ORG for all you have done.
But most importantly my prayers go out to the families here that have loved ones in the military who are either here in the U.S. or in another country. Thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice of letting your child make the decision to serve our country.
Lorraine Perez,
A Very Proud ARMY STRONG MOMMY!

To the Editor:
On Saturday October 11 I was fortunate enough to share a meal with the Lions Club of Fillmore. This was their yearly "Taste of Italy" dinner. Wow! What a meal it was. The food was terrific. Paul and Joyce Schifanelli hosted the meal and entertainment. Joyce could be a master chef anywhere! Delicious! Paul arranged to have Delaney Gibson Sing and play keyboard and guitar for us. Delaney has the voice of an angel and composes her own songs that are so beautiful. I want to express my appreciation for being invited and to all the hard work that went into this wonderful event. The Lions do so much to help people, please support them if you can.
Thank you!

To the Editor:
Seems change is in the air for Fillmore. People want change. Ten years ago people wanted change too. They wanted more parks and recreational opportunities. Better school facilities. They wanted a functioning community pool.
Yes, change can be awfully slow. Progress, it seems, takes patience and perseverance. What we want today may and often does take some time to achieve. Let’s look at what we have going for us today in Fillmore.
The NEW POOL: The closure of the high school pool in 2000 was a shame. The old pool could not be salvaged, so City leaders came up with a plan to finance the construction of the new facility as long as voters were willing to foot the bill for the annual maintenance. After three tries on the ballot, voters got behind the plan. The City and School District partnered to develop plans for the new aquatic facility. Thanks to voters who saw the value of this to the community, and thanks to city and school leaders, we will be enjoying the new pool and tennis facility in early 2009! This benefit is on top of also having a new all-weather, state-of-the-art track and field at Fillmore High School – another improvement long in the making. Change takes time!
The C STREET PARK: City leaders negotiated with the developer of the Heritage Valley Park plan to provide an annual funding source to help pay for maintaining the new park. This new park, now under construction, will provide the additional playing fields our youth and adult sports leagues desperately need. The new park will have triple the amount of playing fields compared to what we now have at Shiells Park. In addition, our kids will finally get the long-awaited skateboard park. The new park, with the added playing field capacity and the skateboard park, are goals that long been stated and are now finally coming to fruition.
Change takes patience and perseverance. Positive change takes leadership and vision. It also requires sticking to your standards and your goals through the ups and downs.
Fillmore needs positive leaders like Steve Conaway who understands the right way to change and the right way to move ahead. Vote to re-elect Steve Conaway for Fillmore City Council on November 4th.
Cindy Blatt,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
I am sure many residents have watched the tragic fires on today’s TV programs (10/13/08).
Comments made by firemen were—how it was extremely difficult to contain these fires due to the homes being built in areas surrounded by hills and mountains, ”homes were built too close to each other,”—high density.
Seeing these homes burning to the ground in Little Tujunga, Porter Ranch, Chatsworth, brought the issue of north Fillmore Specific Plan to the forefront. These are some of the reasons why no more than 350 or less homes should be built in that geographic environment.
What the city is planning would have the same dangerous and tragic outcome, as the people are now suffering today, as they see their homes lost.
The proposed Hillside Drive would not be a safe evacuation solution for north Fillmore. The “Day Fire” and the “October 2003 Fire” proved that. The area proposed was under evacuation order. I the “Day Fire” the fire department closed off Central Avenue and residents were asked to evacuate. A very special friend was able to leave her home by notifying the fire department that someone was coming to pick her up, so they let that person go through.
We need to vote for Measures H & I to prevent the same thing happening here; that is happening to these people now.
Sincerely,
Mary Ellen Alvarez,
71 year Fillmore Resident

To the Editor:
A campaign poster to vote for measures H & I says that will stop eminent domain.
Eminent domain is a government taking of private property for a public purpose, with fair payment. Measures H & I restrict owners use of their private property, as they want to, without any payment. In either case private property rights are lost.
As the proponents of measures H & I are vocal about, "Thousands of voters have signed petitions."
I propose the thousands of voters form a partnership, buy up the North Fillmore properties and then develop or not develop "your" private property as you see fit.
Ray Johnson,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
To Roy Payne:
Perhaps you weren’t listening the last three years, the citizens of Fillmore do not want 700 housing units in the North Fillmore Specific Plan area. It isn’t because of low income housing (there is a requirement that all development provide at least at least 10% of the housing at low and very low numbers – not just North Fillmore). It is because the project is too big for the 60 buildable projected acres. Too many homes, too much traffic, no new school, Ameron has stated they will leave, etc. etc. etc. If you really want to help, ask our Community Development Director where we can build the project and/or spread the required housing out over other areas of the City.
Measures H & I became necessary because you weren’t listening. As far as lawsuits are concerned, it won’t be the first time that the City has been sued over the Housing Element, General Plan and a boatload of other perceived injustices. If a lawsuit does occur, it will be because you didn’t listen. By the way, I know it isn’t much money that you have received for “helping” with certain potential development in the North Fillmore lately, but any money should make you wary of possible conflicts.
Gloria Hansen,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Re: October 9th Roy Payne Letter
The lawsuit scare tactics are hypocritical. I have a document showing that the City has been involved in 46 lawsuits while Mr. Payne was City Manager. Six are eminent domain actions. (www.fillmoreca.org/downloads/lawsuits.pdf)
The issues are the number of affordable homes not built in North Fillmore. That could be resolved by planning 52 more affordable homes elsewhere in Fillmore. The other issue would be inconsistency with the General Plan and Housing Element. Those documents could be amended. The City amends the General Plan with almost every development approval.
Developers with current entitlements: To prove a "takings", there has to be proof that another plan that is in compliance with the Initiative would not work.
I am concerned that there have been many anonymous postings on my blog (http://www.fillmoreblog.com) using this exact wording about how Patti Walker’s actions “lead to lawsuits”. Is Mr. Payne the anonymous blogger behind all the hate mail? Has he been politicking behind the scenes against an elected official? It is illegal for City staff to engage in that behavior. Payne is still on the payroll via retainer and I hope he is not using that retainer time for campaign purposes.
If you want to fear a lawsuit, fear the Sales Tax Agreements. The complaint reads...
..."In August, 2008 the BOE determined that several of these sham offices were improper, reallocating almost $6.5 million in 4th Quarter 2007 sales taxes from Fillmore to the proper cities."
As far as PERC in a lawsuit, Mr. Payne was never concerned about the many lawsuits that American Water is involved in. If you Google “American Water” and “lawsuits” you get about 58,000 hits.
Gayle Washburn,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
October 7 Candidate Debate
The candidates were asked if they would revisit Rent Control. Everyone said yes except Steve Conaway and M. Cecelia Cuevas with Norris withholding comment. Cecelia's excuse was that it created divisiveness in El Dorado. The park was divided long before the Rent Control issue of 2007. The anti-rent control group has been running things since 1994. Things stirred up because the HOA did nothing but declare themselves the boss. We wanted a real HOA and that rumbling turned into the Rent Control movement. On Oct. 17, 2007, over 100 El Doradoans came to City Hall Chambers, even with the fires all around town, to tell the City Council that we want Rent Control NOW! So Steve put himself on the sub committee to investigate RC. He then proceeded to delay things for months until Mike Cirillo (Park Management) could come up with a plan to defeat RC. The threats followed and our supporters stayed home. The opposition was able to muster about 50 people to be at the City Council meeting to end RC (temporarily). Now, 100 wanting RC and 50 not seems like a pretty healthy majority to me, but with Steve and Cecelia people don't matter. Somebody with big bucks wanted their help and they did as told! This is how they are with all of their decisions. All of the other Senior Mobile Home Parks in the county have Rent Control, because Seniors are on fixed incomes and need affordable housing and they have honest, caring governments which we lack.
Our park owner is worth about $400 million and Mike Cirillo is worth a ridiculous amount of money as well. Yet they have raised rents to obscene levels. It's hard to give away homes in El Dorado now, because the cost of living here is no longer affordable. It's all GREED and not based on business needs. We need to BOOT Steve and Cecelia out of power NOW! Greed must leave our town.
Dave Roegner,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
We are so sick and tired of hearing about freedom of speech when it is just one sided! People have different opinions, which is fine, but to destroy the rights of others is just simply wrong.
Over 200 signs were placed in the yards of Fillmore residents supporting Proposition 8 and most of them were stolen from their properties. Whoever is doing this must be very small minded people who are afraid of the opposition and have no moral issues of breaking the law by stealing from others.
We do not want our children/grandchildren being taught in their school that gay marriage is okay. Nor do we want mandatory sex education taught under a gay marriage agenda. This is an issue for parents to discuss with their children according to their own values and beliefs. Gays have the right to their private lives, but they do not have the right to redefine marriage for the rest of us! What gays do in their private lives is already protected by law, but we do not want children exposed to it. A first grade class took a school-sponsored trip to a gay wedding. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that eighteen first graders traveled to San Francisco City Hall Friday for the wedding of their teacher and her lesbian partner. The school sponsored the trip for the students, ages 5 and 6, taking them away from their studies for the same-sex wedding. The wedding was officiated by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who arrogantly welcomed the arrival of same-sex marriage by saying "the door's wide open now. It's gonna happen, whether you like it or not." We saw the video of this wedding and the small children watching. In our opinion, this school sponsored trip was wrong and unacceptable. This only makes us more aware of the urgent need to support and protect the people and families in California.
Same-sex marriage should not be imposed by the courts, but only through a vote of the people, which it was in 2000. It was wrong for the court to ignore the will of 61% of California voters.
We should vote to "restore" the definition of marriage in our constitution so that activist judges cannot again overturn the will of the people.
Proposition 8 is only to "protect the sanctity of marriage". Tolerance should be on both sides! We tolerate and respect the gays way of life and do not ask them to change, they should also respect those who believe in marriage between a man and woman and not ask us to change! We certainly do not want our children and future children to be forced to learn that gay marriage is okay and natural!
We hope you will consider all the facts and join us in voting "yes" for proposition 8. Gerry and Sharon Mathews,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Response to Roy Payne:
Have you ever seen the size of Roy Payne’s head? It’s enormous! It has to be to store all those brains. He knows that Gayle’s point that home values are down and figures are now inaccurate, doesn’t mean a thing as he can recalculate the numbers in an instant, and then keep them to himself for his use only. He also knows that no homes are going to sell up there for a long time anyway and selling even 350 is a stretch of the imagination. But with Roy’s brains, he can imagine twice as much as we can.
Now, Roy’s laundry list of 50 or so lawsuits as City Manager don’t matter now as they are in the past, but Gary’s 25 year old request to make English the official language in Fillmore is like it happened today. This is called selective thinking for all you with normal sized brains.
As I recall from a City Council meeting, the City Attorney stated that anything the City does can be sued just like Measure “I”. Roy’s huge brain has sifted through all that and determined that Measure “I” is this giant target for lawsuits in spite of the fact that the people of Fillmore want it and will legally make it law. More selective thinking for you mortals.
Roy also has the power to turn a lawsuit against a company (PERC) into a lawsuit against a city! Amazing!
Roy’s powerful brain must have foreseen that FEMA was going to put everyone in town in the flood plain despite their map showing only half the town in it. So we all get to save $1,200 thanks to Steve and Cecil. I can’t wait to get my check!!!
Roy’s consulting only costs the City $150 per hour, that is nothing to a large brain that thinks in $millions$, so he’s not making anything on all the construction plans for this beleaguered town.
Let’s face it, Roy delivers Payne. Quit pickin’ on him.
Dave Roegner,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
October 9th, 2008

To the Editor:
RESPONSE TO WASHBURN, SMITH, CREAGLE AND JENNINGS
Re: Gayle Washburn, Dorsey Smith, Gary Creagle and Larry Jennings letters 10/2/2008
Regarding Measure I, Gayle Washburn states “Any City and Redevelopment Agency losses are overstated due to the fact that projections were based on property taxes from homes selling at an average of $576,000”. This maybe true, but by her own statement, it seems that Ms. Washburn is acknowledging the fact that Measure I will result in a loss of City and Redevelopment Agency revenues and in these difficult economic times why is she in support of the City losing revenues?
Regarding Ms. Washburn’s statement that “lawsuits against and by the City are a common event” it appears her potential track record will not be much better than the City’s. One, she is supporting Measure I which the Fillmore City Attorney has clearly stated may expose the City to protracted litigation and two, she has argued very forcibly that the Fillmore City Council should have followed Santa Paula’s lead and contracted with PERC to build the City’s new sewer plant. Well guess what, according to an article in the October 1, 2008 Ventura County Star “A lawsuit alleging labor law violations was filed Tuesday in Ventura County Superior Court against the company (PERC) building Santa Paula's water treatment plant”. So, it is not unreasonable to assume that if the City Council had taken Ms. Washburn advice and selected PERC, that there would also be lawsuits brought in Fillmore against PERC. Again, in these economic times, why do the supporters of Measure I want to expose the City to lawsuits by encouraging the passage of this ill-conceived Measure?
Ms. Washburn asked why there was no lawsuit brought against the approved North Fillmore Specific Plan which she alleges is in conflict with the City’s adopted Housing Element. Ms. Washburn is wrong, she and her Measure I supporters continue to misinterpret the Housing Element. She states that the Housing Element calls for 626 low and very low income homes. Ask Councilmember Patti Walker or Mayor Pro Tem Cuevas, if that is what was agreed to with the State and if that is what the Housing Element requires. They were both a party to the negotiations (as was I) with the State and the California Rural Legal Assistance group regarding the Housing Element. Ms. Washburn is taking one section of the Housing Element and taking it out of context. She needs to read Tables 3Q, 4A, 4B, 4C, and 4D of the Housing Element along with all of the text and she will see that the City’s outstanding affordable housing need, according to the State, was for 101 very-low and 38 low income housing units. And Section 4-7 of the Housing Element simply confirms that the North Fillmore Specific Plan will yield sufficient homes to allow for 15% of those homes to be affordable to very-low and low income families. It has been five years since the Housing Element was adopted and two years since the North Fillmore Specific Plan was adopted and no lawsuits filed against either document. I think that speaks for itself that the City Council did not act carelessly and did not expose the City to lawsuits, but the same cannot be said for Measure I, or its supporters. Ms. Washburn’s argument is nothing more than a scare tactic used by the supporters of Measure I to try and imply that the City is planning to build nothing but low-income housing in North Fillmore.
Ms. Washburn and the supporters of Measure I also allege that the already approved North Fillmore Specific Plan will “impinge on Ameron’s operations”. This is another scare tactic that the supporters of Measure I like to use, but read Section 7.5 of the already approved North Fillmore Specific Plan which clearly states that existing industrial uses like Ameron will be allowed to continue in their present state, or to expand.

Regarding FEMA and the Sespe floodway, while the naysayer’s of the City were condemning the City for supposedly putting the City at risk, the City Council led by Mayor Conaway and Mayor Pro Tem Cuevas were quietly doing their job and working diligently to correct the FEMA maps and according to the October 3, Ventura County Star, FEMA agreed to a change that could keep the owners of thousands of parcels of land in Oxnard and Fillmore from having to buy flood insurance. This effort by the City Council will save each and every homeowner in Fillmore an estimated $1,200 per year and nullifies Ms. Washburn’s argument that the North Fillmore area is potentially underwater in North Fillmore. Another unfounded scare tactic by the Measure I folks.
With regard to Dorsey Smith’s letter of 10/2/08 he alleges “crime” and “potential loss of jobs (Ameron)” if Measure I is not passed. But he has no facts to support those allegations. To the contrary, as stated above, the existing North Fillmore Specific Plan provides protections to allow Ameron to remain in North Fillmore for as long as they choose to do so. Regarding crime, this is an unsubstantiated argument that is always used by those who are opposed to affordable housing. Some argue that Fillmore already has its share of affordable housing. If that is the case, then why does Fillmore (9.2 Part I Crimes/1000) have a lower crime rate than Ojai (11.89 Part I Crimes/1000) and almost as lows as Camarillo’s (9.0 Part I Crimes/1000)? I guess affordable housing doesn’t necessarily lead to crime. Maybe just another Measure I supporter scare tactic?
Mr. Dorsey also does not have any facts to support his allegations that I will profit if Measure I is defeated. I have categorically denied this allegation on several occasions have stated that I have no financial interest in the North Fillmore Specific Plan, I have no plans to work on any development project in North Fillmore and I am not being paid by anyone to present my thoughts on the issue. I am a retired Fillmore City Manager who spent almost twenty years trying to balance the Fillmore budget and to improve the revenues received by the City and it bothers me to see an ill-conceived measure such as Measure I placed on the ballot without a full discussion of the facts that put the City at risk legally and financially if Measure I passes.

Regarding Gary Creagle’s letter of 10/2/08, I guess Mr. Creagle did not read or hear the City Attorney recently state that the Sales Tax Agreements are legal. Mr. Creagle, they were legal when they were passed and I certainly would not have represented to the City Council otherwise when the Sales Tax Agreements were presented to the City Council in 2003. Mr. Creagle and others who demand public records should know that not all communications that the city staff has with the City Attorney’s office are in writing. Sometimes just a telephone call or a face to face communication is used to exchange information. What communications did Mr. Creagle have with the City Attorney before he made the motion and led the City Council in adopted the “English Only” resolution in the 1980’s when he was on the City Council? Can he produce any public record documents? Does he think he made a mistake by taking this controversial action that had to be corrected by a later City Council?
Regarding Mr. Jennings letter of 10/2/08, I would hope that my responses above address his questioning of my motivations. All I have suggested Mr. Jennings is that the voters in Fillmore read the information provided by the City regarding the financial and legal risks associated with the passage of Measure I. What is the harm in that?
I apologize for the length of my letter, but since four different writers addressed me, I thought it appropriate to respond to all.
Roy Payne
Fillmore City Manager (1989-2005)

 
Letters to the Editor
October 2nd, 2008

To the Editor:
The revelations about City Hall staff and elected officials are serious and are getting worse. Our leaders are apparently guilty of negligence, ineptitude, bribes, kickbacks, contract rigging, criminal activity, debauchery, fraud and animal abuse. Then there is the secret basement below city hall and the tunnel to “out of town”. These transgressions are inexcusable.
So why haven’t the outspoken concerned citizens petitioned the Grand Jury, or at least the District Attorney to investigate this bunch of scurrilous carpetbaggers? There isn’t going to be any investigation because these accusations lack any supporting evidence, in other words, they are false, red herrings.
By carefully selecting snippets of “facts” or simply creating them, these dedicated conspiracy theorists spin stories to destroy public confidence in our city’s leadership. But the record stands – our leadership is doing a good job. The recent creative campaign of destruction of our leader’s credibility has gone on too long.
Bob Stroh’s recent letter is a typical example of this campaign. One of his points claims Roy Payne stands to profit from North Fillmore development. He missed a key element, where’s the evidence? In other words Bob: “show me the money!”
Ken Smedley,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Re: North Fillmore Initiative
After working hard to get the North Fillmore Initiative on the ballot I was astonished to hear from Council Member Cicilia Cuevas some entity was threatening to sue the city because the citizens were exercising their constitutional rights. Yes, we understand that there is a state law regarding the planning a quantity of low-income homes. We never objected to that law and our initiative does not preclude low-income or any income homes.
So who might want to sue Fillmore? I found out that it is an outfit called the California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA). They say that they strive for economic justice and human rights for the rural poor (farm workers). They have an office in Oxnard and have had people at our city council meetings.
They are enamored with the North Fillmore Specific Plan because in their thinking the dense development in North Fillmore (the very feature that we object to) would lead to the possibility of very low cost homes for farm workers. They have admitted publicly that if the initiative passes Fillmore can meet its requirements for low-income homes in other parts of Fillmore.
According to the city’s report, on the initiative, passing the Initiative will require the planning for 52 affordable homes in areas other than North Fillmore. Big Deal. I can drive around town this morning and find locations to plan for 52 low-income homes.
Clay Westling,
Fillmore

To the Editor,
Re: costly flood insurance
I have seen the proposed maps that FEMA gave out at a meeting in May. Every property west of A Street was proposed to be in a floodway (river bed) or would be flooded in a 100 year storm. Mayor Conaway and Mayor Pro Tem Cuevas have done a great service to all of Fillmore by getting the FEMA representative to agree that the “stop logs” that fill the hole where the railroad tracks go through the levee meet their requirements. That alone takes a major portion of our town out of the flood areas there by saving everyone in the area from having to pay for costly flood insurance. This also allows for owners to sell or refinance their homes.
It is great that Fillmore has council members that look out for the overall good of the community and work hard to do what is best for our city. Both Mayor Conaway and Mayor Pro Tem deserve our vote on November 4th.
Regards,
Roger Campbell,
Retired Mayor

To the Editor:
Re: Roy Payne letter 9/25/2008
Any City and Redevelopment Agency losses are overstated due to the fact that projections were based on property taxes from homes selling at an average of $576,000. The negative losses are speculative and not based on current market conditions.
City government is responsible for millions in attorney fees already. The Becerra eminent domain action has been in litigation for over two years – instigated by the City.
The Sales Tax Agreements have much more of a potential litigation impact than Measure I.
Lawsuits against and by the City are a common event. To fear a possible lawsuit against Measure I is hypocritical since we have been engaged in dozens of lawsuits in the last 15 years.
As I have previously pointed out to the Council, the Housing Element (Section 4-7) states that North Fillmore would yield 626 low and very low income homes. So, there has always been a conflict open to lawsuit since the North Fillmore Specific Plan was adopted in 2006. Why was there no lawsuit brought at that time when 521 low and very low homes were eliminated?
Measure I may not be perfect but it will have less of an impact than the existing plan, which is too crowded, creates too much traffic, will impinge on Ameron’s operations, and require eminent domain and additional expense for public services.
In addition, until FEMA has rendered a final opinion on the Sespe floodway, that area of North Fillmore is potentially under water in a 100 year storm putting thousands at risk – even if they could afford flood insurance.
Gayle Washburn,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
This letter is in response to Mr. Payne’s letter of 9/25, a 550 word, and three columns wide article with bold print basically saying, “facts are facts” and “ignore them at your own risk”. Well, here are some facts I do know. I write using the first person addressing Mr. Payne who seems to be the spokesman for opposition to Measures I & H.
It’s a FACT, that you are a very well paid consultant and the added homes you want to see built in North Fillmore will, in all probability, increase your scope of being the Special Projects Manager of Fillmore. It’s called job security.
It’s a FACT, that telling the City Council Measure I and H will cause terrible things to happen to Fillmore is EXACTLY what most of them wanted to hear. It’s called ‘tell your Boss what he wants to hear.’
And it’s a FACT, by not living in Fillmore; you personally will not suffer the consequences of the increased traffic, crime, potential loss of jobs (Ameron), etc. caused by the VERY DENSE housing in North Fillmore that Measures I & H would stop. It’s called “that isn’t my problem”.
But Mr. Payne, here’s a FACT I can’t explain. Maybe you can help? It’s a FACT our more affluent neighbors (Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, etc) don’t seem to suffer from the terrible things you say will happen to us. WHY NOT?? Could it be the only reason Fillmore has a 15% affordable home quota is because our City Council CREATED that requirement without public input and are now telling us we must live to these requirements or the wolf is going to eat us? Could it be they want Fillmore to be the Affordable Housing Capital of Ventura County? And assuming you are correct, and we must build more affordable homes do they ALL have to be in North Fillmore? Can’t they be distributed thru out the City?
I respectively suggest you, the City Staff and the City Council do more homework and resolve to listen more and be more responsive to the citizens of Fillmore regarding Measures I & H.
Dorsey B. Smith,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Hi fellow Fillmorons. It's time for me to sing the praises of our wise Mayor Pro-tem. My dear Cecelia has found a magic mirror, as only she deserves to possess. Looking through HER mirror reveals an amazing feat! Somehow, the 2% increase that non management employees get from the union, mirrors to become 8% for top management. Amazing! A 2 doesn't even look like an 8. Only an experienced City Council person could possess such a mirror. The rest of us can only envy the powers Cecelia has. Let's give her a hand!
$100 million in capitol improvements takes special management to spend so much of our money in such a short period of time. No wonder Cecelia is in awe of them. That's $6,666.67 for every man woman or child that lives in Fillmore! Are the numbers a coincidence? Where else can we give so much to benefit each other and many outside consultants, and contractors up the ying - yang. Imagine what it's doing for the local economy (in other cities). We should be proud to be able to share so much of our money and we should be known statewide for our generosity. What better way to put us on the map. Outsiders must think we are a very wealthy city and will flock here to take part in our generosity. Especially businesses who want tax kickbacks. We love to give other cities tax money to businesses, it grows their companies. Why should our city take more than 15% of those taxes, it isn't ours anyway. It has put $1.5 million in our coffers for doing almost nothing. We need to show management our gratitude for their amazing work. Heck, I think we should pay a limo to take them back and forth to work, there's a lot of car expense they have to pay to get to Fillmore and back home.
Dave Roegner,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Regarding the Sales Tax Issue
I have been following the City of Fillmore’s attempts to gain sales tax revenue through the phony transfer of various companies’ point of sale to our city with interest.
The claim for damages by the City of Livermore & the City of Industry that is on file at the Fillmore City hall is quite damming. It states that: a) sales tax diversion by “creation” of sham sales office in Fillmore, which allowed Fillmore to fraudulently collect the sales tax, then kickback 85% of the tax to consulting companies. And b) that the California Board of Equalization has determined that this scheme is improper and has reallocated $6.5 million in 4th Quarter 2007 sales taxes from Fillmore to the proper cities.
I think that convincing companies to legitimately relocate their point of sale to Fillmore so that we could gain the sales tax revenue is great. However, according to this claim, these agreements were operated to illicitly divert sales taxes from other cities and are obviously wrong.
A review of the minutes of the City Council meeting that approved this arrangement shows that the City Manager told the City Council that these agreements would not go forward until the City Attorney had reviewed and approved them.
A public records request for the results of the attorney review was answered by the city on Friday (9/26/08) that no such City Attorney work product exists. Apparently, the City Manager entered into these agreements without fulfilling the requirements as requested by the Fillmore City Council, or again, we are not being allowed to have access to city records as required by the California Public Records Act.
Gary Creagle,
Fillmore

To The Editor:
Why is Mr. Payne so adamant in forcing a large number of housing units on the citizens of Fillmore? A significant number of citizens don't want Fillmore to become another ho-hum suburb of Los Angeles. We like our small town and want it to stay that way. We live here on purpose.
When I came through school a number of years ago, our social studies teachers told us about a government of the people, by the people and for the people. What we seem to have here is a government by overpaid people who don't even bother to live here and aren't subject to the policies they force on others.
When the local citizens express their displeasure -with something that is being forced on them, they are threatened with a lawsuit.
Seems like Mr. Payne isn't paying attention to, or is ignoring the people he is supposed to be working for.
Many more houses, people, cars, congestion, only decreases the quality of life here in Fillmore.
There is more to life than more money for government agencies to spend.
Larry Jennings,
Fillmore