Letters to the Editor
May 8th, 2008 Edition

To the Editor:
The Citizens for Responsible Growth want to thank everyone who signed our referendum petition to reverse the City Council’s approval of 51 residential units on three acres in North Fillmore. On Thursday May 1st we turned in our petitions with 880 signatures to Steve McClary, Deputy City Clerk.
We only needed 550 signatures of registered voters of Fillmore to qualify the referendum for the November 4th general election. We collected 880 signatures in 13 days with very few people refusing to sign when the situation was explained to them. The response was overwhelming.
The City Council now has two options concerning this referendum: they can either reverse their earlier vote to allow this project to proceed; or failing to do that allow it to go on the November 4th ballot and let the voters of Fillmore decide.
As an added note of information, this past Friday, May 2, we turned in to the city officials a Notice of Intention to Circulate Petitions that will limit the entire 101 acres in North Fillmore to 1-5 dwelling units per acre and limit the overall units to 350 instead of the 700 presently allowed.
We will be bringing you more information about this petition drive in upcoming issues of this paper.
If there are any citizens out there who are willing to help us collect signatures on this upcoming petition, call Ralph Rees at 524-2809 or Clay Westling at 524-5134. Remember this is your city also. Are you willing to help preserve it?
Thanks again to all who gathered referendum signatures and the 880 who signed.
Ralph Rees,

To the Editor:
(Mr. Hansen felt this subject could be of interest to the general public.)
I am entering my 4th week of the virus, shingles. It comes from chicken pox and settles in the spine waiting for a nerve to pop out and let it escape. Your immune system is lower after 55 years old. I am now well into the 4th quarter of this game called life and it really hit me.
I went to the chiropractor with a sore neck and “picky” scalp; he gave me an adjustment which helped the neck…but not the scalp.
That evening the right side of my head caught on fire. The next morning I awoke with a sore throat and hair that I could not touch because of the pain. This was on a Saturday and early Monday morning I was told I had shingles.
I was given the prescriptions and can now see the end of pain, pain and more pain! My head was full of blisters, but I now have just a very itchy scalp.
Believe me, don’t walk to your doctor…run! There is a shot for shingles, get it!
Robert Hansen
Fillmore Studio, Retired


Letters to the Editor
May 1st, 2008

To the Editor:
Re. Martin Farrell’s Realities:
I don’t think the Mayor “repeatedly asked” the Council to investigate his trip to Washington D.C. but made only one formal request and only after the Code of Ethics was repealed. If I’m “ignorant” on this point show me the minutes when it occurred and I’ll apologize.
Recently released documents by the City show:
- Email from American Water to Boyle Engineering asked if the Mayor or Mayor Pro-Tem would be attending the U.S. Mayor’s conference and making a presentation at the Mayor’s Water Council.
- From Boyle to the City Manager and Bert Rapp asking if the Mayor had confirmed.
- From Rapp to Steve Conaway asking if he could go and assured all expenses would be paid by the conference.
- American Water arranged for the Mayor to stay at their hotel.
We already know that:
- The Mayor sat with the CEO of American Water at the conference speakers’ table.
- American Water is an advisor to the Mayor’s Water Council.
- American Water and Boyle Engineering have multi-million dollar contracts with the City that Fillmore citizens are having to dig deep to pay for.
- The Mayor is an ardent supporter of American Water.
As I see it, the purpose for the Mayor’s trip was to sell American Water to Mayor’s throughout the country.
My concern isn’t a legal one, but one that questions who my elected representatives really represent. It seems some council members have been cheerleaders for developers and corporations instead of providing dogged oversight for the citizens. So, Mr. Farrell, in that respect my criticism is “political”.
Bob Stroh,

To the Editor:
In response to your April 23rd article:
“During oral communications, Gayle Washburn criticized the Council for not choosing PERC for the construction and operation of our new water treatment plant.”
I did not criticize the Council. My statement was that… “I wanted to respond to Bert’s numbers.”
There were other speakers commenting on the subject so perhaps you have the commenters mixed up.
There were various other incorrect and misleading statements in the article but there is not enough room or time to address each one.
I pointed out that we are paying $26 million for the reuse portion of our plant. Mr. Rapp states that Santa Paula has better percolation capacity than Fillmore. While that may be, Boyle reports indicate that we could percolate 1.4MGD at the existing site, C St site and E St. site - enough for our current needs with room to spare.
But the bottom line is we are paying $80 million for our 1.8 MGD plant and Santa Paula is paying $57 million for a 4.3 MGD plant. Do the math.
The contract is not finalized in Santa Paula, so at some point in the near future a proper analysis can be made. Check the cost per gallon treated in capital costs and operating and maintenance costs. This will produce a true level playing field and is the industry standard measurement.
At that time, if the paper is interested in providing a balanced and unbiased article, I will be happy to provide information.
Gayle Washburn,


Letters to the Editor
April 17th, 2008

To the Editor:
Can someone tell me why Fillmore needs a five foot drainage pipe down the middle of Central Avenue, when the city has never had any really serious flooding, even in the wettest winters? Isn't this a little over-kill, or is more development being planned in the minds of those who decide these things at City Hall. Instead of tearing up Central, blocking the parking spaces and reducing access to businesses, it seems a much simpler and less expensive plan would be to remove the planters that were installed some years back for beautification purposes. These concrete barriers reduce the flow of water along the curbs, causing any flooding that does take place, and they also take up much needed parking spaces for the businesses on Central. City Hall needs someone in charge who has some common sense and who lives in town so they can see what goes on all the time, instead of arriving in town in the morning and leaving in the afternoon, and not really seeing what goes on all the rest of the time. Also, if they lived in town, they would be a part of having to pay for all the construction projects they approve, and maybe they would not be so eager to build million dollar sewer plants and install five foot drain lines costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Dick Mosbarger,

To the Editor:
Regarding the Fillmore City Council Approval of Reider Project
Silly Me! I thought Vision 2020 meant something. I remember street fairs around city hall that proclaimed proudly that the Vision 2020 thing was the way we were going to go. At Tuesday’s City Council meeting we heard that this document has really no standing, it is just a steering document, and the General Plan is really what counts. How did they get to be different? I bought into the thought that well planned growth to about 20,000, while retaining our small town atmosphere, was what we as a community wanted. I understand that SCAG (Southern California Association of Governments) projects Fillmore to 18,000 by 2020.
What I found out was that a population of 25,000 is the “now” plan for growth and our City Council is going to approve any project that comes along that will bring that growth. It is obvious that their goal is not well-planned growth, but any growth. The bigger the better. The question for the citizens is: why is bigger so good for Fillmore?
The now approved Reider Project with its 3-story buildings, inadequate parking and alleys is not consistent with the small-town community that Vision 2020 envisioned. Mr. Reider needs to come up with a plan that fits Fillmore’s needs, not just the return on his investment.
Jean Westling,

To the Editor:
I would like to take the opportunity to thank all those who contributed to the success of Fillmore High School's tenth annual arts show "Inspired by the Arts". It takes a lot of people and a lot of hard work, dedication and talent to coordinate an event like this. Thank you to Fillmore Lions Club, Fillmore Soroptimists and the Fillmore High School ASB for your donations that helped to fund this event. Thank you to the Fillmore businesses that allowed us to display our ads in your windows and stores. Thank you to Renee Talley, Debby Curnett and Lucy Quezada-Romero for volunteering your time and resources. Thank you to the Administration at Fillmore High School for your ongoing commitment to this event and to the staff and teachers at FHS who supported the students efforts. Thank you to Chris Fernandez and the members of the Fillmore High School Band who played at the event. Thank you to Mary Ellen Wortham and the FHS photo department and Henry Beltran and the woodshop classes for your artwork. Thank you to Josh Overton and the members of the drama club who performed that evening. Thank you to the community who attended the show and once again helped to make this a special night for the student artists, photographers, actors and musicians. Thank you Gabe Asenas, Baldo Magana and Tony Vega for all of your help. Last, but not least, to the members of FHS Art club and my art classes, especially the Advanced Art students, who put in numerous hours creating the art, preparing the work for display, hanging the show, hosting the event and cleaning up after a long day and night- thank you- without you there couldn't be a show. I am very proud of all of you.
Rosalind Mitzenmacher Brocato
Fillmore High School Art Department

To the Editor:
Last week Martin Farrell, publisher of The Fillmore Gazette, addressed the Reider housing plan in North Fillmore stating, among other things, that he was “disgusted with the city council for approving it,” thought the project “stinks” and that the council ignores the wishes of Fillmore residents. A whole lot of us feel the same way, Mr. Farrell.
Over sixteen hundred registered Fillmore voters signed a petition to limit the growth in North Fillmore to a more reasonable number, but city staff, along with developers’ lawyers and with the council’s blessing, were able to sidestep the intent of the petition and continue on with their plans to pack as many dwellings and people in our town as possible. Just how many?
They throw around population numbers of 20,000 and 22,000 by the year 2020 and the General Plan has the figure at over 24,000, but these are just numbers that continue to change upward and are always couched to make us feel that it’s what the “people” said we want and need. That bit of fiction then translates into justifications supporting the densest and most profitable projects for the developers. It was not long ago that three story buildings were limited to Central Ave. The council has now rubber stamped them down Main St. and in North Fillmore. One council member is even promoting four story low cost dwellings on Sespe Ave.
I suppose we can choose to lie down and let them run over us, or work to take back the City and reverse this madness. If you are not ready to just lie down then please join with many others and let’s get to work! Give me a call at 524-2028.
Bob Stroh,


Letters to the Editor
April 10th, 2008

To the Editor:
The downtown merchants need the help of all of your readers! We the citizens of the valley need to rally to the support of Fillmore's Central Ave. Businesses. The downtown district is only a little more than a block long, however it is the HEART of Fillmore. It along with the people of Fillmore is what gives us our unique atmosphere and our small town charm.
Did you know there is a great quality meat market (with the best prices) at Estrellas Market? It's on the corner of Main and Central. Or how about the best prices for Levis in all of Ventura County at Naders just down for the post office. There are some great places to find a gift at Poppy Mountain Antiques, Vintage Pleasures, The Scented Path or The Treasure Station. Need some Sporting goods or a good deal on hunting supplies then try Edison’s Up in Arms.
There is better coffee at the Coffee Boyd shop then you could find in Seattle! And why go out of town for your Computer needs when Element Computer is on Central Ave just south of Sespe Ave. Their prices and service are better than those guys in other towns.
The restaurants in downtown Fillmore are a great place to meet a friend. Whether you want country cooking at Mama Sues (across from City Hall) authentic Mexican food at La Fondita (just below the post office) or California cuisine at the Central Station Downtown Fillmore restaurants are sure to satisfy.
I did not mention all the shops like the kids clothing store, the photo studio or the furniture store with Elvis memorabilia so come up town take a look around and help out your neighbors. Do not let a little construction activity keep you away.
Roger Campbell,

To the Editor:
Re: Citizens of the Year--2007
It's nice to see the Fillmore Historical Museum finally get civic recognition via some Museum Board members receiving Citizens of the Year for 2007.
Reflecting and considering all the infinite work, dedication, and contributions of Board members, and others, during the 1988 Centennial Celebration, the 1994 Earthquake recovery, the Acquisition and Stabilization of the Landsite, the Moving of the selected Buildings beginning in 1994 through the efforts of the Building Committee, to re-establish the Fillmore Historical Museum/Depot back by the railroad tracks...Every Member of the Museum Board can be My Citizen of the Year!!
Kathie Briggs, Past President,
Fillmore Historical Society/Museum
September, 1986 - September, 1994

To the Editor:
Update on Grad Nite Live: I have been diagnosed with Myocardial Myopathy with 20 to 25% heart function with medication and care/rest they are hoping I can get to 60%. This means I will be stepping down from actively putting Grad Nite Live together. I'm asking everyone to help - get on a committee and keep GNL going we have a lot more seniors to keep safe on Graduation night. This organization has been successfully operating for over 17 years; over 3500 students have been kept safe so that they can have a future.
Please contact Annette Fox @ 805-794-9160 or e-mail: gamapiggie@yahoo.com and she will assist you.
We need all the help we can get...we have fundraisers we have to get organized for this class. We have only
$10,000 and we need $21,000 so we have to come up with $11,000 by May 15th, no later than Graduation on June 12th.
Thank you,
Raelene Chaney