Jarod Aparicio
Jarod Aparicio
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Jose Villalvazo
Jose Villalvazo
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On January 9, 2013, at approximately 2:30 P.M., a Fillmore Police sergeant attempted to stop a Toyota Prius after sheriff’s dispatch advised the vehicle had been reported stolen from Santa Barbara County. Prior to the vehicle coming to a complete stop, the driver opened the driver’s side door and fled. Additional Fillmore police units were dispatched to the area to search for the driver. The passenger of the vehicle remained in the vehicle and was arrested without incident.

The driver, later identified as Jose Villalvazo 32, Fillmore fled on foot and numerous deputies followed him and eventually captured him after he climbed a tree in the 1200 block of Grand Avenue. Jose Villalvazo was wanted for a felony warrant as a parolee at large. The investigation is ongoing, however at this time Jose Villalvazo will be booked for 10851 CVC (stolen vehicle) and for the outstanding felony warrant. Jarod Aparicio 34, Fillmore, will be booked for 10851 CVC (stolen vehicle).

 
(l-r) Scott Beylik, FHS Prinicpal Rossom Mesfun, and Captain Tim Hagel. Mesfun is the newest member of FIllmore’s Rotary Club.
(l-r) Scott Beylik, FHS Prinicpal Rossom Mesfun, and Captain Tim Hagel. Mesfun is the newest member of FIllmore’s Rotary Club.
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Lopez charged with evading arrest, hit and run with injuries, possession of illegal narcotics and vehicle theft
Joseph Lopez
Joseph Lopez

On 01-09-2013 at approximately 1207 hours, while patrolling the parking of lot of the Santa Paula Motel, Officer’s observed a Hispanic male exit the driver’s side of a white Hyundai. The vehicle was found to be reported stolen out of the city of Ventura. The suspect subsequently got back into the vehicle and left the Motel westbound on E. Main Street. In the area of 12th and Main Street, Officer Keathley attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle. The vehicle sped away at a high rate of speed northbound on 12th Street.

Due to heavy traffic conditions and students being released from area schools, Officer Keathley discontinued his attempt to purse the vehicle. Officer Keathley maintained a visual on the vehicle which had made a left turn into the north alley of E. Main Street from 12th Street. The vehicle continued west though the alley towards 10th Street. As the vehicle entered the northbound lane of traffic on 10th, it collided into a vehicle which was northbound on 10th.

The suspect exited the driver’s side and fled on foot. As Officers gave chase, the subject ran into the business of 964 E. Main Street where he was subsequently taken into custody. The suspect was identified as Joseph Lopez, 24 out of the city of Fillmore. Further, Lopez was found to have an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for narcotic related offences.

Lopez was charged with evading arrest, hit and run with injuries, possession of illegal narcotics and vehicle theft.

Senior Officer Macias #1020

 
Fillmore Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire at 411 Central Ave. Upon arrival Fillmore Chief 1 reported a large amount of black smoke coming from the vents and roof area of the commercial structure. Due to the size of the commercial building and the amount of product in the retail store Fillmore Chief 1 requested one additional engine from County Fire and one additional engine from Santa Paula. Fillmore engine 91 took fire attack and launched an aggressive attack on the fire with great success in stopping the spread of the fire. In all there were 6 Fillmore fire units, 1 County and 1 Santa Paula for a total of 8 Firefighting units on scene. Hats off to Fillmore Fire on a job well done and their partnering agencies as well.
Fillmore Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire at 411 Central Ave. Upon arrival Fillmore Chief 1 reported a large amount of black smoke coming from the vents and roof area of the commercial structure. Due to the size of the commercial building and the amount of product in the retail store Fillmore Chief 1 requested one additional engine from County Fire and one additional engine from Santa Paula. Fillmore engine 91 took fire attack and launched an aggressive attack on the fire with great success in stopping the spread of the fire. In all there were 6 Fillmore fire units, 1 County and 1 Santa Paula for a total of 8 Firefighting units on scene. Hats off to Fillmore Fire on a job well done and their partnering agencies as well.
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Question of former manager’s quick exit still looms
Alex Molkoy questioned the Council on expenses at 338 Central asking what revenue the City was receiving from that address and why the City was paying the utilities.
Alex Molkoy questioned the Council on expenses at 338 Central asking what revenue the City was receiving from that address and why the City was paying the utilities.
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During Tuesday night’s council meeting the Fillmore Flashes Cross Country team each receive a proclamation
for winning the State Division 4 CIF Championship.
During Tuesday night’s council meeting the Fillmore Flashes Cross Country team each receive a proclamation for winning the State Division 4 CIF Championship.
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A proclamation was presented to Brian Sipes for the effort put forward with the Fillmore Film Commission
and the success they achieved. The removal of the palm trees has generated a very welcome increase in
revenue to the City.
A proclamation was presented to Brian Sipes for the effort put forward with the Fillmore Film Commission and the success they achieved. The removal of the palm trees has generated a very welcome increase in revenue to the City.
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There were very few who attended the first Fillmore City Council Meeting of 2013, but the new Council wasted little time in getting down to City business and their council duties. One of those duties was replacing the vacant positions on various committees with new people and another was addressing the interim/temporary City Manager position now being filled by the City’s Fire Chief Rigo Landeros.

The meeting began with two proclamations. The first went to Council Member Brian Sipes for the effort put forward with the Fillmore Film Commission and the success they achieved. The removal of the palm trees has generated a very welcome increase in revenue to the City. Sipes responded, “I’m deeply honored with this proclamation” and stated that thanks should also go to both Gayle Washburn and Catherine Frias who also put in a great amount of effort. The second proclamation went to the Flashes, Fillmore High School Cross Country Team, who won the State Division 4 CIF Championship.

The next agenda item was an employment agreement for the Interim City Manager. The position is now being filled by Rigo Landeros. Landeros who now holds three City positions, has been the Fire Chief since May 28, 2009, the Public Works Director since January 15, 2010, and Acting City Manager since August 21, 2012. The Council agreed to a total salary payable to Landeros at $10,000 per month which is $1,000 more than the combined salary Landeros received for Fire Chief and Public Works Director. This is a bargain for the City and essentially means that Fillmore is getting a City Manager for $1,000 per month. Council Member Manuel Minjares said Landeros stepped up at a very difficult time and Council Member A. Eduardo Gonzalez commented that Landeros is handling all three positions and worth what is being asked. Council Member Brian Sipes said he thought the $10k per month was too high, but approved it stating, “It’s a hard decision…..I am confident Rigo will fill his responsibilities.” Council Member Douglas Tucker responded that Rigo is definitely worth what he’s being given but wanted a clearer understanding of the contract along with a 60 day trigger or “reminder” that would require the contract be addressed within 60 days of a new City Manager being hired. The added time is given so Landeros can help bring the new City Manager up on where or what is happening in Fillmore.

Landeros has received CONTINUED »

 

On Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at approximately 12:15 p.m. the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office - Fillmore Police attempted to serve a felony arrest warrant on German Uriostequi 20, of Fillmore, at a residence on the 900 block of 3rd Street. During the service of the warrant, Uriostequi tried to flee out a window and was met by a sheriff’s deputy. Uriostequi was arrested and taken to the police station and was being escorted in hand-cuffs when he fled from the officer and attempted to go over the fence, surrounding the rear of the police station.

During apprehension, Urisotequi fought with deputies and attempted to bite one of the officers. He was booked for the felony warrant and new charges including battery on a peace officer.

 

1:50 PM: January 3, 2013 - Belligerent Subject at Taco Bell. Taco Bell manager called to report a male subject acting bizarre. Deputies responded and the male subject became aggressive. A Fillmore resident (Richard Gonzalez) assisted deputies in restraining the subject, Ronald Sotelo, 25. He was on probation for narcotics violations and subsequently arrested for obstruction and numerous narcotics charges.

 
An accident involving two pickups occurred on Highway 126, Tuesday afternoon. The driver of one pickup misjudged the speed and distance of eastbound traffic, collided with the other pickup while attempting to cross the highway on D Street. One driver was transported by ambulance to an undisclosed hospital for observation.
An accident involving two pickups occurred on Highway 126, Tuesday afternoon. The driver of one pickup misjudged the speed and distance of eastbound traffic, collided with the other pickup while attempting to cross the highway on D Street. One driver was transported by ambulance to an undisclosed hospital for observation.
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Wednesday, January 2, at approximately 2 p.m. on Bardsdale Ave., a two vehicle collision occurred. Akbar Esmailia, 66, of Camarillo attempting to make a left turn collided with Telefosoro Ruiz, 40, of Santa Paula. Both drivers were transported to the Santa Paula Hospital after complaining of injuries. Moderate damage was sustained by both vehicles. An investigation is ongoing.
Wednesday, January 2, at approximately 2 p.m. on Bardsdale Ave., a two vehicle collision occurred. Akbar Esmailia, 66, of Camarillo attempting to make a left turn collided with Telefosoro Ruiz, 40, of Santa Paula. Both drivers were transported to the Santa Paula Hospital after complaining of injuries. Moderate damage was sustained by both vehicles. An investigation is ongoing.
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Colonel James Griffin
Colonel James Griffin

Colonel James Griffin retirement ceremony, USMC: James Griffin was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in May of 1983. Shortly thereafter at the basic school in Quantico he won the Iron man competition.

Next, he was selected for Naval aviator training and was winged in 1985.

After completion he was assigned to Kaneohe Bay HI. His first deployment was in Okinawa Japan, The Philippines and Korea, and earned his helicopter commander rating. Griffin was selected for Forward Air Controller training. After completion of a FAC tour, he received orders for Pensacola FL as Primary Flight Instructor. During his first year he was awarded Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal, and received Flight Instructor of the Year Award. Later he received his training and Jump Wings. In 2003, he sought opportunities to support "Operation Iraqi Freedom" and was sent to Kuwait as a Forward Air Controller. He served more tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Back at Camp Pendleton, CA, he eventually became Division Training Officer. In 2005, he was recruited by the Corp for "Lessons Learned", and demobilized from Division and was deployed to Fallujah, Iraq and aided in institutional changes. At the end of his tour, he was awarded the "Meritorious Service Medal". 17 months later, he was mobilized for "Operation Enduring Freedom".

He led his detachment in May, 2010, and had direct support in Southern Helmond Province of Iraq. While there, he worked in Marjeh, Iraq.

Upon returning to the US, he was assigned to IMEF operations at Camp Pendleton, CA where he finished his career in various assignments.

During the ceremony, remarks by General Spiese revealed that Col Griffin has left a lasting imprint on the Marine Corps.

 
At approximately 7:40 p.m. Sunday, Sheriff and Fire departments responded to a traffic accident on Highway 126 near Central Avenue. Moderate damage was caused to two cars. No injuries were reported.
At approximately 7:40 p.m. Sunday, Sheriff and Fire departments responded to a traffic accident on Highway 126 near Central Avenue. Moderate damage was caused to two cars. No injuries were reported.
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Adrian Bonilla took 3rd place at the Megatron Wrestling Tournament held at L.A Convention Center on Dec.22, 2012. He initially weighed in at 130lbs 11-12 year old, but because there were no kids in his weight class he had to be bumped up to 145lbs 11-12 year old. He did a great job for moving up out of his weight class.
Adrian Bonilla took 3rd place at the Megatron Wrestling Tournament held at L.A Convention Center on Dec.22, 2012. He initially weighed in at 130lbs 11-12 year old, but because there were no kids in his weight class he had to be bumped up to 145lbs 11-12 year old. He did a great job for moving up out of his weight class.
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Wednesday, December 19, Santa Claus was welcomed with smiles and hugs from children who had been waiting for him to arrive at the Fillmore Fire Department/Sheriffs Department Toy Giveaway. Several children lined up with their parents to receive a toy and to take a picture with Santa Claus. Photos courtesy of Bob Crum.
Wednesday, December 19, Santa Claus was welcomed with smiles and hugs from children who had been waiting for him to arrive at the Fillmore Fire Department/Sheriffs Department Toy Giveaway. Several children lined up with their parents to receive a toy and to take a picture with Santa Claus. Photos courtesy of Bob Crum.
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Fillmore Unified School District
Fillmore Unified School District

The Fillmore Unified School District elementary schools are committed to providing a safe learning environment for our students and staff. To this end we will be implementing the following changes effective January 8, 2013.

Before school: We will be reducing the number of gates open before school. We will be locking some previously open gates so that the schools will have one student entrance with staff supervision. Parents and family members will be encouraged to drop their child off at the identified gate, however parents will not be allowed to enter the school grounds. Staff will be on duty to properly supervise students until the start of instructional time.

During School: All school gates will remain locked during school hours. Parents must report to the school office to check students out of school or to deliver messages or items. The teacher and site administrator must approve all classroom volunteers and visitors in advance. Volunteer approval will include the date and time of the visit. If parents have items to deliver to their child or a message for the teacher the office staff will deliver the item to class or contact the teacher.

After School: To ensure a safe and orderly dismissal, all teachers will escort all classes to the dismissal gate. Parents are encouraged to meet their children at the dismissal gate.

Schools will continue to practice emergency drills to ensure that students and staff are prepared for any emergency.

Although, the above procedures may be a bit disruptive to current routines and practices, it is our belief that they provide our students with the safest schools possible.

Please do not hesitate to let your school principal know if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you in advance for your support of these changes to make our schools safe learning environments for our students and staff.

 
Michael Cederland observes where his car crashed into Starbucks, killing Sergio Mendez, 30.
Michael Cederland observes where his car crashed into Starbucks, killing Sergio Mendez, 30.
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The Ventura County District Attorney’s office has decided not to prosecute a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy who crashed into Fillmore Starbucks while apparently suffering a seizure on December 13, 2011.

According to Deputy District Attorney Kim Gibbons Cederland had no prior accident records in his home state of Washington or California, and no misconduct was found according to “code section or a jury instruction.”

At approximately 7:07 p.m., 12 Fillmore Fire units responded to a vehicle collision at Starbucks in Fillmore at the corner of A Street and Highway 126. A Chevrolet Tahoe, driven by Michael Cederland of Pasadena, had crashed through the east wall of the business, near the drive thru, pinning several people against tables and walls. Eye witnesses said the vehicle was traveling about 50 miles per hour when it struck the building’s exterior wall. The driver identified himself as a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department deputy. He stated he had fallen asleep and veered from the westbound lanes of Highway 126 (Old Telegraph Road) across the eastbound lanes, over the sidewalk, across the parking lot for approximately 100 yards, between two large Palm trees before crashing through Starbucks east wall. The vehicle traveled completely through the front lounge coming to rest against the front door and corner. Sergio Mendez, 30 of Fillmore, was pinned against the front door on the opposite side of the dining area. Mendez sustained multiple internal injuries and, during emergency surgery, succumbed to the injuries. He was pronounced deceased by the surgery physician.

Mendez was an Iraq war veteran who CONTINUED »

 
(l-r) Maria Galvan, U.S. Army Specialist Eric Galvan, and daughter Alisha
(l-r) Maria Galvan, U.S. Army Specialist Eric Galvan, and daughter Alisha
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I receive information for these articles from many sources, but mostly from family members of men and women serving their Country unselfishly and many times, unfortunately, in hostile environments! For this article I was contacted by the wife of one of those men, from this valley and specifically Fillmore. She lives in Germany, with her daughter, awaiting his safe return from Afghanistan! The articles can't be written without family assistance. Thanks to his sister and mother for filling in the blanks of his growing up in Fillmore. The assistance of the serving member is also needed, however in this case the article is meant to be a surprise for the service member and he has not been contacted.

Some time back I wrote an article about two Fillmore Natives, both serving in Afghanistan in different branches of the military and having a chance meeting at Bagram, Airfield, Afghanistan. One was my son, United States Navy Petty Officer Second Class Phillip C. Diaz 26 years and the other United States Army Specialist Eric Ryne Galvan 22 years. It was Maria Galvan, wife of Specialist Galvan, who contacted me and provided most of the information for this article. Maria wanted to surprise her husband with an article in his “Hometown Newspaper” as a way of cheering him up and letting him know all of us back home are supporting him and wishing him a safe tour of duty while he is in Afghanistan!

Specialist Eric Ryne CONTINUED »

 
Fillmore Methodist Church presented FUSD with a check for $12,000 to be put towards an Anti-Bullying program at FUSD. Pictured are (but not in order) Gay Newman, Emma Patterson, Barbara Olsen, and Sarah Hansen.
Fillmore Methodist Church presented FUSD with a check for $12,000 to be put towards an Anti-Bullying program at FUSD. Pictured are (but not in order) Gay Newman, Emma Patterson, Barbara Olsen, and Sarah Hansen.
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Congratulations Luke! The Fillmore School Board recognized an exceptional seventh grade student, Luke Meyers, who achieved a perfect score on the State Algebra 1 Test. Meyers is now two years ahead in math and a great example of FUSD getting a head start by tackling math early. Pictured (l-r) FUSD Board President David Wilde and Luke Meyers.
Congratulations Luke! The Fillmore School Board recognized an exceptional seventh grade student, Luke Meyers, who achieved a perfect score on the State Algebra 1 Test. Meyers is now two years ahead in math and a great example of FUSD getting a head start by tackling math early. Pictured (l-r) FUSD Board President David Wilde and Luke Meyers.
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Coach of the Year, Matt Dollar, along with eight members of the Fillmore Flashes Football Team were recognized for their numerous league and county-wide achievements.
Coach of the Year, Matt Dollar, along with eight members of the Fillmore Flashes Football Team were recognized for their numerous league and county-wide achievements.
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Board Members John Garnica and Virginia De la Piedra were sworn in by Fillmore City Council Mayor Pro-Tem Manual Minjares. Pictured (l-r) John Garnica, Virginia De la Piedra, and Manual Minjares.
Board Members John Garnica and Virginia De la Piedra were sworn in by Fillmore City Council Mayor Pro-Tem Manual Minjares. Pictured (l-r) John Garnica, Virginia De la Piedra, and Manual Minjares.
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It was standing room only at the December 18, 2012 Fillmore Unified School Board meeting due to a number of items that were of interest to teachers, students and the community. It began with nomination and appointment of new positions for Board Members and recognition of the Fillmore Football Team, a distinctive student’s achievement and a generous donation from Fillmore Methodist Church. Also presented was an English Learner Report and the findings and recommendations to improve both Mountain Vista and Sespe Elementary Schools.

Members of Fillmore United Methodist Church presented Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) with a check for $12,000. The money originally was a Church Memorial Fund for Fay James, but unfortunately the church is closing and the money must be transferred/donated to a worthy cause. Church members Sarah Hansen, Barbara Olsen, Gay Newman and Emma Patterson agreed that it should go toward an anti-bullying program at FUSD. The ladies stated they would also like the public to get involved in programs like this and make an effort, where possible, to give back to the community.

This was the last meeting of the calendar year and with it came the appointing of the new Board President, Vice President, Clerk, School Board Representative on the County Committee and Agricultural Advisory Committee. The appointments were David Wilde - President, Lucy Rangel - Vice President, Tony Prado - Clerk and David Wilde - Agricultural Committee.

The Board then recognized an exceptional seventh grade student, Luke Meyers, who achieved a perfect score on the State Algebra 1 Test. Meyers is now two years ahead in math and a great example of FUSD getting a head start by tackling math early. Superintendent Alan Nishino reminded everyone that last year 55 seventh grade students took Algebra 1; this year 88 seventh grade students along with 200 eighth grade students are enrolled in Algebra 1. Even more impressive is 49 eight grade students are now taking geometry and pre-algebra is being taught to sixth grade students.

Fillmore is doing great in CONTINUED »

 

Daniel Nuno, 30 of Fillmore, will stand trial on charges he shot and killed Ricardo Gonzalez, 41 originally from Fillmore, on August 8, 2011.

Nuno allegedly shot Gonzalez in the driveway of Gonzalez’ mother’s home. He will be charged with first-degree murder with special allegations that he used a firearm to commit the crime. Nuno has pleaded not guilty.

According to Gonzalez’ mother, Irene, 77, Nuno walked up to Gonzalez and shot him in the face in front of her and Gonzalez’ 3-year old son.

Gonzalez was a chiropractor in Oxnard and was picking up his son from his parent’s home.

According to Irene, Nuno had been to the Gonzalez home twice earlier in the day looking for her other son, Eric Gonzalez. Nuno and Eric were involved in a drug arrest in the past according to the Ventura County Star.

She said Nuno said something in English to Ricardo which she didn’t understand, but he responded he would loan him money the next day. That is when Nuno pulled out a gun, shot Gonzalez and drove away.

 
Fillmore Volunteer Firefighters Foundation received a $5,000 donation from Seneca Resources Corp. West. The money will be used for training, education, educating our citizens and purchasing equipment. Fillmore’s Firefighters Foundation greatly appreciates the generous donation. Fillmore Fire Department and Fillmore Volunteer Firefighters Foundation Board wishes Seneca Resources a happy and safe holiday.
Fillmore Volunteer Firefighters Foundation received a $5,000 donation from Seneca Resources Corp. West. The money will be used for training, education, educating our citizens and purchasing equipment. Fillmore’s Firefighters Foundation greatly appreciates the generous donation. Fillmore Fire Department and Fillmore Volunteer Firefighters Foundation Board wishes Seneca Resources a happy and safe holiday.
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At Tuesday night’s Council meeting the new council was sworn in. (l-r) Councilmember Doug Tucker, Mayor Rick Neal, and Mayor Pro-Tem Manuel Minjares.
At Tuesday night’s Council meeting the new council was sworn in. (l-r) Councilmember Doug Tucker, Mayor Rick Neal, and Mayor Pro-Tem Manuel Minjares.
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The new City Treasurer Shannon Godfrey, and new City Clerk Nancy Blendermann-Meyer.
The new City Treasurer Shannon Godfrey, and new City Clerk Nancy Blendermann-Meyer.
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New council members sworn into office.
New council members sworn into office.
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Councilmember Steve Conaway retires from serving the citizens of Fillmore. Conaway was instrumental in mandating the waste water treatment plant, skatepark and maintaining a balanced budget from 2004-08 along with numerous other activities. Fighting back tears Conaway said, “I’d like to thank the citizens of Fillmore… it’s been a great honor.”
Councilmember Steve Conaway retires from serving the citizens of Fillmore. Conaway was instrumental in mandating the waste water treatment plant, skatepark and maintaining a balanced budget from 2004-08 along with numerous other activities. Fighting back tears Conaway said, “I’d like to thank the citizens of Fillmore… it’s been a great honor.”
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The December 11, 2012 Fillmore City Council Meeting was mostly ceremonial as three Council Members were thanked for their service to Fillmore and three newly elected Council Members, along with a new City Clerk and City Treasurer, were sworn in. Also presented was good news from the Film Commission and discussion of items to be put on the next agenda.

The Council Chamber was packed to capacity as friends and family came to welcome the new Council Members and thank the vacating Council Members Steve Conaway, Jamey Brooks, Gayle Washburn and City Clerk Clay Westling for their service to Fillmore. Each of these individuals has donated their time and effort on the Council and doing various other functions over the years. Conaway was instrumental in mandating the waste water treatment plant, skatepark and maintaining a balanced budget from 2004-08 along with numerous other activities. Fighting back tears Conaway said, “I’d like to thank the citizens of Fillmore… it’s been a great honor.” Brooks, who served as Mayor Pro Tem for two years and worked on a number of committees stated, “I wish the new leadership well” and went on to say the Westling had asked that he not receive a proclamation but Brooks did it anyway. Westling stated, “I’m not sure, I’ll do something in Fillmore, but I’m not sure what.” Washburn who has served on numerous committees and task forces stated, “I’ve really enjoyed sitting on the City Council and I hope the new Council Members enjoy their time on the Council.”

Westling then did his final duty as City Clerk and swore in his replacement, Nancy Blendermann-Meyer, who then swore in the new Council Members Rick Neal, Manuel Minjares, and Douglas Tucker along with the new City Treasurer Shannon Godfrey. Neal, Tucker and Minjares then took their seats at the dias and began their duties by nominating a Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem. Rick Neal was nominated for Mayor with four Yes votes and one No vote by Council Member Brian Sipes. Then Minjares was nominated for Mayor Pro Tem with four Yes votes and again Sipes the only No vote. The next task was where each member sat at the dias. It was decided that the three new Council Members would sit in the center with Sipes to their left and Council Member A. Eduardo Gonzalez to their right.

Once the seating CONTINUED »

 
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