From left, Mayor Steve Conaway, Councilman Scott Lee, and Councilwoman Patti Walker, accomplished substantial business at Tuesday’s regular meeting, though two other council members were absent.
From left, Mayor Steve Conaway, Councilman Scott Lee, and Councilwoman Patti Walker, accomplished substantial business at Tuesday’s regular meeting, though two other council members were absent.
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City council agenda item 9-A, Request for Leave of Absence by Councilmember Lauri Hernandez, was unanimously approved at Tuesday’s regular city council meeting.
Ms. Hernandez apologized to the Council for the necessity of her request, stating she was struggling with alcoholism and that she deeply regretted letting people down. She also told the Council she anticipated taking up her responsibilities again sometime in late August.
Mayor Conaway, Councilmembers Scott Lee and Patti Walker expressed their sympathy and support, unanimously approving the request. Councilwoman Cecilia Cuevas was absent.
Administrative Services Manager, Steve McClary, presented a report certifying the Results of the examination of a referendum filed against resolutions approving the Reider project off Goodenough Road, adjacent to the Traditions tract. The referendum was filed May 1, 2008, and 700 signatures have been verified, which exceeds the minimum number required. McClary told the Council it had two options, it could either place the issue on the ballot for the November 4 election, or repeal, in whole or in part, the resolutions which approved the Reider plan. Council certified receipt and findings of the report. The issue will be reconsidered in the near future.
Director of Public Works, Bert Rapp, announced that recently increased sewer rates can now be reduced. According to Finance Director Barbara Smith, “...revised sewer service rates for Fiscal Years 2008/09 ($72.00) and 2009/10 ($80.00) are 15% and 18% respectively below the authorized maximums.” “Since then, WRP construction has progressed significantly (now 50% complete) and is under budget by $3 to 4 million, construction cost savings have been identified and implemented, detail planning for the transition from the existing treatment plant to the new WRP has become more detailed, reducing the number of unknowns and associated contingencies.” The reduction was attributed to the hard work of Roy Payne and Dave Berkhart. He also cautioned that if the future financial picture should change dramatically, the rate could revert to $98 per month because bond obligations required that revenues be maintained in the black.
Council announced that the Fillmore, 1887 Southern Pacific depot will be dedicated an historical building on Saturday, May 31, 2 to 4 p.m. This concludes 10years of planning and restoration. Refreshments will be served and plans for the future discussed. All are welcome at 350 Main Street.
Council was reminded that the lease contract on the Fillmore Equestrian Center will soon expire. No date was mentioned. This lease has been the subject of significant controversy in the past due to alleged breaches of contractual obligations by the lessee.
Approval of a permanent four-way stop at the intersection of Central Avenue and Santa Clara Street was approved. Both the police and acting interim Fire Chief, Bill Herrera and Police Chief Tim Hagel both approved of the plan, stating this move would improve traffic safety significantly.
The plan for the B Street extension from Old Telegraph Road into north Fillmore was approved. Negotiations to acquire a strip of land on the east side of B Street failed, which necessitates building a jog in the roadway. Mr. Rapp told the Council that $400,000 in grant money is available now to finish the work. $25,000 in Redevelopment money was appropriated to pay for removal of sidewalk on the west side of B Street, and the construction of a three-foot tall link fence as well as curb, gutter, and street, all in asphalt.
Mayor Conaway stated that Lemon Way Home Owners Association members were very positively disposed to the work.
Councilman Scott Lee lauded those who attended the special meeting of the Senior Center Board of Directors last week. He said he was anxious to see a staff report of Center issues, and looked forward to more volunteer workers to make the facility more attractive to senior residents.
Lee also alluded to the fact that the construction of Fillmore’s swimming pool complex is taking its first steps with final details on the timeline being discussed with contractors.


Maximum Enforcement Period begins Friday, May 23, at 5 p.m.
California Highway Patrol
California Highway Patrol

The Memorial Day Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) begins this Friday, May 23, at 5 p.m. and continues through midnight, the following Monday. Up to 80 percent of all California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers will be out working the road over the holiday weekend to help ensure everyone arrives at their destination safely.
During last year’s Memorial Day MEP, 37 people were killed in collisions on California roadways. In addition, CHP officers arrested 1,614 people for driving under the influence.

Three “don’ts” for all motorists to remember: Don’t speed. Don’t drink and drive. And don’t forget to wear your seatbelt.


About two dozen senior citizens attended an impromptu meeting, Monday, May 19th, at the Fillmore Senior Center to voice their concerns over dwindling activities and financial accountability regarding the center budget and use of funds. Many complained to City Finance Director Barbara Smith, Community Services Supervisor Annette Cardona, and Senior Center Board Member Bill Burnett that the center needed to seek more funds and schedule more activities.
About two dozen senior citizens attended an impromptu meeting, Monday, May 19th, at the Fillmore Senior Center to voice their concerns over dwindling activities and financial accountability regarding the center budget and use of funds. Many complained to City Finance Director Barbara Smith, Community Services Supervisor Annette Cardona, and Senior Center Board Member Bill Burnett that the center needed to seek more funds and schedule more activities.
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Talk about not going quietly into that goodnight, the Fillmore Senior Center community meeting held Monday, May 19 at 10am was attended by about two dozen feisty 55-plusers, ready to rumble over what many feel is poor activity and financial management.
The hastily thrown together unofficial meeting was originally scheduled to elect new Senior Center Board members, without public announcement. But word of mouth spread through the senior community, resulting in a lively turnout.
Three senior Board members presently serve; Loretta Dunehew, Bill Brunett and Nick Robles, with Dunehew and Robles unable to attend Monday’s meeting. Circumstances in the past year have caused the Board to shrink to three of the required five members, although Bylaws of Fillmore Senior Center, Inc., states “…the corporation shall have not less than seven (7) nor more than fifteen (15) Directors…” (Article III. Directors, Section 3.01 Number*).
Seated at the head table were City Finance Director Barbara Smith, Community Services Supervisor Annette Cardona and Board Member Bill Brunett. City Manager Tom Ristau sat silently at the back of the building, observing the meeting and taking notes. Center Director Lori Nunez spent the first half of the 90 minute meeting in the kitchen, filling in for an ill employee, then joined Ristau at the back of the room.
The meeting kicked off with Smith announcing that a quorum would not take place with only one Board member present. Cardona gave a brief rundown of future center activities to start in June, including Craft Day and Yoga.
Questions hit the ground running with resident Marie Wren asking for a verbal listing of the center’s “chain of command.” Smith stated that the center was an independently run nonprofit corporation under the administration of the City, with Cardona overseeing the operation of the facility from city hall, and Nunez on-site during hours of operation, 9am to 1pm.
The first few minutes were spent with Cardona listing coming activities, with many in the audience asking why activities had dwindled, then ceased in the last two to three years. Cardona explained that it was hard to get instructors to come to Fillmore, stating “they are busy and have children” and “travel” as obstacles.
The crowd protested when Smith said the meeting wasn’t called to answer questions, and stated, “If you want to make public comments you can come up and give your name and address and give us some ideas. There’s no quorum to really answer the questions. If you want to meet with Annette one on one or a group of you, you can certainly do that. I don’t know if Mr. Burnett wants to accept those questions now or not.” The audience reacted negatively to this suggestion and continued to lob questions at the head table.
“I just do the accounting. The Board is in charge of the senior center,” Smith stated, with the city overseeing it, as it does with the Veterans Memorial building. After the meeting, several seniors asked the Gazette why the city finance director and city manager were there if the Board is in charge, and why Smith answered the majority of questions, even suggesting appointments with Cardona, who sat silent during that particular exchange.
Many attending the meeting suggested bringing in quality instructors without going outside Fillmore or spending a lot of money. Volunteerism was a key word throughout the meeting.
Resident Dave Roegner offered to teach a computer class; Sarah Hanson said there are “people willing to offer their time.” She suggested local artists could show their work at the center as a fundraiser for more programs, perhaps joining with the popular Art Walk. A golf tourney was suggested to help fund more activities.
A book club was recommended as was an exercise class, and arthritis class, which at one time in the past drew a large following. Several residents suggested the former arthritis class instructor had been paid by the Arthritis Foundation. A craft class was also a one-time popular attraction with a reported 30 participants who paid a nominal fee to the instructor. But according to one frustrated senior, when the instructor had to resign for personal reasons, “she just simply wasn’t replaced.”
An Alzheimer support group for sufferers and caregivers was also described by one audience member as “very important, very crucial.”
Financial accountability questions were just underway when Bingo, or lack of it, became a hot topic, with Board member Burnett stating the popular game had stopped because people were taking the cards and there were “a lot of complaints.” One audience member asked him what the complaints were about. His answer, “Complaints. About everything.” He said the Board had voted to give up Bingo about three years ago, due to gambling.
Wren offered that the center’s Bingo games were originally intended for fun but several clusters of seniors had wanted the game to involve winnings. She wanted the game to return “just for fun.”
Addressing Finance Director Smith, Hanson said, “Barbara, I’d like to get back to the budget, if we could.” Smith responded, “That’s what I would like to do,” which drew some laughter.
Smith began going down the expense report for the center, stopping occasionally to answer more specific questions. Wren asked that the budget be passed out to the attending audience. Smith promised, “We can have them here once they are published, for people to pick up.”
Financial questions involving the fireworks proceeds, and Cardona’s salary were raised next. Smith gave a verbal breakdown of the fireworks booth monies, stating a $17,000+ profit.
She stated several times that Cardona drew “only 10-percent” of her overall salary from the senior center allotment of $46,000 for “total personnel.” Smith named Cardona’s duties as supervising the operations of the center and writing grants. She named three grants the center is currently receiving: United Way ($10,000), FEMA ($3,000) and Ventura County Area Agency on Aging (VCAAA, $23,000). She reported total revenue at $97,600, with $40,000 city subsidizing (Redevelopment Agency monies).
With VCAAA, The City of Fillmore gets a grant each year for their Senior Nutrition Program. As a successful grantee they are eligible to renew the contract each year for up to three years. The VCAAA just finished reviewing and approving applications for the next three year contract cycle (2008-11), according to Susan White, VCAAA Senior Nutrition Program funding grants manager. Cardona submits the application on behalf of the City of Fillmore along with a budget that determines where the monies will be spent. Each month the City of Fillmore submits an expenditure report and request for funds to the VCAAA for payment under the terms of the grant. Since the City of Fillmore is a government agency, there is no requirement for oversight by a Board of directors; however, as a non-profit center, Board approval is required. In the case of the City of Fillmore, the grant application and budget are approved by City Manager Tom Ristau, according to White.
Several seniors in the audience wondered out loud how a Board containing only three members and holding no meetings in a year, a violation of the Bylaws, was able to approve anything.
Turning back to operations, Jim Higgins, founder of the Higgy Foundation, strongly suggested the Board reach out to all city seniors through a task force, contacting management at local senior apartments. “There needs to be information everywhere,” Higgins emphasized. He also suggested contacting senior centers in other cities to see how they get the word out and operate successfully.
Others suggested joining forces with management at the El Dorado Mobile Home Estates, including senior center activities in the park’s monthly newsletter and distributing flyers to each coach.
Wren asked why the center was not opened as a cooling center during the recent heat wave; no explanation was offered. Several people suggested posting center activities on the Fillmore City website.
More than one member of the audience, including Higgins and Roegner, said the four hours of operations was too restrictive. Another suggested a once a month visit by the Ventura County Visiting Nurse, who already goes to the El Dorado once a month.
Martin Farrell, owner of The Gazette, promised a senior section would be devoted to center news in the paper as well as updates on its website
A June 23 meeting was announced with Gayle Washburn requesting a meeting in the interim. Burnett considered the request and said they would meet again Monday, June 2. The time will be advertised in The Gazette.
Marie Wren summed it up for everyone when she said, “We need a very active Board; taxes, food, health, recreation, transportation. It is a shame to see it [the center] just sitting on the vine, not doing anything.”
*These Bylaws may be amended or replaced by approval of the Board of Directors, as that term is defined in Sections 5032, 7151 and 7222 of the Corporations Code.
(Are you interested in serving the community of Fillmore seniors? The Fillmore Senior Center has two positions open on its Board. The Board of five meets once a month and applicants must be at least 55 years of age. Applications are now available until May 30th from Lori Nunez at the Fillmore Senior Center, 533 Santa Clara St., Monday-Friday, 9am to 1pm; or from Annette Cardona at Fillmore City Hall, Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm.)




United States Navy Electrician Mate Second Class William Foster Stationed in Groton, Connecticut.
United States Navy Electrician Mate Second Class William Foster Stationed in Groton, Connecticut.

2002 Fillmore High School Graduate, William Foster, 24 years, is an Electrician Mate Second Class (EM2) in the United States Navy stationed in Groton, Connecticut. (EM2) William Foster also attended Sespe Elementary School and Fillmore Middle School. He is married to Ashley (Dunst), 23, of Fillmore. Ashley is a 2003 Graduate of St. Bonaventure High School. Both swam for the Heritage Valley Aquatics swim team (Fillmore & Santa Paula Club Team) throughout High School. Their coaches were Cindy Blatt and Sheryl Mannis. Both William and Ashley also swam for their respective High Schools. (EM2) William Foster is the son of Joy (Marvin) Oge of Fillmore and Roger (Manja) Foster of Springfield, Missouri. While still at Fillmore High School (EM2) William Foster attended Ventura College and after graduation from FHS he attended the College of The Canyons in Santa Clarita.
(EM2) William Foster and his wife Ashley are expecting their first child, a son, around July 17th, and they have already given him his name; Jeremiah Lawrence Foster. (EM2) William Foster said, “We are very excited and can't wait for him to be here”. (EM2) William Foster’s grandparents are: Paternal Caroline Foster (who lives both in Missouri and Texas) and the late Robert Foster. His Step-Grandparents are Jim & Della Oge from Santa Clarita, California. His Maternal Grandfather is the late William Stonebraker and Maternal Step-Grandmother Barbara Stonebraker who now lives in San Clemente, California. His Maternal Step-Grandfather is the late Lindsey Zunich and Maternal Grandmother the late Mary Zunich. He has an older Step-sister and three younger half-brothers. (EM2) William Foster’s siblings are a sister is Anna Barbie, 29 years, living in Springfield, Missouri, Brothers, Edmond (Eddie) Lee Foster, 19 years and Eric Lee Foster, 14 years, also living in Springfield, Missouri. He has another brother living in Fillmore, Ryan Eric Oge, 18 years. His Father-in-Law and Mother-in-Law are Larry and Judy Dunst of Fillmore and operators of Community Pharmacy in Fillmore.
(EM2) William Foster enlisted in the Navy on February 25, 2004 and completed his Recruit Training in Great lakes, Illinois. After Recruit Training he then complete 1 1/2 years of advanced schooling in Charleston, South Carolina before arriving at his assigned duty station in Groton, Connecticut in October 2005.
(EM2) William Foster tells me he has been on one six month deployment and one two month surge deployment to: Rota, Spain; La Maddalena, Italy; Toulon, France; Dubai, United Arab of Emirates; Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, Trinidad, and Tobago. He has been awarded: Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Navy Sea Service Ribbon, Meritorious Unit Commendation, and the Navy Expeditionary Medal. (EM2) William Foster is a nuclear trained Electrician Mate Second Class Submarines Qualified. In other words, he tells me, he works in the Engine Room with the Power Plant and is responsible for all electrical panels, switchboards, control panels, and motors on board the nuclear submarine.
Although now assigned to shore duty his previous boat was the nuclear submarine, USS Albuquerque. The USS Albuquerque is the 19th attack nuclear submarine in the Los Angeles class.
Since commissioning, USS Albuquerque has completed several deployments in both the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea and has been awarded two Meritorious Unit Commendations. At the ship's commissioning on May 21, 1983, the Mayor of the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico presented a set of keys for a new Rolls Royce to the Commanding Officer. The Mayor proclaimed that the first skipper to pilot the submarine up the Rio Grande to Albuquerque for a port visit will win this prize. At each Change of Command the keys to the Rolls Royce are turned over to the new Commanding Officer by the Mayor or his representative. Looks like that port visit still has not been completed!
Recently EM2 William Foster has received orders to report to the USS Nevada homeported in Bangor, WA. Ashley and Will are in the process of moving to Washington. The USS Nevada (SSBN-733), an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, was the fourth ship of the United States Navy to be named for the 36th state. The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut on 7 January 1981 and her keel was laid down on 8 August 1983. She was launched on 14 September 1985 sponsored by Mrs. Carol Laxalt, and commissioned on 16 August 1986, with Captain F.W. Rhome in command of the Blue Crew and Captain William Stone in command of the Gold Crew.
In 2007 the blue crew was awarded with the Battle 'E' award. This award is for the best boat in the fleet. With inspections for Tactical Readiness, and Reactor Safety, This is the Second consecutive year for the Nevada to get this award. Another note of interest is in Tom Clancy's novel Debt of Honor, Nevada is one of several submarines sent to deal with the Japanese invasion of the Marinas Islands.
Naval Base Kitsap is a U.S. Navy base located on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State. It was created in 2004 by merging the former Naval Station Bremerton with Naval Submarine Base Bangor. The Mission of Naval Base Kitsap is to serve as the host command for the Navy’s fleet throughout West Puget Sound and to provide base operating services, including support for both surface ships and submarines homeported at Bremerton and Bangor. NB Kitsap also provides service, programs, and facilities to meet the needs of their hosted warfighting commands, tenant activities, crew, and employees. NB Kitsap is the largest naval organization in Navy Region Northwest and is composed of installations in Bremerton, Bangor and Keyport. Naval Base Kitsap was the recipient of the 2005 Commander in Chief's Award for Installation Excellence - the Best Base in the U.S. Navy.
(EM2) William Foster is undecided as far as making the Navy a career and tells me, “That is all up in the air. I am very proud of this country and to serve for it.” We wish (EM2) William Foster safe travel and congratulate Ashley and him on the pending birth of his first born. His service to his Country is something I am sure all his family is proud of and all of us here in the Communities of Fillmore and Piru thank him and his family for their sacrifices.

Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

On May 13th, 2008, at approximately 07:30 PM, the victim Mario Ramos 23, of Fillmore was stopped in his vehicle in the area of Fourth Street and B Street, in Fillmore. The suspect vehicle, a white newer Chevrolet Avalanche, with paper plates, pulled in front of the victim’s vehicle blocking its exit. Two suspects exited their vehicle and confronted the victim, who was still seated in his vehicle. One of the suspects made reference to a local street gang and punched the victim on his face and head several times. The second suspect entered the passenger side of the vehicle and took the victim’s property. Both suspects fled the area in the Chevrolet Avalanche.
The victim reported the crime several hours later from his residence. The victim was treated and released by AMR for contusions and swelling to his face and forehead as a result of the crime.
Anyone with additional information about this crime is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (805) 494-TALK (Thousand Oaks / Moorpark), (805) 385-TALK (Camarillo / Oxnard / Port Hueneme) or Fillmore Police Department at (805) 524-2233.


Bardsdale Cemetery, Monday, May 26, 2008 – 11:00 a.m.
Opening Remarks – Monty Winkler
Presentation of Colors – Veterans of Foreign Wars
Pledge of Allegiance – Scout Troop #406 and Cub Scout Troop #3400
Special Music – Heritage Valley Bible Church
Memorial Day Message – Senior Master Sergeant Roy L. Nichols, Retired Air Force Served in WWII, Vietnam and Korean Wars
Placing of Wreath – William Burnet
Memorial Service – Rev. Sherwood Haisty
Special Music – Heritage Valley Bible Church
Reading of the Names of Those Who Died in the Service of our Country – VFW
Commander John E. Pressey
Volly- Honor Guard, VFW
Taps – Bob Thompson
Conclusion of Service

Piru Cemetery, Monday, May 26, 2008 - 9:00 a.m.
Introductory Remarks: Patricia Chavez
Opening Prayer: Minister Chuck Mahry, Methodist Church
Opening Song: Dora Sanchez
Presentation of Colors: Veterans Foreign Wars Lead by: Comdr. John Pressy
Pledge of Allegiance: Roshelle Castillo
Guest Speaker: Jay Woods, Veterans of Foreign Wars
Placing of the Wreath: George Real
Reading of the names: Patricia Chavez
Honor Guard Presentation: Veterans of Foreign Wars
Playing of Taps: Bob Thompson
Closing Prayer: Minister Chuck Mahry, Methodist Church
Closing Song: Dora Sanchez
The Piru Cemetery is located at 3580 Center Street. For more information: Piru Cemetery District P.O. Box 516 Piru, Ca. 93040 805-521-1752.

David M. Warnock-Ortiz, United States Army Warrant Officer One (WO1)
David M. Warnock-Ortiz, United States Army Warrant Officer One (WO1)

1996 Fillmore High School Graduate and United States Army Warrant Officer One (WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz, 30 years, is serving at the Army’s Fort Bliss located in El Paso, Texas. He also attended San Cayetano Elementary School and Fillmore Junior High School. While in the Army David is taking college level courses pursuing a degree in computer science.
(WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz is married to Sonja (originally from Mississippi), who he met while stationed in the military in Colorado. Together they have three sons; Isaiah 6 years, Israel 5 years and Zion 1 year. (WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz is the son of Julia Ortiz and James Warnock of Fillmore. His Maternal Grandparents are Fred and Virginia Ortiz of Fillmore and his Paternal Grandparents are the late Ronald and Lillian Warnock of Fillmore. He has one sister, Darlene Leighton, 33 years, living in Texas.
(WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz comes from a long line of family members who have served in the United States Army; Grandfather Fred Ortiz served during Korea, Grandfather Ronald Warnock also served in the Army as did Uncles Ray Ortiz Sr. and Pete Cervantez and Cousin Ray Ortiz Jr. all of Fillmore.
(WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz enlisted in the Army in September 1996 after graduation from Fillmore High School where David played football for two-years. He initially enlisted as a Military Policeman and was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). While there he completed Air Assault School, and then deployed to Egypt as part of a multinational training exercise. (WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz has also been assigned in Korea, where he worked at a Military Intelligence compound protecting classified materials. He then returned to the United States and moved to Fort Carson, Colorado where he was assigned to patrol and direct combat support of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR).
(WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz said that while in Colorado, “I married my wonderful wife Sonja and had our first son Isaiah”. (WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz then deployed to Bosnia with the 3rd ACR as part of SFOR 7 (Stabilization Force). When he returned he was assigned to Fort Rucker, Alabama, where he was promoted to sergeant and began working in Military Police Investigations, conducting misdemeanor level investigations. While at Fort Rucker he and Sonja had their second son Israel. At Fort Rucker he submitted an application and was accepted to become a Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Agent. CID Agent's conduct felony level investigations for the Army wherein the Army has an interest. He was accepted in 2003 and attended the Apprentice Special Agent Course, which was a four month course where he learned crime scene processing and photography, interviews and interrogations, advanced self defense and weapons training, computer crimes training, fraud training, and investigative techniques pertaining to child abuse, sexual assault, and death/murder investigations. He also attended a second course, where he was trained in Protective Services.
Upon graduation he transferred to Fort Benning, Georgia, and then deployed to Taji, Iraq. After his deployment he returned to Fort Benning and he and Sonja had their third son, Zion. While at Fort Benning, (WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz applied for, and was accepted to, attend the U.S. Army Warrant Officer Candidate School. Upon graduation he was commissioned as a Warrant Officer. The newly appointed Warrant Officer moved to Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas where he is currently stationed. His current assignment is with the 76th Military Police Detachment (CID) where he conducts felony level investigations on a daily basis involving military personnel.
(WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz has earned two Army Achievement Medals, three Army Accommodation Medals, three Good Conduct Medals, Overseas Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Army Expeditionary Medal, NATO Medal, National Defense Ribbon, Korean Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and Non-Commissioned Officers Developmental Ribbon.
(WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz is a career soldier and he is proud to serve his Country protecting all of us here at home. We wish (WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz safe travel and thank him and his family for their sacrifices. His service is greatly appreciated.

Jeff Sweeney
Jeff Sweeney
Superintendent Fillmore Unified School District

In January, the Governor proposed a $4.8 billion funding cut to education that would have a devastating impact on our school district. In Fillmore, the estimated loss in funding for 2008-09 is nearly $900,000. In addition to this loss due to the Governor’s proposal, an additional $700,000 in on-going costs must be budgeted into the 2008-09 school year budget. The reduction in funds from the state in addition to the on-going costs means that the Fillmore Unified School District must reduce our overall 2007-08 school year budget by $1.6 million for the new school year, 2008-09. In response to this information, the District began immediately containing costs (reduction in office supplies, elimination of conferences, etc.) and developing a potential budget reduction list in January. Our Board has been meeting since February to review potential cuts in preparation for approving a final budget for the 2008-09 school year in June. Be assured that we will do all we can to preserve vital programs and minimize employee layoffs as we develop next year’s budget.

Educational Budget Crisis
On March 4, our Board of Trustees adopted a resolution in opposition to the Governor's proposed cuts, which would be the largest in the history of education in California. Every parent, student and staff member can have a voice in the fight to protect public education in California. I encourage all of you to take a moment and write to our elected officials in Sacramento to voice your concern about the budget crisis and the effect it will have on our children's futures. The names of our elected officials are: Senate-George Runner, 5097 State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814, phone 916-651-4017, fax 916-445-4662; Senate-Tom McClintock, 3070 State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814, phone 916-651-4019, fax 916-324-7544; Assembly Audra Strickland, 4208 State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 94249, phone 916-319-2037, fax 916-319-2137.
I want our employees, parents and community to know that protecting students and staff from the harm the proposed Governor’s budget proposes is our top priority. However, such severe cuts to our funding will necessitate the loss of some services. We have already had to cut some summer school offerings. In addition to this item, the Board has been studying a variety of potential budget reductions. Some areas the Board is considering include: Eliminating in-town bus service; Reducing positions and utilizing their funding sources to provide more service; and Reducing the budget needed to replace aging technology equipment.
We want to keep moving in the positive direction that we have begun together these past two years. Board members, leaders, teachers, support staff, parents, and moreover the entire community have all worked especially hard to make Fillmore Unified a district that focuses on student achievement, providing a safe environment, and meeting the unique needs of all our students.