Letters to the Editor
February 4, 2016

To the Editor:
This letter is a follow up on my comments made to the city council on the 26th of January. I have a tendency to get very emotional when talking about issues of importance, and wanted to make sure my concerns are all covered.
First I want to thank all those who have sent cards, emailed me, or have called thanking me for addressing the council with the concerns of so many in Fillmore. It validates the love and appreciation we had for Rigo Landeros, and the job he did. Members of this community often don't speak out about things going on in our city that trouble them. I am not judging these people because I know it is hard to do. While serving on the school board I was always surprised at the lack of comments we received from parents at board meetings. I got lots of calls and emails but very few actually came to meetings to speak. The public's comments are so important, and I encourage all of you to write letters or go to council meeting to make your feelings heard.
Bullying is a dangerous tactic to use in any situation. All people are different and when working together one needs to recognize people possess different personality types. Not only are personality types different in each individual, but to different degrees. I've seen or heard different examples of bullying exhibited in a school system and the results are never good. They lead to hurt feelings and sometimes push people to do things they would not ordinarily do. People in leadership roles should have a basic knowledge of people skills when dealing with someone who has sensitive feelings and a delicate sense of integrity. When questioning their role as a leader one needs to know how that is done without damaging their feelings. Nothing positive will ever happen without these skills. Especially changes that become long lasting and systemic.
I think most who knew Rigo would say he had tremendous pride and worked hard to make our fire department one of the best in California. When I talk to people in town they all say the same things, that they had nothing but respect for Rigo and that they all trusted him with the role of fire chief. One call I received was from a family that moved to Fillmore a few years back. What I heard from them was how instrumental Rigo was in making them feel welcome and how he made their assimilation into our community an easy one.
We cannot afford to have a couple of council members who don't have the necessary skills to work and communicate effectively with people. Rigo was the kind of person who would not react well with someone questioning his integrity. Most who knew him well would agree that his feelings would be deeply hurt if that were to happen. It is troubling that these two individuals didn't have the ability to recognize this and deal with their concerns in a more effective manner. I even wonder if it was their job as council members to work with city employees directly. In a school district the superintendent is the one who is responsible for that role. Board members have no business going onto a school site and directing people in their jobs. What role does our city manager play when evaluating an employee's performance? I know some people say Rigo is responsible for reacting the way he did when someone questioned his integrity. That is true, but I wonder what would have happened if those questioning his integrity would have possessed better skills when communicating issues such as job performance with him.
This community deserves some kind of response from the council regarding this issue. Community knowledge of events that occurred between Rigo and two council members is amazing and they want answers. The community wants some type of resolution and they deserve it. What is really sad is that there are also rumors of this type of behavior existing between the same two council members and one of our law enforcement leaders. I hope that is not true, and the council can work more effectively with such issues.
If this letter gets published I want to thank Martin and his staff for accepting it. I also want to encourage people to speak out in any way they can. It is both your right and responsibility. Thank you for those who take the time to read this article.
Dave Wilde


To the Editor:
Fillmore Women's Service Club
The Fillmore Women's Service Club has lost a friend with the passing of Fire Chief Rigo Landeros. We got to know Chief Landeros over the years working on the Fireworks Booth, and at other community projects. An exemplary example of a City Official, he was always understanding, helpful, and made a point to be available to answer questions by phone. Chief Landeros contributed so much to the community of Fillmore and will be missed by all.
The FWSC Club members send their thoughts and prayers to Rigo's family, extended family and friends.
The Club members voted to present a Scholarship honoring Chief Rigo Landeros, in his name to a graduating High School Student in June.
Anyone wishing to make a tax deductable donation to this Community Scholarship can do so by sending a check to the FWSC, P.O. Box 8, Fillmore, 93016. Please write Rigo Landeros in Memo. Any questions or more information call Susan Banks at 524-2020
Susan Banks