Letters to the Editor
July 7, 2011

To the Editor:
Unbelievable! I attended the council meeting of June 28 and left feeling utterly dejected. How can a city council have such a lack of knowledge of most of the issues on the Agenda that were not even new issues. Case in point, the landscape and lighting maintenance issue. They have had since June 4th via a list of issues that my husband, Ray Dressler gave to each member listing his concerns of the Sorrento tract, to be fully informed of the problems. However it wasn't apparent they knew anything about the concerns of the homeowners - like it was a brand new subject. They had been given this list of concerns to use as reference - if you will - which would give them a heads up enabling them to be fully prepared to answer any and all questions. It didn't appear they had even bothered to read said list. I also noted the constant discussions off- mike amongst themselves, another No No. If the entire council had been present, would there have been 2 council members kicked off with a flip of the coin instead of one (still leaving the minimum 3 for a quorum)? Why? The entire meeting was run in a slip-shod manner, letting the public speak with no thought to the 3 minute time allowed. I'm very disappointed in our council, not even able to run a proper council meeting much less satisfy the general public with answers. Where is Donald Trump when you need him - "You're fired!!!"
Judy Dressler

Upset resident of Fillmore!
To the Editor:
Just as the City of Bell was investigated for corruption in upper management, the City of Fillmore needs to be investigated. They have the audacity to say Fillmore is 1.9 million dollars in debt, and yet they are keeping all the management positions with their extremely excessive salaries in this little town of Fillmore. The position they say they cut in upper management was not filled anyway, so that made no difference. How hypocritical! Even getting rid of one person in upper management could have saved the jobs of 5 full time men. Also getting a car allowance for someone who walks to work every day is ridiculous! Why can’t management cut their salaries, or some of their positions instead of adding more and writing in their raises and other perks into the budget? Instead they lay off all the hard-working full time workers, all of whom have families and homes which they will now loose. I wonder who is in charge? What was the use of spending THOUSANDS on a classification study if the employees that were laid off were the most classified for their positions!!It’s just another waste of money. Furthermore it is very upsetting to watch the city council meetings and see how the city council and management have joined forces together against the city employees, what ever happened to that letter of no confidence in the city manager? it seems like it was just swept under the rug and forgotten. Shouldn’t the city council be unbiased?? The cuts should have been in upper management were they are getting paid excessively for such a little town. They should have kept the public work employees who are the ones that keep our city running and beautiful. This City has really been going downhill!
Raquel Higgins

To the Editor:
Last Tuesday, June 28th, the City Council approved the 2011-12 budget. The City held four budget workshops for discussion and citizen input. The draft was placed on the City website for review and the final budget will soon be available online. Here are some of the budget highlights for your information.
• Combined revenues will be $23 million dollars.
• Expenses will be $24 million dollars
• General Fund revenues will be $3,900,000
• Sewer fund revenues will be $6,000,000
• Water fund revenues will be $2,700,000
At mid-year, (January) staff determined that we would have a $1,900,000 deficit due to State take-aways, a decline in property tax assessments, increased employee healthcare and pension costs and continuing sales tax litigation. To close the gap and to compensate for future increases, 11 positions have been eliminated. Employees will also be seeing a reduction in some benefits and additional furlough days. The Public Works, Planning and Community Services Departments will be consolidated into one new Municipal Services Department. Also, city hall will now be closed every Friday.
In November, you will be able to cast a vote in support or opposition of a .75% increase in sales tax. The increase is for five years and will automatically terminate if there is a favorable resolution of the sales tax litigation.
Unfortunately, the sewer and water rates will be increased by $2.46 for sewer and 10% for water. As you can imagine, having to increase the sewer rates is very frustrating for the Council members who previously objected to the location, design, effluent disposal plan and financing of the plant that unnecessarily increased costs to ratepayers.
We ask for your support and patience during this transition. We hope to emerge a stronger and more efficient organization with a sustainable and fiscally sound budget. For more information please contact City Manager, Yvonne Quiring or Finance Director, Glenda Jay at 524-1500.
Gayle Washburn