Letters to the Editor
September 18th, 2008

To The Editor:
Where will the children practice? I am outraged that once again children are being pushed aside! The children that are playing AYSO have been limited in their practices because the adult softball leagues are given preferential treatment. The City of Fillmore and council members have allowed this to happen. AYSO is not a new organization and the season has always been within the same timeframe. Why can’t the softball team practice after hours since they are adults, and will end their evening games and practices by drinking alcohol? (Not a positive image to portray to our children of the future.) Also why can’t the softball league begin their season when AYSO has ended, since there is only 1 park in Fillmore where there are fields? To top it off, the school district does not allow the use of their fields to these organizations!
I feel bad for the children of the community. They are being told that they need to exercise and be active; however, they are treated as second class citizens when it comes to having a place to conduct their practices. This is a grave problem as these children can end up participating in gangs or becoming overweight. I urge the City of Fillmore to re-consider and take appropriate action!
Jennie G. Erazo,

To the Editor:
I am writing this letter as a concerned parent of three children who are currently playing soccer in the AYSO program and the lack of playing fields for an organization that has over 500 kids in it. Currently, AYSO is only allowed to practice and play on one field, Shields Park, which is also shared with the Adult Softball League. The Adult Softball League has preferential use of Shields Park and now AYSO is limited to very restricted use for practice and it puts a heavy burden on parents who work because we are unable to make it to practice any earlier. Board Members have talked to the City Park Recreation department and have not helped or made any attempt to work with the Organizations. There has to be a way to get this scheduling conflict resolved.
Part of the problem is that there is only one Community Park in our City. If AYSO were allowed to use local school districts for practice, this would greatly help the current scheduling conflict with the Adult Softball League. The kids in our city need these sport programs that helps build character and keep them occupied. We all know that besides sports there is little for the youth to do in the City of Fillmore and if we start pushing them off the fields what can they possibly have left to do to stay busy?
Javier Alcarez,

To the Editor:
In the interest of full disclosure, I signed the petition to put Measure I on the ballot. My work to help get this measure passed will not profit me financially. It will only help keep my quality of life from being diminished by the negative impact caused by the overcrowding in North Fillmore planned and approved by the prior City Council. Measure I will fix that mistake.
Roy Payne, in his opposition piece to Measure I chose not to disclose that he will profit if Measure I fails. We’ve been sold a bill of goods by outside profiteers; Payne and other enablers have had their way at our expense far too long. Enough!
After being ignored by the city council when we voiced our concerns about the North Fillmore project and the $80 million sewer plant we the people were forced to put Measure I on the ballot. Measure I: Of, for and by the people, finally gives every Fillmore voter a voice in how we want our city to look.
Bob Stroh,

To the Editor:
The Fillmore Community
The members of Soroptimist International of Fillmore would like to invite you to participate with them in the Day of Peace on September 21st. at 1:30 p.m. in front of Fillmore City Hall.
The International Day of Peace began in 1982 through a United Nations proclamation “devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations”. It was expanded in 2001 to a call for a day of global cease fire and nonviolence.
We invite you to participate in this day with us by: Talking with your friends and family about the need for global, community and family peace; Participating in the September 21st International Day of Peace; Ring your church’s bells at 12:00 noon; Come to the Celebration at the City Hall at 1:30 pm in front of City Hall; Participate in the installation of the temporary Peace Pole, helping to install a permanent Peace Pole for next year.
At a time when people around the world are being needlessly killed and wars are decimating entire populations, this call to peace is even more urgently needed. We hope that you will join with us in this worthy event! If you have any questions, please call me at 524-0132 or President Oralia Herrera at 524-6936.
Sarah Hansen,
International Day of Peace Chairperson


Letters to the Editor
September 11th, 2008

To the Editor:
We do not normally get involved in sharing our views about politics or religion unless asked. But, this time we are so concerned in the way our State is heading morally, especially for our children and grandchildren.
First of all we want to make it clear that we respect the rights of everyone to live as they choose to. We have no problem with that! No one is asking them to change their life style. What others do is their business but when something is going to affect our family and loved ones it becomes our business.
We are asking our families and friends to log on to protectmarriage.com for information on prop 8. In the year 2000 over 61% of the people in California voted for the sanctity of marriage between a man and woman. Recently 4 judges, from San Francisco, over ruled it, a 4-3 vote. We don’t feel that it is right that these few judges can over rule the will of the people! It is not their role to define American values. Prop 8 is the same prop that passed in 2000 but this time we want it in the California Constitution so it cannot be over ruled again.
Prop 8 will not change anything for the gays or lesbians. They will still have all the same legal rights as domestic partners just as we have who believe in marriage between a man and woman. They are “domestic partners” we are “married partners”. That is the only difference! Prop 8 is not designed against the homosexuals, it is designed to protect and sanctify marriage between a man and woman.
For people that believe in God there are several scriptures in the Bible that testify of marriage only between a man and woman. For people that are not active, or do not believe in a religion, the importance of the sanctity of marriage is still the same.
The will of the people should not be overturned by 4 lawyers/judges.
Please consider these six consequences if Proposition 8 fails: Children in public schools will be taught that both traditional marriage and same-sex marriage are okay. The California Education Code already requires that health education classes instruct children about marriage, (51890). Therefore, if the definition of marriage is changed, children will be taught that marriage is a relation between any two adults. There will be serious clashes between the secular school system and the right of parents to teach their children their own values and beliefs.
Churches will be sued if they refuse to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their religious buildings that are open to the public. Ask whether your pastor, priest, minister, bishop, or rabbi is ready to perform such marriages in your chapels and sanctuaries.
Religious adoption agencies will be challenged by government agencies to give up their long-held right to place children only in homes with both a mother and a father. Catholic Charities in Boston has already closed its doors because of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.
Religions that sponsor private schools and which provide housing for married students will be required to provide housing for same-sex couples, even if it runs counter to church doctrine, or lose tax exemptions and benefits.
Ministers who preach against same-sex marriages will be sued for hate speech and could be fined by the government. It has already happened in Canada, one of six countries that have legalized gay marriage.
It will cost you money. A change in the definition of marriage will bring a cascade of lawsuits. Even if courts eventually find in favor of a defender of traditional marriage (highly improbable given today’s activist judges), think of the money – your money, your church contributions – that will have to be spent on legal fees. And think of all the unintended consequences that we cannot even foresee at this time. Where will it end?
It is our children, our grandchildren, our money and our liberties.
Let’s work together to protect them.
Again, go to protectmariage.com for further information.
We hope you will join with us in voting YES on Proposition 8 in November!
Name Withheld By Request

To the Editor:
I tried to do it right. I have a home located in a well kept housing tract in Fillmore on Meadowlark Drive. We have a small problem with the city owned property in this development. We are taxed for the care of these city owned spaces. The city contracts out the care of these small strips of vegetation that collect weeds, trash and animal waste. The city supplies the water for irrigation.
I have been watching a strip of city owned vegetation next to my home. There are two sprinkler heads missing, causing flowing water to flow mud and water onto the side walk and gutter. There is also trash, weeds and over grown ivy that is strangling other planted vegetation.
After a month of waiting for the contractors schedule to take care of problem, I went to the city hall Tuesday, August 26, 2008, to gain some satisfaction and bring this to the attention of the people in charge.
At the front desk I was directed up stairs to the public works office. I made contact with a lady at the public works front desk. I asked to talk to some one that could help with my problem. She said that the public works engineer is available. He walked from his office, and placed his attention towards me. I don't know his name, because he did not introduce himself and I didn't ask. I explained my concern with the lack of attention in my neighborhood, by the contract gardeners and the monitoring by public work officials. After a lengthy conversation about contracts and how the city works, he said the problem would be addressed.
Labor Day is over and in the past. The problem is still here and the labor hasn't been done. As of today. Sept 8, 2008, the problem has not been taken care of. What more can I say?
Tom Robertson,
Unsatisfied Fillmore Resident

To the Editor:
I rise in support of Initiative (I) that will limit the number of homes to be built in North Fillmore to 350. I realize that by doing so can make me the target of all the forces within City Hall. However, I have good company-about 1000 of the 5000 registered Fillmore voters who signed the petition for (I), mostly in front of Vons in just over a two-day period.
Recently, you may have read much about why this initiative should be defeated. First, on our town website, fillmoreca.com wherein the City Attorney, using his lawyer language, states that if we do not build the State Required amount of affordable housing the State will put Fillmore “at risk” of all sorts of bad things. Moreover, on the same website, is the $10,000 report made by a City-hired planning Consultant that basically says the same thing-“we will be at risk………”.
And finally, you may have read the most recent issue of the Gazette where our retired ex-City Manager, now a very well paid Consultant to Fillmore who, like most of the City Managers, choose not live in Fillmore, wrote an article for the Gazette citing a long list of reasons why the initiative should be defeated.
The City Attorney, the Planning Consultant and the ex City Manager-what do they all have in common? Answer: They all answer to the City Council! And what did most of the City Council want them to say? Exactly what they said!
So the argument against the initiative can be summarized in one word-FEAR! FEAR that some terrible thing will happen to us if the people, by popular mandate, dare violate the apparent stranglehold the State has over us. FEAR that the State will come destroy our town, take all our homes and kill all our babies( paraphrasing)—in other words-- let democracy be damned!!
But let’s be fair. Maybe our State is not all that terribly bad. Maybe it’s only our City leaders interpretation of the State’s statues that offend us so. After all, do not the same statues and regulations apply to our more affluent neighbors? Say, Thousand Oaks? Camarillo? Simi Valley? Yes, even Beverly Hills? I have never heard of them struggling as to how many affordable houses they MUST build or cringing about what the State will do to them if they don’t.
That begs the question of why would our City leaders want to misrepresent to us what the State law requires? However, this article is already too long to tackle that. I’ll soon write another letter on this to follow up.
Dorsey B. Smith,


Letters to the Editor
September 4th, 2008

To the Editor:
Michael T. Mecca responded to my August 14th letter in which I ask Fillmore residents to help in the effort to decrease chloride discharges into the Santa Clara River. Everyone please note the following:
A) The approximately 450 brine (salt) discharging water softeners in use in Fillmore are in fact the number one cause of Fillmore's chloride pollution problem.
B) Removing all or most of the 450 brine (salt) discharging water softeners in Fillmore will in fact bring Fillmore into compliance with the state's chloride limits.
C) We are not seeking any "draconian measures" to deal with our chloride problem. Asking residents to turn in their out dated, polluting brine (salt) dischargers, and receive a rebate for a machine which is out dated is certainly not "draconian."
D) California state prisons may contribute huge amounts of salt into fresh water rivers and streams because of their use of the brine (salt) discharging water softeners; this has nothing to do with Fillmore. He states the case and agrees that these brine (salt) discharging water softeners DO pollute!
E) The "Pacific Water Quality Association" of which Michael Mecca is past-president, is a sham organization of businesses who sell these brine (salt) discharging water softeners. They are not at all interested in water quality; they are interested in their own profits.
Residents of Fillmore cannot afford any more increases to their water or sewer bills. If you have, or know of someone who has a brine (salt) discharging water softener (these are the ones you add salt to each month), call the City for a rebate: 524-1500x234.
Mary Farkas,

To the Editor:
On November 18, 2007 El Dorado's old HOA gave all it's money to the El Dorado Social Club and claimed they dissolved the Corporation they were in charge of.
These are the facts. The old HOA- Fillmore El Dorado Homeowners Association, IS still a corporation and has been in suspension for years. Being in suspension, they have no right to move or spend money. They needed to comply with the law and file financial reports with the state, which they did not do, to get out of suspension. Charles Richardson says the money was "gifted" to the social club. It was illegal, under corporate law, for them to give the $9,100+ of the El Dorado residents’ money to anyone. Therefore, this money does not belong to the Social Club. The Social Club is not incorporated and has no legal standing with the state. The Old HOA spent $1,500+ on a lawyer when they had no right to spend any money. Being suspended, anything they did with the money was on a personal basis only as they could not act on a corporate level. The residents of El Dorado deserve their money back! There are residents in the park who will sue and return the money to the rightful owners, the residents of El Dorado. The perpetrators of this act are within a hair of suffering the consequences. They have been given every chance to "right their wrong".
Dave Roegner,

To the Editor:
The impacts of Measure I on the City of Fillmore are significant and could result in serious legal and financial issues for the City.
Below are several facts that Fillmore voters should consider when they vote on Measure I:
1. Measure I violates the housing element requirements of state law.
2. Adoption of Measure I will put the City at risk of being held in violation of state statutes which require internal consistency among General Plan elements. This could mean the loss of revenues paid by the State to the City for the running of the City.
3. From 1991 to the present, the City has already lost over $2.7 million in state revenues and the City cannot afford any additional losses in revenues.
4. Measure I will reduce revenue to the Redevelopment Agency by 50% from over $2.1 million per year to approximately $1million.
5. The City should be prepared to incur attorneys’ fees if a legal action is commenced challenging the validity of the Measure I.
6. Measure I may expose the City to protracted litigation.
7. There is a high probability that Measure I would be subject to legal challenge(s), with a potential ruling that the Measure I was invalid when passed.
8. If Measure I passes, it will negatively impact the City’s ability to meet its share of regional housing needs, and an inordinate amount of City funds and resources will be required to amend the General Plan, the housing element, specific plans and existing zoning ordinances, requiring extensive review by environmental and other consultants.
9. Measure I does not comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and no environmental document has been prepared to study the environmental impacts of the plan.
10. Measure I reduces planned park and open space in the North Fillmore area by approximately 36%. The City needs more park space, not less park space.
11. The reduction of 50% of the housing units will double the cost per dwelling unit for the utilities for the North Fillmore development project; thus, Measure I will increase the cost of the project meaning no development will occur and North Fillmore will remain blighted.
12. Measure I has no financial plan to pay for the necessary public improvements that will be required to develop the plan.
13. Because Measure I does not allow enough development to trigger the traffic improvements identified in the North Fillmore Specific Plan, the impacts associated with whatever development does occur in the North Fillmore Area would not be mitigated as called for in the City’s General Plan.
14. If Measure I is approved by the voters, monthly water and sewer fees to all Fillmore residents will have to be higher without new development in the NFSP area.
15. Measure I will be a negative impact on the City due to estimated ANNUAL revenue loss from $106,000 to $146,000 per year.
Roy Payne
Fillmore City Manager (1989 -2005)


Letters to the Editor
August 28th, 2008

To the Editor:
With the dire financial situation in which the city finds itself, how can the city council even consider giving the city staff the raises that were indicated in last week's Gazette? With the loss of Federal and State grants and funds, the money used for the proposed raises could be used to help offset some of the needed expenditures to prevent the loss of the motor officer, a second gang officer the school resource officer, as well as with the funds needed for the Boys and Girls Club and the Veterans Memorial District. Scott Lee indicated that the raises were needed to retain the best people. But does the city have the best people and are they worth the money they are now receiving, which includes a cafeteria allowance? If the raises are granted, then the citizens of Fillmore need to think very seriously about who they vote for in the election for city council in November.
Dick Mosbarger,

To the Editor:
In response to Ms. Farkas’ August 14 Letter to the Editor:
While everyone acknowledges that Fillmore has a chloride problem Self-Regenerating Water Softeners (SRWS) are not the primary cause; we –the citizens- are the primary cause. WE dump untold amounts of fertilizers, household chemicals and more into the wastewater system. Yes, SWRS do contribute – a fraction of the whole.
Removing every Self-regenerating water softener will NOT bring this city (or any city) into compliance. In fact, at some times of the year, the water available to the citizens straight out of the tap – is out of compliance before they’ve used it for anything, including their SRWS!
The problem is not the SWRS, the problem is not the normal things we use and do in life that go down the drain. Let’s eliminate draconian measures that don’t make the problem better – beginning with the Regional Water Quality Control Board. Truth is, the state of California is arguably the single largest user of water softener salt. Because California state prisons all have huge self regenerating water softeners to protect on-site in-place assets –hot water boilers, piping, concrete and the like. Average SRWS-using citizens, likewise, want to protect their appliances, pipes and boilers.
Assembly Bill 2270 is not the answer. It is a good and noble bill concerning water reuse/recycling. The problem is, it really doesn't accomplish anything since AB2270 just shuffles the same pieces around the board. What it will do is transfer citizens’ rights from Elected Officials - and it will give those rights to Appointed Officials on the Regional Water Control Board.
Re: a ‘tip-line’ to report abusers: The thought of a citizen setting up or condoning a mechanism to do this must have been a misprint. Mistakes happen.
For more info: www.savemysoftener.com.
Michael T. Mecca
Performance Water Products Inc.
Pacific Water Quality Association

To the Editor:
An open letter to Tabitha’s Mom Maria:
Dear Maria:
It was so special to meet you this late afternoon at Super A market. Although my small act was special to you, meeting you and hearing about your daughter, Tabitha meant so very much to me.
With Tabitha leaving today for boot camp in the US Marine Corps I completely understand your sense of sadness and fear for your child. I too have hugged two of my four children and sent them off to boot camp. I have hugged them both as they left the US to serve in a foreign country and to also serve during the war.
Maria I know that you are feeling out of sorts. As you begin receiving letters in the mail and get that 5-mintute phone call once or twice, these will serve as the small blessings that will keep both Tabitha, you and your family going.
As parents we so often take for granted that our children will be physically present in our lives day in and day out. And then they grow up and begin to make their own path. Although we miss them tremendously this is what we raise them to do.
When Tabitha returns to her home in Fillmore she will not only be a part of the Marine Corp. but she will be a hero to all of us. All of our soldiers who serve whether in the U.S. or in a foreign land are heroes. To have the courage to serve one’s country is a special calling.
So from the bottom of my heart I say THANK YOU for taking a moment to share your Tabitha’s story with me. I will add her name to my prayer list of soldiers.
Cindy Diaz-Telly,
Troop Real Estate, Inc.,

To the Editor:
Just an observation: Today I drove down a small cul de sac; three different homes on the small block had American Flags displayed out front. I wonder if they are homes to young men or women serving our country now. or if a Veteran lives in one of those homes. Or maybe people that simply love this nation live in those homes. When a business keeps a light shining on an American flag through the night, for some reason it is a touching sight. Maybe they appreciate the freedom they have to create or become whatever they want. When our school district, or police or fire stations fly the flag half staff, we realize that someone who made a difference in our country or in the world, may have died. And respect for that life well lived is being given. As we sit and watch the incredible Olympics, every time they play our beautiful anthem, we are reminded of dedication to greatness...
It isn't just a rectangle of red, white and blue. The symbol has a lot of meaning in it...IF we put the meaning into it. Thank you to City Hall for putting up the new American Flag and State flag. They look beautiful!
Marie Alviz,

To the Editor:
RE: Hooray Fillmore Police Dept. - Shame on Fillmore Fire Dept.
My friend Lori Medrano was involved in an accident on Hwy 126 a couple weeks ago and I am appalled at what I saw. I was at the USA gas station when she was suddenly broadsided then knocked into oncoming traffic. I saw Lori's head slam up against her window and she wasn't moving. A diesel truck stopped just in time as Lori looked up and immediately moved back over to her original lane, 1 had my cousin’s baby strapped in her car seat so I couldn't run to help. It took a while before Lori got out other car but she rushed over to the woman who hit her and it was about five minutes before I saw her stumble back to sit inside her car. What came next is what shocked me.
The motorcycle officer began talking to Lori while several fire trucks and an ambulance showed up. The fire chief ran up to Lori for a few seconds then returned to the other woman. Other than that, out of all of those firemen, not one came to check on Lori the whole time she was there. 1 find it quite odd that Lori was the victim in this accident and she was hit really hard but no one came over to check her vital signs or anything so "Shame on Fillmore Fire Dept." Several minutes passed and the motorcycle officer had the cars moved into the USA parking lot so traffic could flow again.
Three patrol cars and an undercover car also pulled up to check on Lori. I applaud Fillmore's newest motorcycle officer who not only got traffic flowing in a quick manner but spent over a half hour with Lori as well as the other police officers for coming to help. I read in the paper that Lori didn't complain of any injuries but for anyone who knows her, we all know she is stubborn when it comes to herself and puts others first but it doesn't justify the situation of the fire personnel. Every fireman or tire woman should always check on each victim in an accident and just because someone may look fine or act okay, that is no excuse not to investigate their condition; I found out later that Lori suffered a concussion and a severe neck injury and I wish her a speed recovery. Maybe the Fillmore Fire Department needs a refresher course regarding concussions and caring for ALL victims and I think the Fillmore Police Department are the ones who need the raise instead!!
Jeremy Waid,

To the Editor:
DATE : August 26 2008
Fillmore, Ca
I’m amazed at the words that people use to describe our city council of Fillmore. But one thing. I do not understand is why all this wasted energy on yammering words. You forget we all have opinions and options (Opinion: A belief stronger than impression and less\strong than positive. Option: the power or the right to choose. But options, one must work at that, think before you engage into something like (open ones mouth to insert foot).We all still have options and opinions. And thankful we all live in the USA for that…If you don’t like something you have Option. You can fire off the mouth and write a lot of damming words of how bad your life is and in Fillmore, Ca. Very Bad Karma. For those with the loud and damning words, actions and many opinions, Why didn’t any of you opinionated individuals, Not put your names in the Hat for a city council positions or any other positions of our wonderful City of Fillmore, And try to do better for all = No you won’t because you don’t have the skill to listen and negotiate. When you elected your candidates in, then you can throw stones at them also when they cannot meet your demands. All you have are demands. That may work with animals and small children and with self centered individuals and people full of themselves--- We need thinkers--- Not opinionated individuals. If this city council did so many wrongs with your monies in your eyes, so many times, and are so dishonest and self centered, why wait for new elections?? You opinionated individuals missed one very important action to try and stop your pain a long time back. Some of you must like to wallow in your own manure. That word is IMPEACHMENT. For your information. It’s an Option, but it is easier to run ones mouth and pumps up your righteousness egos. Demanding will get you where?? No rest /no sleep/ no life / Think you need more No’s. & lots of pain enjoy it, you own that…
Thanks for your time. A very happy resident of El Dorado Estates
Raul Torres

To the Editor:
Date August 26 2008
Fillmore, Ca
In reply to Allen F. Hair: Comments on Aug 21 2008
You comment to Ms. Cuevas, that he would really like to contribute to your re-election campaign, Allen, well again we all have options, one option, just think you could quit, Your tobacco habit / hobby and those monies contribute to Ms.Cuevas campaign. On the other plus side, also you save your / our lungs and keep the butts out of the water way and off the streets. And your comment about El Dorado’s fiasco,( please elaborate) try one of many options, move out. And your last comment was== You were sorry. You do not have to be sorry.
Thank you for your time.
Raul Torres
A very happy resident of El Dorado Estates

To the Editor:
Date: August 26 2008
Fillmore, Ca
Response to Karen Reeves:
(Excerpt from Karen reeves letter to the editor from Ms.Shirley Spitler letter) Karen your comments are all Opinion: (1) YOUR COMMENT and Your Opinion: You are corrected the majority did not want Rent Control at the park." what your point. Telling Ms Spiller, that you don't live in El Dorado Estates!! That a point??
(1)YOUR COMMENT and Your Opinion: No, Shirley, I was at that same meeting too, and I don't think the majority got a chance to speak, Your Opinion again. Karen your wrong again that night in question the majority they said No!!!
And as for the not getting majority got a chance to speak. We did, we that addressed the City Council filled out a speaker cards.
(2)YOUR COMMENT and Your Opinion: The meeting was monopolized by the attorney, pushing and pushing, until City Council caved in! I don't think that the majority "didn't want" rent control, I think they are afraid, just like the City Council members were!!! Karen: Wrong again, Where you at the final meeting? Try the Math. Did you not Hear and understand the Fillmore’s Attorney what he was saying??? Now I wish not to go forward with all of your responses a waste of time to the readers and myself. (Thanks Ms.Shirley Spitler for your letter to David Reeves) (3)One last question, Why didn’t David R. Reeves answer Ms.Shirley Spitler.-- Ms.Shirley Spitler letter was for David R Reeves was it not?
Thank you for your time. Thanks for your time. A very happy resident of El Dorado Estates
Raul Torres


Letters to the Editor
August 21st, 2008

To the Editor:
I was a witness to something so terrible that if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I would not have believed it. I was at an occasion; about half of the people were standing and the others were sitting in folding chairs they brought with them. I was in a large crowd of people getting ready to enjoy a presentation when our National Anthem was played over the sound system. I immediately stood up and placed my hand on my chest. I had a clear view of about two hundred people around me and soon saw that things were not as they should be. I didn’t see one person that was sitting stand. I didn’t see one person sitting, or standing, place their hand on their chest. Then an airplane flew by towing a huge American flag and still not one person stood, although I think their might have been some applause; mainly because it was spectacular, not because it was our flag.
This lack of patriotism was bad enough but of all places it was at the Camarillo air show, primarily with airplanes of WWII, and was in honor or our WWII veterans that gave their lives for us. There were many veterans of this era that were present and telling of their exploits. I can only hope they didn’t have the view of the persons that I saw.
Later I thought that if they had asked all the people to stand for the Nation Anthem most would have. We should not have to be reminded of our allegiances, if it doesn’t come from our heart and thoughts it doesn’t mean anything.
I am so saddened by this. I wonder what has happened to our loyalty to our country and to those that have made it what it is. Again, as I have said in many previous articles, what are we instilling in our children? For those that are religiously inclined please pray for us all.
John Heilman,
73 year Fillmore native

To the Editor:
In reply to Ms. Cuevas letter of July 31, 2008:
Ms. Cuevas as a citizen of Fillmore I would really like to contribute to your re-election campaign, however: 1. The El Dorado fiasco. 2. The Central Ave. disaster. 3. The North Fillmore development. 4. The New Sewer Plant. These are just a few.
I can't afford it nor can the City of Fillmore afford another four years of you and Mayor Conaway's leadership. Sorry!!!
Allan F. Hair,

To the Editor:
To the citizens of Fillmore: There is an old saying that "the definition of insanity is to keep doing what you're doing, and expecting a different result." Well, this November is our opportunity to stop the insanity and rid ourselves of the so called Mayor, Steve Conaway, Council member Cecilia Cuevas, and recall Council member Laurie Hernandez. We need a new City Council with new and fresh ideas for our little city, ideas that are best for the citizens of this town and not in the personal best interest of the current City Council. The current Council has proven over and over again that they have no interest in assisting the low income senior citizens living in Fillmore, or helping them in any way shape or form, much less doing what is in the best interest of all our citizens. Their interests have been only in spending our city's limited funds with their pet developer's building projects that we don't need, don't want, and can't afford, and paying top dollar for every project even though many developments could have been built for far less money. Why is this poor little city paying its city officials more money than most other much larger and wealthier cities in our County are paying for their officials? Couldn't be Cronyism could it?
I just pray that the citizens of our historic little town will finally open their eyes to the truths about the current City Council members, and the city officials, and realize who is really pulling all their strings. Let's take this opportunity to kick them out of office this November, clean up our city government, and replace them all with competent, honest, responsible, and caring officials who will listen to the citizens of Fillmore. City Council members who, rather than passing notes, rolling their eyes, and showing absolute disdain for the Fillmore citizens who voice their opinions at City Council meetings, will listen carefully and with fairness and respect. If they can't show respect, they sure don't deserve it in return.
David Reeves,

To the Editor:
Several years ago I attended several city hall and North Fillmore meetings on the proposed North Fillmore housing project and I asked several questions. I asked if the Sespe Levee was graded for homes to be built behind it. Bert Rapp answered the question with “for all that I know it is”. Now that FEMA has stated that area is a major flood zone, and I might add lots of locals stated that years ago, I would like to know where Bert get his information, is it the same place when he stated in a council meeting “that God knows when to stop raining’’? What’s going to happen when it does take out OUR tourism bridge all that money lost who’s going to pay for that, its time to plan ahead, by the way that’s more than next week.
In another recent letter to the editor on the Central storm drain project, Bert stated it was also needed due to flooding in the 3rd Street and A Street area in North Fillmore. The City did a fine job in fixing that problem 6 or so years ago and I haven’t been flooded out since; I live in North Fillmore, I should know. This wouldn’t have anything to do with the build out that ‘outsiders’ would like to do up Central along the hills? Oops!
I also attended a city council meeting about 12 years ago regarding a proposed housing project over in west Fillmore, also behind the Sespe Levee and asked this question; Is the sewer plant going to be able to handle ALL of the new proposed housing projects that the city is looking at? At that time I was informed by a city employee that worked at the sewer plant that it was already at 80 percent capacity, and the extra 20 percent is needed for rainy season. The city council answered that the sewer plant could handle all the proposed housing. I wonder if the city would have collected monies from developers for these projects that the burden on homeowners and local business would have been less, you think; it’s not rocket science.
Just who counts in town; outside developers, ones with the carrots on a string, or the towns people? I want to know. The citizens of Fillmore have been paying lots of good money for OUR city to be ruined by city management that has no vested interest in OUR town. So citizens of Fillmore at election time please ask/talk/research prior to voting and vote for people who will help pull Fillmore back to OUR town. Attend meetings, voice your opinion, they will have to listen sooner or later. Stand up and be heard! Let’s get Fillmore back on track. For the people, buy the people; remember that!
By the way Bert, would you let me know when to put pontoons on my house or maybe the lotto numbers? Thanks.
Tom Dawson,

To the Editor:
Thanks for your coverage of the people running for office in the Fillmore election. I want to take this opportunity to inform voters of my 2008 Election website. For those who may be interested in my political website, it is as follows: brooksforcitycouncil.com.
My efforts are elementary. However, the input is solely my own. Therefore, voters can get a feel for why I am running for a seat on the city council and what I will work to gain.
Jamey Brooks,


Letters to the Editor
August 14th, 2008

To the Editor:
The Fillmore Chloride Control Volunteers are working hard to help spread
the word that Fillmore has a chloride pollution problem. Our city
has approximately 10 to 12% of households (420 to 500 households) who
will cause everyone else in Fillmore an increase in their water bills of $21.00
to $35.00 a month.
That's right, 90% of Fillmore households will suffer because of the 10 to 12%
of households who are still using the brine (salt) discharging water softeners.
Each of the salt discharging water softeners dump a full 1 pound of salt, each
day, into Fillmore's wastewater, and thus into the Santa Clara River.
The Chloride Control Volunteers will soon be passing out flyers in our city.
The flyers state the problem of salt (chloride) pollution and what can be
done about it.
Here's what YOU can do to help:
1) Unplug your salt discharging water softener (these are the ones you add salt to)
2) Write to State Senator George Runner and State Assemblywoman Audra Strickland
and tell them you SUPPORT AB 2270. This is the bill which will make it illegal to
operate the salt discharging water softeners.
3) Go to the August 26th, 6:30PM City Council meeting. We will seek City approval
of a 'Tip Line' to be set up to report households which use these brine softeners.
4) Join our Volunteer group! Our NEXT MEETING will be: Thursday, Sept. 4th at 7PM
at the Fillmore Senior Center.
Mary Farkas,

To the Editor:
There are many reasons why I'm voting for Steve Conaway and Cecilia Cuevas. Here are few of them in recent chronological order, they are-
1) Our wonderful sewer plant. Where else can you live in a rather poor community and get the Cadillac of sewer plants? A Santa Paula city official described our sewer plant as being a "Cadillac" when a Chevy would do the same job. I love Cadillac’s. I like being able to brag about how "upscale" Fillmore is. What's an extra $50 bucks a month compared to "bragging rights? Thanks to Steve, Cecilia and many others in the City, we now have that right.
2) They helped get rid of those whiney seniors at El Dorado. All they wanted to do was lower the profits of the owner and management company. If it's hurting their ability to put food on the table, so what? There are shelters for poor people where they can get food and work on their tan while living outside. Once again Steve, Cecilia and their cohorts were able to stop this selfish group and remain the only city in Ventura County without "Rent Control". Another distinction we can be proud of.
3) Central Avenue! Steve and Cecilia have a vision that even I cannot comprehend. Their forward thinking on bringing us huge storm water pipes down the middle of Downtown Central Avenue is sheer genius! So what if that area has never flooded before. You've heard of the Great Flood in the Bible, right? Now is the time to test the tenaciousness of those business owners. Let's see how long they last with the greatly increased sewer rates AND the loss of sales from the closure of Central and the war zone section that is now open. Those who withstand this assault will be prepared to face any obstacle that Steve and Cecilia test them with. We will have a stronger base of downtown businesses.
Ok, that's enough praise from me for now, I could go on and on...
Dave Roegner,

To the Editor:
On the 29th of July the LA Regional Water Quality Control Board (yes, that one) held a meeting in Fillmore to re-consider the upper Santa Clara River Chloride Implementation Plan. Because of this board’s history of severely affecting the quality of life in Fillmore many local residents were in attendance, feeling that in our numbers we might be protected from the capricious decisions that periodically come from this board. As the meeting progressed it came as no real surprise that no one from our city staff was present. Council member Patti Walker was there, and about a dozen Fillmore residents were there, but no city staff was there on this issue that has the potential to again cost the City many millions.
During this meeting we found that the United Water Conservation District with the larger cities east of us, plus a entity known as L.A. Sanitation District have spent a lot of time and money to develop a scheme to solve the severe chloride problem in the eastern reaches of the Santa Clara river. This plan required some very sophisticated software and engineering work to bring it to this stage of development. It’s almost mind-boggling in its scope: 1) More State water into the Santa Clara River via Lake Castaic. 2) Reverse osmosis (RO) plants for two LA county sewer plants. 3) 10-well extraction field in the eastern Piru Basin to pump out the higher chloride ground water. 4) Mixing the high chloride groundwater and the good water from the RO plants and pumping it in a new pipeline to the fish hatchery in Fillmore. To say that the cities and water purveyors east of us are aggressively trying to solve their problem is almost an understatement.
Recently we found that a large group of cities had banded together to bring a successful lawsuit to stop the LA Water Board onerous plans for storm water runoff. This issue is a serious threat to Fillmore with a large cost impact if the board has their way.
My question is as follows: Other cities are taking aggressive, highly innovative actions to ward off problems and protect their citizens, why aren’t we?
Clay Westling,

To the Editor:
This letter is in response to Shirley Spitler's letter (July 31) regarding David Reeves and Rent Control, etc.
(Excerpt from her letter to the editor)
"For your information some of the existing council was not even on the council when this [rent control] was first discussed; it started so many years ago. If you don't know that you must not pay any attention to what goes on in Fillmore until it affects you or you are new here. My understanding when I was at the council meeting when this was finalized; the majority did not want rent control at the park."
1). Shirley, clearly, you don't live in El Dorado Estates!!
2). David and I have been residents of El Dorado Estates for 7 years, and for the last 5 years, have watched it deteriorate.
3). David Reeves began the current fight for Rent Control for the residents of El Dorado Estates last September. He worked 8 to 10 hours a day on the issue of Rent Control, trying to help the people here in our park.
4). The current City Council was the same City Council as last September.
5). We were at every City Council meeting that involved Rent Control for El Dorado Estates, obviously you were not at the City Council meeting in October 2007, when over 100 residents of El Dorado Estates showed up at the City Council meeting (that was the night of all the fires, but that didn't keep us away), and I don't know what you saw that night that our wonderful City Council members made that "snap decision" to abandon Rent Control, because they were eaten alive by Star Management's attorney, but it was humiliating, degrading, and an absolute embarrassment that our seniors have to live in this place, can't sell their homes, and our great City Council, who spends money, grants salary increases $$$ like there is no tomorrow, bowed down to this attorney that Star Management hired, and in less than 1 hour, had our City Council wrapped around his little finger, and said "No" to Rent Control.
No, Shirley, I was at that same meeting too, and I don't think the majority got a chance to speak, the meeting was monopolized by the attorney, pushing and pushing, until City Council caved in!
I don't think that the majority "didn't want" rent control, I think they are afraid, just like the City Council members were!!!
P.S. It's interesting also, if you happened to attend any of the meetings where David was allowed to speak, the Mayor always limited him to 3 or 4 minutes, the night the attorney spoke, even though the Mayor tried to limit him, he spoke for @ 45 minutes. Interesting!
Karen Reeves,

To the Editor:
I grew up in Fillmore and it still amazes me how childish and ridiculous people can be. I've been reading the comments that people are posting about Nathan, and I have something to say as well. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, no one has the right to judge Nathan, or anyone else for that matter. You may not like him, or his friends and family, but unless you have something constructive or worthwhile to say, keep it to yourself. He will pay for his crime, as will his family. That should be enough to satisfy you all. Calling him names and wishing for him to "burn in hell" is only causing harm to yourselves. I never knew Nathan to be "evil", or what certain people are describing him to be. And no, drugs aren't only to blame, but would he have done what he did if he wasn't using? I seriously doubt it. No one is claiming that Nathan is perfect or an angel, but none of you are in any kind of position to judge him. True, he got in trouble when we were all younger, but I know that a lot of what he did was provoked by others. If you all hate him so much, why spend so much time thinking about him, and talking about him? Move on with life, we're all grown-ups now and should really be above all this. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness"...1 John 1:9
Erika Bruce,


Letters to the Editor
August 7th, 2008

To the Editor:
The Fillmore Chloride Control Volunteers formed as a response to the City of Fillmore's July 7th Memorial Building meeting which alerted Fillmore residents to the major water issues facing Fillmore. One of these issues is Fillmore's chloride pollution problem. We presently discharge 140 mg of chloride/liter of water, daily, into the Santa Clara River. The State of California has put us under the gun to decrease the 140 mg chloride/liter of water down to less than 100 mg chloride/liter of water. Fillmore's main source of chloride comes from approximately 400 to 500 salt (brine) discharging water softeners. Each of these softeners dump 1 pound of salt into our sewer system each day. If we do not get our chloride out put to under 100 mg/liter, then the State will begin to fine Fillmore. Our water bills will go up from $20 to $35 a month. We are already reeling from our sewer bills increasing over 200% in the past year, and still to increase to over 300% next year. We cannot afford to pay more for water or sewer fees! And, we don't want to keep destroying the Santa Clara River. The River supports our county's agriculture which forms a stable work base for us. The River also supports a rich aquatic and riparian ecosystem which we also do not want to destroy. We can Lick The Salt Problem!
The Fillmore Chloride Control Volunteers had a successful 2nd meeting on July 31st.
20 people attended this meeting, 9 of them new. The work of the Fillmore Chloride Control
Volunteers will focus on 4 things:
a) Finding the location of the current brine (salt) discharging water softeners in Fillmore.
b) Inform the owners of these water softeners why they must be un-plugged; the up coming
city buy-back program; alternatives to using brine water softeners.
c) Support passage of Assembly Bill 2270. This bill, when passed, will make it illegal to use
brine discharging water softeners. Right now, it is illegal to install them in Fillmore, but technically still legal to use. Assembly Bill 2270 will remedy this and thus help with the reduction of our chloride pollution.
d) Informing all residents of Fillmore about the need to stop using brine discharging water softeners.
We need more volunteers. Join us! Please attend our next meeting:
When: Thursday, August 7th at 7PM
Where: Fillmore Senior Center, 533 Santa Clara Ave.
Mary Farkas,

To the Editor:
Our Public Works Director seems to be a little defensive about the decision to spend $80 million on the new sewer plant. If I were in his shoes I guess I would be too. If he bought a new car for $80 thousand and his neighbor bought two similar cars and paid only $58 thousand for both he would probably tell his wife and kids that their car must be better because it was more expensive.
Although simplistic, the comparison gives you an idea of the difference between the costs of Fillmore’s and our neighbor Santa Paula’s new sewer plants - just change the dollar values from thousands to millions.
The initial estimates for Santa Paula’s plant were also very high but unlike Fillmore their city council refused to move forward and in an attempt to ease the burden on their citizens started the process over and ultimately saved their people tens of millions of dollars. Ventura County Supervisors also rejected bids for the Piru plant and started over. Despite receiving hundreds of letters from Fillmore citizens requesting the City look for a less expensive alternative, our city council chose to proceed with the $80 million plan.
Yes, I suppose Bert Rapp, Steve Conaway and Cecilia Cuevas are feeling a bit defensive but no amount of spin justifying their decision to ignore the concerns and needs of the people can ease the pain many are feeling from the cost of their sewer bill.
Bob Stroh,

To the Editor:
Brian Sipes' Response to Bert Rapp's Letter
This letter is in response to Bert Rapp’s letter on 31 July 2008. I found the 2002 PERC proposal on a Fillmore website and it reveals that they did make a guaranteed proposal to meet California Title 22 water quality for $13 Million.
Also, in talking to PERC, their 2002 proposal was in response to a City of Fillmore request (Bert Rapp), which specified the location of the plant. I am also concerned about assertions that somehow the quality of some PERC plants are now suspect when up until now these plants have always been described as award winning. I wonder if Bert Rapp has shared this information with PERC?
Also, investigation into the negotiations in Santa Paula reveals that the original $35 Million PERC proposed plant was never increased, but there are Santa Paula City requested add-ons that now cause the total to be higher. Furthermore, Berts admission that the City of Fillmore is spending $60 Million to save the ratepayers $3.50 a month is as much instructive as it is unbelievable. Our town is drowning in debt from this ill-conceived, ill managed sewer plant.
Based on all of the above misinformation, I am suggesting a public investigation of costs associated with our plant. We will need PERC participation plus knowledgeable, credible experts in this technology, plus the press.
Brian N. Sipes,

Letters to the Editor
July 31st, 2008

To the Editor:
Thank you to the Osaguera family for their condolences to me and my family; also for exposing the terrible results of meth to families. Thank you to the Gazette for printing the names of the thugs that got away with this crime. Your article about Nathan Osaguera was very thorough (and better than The Star’s). Thank you to my family, friends and Bret's friends for their support during these difficult times.
Mary Ann Godfrey,
Bret's Mom

To the Editor:
Re: From the family of Nathan Oceguera
It appears the meth problem in Fillmore has been out of control for quite some time. However, I don't think we can put the blame on the police, schools, city, etc. We have to take a close look at ourselves, as parents. Many parents run their children out of their homes when they discover they are abusing drugs repeatedly. They rid themselves of the problem, leaving the addicted child homeless, to steal and do whatever unthinkable things they do while under the influence. Wouldn't we be better of if we had them arrested? My son was murdered in this town in 2003. I have been told the person suspected of murdering him had been on a meth high for three days straight, without sleep. His parents had run him out of their home because they could no longer deal with him.
I sincerely feel for the Oseguera family because I know they are good people. I never knew the kind, caring Nathan. I only knew the Nathan that came to my home approximately eight years ago to tell me that he was going to shoot my son's head off. I only knew the Nathan who passed by my home after my son's death to point and laugh at me. As for the "trash talking", that is beneficial to no one. My family has had to endure it for almost five years. The Oseguera family should know there is light at the end of the tunnel. In prison, Nathan will be paying his debt to society, but more importantly, he will have the opportunity to ask for God's forgiveness and turn his life around. His family can visit him, write to him and hear his voice over the phone. That is more than the Godfrey family can do. That is more than I can do.
There is a young man in our community that spent several years incarcerated due to his involvement with drugs and gangs. He turned his life around and he tirelessly walks the streets of Fillmore offering help to anyone that wants it. He is associated with Victory Outreach. Any one wanting help might want to contact them. In the mean time, may God Bless us all.
Barbara A. Serrano
Peter Nick's mom

To the Editor:
The letter from David Reeves [07/17/08] was the most disgusting reading I have done in a long time. If you think you can pray the wrath of God on the city leadership (your quote) I would really like to know who the God you pray to is. That letter was so nasty and uncalled for.
For your information some of the existing council was not even on the council when this [rent control] was first discussed; it started so many years ago. If you don't know that you must not pay any attention to what goes on in Fillmore until it affects you or you are new here. My understanding when I was at the council meeting when this was finalized; the majority did not want rent control at the park.
And about the skate park I thought all citizens agreed we want to put our monies where our future lies. I firmly believe our future lies with our youth, therefore we need things to keep them busy so they will stay out of trouble. Idle hands promote trouble. As for your reply that we (senior citizens) didn’t have things like the children have now and we turned out alright, I hear that all the time and have even said it myself when I see a spoiled child But we live in a different world now so you need to quit being so mean-mouthed at someone you know nothing about. Being a senior myself I will admit times are hard for people on fixed incomes but they are hard on everyone so quit b----ing and be glad for the young people of this community. Some of the youth who fought for this skate park in the beginning are now adults going off to college. Tonight I will pray to Jesus and ask him to forgive you.
Shirley Spitler,

To the Editor:
This letter is in response to Mr. Brian Sipes letter addressing the City of Fillmore Water Recycling Plant.
Mr. Sipes makes outlandish statements and then asks questions like: “How can these things be
true?” and if they are true “this is a serious scandal for the City of Fillmore.” A good lesson in life to learn is that when a statement sounds hugely unrealistic it probably is.
For example Mr. Sipes writes: “Fillmore was given a guaranteed proposal for a more than adequate plant in 2002 for $13 Million, but the Fillmore City Council and staff chose to purchase a smaller plant for $43 Million in 2005.”
The $13 Million proposal was not “guaranteed.” The proposal did not provide Performance or Material Bonds or a written guarantee that the plant would meet the permit requirements for 20 years like American Water has provided to the City.
The proposal was not “more than adequate.” It was not complete, the plant was proposed to be between River Street and the Santa Clara River but no flood protection was included. It relied upon river discharge instead of recycling but did not remove all of the constituents as required in the NPDES permit. It did not include sewer service to the future Business Park and would commit the City to operating and maintaining a sewer lift station in perpetuity.
The proposal was for Sequential Batch Reactor technology that three Engineering firms recommended that the City not use because of reliability concerns and because the effluent is 10 times dirtier than the Membrane Bio Reactor plant the City is building.
When I spoke with the owner of one of the plants that this company has built he told me that the plant was experiencing premature corrosion, had insufficient redundancy so maintenance was difficult and a recent news paper article from that community described odors so bad local citizens said they couldn’t walk from their door to their car without being overwhelmed.
This same company made a $35 Million proposal to Santa Paula but later when they submitted an actual “guaranteed” bid the capital cost came out the same as their competitor: $56 Million.
The operating costs were the same as well. So much for the huge cost savings.
Mr. Sipes also states “Fillmore chose to not use the state revolving funds….at an increased cost to the Fillmore Sewer Rate Payers of $60 Million.” The fact is that the City Council chose to use tax exempt municipal bonds because they saved the rate payers $3.50 per month. The $60 Million savings Mr. Sipes is suggesting would be realized by future rate payers beginning 20 years from now. The City Council chose the financing that has the lowest monthly sewer rate for today’s rate payers and lowest overall present worth which is the true measure of the actual cost. The $60 Million savings is bogus.
Suffice it to say, the outlandish statements Mr. Sipes is referring to are not representative
of the real situation or a complete picture of the Fillmore Water Recycling Program.
If you have questions regarding our public infrastructure please send them to: Bert J. Rapp, P.E., Public Works Director at City Hall, 250 Central Avenue, Fillmore CA. 93015, or leave a message 24 hours a day at 524-1500 x 231 and he will address them in a future column.
Bert Rapp,
Public Works Director

To the Editor:
If you haven’t taken the time to use the various bike/walking paths located around Fillmore, you should. It is heart warming to see individuals, couples, friends and whole families enjoying the benefits of exercising and getting away from the city life. I will give you a few words of caution; stay on the right side as you would if you were in a car. Beware; there are a few bicycle riders that think this is a race track. They are completely silent coming up behind you and there is no warning they are near until they come swooshing by you at about twenty miles per hour. It is a little scary. I’m sure they would call out “Coming by” if they only knew how it unnerves a person. I am truly worried that people walking dogs or that have young children with them will wander into the ‘left lane’ at the wrong moment and be seriously injured. Recently, my dog and I were enjoying the path along the Sespe River. I wasn’t paying attention behind me and slowed down a fast rider, he cussed me out royally. I do wish they would use the streets for their speeding rather than the family paths. I never have been able to understand why people pay huge sums of money to buy a bicycle that is easy to pedal and then say they are doing it for the exercise. They could go to the second hand store, buy a junker with a rusty chain, no gears and get the same exercise in one fourth the time.
Kidding aside; I hope this article will make riders and walkers more aware of the ‘rules of the path,’ be more considerate of each other and it will be safer and more enjoyable for all.
Maybe a white line down the center would be a good idea to make us more aware. I give the City of Fillmore a double thumbs up on the bike/walking path projects. Tax payer’s money well spent to keep people exercising. My dog likes it too.
John Heilman,
73 year native and dog Cindy

Letters to the Editor
for July 24th, 2008

To the Editor:
Recently I was shown a document comparing sewer plant costs between Fillmore & Santa Paula. Individuals who seemed credible prepared this document.
Supposedly, Fillmore was given a guaranteed proposal for a more than adequate plant in 2002 for $13 Million, but the Fillmore City Council and staff chose to purchase a smaller plant for $43 Million in 2005. How can this make any sense?
Also, Santa Paula just recently negotiated a 2.3 times larger plant for just $3 Million more. How can this be?
In addition, Fillmore chose to not use the state revolving funds and chose to barrowed money on the commercial market at an increased cost to the Fillmore Sewer Rate Payers of $60 Million. How can these things be true?
These numbers are so damming, I am wondering when the city is going to come forward and show us that this situation is not true.
If this is true this is a serious scandal for the City of Fillmore.
Brian Sipes


To the Editor:
Today in Fillmore there are 500 homes with Salt Water Softeners. Once installed this is the cheapest way to soften home water systems. But there is a price to pay for the perceived savings. The discharge from these softeners has high chloride content. This makes water downstream harmful to plant and animal life. All of the agricultural activity downstream receives this high chloride water, which can potentially kill whole crops. The state also has a requirement that by 2013 Fillmore’s discharge is at or below 100 milligrams (mg.) per liter. Fillmore now averages 137 mg. per liter. Of this 137 mg. per liter, 57 mg. is from salt water softener discharge. If the 500 homes do not switch to a “clean” system Fillmore will have to build a $35 million plant to pull the chloride levels down to requirements. This will cost EVERY home in Fillmore $35 a month. This is about the same cost as the 500 homes would have to pay to switch to a “clean” system like Culligan or Rayne. So, just imagine what the friends and neighbors must think of the 500 homes who don’t switch. Please switch today, the farmers and ranchers downstream will be grateful and the residents of Fillmore will be grateful.
Voice of El Dorado Mobile Homeowners Association


To the Editor:
[The Voice of El Dorado Homeowner’s association sent the following letter to the L.A. RWQCB On July 9, 2008]
Dear Chairman of the Board,
El Dorado Mobile Home Estates is a senior community with over 300 homes, located in Fillmore (population approximately 14,000), in Ventura County. The undersigned represents this park’s Homeowner’s Association.
Your recent Draft Storm Water NPDES permit is quite a shock to all of us, and as demonstrated at our special City Council meeting on Monday, July 7th by the residents of the City of Fillmore. In spite of the fact that your appointed panel of experts studied the feasibility of this permit and reported back that the project would NOT be feasible to implement, you chose to move forward. This is unconscionable! In addition, there is no financial mechanism (State Revolving Fund programs, grants etc.), currently established in the State of California to generate the funds as in the past.
We strenuously object to this permit because we CANNOT afford to pay for it. We are a small agricultural community with more than 50% of our population in the low-income bracket. Many folks in El Dorado and in town survive on Social Security alone or other government supplementals, and the state of today’s economy is overwhelming their meager budgets. In addition, all residential water bills have recently increased by $50 per month to pay for our new sewer plant, and will increase to nearly $100 per month in the near future, and now you want to pile on more?
This city already suffers from only a 20% occupancy rate for HUD section 8 housing. People are leaving town. Our mobile home park has many vacant coaches and close to 40 coaches are for sale, mostly because of the runaway costs of living here. Many elderly residents in El Dorado cannot even afford to move out. There has to be better ways to achieve cleaner water with far less expense that low-income people can afford.
It seems to us that the little town of Fillmore, the second poorest in Ventura County, is not the proper place to implement this massive project. You must rethink your demands for we simply cannot do what you require. The future of Fillmore and its residents could be devastated if you do not reconsider.
We in El Dorado as well as the vast majority of the residents of Fillmore are strongly urging our City Council to fight against the implementation of this permit, and the financial destruction it will surely cause. The future of our town and 14,000 residents depend on it!
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Paul Schifanelli, President,
Voice if El Dorado Mobile Homeowner’s Association


$9 Million More?
To the Editor:
“Attention Residents”
In regards to the important issue of chlorides in our water, we are at 125 mm/l; our goal is 100 mg/l. December 6th we were 150 mg/l. This subject is really boring but your wallet won’t think so if we don’t get to 100 mg/l. I can’t overstate the importance of reaching 100 mg/l in our water system.
The Fillmore City Council and staff are preparing a $9 million plus system to clean the water system of chlorides (salts). These salts are discharged from our homes and businesses.
We can’t afford another over-priced capital project that the City will demand of us.
Residents using salt/brine water conditioners please report this use and convert to currant allowable water conditioners. Just a few hundred such water conditioners exist in Fillmore so this should not be a difficult solution.
“A city program is in place fore conversion.” Public education and participation will stop a very, very expensive solution which will raise your water bills again and again in the future.
We can do this, let’s take back Fillmore
Gary Creagle,


Scary Times in Fillmore
To the Editor:
Recently an old time Fillmore resident told me that if I had lived here longer I would think differently about things. I don’t think so. I believe that based upon the three items on the 7 July 2008 City Workshop all Fillmore residents (old and new) should truly be worried for their little town. The worry items as I see them are two fold as follows: 1) Will we find real solutions to the underlying problems? For example, after FEMA, Water Shed Protection, and other agencies get done with their analysis regarding the Sespe Creek, will there be a timely solution to the levee that we can afford? 2) How do we defend ourselves from the bumbling bureaucracies that have a real affect on our city? FEMA, the County Water Shed Protection, and the Los Angeles Regional Water Board conduct themselves like medieval fiefdoms rather than what you would expect in a democratic society. The off hand admission that a FEMA hired consultant made the mistake of showing the Sespe Creek running the middle of Fillmore makes you wonder how many other consultant mistakes can affect our lives.
These three problems; Sespe Creek 100 year flood, storm water runoff and the chlorides in our water are items that need to be and can be addresses reasonably and in a cost efficient way.
What we can’t do is to let the current city management practices and relationships get between our needed solutions and us. No Boyle Engineering, Hawkins-Delafield & Wood, American Water and the rest of the legion of consultants can be allowed. There must be a wholesale change from what was done during the sewer plant fiasco.
Clay Westling,


Wake Up Citizens of Fillmore!
To the Editor:
WAKE UP CITIZENS OF FILLMORE!! It is time to take back our town. It has been run by outsiders for too long. The city officials have no vested interest in what goes on here. Their salaries are obscene. At several of the city council meetings I heard more than once "this is a poor town." Well, it can't be such a "poor town" if it can pay the outrageous salaries of the ones in charge. They are laughing all the way to the bank, while the citizens are paying for sub standard performance. A few examples are: 1. Rail road crossing at Central Ave. - how much to fix the problem? 2. Pole Creek debris basin - how much to enlarge after it was built? 3. B Street - how much to complete - a street to no where? 4. The bus stop on Santa Clara St. - how much to fix that? 5. Levee Drive - how much to fix that? What is the cost of all of these mistakes?
We need to ask for the resignation of all parties listed in the paper with salary increases. The city council should be recalled for allowing the salaries to be put into place. The city officials aren't paying the enormous --water/sewer bills and now they hit us with the possibility of another hundred plus dollars per month. Is it a coincidence that we find out about the additional fees right after they receive their raises? Amazing isn't it? How long have the officials known about this?
Mr. Mosbarger was right on-take out the planters. We don't have that many rain days. This isn't Seattle. This is sunny Southern California. Put that money to better use like our water bills. Oops, too late. What drainage problems are they trying to fix?
The officials didn't listen to the "old timers" when they were told of flooding from the Santa Clara River and the Sespe. The houses were still built.
The city officials say they are "business friendly." WRONG!! Just ask any one trying to open a business here. I know of a few that may be closing because of the high cost of doing business here.
We need city officials that will pay attention and listen to the citizens of Fillmore. Not outsiders with their own agenda.
We don't need big developers dangling a "carrot" in front of the officials with promises of future monies. That never seems to happen. Planned, small growth approved by the citizens of Fillmore seems to be the way to go.
It is time to clean house. Tell them we aren't going to take it anymore. We've had enough.
Tom Dawson and FRIENDS,


To the Editor:
A group of Fillmore Chloride Control Volunteers met on July 22nd to begin work to vigorously publicize the need for Fillmore to rid itself of the chloride polluting Brine (Salt) Discharging Water Softeners. These brine water softeners dump 1 pound of salt each day into the Santa Clara River, thus placing Fillmore in jeopardy of having each household pay $25 to $35 monthly, State of California fines for the excess chloride (salt) dumped into the river. Our next meeting will be held: July 30th, at 7PM at the Fillmore Senior Center, 533 Santa Clara St. All Fillmore residents are invited to help Lick The Salt Problem!
Mary Farkas
Fillmore, CA

Letters to the Editor
July 17th, 2008

To the Editor:
I attended the city council meeting of July 8, 2008. I was appalled and embarrassed that a few of our council members and staff would demonstrate such unprofessional body language to the public. The note passing between council members and staff is not acceptable and even if unintended, it gave the impression they were making “fun” of the brave citizens that came up to voice their opinion. The rolling of the eyes and shaking of the head is again giving the wrong impression to the public. I am so grateful that our citizens want to take a stand and speak their minds to the council, staff, and the public. I remember being a planning commissioner, the city attorney took all of us new commissioners aside and gave us the code of ethics and instilled into us that body language should be minimized. I have spoken in front of the city staff and city council several times and noticed this same demeanor. But sitting there last night as a citizen in the audience, I truly feel our city council has lost focus on what citizenry means. Lastly the city council needs to stop governing by intimidation for the well being of Fillmore.
Trinka Reynolds,
* * *
To the Editor:
Nearly 300 Fillmore residents attended the important water & sewer issues meeting at the Memorial Building on Monday the 7th. A sign-up sheet was passed around seeking volunteers to help with Chloride Reduction in our wastewater. Approximately 20 volunteers signed up. THANK YOU. We will have our 1st: Chloride Control Volunteers Meeting - When: Tuesday, July 22nd at 7PM Where: Fillmore Senior Center, 533 Santa Clara St. I am asking for more volunteers from the public. We have a huge amount of work to do, and your help is needed. PLEASE ATTEND THE MEETING!
Mary Farkas,
* * *
To the Editor:
Repeatedly, over a thousand Fillmore citizens have spoken by putting their signature on a petition expressing their desire to have the right to vote on the future development in North Fillmore limiting the number of dwellings to 350 with an appropriate mix meeting housing requirements.
Developed as planned, North Fillmore will add 700 dwellings including three story multifamily units with narrow streets and alleys. A new street from North Fillmore to the north end of Central Avenue will be constructed. Traffic studies show that traffic will become more congested on Central Ave., A, B, C and D Streets all the way to Hwy 126 because of the vehicles traveling in and out of the new development.
Council member Cecilia Cuevas wants the 700 homes in North Fillmore with its added traffic. She also wants four story apartments at A Street and Sespe. She also asked the Council to spend $20 thousand to study the impact the initiative, if passed by the voters, would have on the city. Council went along. Spending money seems to come easy for them, just look at our overpriced sewer plant.
The people in Fillmore have a pretty good idea what this $20,000 City Staff supported study will reveal; because of past poor decisions we all will be paying more. So donʼt try to hold us hostage with the threat of lawsuits, higher sewer bills etc.
We got it on the November ballot folks. Thanks to everyone for your help!
Bob Stroh,
* * *
To the Editor:
Regarding the North Fillmore Initiative
After last Tuesday’s City Council meeting the Citizens of Fillmore will get the chance to voice our opinion on the city’s plans for North Fillmore. After two referendums petition drives, and two initiative petition drives, we are now able to have on the November ballot a measure that will limit the dense development that the City has been planned for that area.
Again, we have no issue with low income, high-income housing or any income housing. Our only issue is to have North Fillmore developed in a manner consistent with the rest of Fillmore and one that does not contribute to over crowding, increased traffic, and does have the necessary parks and open spaces.
A City Council Member apparently is worried that the City will somehow be open to litigation. It’s a mystery to me that citizens exercising their voting rights regarding the make up of their city could cause litigation. We understand that the city has a State requirement to plan for low-income housing. So, go ahead and plan for this type of housing, but do it in a way that does not cause a deterioration of Fillmore.
Clay Westling,
* * *
To the Editor:
On May 28, 2008, Boy Scout Michael Watson, a member of Troop 411 in Fillmore, California, part of the Ventura County Council, will be honored at a special court of honor for achieving the Eagle Scout award, Boy Scouting’s highest honor. In your position, I know you recognize the importance of this achievement in this young man’s life.
To become an Eagle Scout, Michael earned 23 merit badges and served his troop in a variety of leadership roles. He also completed a community service project where he coordinated and helped concrete the high school’s batting cage. This project included numerous hours of coordinating schedules, obtaining volunteer skilled labor, as well as acquiring donations of concrete, rebars and sand. As a student at Fillmore High School, Michael has maintained a 4.6 GPA while competing in baseball and basketball. He is planning on continuing his education by attending a four-year university after completing high school.
Thank you so much for taking the time to help us honor this special young man.
Cliff Watson,
* * *
To the Editor:
How do you all like the Democrat's argument that "why allow new exploration and drilling for domestic oil because it won't provide immediate relief at the pump". Of course we all know had we started 20 years ago we wouldn't be in the economic troubles we are in today!! SOUND FAMILIAR? Wasn't that Cirillo's argument that convinced you so called city council members to deny Rent Control for El Dorado? Didn't he say only 15 or so homes would be affected immediately if you passed rent control. But just like the Democrats, not one of you had the intelligence to look one, two, five years down the line to see what positive affect Rent Control would have for every singe home owner in this park. You passed millions of dollars for a ridiculous skate board park when Fillmore is hurting for money, and affects only a few kids, yet reject Rent Control that would have affected thousands of your senior citizens and cost Fillmore NOTHING!
You are an embarrassment to this city, and Fillmore is dying as I write this letter due to your total and absolute incompetence. I pray the Wrath of God on each of you sorry excuses for city leadership. Maybe this November the citizens of Fillmore will wise up and replace each of you with Council Members who will work for the people and their best interest rather than your own.
David Reeves,

Letters to the Editor
July 10th, 2008

To the Editor:
I'm writing as a member of an important community in our small burg of Fillmore: the merchant/business community. We local merchants provide a face for the downtown area our storefronts are the welcoming decor for the main artery entering and leaving town. And in our own individual ways, we constantly strive to keep ourselves well-dressed.
This is for the benefit of all residents. We want to offer something that everyone can point to with pride and say, "this is MY downtown."
One of the businesses that never ceases to impress as it offers its color, style and panache to the downtown area is Mirage and Mimstar.
I'm sure many of you have enjoyed Shirley's wide variety of beautifully assembled window treatments or gotten inspiration for that perfect personalized gift from Karen's and Jean's mind-boggling assortment of items. These ladies are dedicated to offering highest quality products in a tasteful yet comfortable environment.
Yet there are always problems with operating a small business and right now seems to be a time of particularly thorny challenges for these three businesswomen. While the rest of us merchants have enjoyed a bit of a respite from loud and dusty storm drain work, Shirley, Jean and Karen continue to be surrounded with and barraged by heavy equipment, their constant comings and goings. It looks and feels like they exist in the middle of a construction zone. I realize this work is necessary and important for Fillmore's future functioning. What I'd like to stress is just this, Mirage and Mimstar are still open for business!
Parking is a challenge but remember there is plenty of parking at the Senior Center behind the bus stop and also behind City Hall. Santa Clara is accessible from both Mountain View and A Street off Highway 126. Once you cross the street and make you way into Mirage, it will feel more like an oasis - cool, inviting, enjoyable.
My hope is that Fillmorians see the value, both economic and aesthetic, that these two businesses offer to our town. Their businesses do far more to please the eye than would an empty building.
Please consider this when making your shopping decisions.
Janine Rees
Owner, The Scented Path Apothecary
* * *

To the Editor:
It is Friday, July 4, and I have just seen Fillmore Mayor Steve Conaway interviewed inside a fireworks booth on the NBC national news. The brief clip, where the mayor acknowledged the risks of fireworks but asserted they were safe when properly used, was included in the report of the growing fire in Goleta. While the cause of that fire has not yet been determined, the implication was clear: Selling fireworks is irresponsible when the fire hazard in our county and surrounding areas is so high. It is only a matter of time before the source of a deadly and destructive fire is traced back to fireworks sold in Fillmore. I appreciate that the lost revenue from fireworks sales will be difficult for civic groups to make up from other sources. In these tough economic times, some projects that have traditionally been funded by fireworks sales may have to be scaled back or even eliminated. Individual families may have to assume responsibility for supporting local sports or educational causes instead of relying on community groups' sales of fireworks. We may be surprised at what we can learn to live without. Let this be the last year the City of Fillmore allows sale of fireworks; otherwise, the next news story we see may be about a fire victim's lawsuit.
Marjie Bartels,
* * *

To the Editor:
To Bill W the horseshoe man's friend who lost his cell phone on Central Ave:
Thank you for the reward money! I didn't look at it until a couple of hours later. You were very generous. I'm saving up for a CRF250X and this will help.
Thank you again!
Thomas Stehly,
* * *

To the Editor:
Bret Dempsey, son of Bruce & Jean Dempsey recently graduated, with honors, from the Riverside County Sheriff's Training Academy. Bret was #1 academically in his class, as well as #1 in physical fitness! The daily morning jogging, with his dogs, and sports leagues have definitely helped keep him in shape! He has attained a goal in his life of being in law enforcement. Bret graduated from Fillmore High School in 1978 and Cal Poly, Pomona, in 1983. He plans to be employed either at Riverside Community College or Cal State Riverside, where he could help coach! Bret and his wife, Tracy, resides in Riverside.
Jean Dempsey,

* * *
To the Editor:
[Mr. Heilman’s letter has been edit for length. It may be viewed in its entirety at www.fillmoregazette.com]
Hybrid cars (electric/fuel) are a step in the right direction although we need to get away from fuel altogether in our lighter cars. Most people don’t know that in a hybrid the electric motor cuts out after about thirty miles per hour and there are no savings after this speed.
I have heard it said, “Wouldn’t it be great if all the cars in America were Electric? Yes, this would be great for a lot of reasons; although I have yet to hear anyone ask, “What about all the tax money that would be lost per gallon of fuel that goes to the State and Federal governments? How could the government tax a car that plugs into an outlet at your house, or elsewhere, to recharge?
When electric cars are talked about usually nothing is mentioned about the cost of charging the batteries, etc. Electricity is not for free. It is estimated that the cost of operating and maintaining an electric vehicle is about 30% of one that runs on fuel; maybe less now that the cost of fuel is so much higher.
How would this impact the electric generating plants? Charging vehicles at night would be no problem as this is the time of least demand.
We have to think about the negatives caused by the positives, plan ahead and are prepared. (One case in point…..Iraq.)
As an added note: On the down side, how about replacing about $2000 worth of batteries every three or four years? Heating the car is a problem in very cold areas without a water cooled engine. Air conditioning would be a large drain on batteries.
On the upside, they will have no oil and filter changes; although they will still need lubing.
John Heilman,
73 year Fillmore native

Letters to the Editor
July 3rd, 2008

To the Editor:
I recently went to a doctor and I asked how much this special test would be for my child and he stated that it would cost between $250 to $350, I felt I was taking advantage of. Being a business woman for 25 years, I decided to call around in another city to see what this special test would cost and when I took my child in for the special test and I was quoted at $200.00. I know have transferred my files to another doctor. Seniors I would also like to make you aware that pyramid schemes still exist out there.
I went to a party yesterday and I was approached about a business opportunity and it was a brand new product and in order to acquire the product you have to buy the business. So I asked this person, did the person who gave the presentation state to you that the more businesses you sell under this person, he will make money first and then you would make money and any of the persons that you sold to, will make money and no matter what you will receive a part of that and he said yes. I told him this is what they call a pyramid scheme, No matter what you are selling or buying, please do the research before making any decisions and this person lives in Fillmore, so Seniors shop around and beware of something that sounds to good to be true and if the price is to high, take the time and call other doctors to see what their prices are.
Pat Soto,

To the Editor:
Hybrid cars (electric/fuel) are a step in the right direction although we need to get away from fuel altogether in our lighter cars. Most people don’t know that in a hybrid the electric motor cuts out after about thirty miles per hour and there are no savings after this speed. They are most efficient in city slow driving. I don’t think large trucks will ever be able to run on electric; not enough power and endurance.
I have heard it said, “Wouldn’t it be great if all the cars in America were Electric? Yes, this would be great for a lot of reasons; although I have yet to hear anyone ask, “What about all the tax money that would be lost per gallon of fuel that goes to the State and Federal governments? How could the government tax a car that plugs into an outlet at your house, or elsewhere, to recharge? That’s a considerable amount of revenue lost. This is happening as of now although there are so few or these type cars on the road that it hasn’t made much difference yet. Think about it, what options do they have? Meter the charging outlet at your house? This is totally unworkable. The only alternative I can see is to gradually start raising taxes to compensate for the loss. But then you would be double taxing the people that still are buying fuel at the pump. Do you have any answer to this?
When electric cars are talked about usually nothing is mentioned about the cost of charging the batteries, etc. Electricity is not for free. It is estimated that the cost of operating and maintaining an electric vehicle is about 30% of one that runs on fuel; maybe less now that the cost of fuel is so much higher.
How would this impact the electric generating plants? Charging vehicles at night would be no problem as this is the time of least demand. I think that a large percentage would plug in while at work during the day. This might be a problem for “Mr. Edison during peak load times.”
We have to think about the negatives caused by the positives, plan ahead and are prepared. (One case in point…..Iraq.)
I usually don’t write or talk about something unless I have an answer or solution. I confess I don’t have either for all the above. I would like to see or hear your input on these matters.
As an added note: On the down side, how about replacing about $2000 worth of batteries every three or four years? Heating the car is a problem in very cold areas without a water cooled engine. Air conditioning would be a large drain on batteries. Batteries take up considerable space, add much weight to the vehicle and take four to eight hours to charge. Electrics can go less than half the distance as a vehicle using fuel. The back yard mechanic has a hard time working on modern cars of today, wait until these electronic nightmares need working on. On the upside, less moving parts mean less problems and repairs. They will have no oil and filter changes; although they will still need lubing.
I hope this article has given you a few fresh things to think about and get your grey matter going.
John Heilman, 73 year Fillmore native.

Letters to the Editor
June 26th, 2008

To the Editor:
I have for several years now, while serving this fine city, refrained from stating a contrary position to what is published in our local paper, however, due to the fact that there were so many misstatements of fact given regarding our amended travel policy, I felt it was important to reply. The Gazette reported that the "long standing" policy changed in 2005, of council members having to request permission to travel out of state or county, was changed because I "subverted" the Mayor's position on this matter. In fact, the City of Fillmore was the only city in the entire county that had just three years ago implemented a policy that required elected officials to obtain a majority vote of council in order to receive approval for out-of-town travel. The first misstatement was that we increased our travel budget from $1,000 to $2,000, this is incorrect. Historically, at least since I was first elected in 2000, council has had a $2,000 travel budget per council member, not $1,000 as reported. The second misstatment was that specific approval was required by the council for reimbursement, this was implemented in 2005, and was not required prior to that change in policy. The 2005 trip I made to a conference for NALEO (the National Association of Latino Elected Officials) was not paid for by the city, in fact, I was a guest of a national sexual assault coalition that had invited me to speak at their national conference scheduled immediately at the conclusion of the NALEO conference. This organization paid for my travel and lodging, not the City of Fillmore.
In speaking for the Gazette, Mr. Farrell expresses his opinion about the dense development the Council has approved in the recent past years, in particular the Shaw mixed use retail-residential project within the downtown specific plan area, I as one of five elected officials certainly could not have shoehorned in a project all on my own, it takes a majority. This project was approved within the limits established for the downtown specific plan area and utilizes smart growth planning concepts and makes use of available infill sites, rather than look to develop in areas outside the growth initiative curb negotiated by the City and open space proponents...seems we just can't please everyone.
Finally, the Gazette also reports that I am off to Washington, DC for yet another NALEO convention, perhaps to "meet the great Obama!" In fact, I will be on travel, coincidentally during the same days as the NALEO conference, June 25-27, but I will be in New York, not Washington, DC attending a [national investment firm] Conference for top performing Women Financial Advisors, completely sponsored by my employer. As for my future political ambitions, the Gazette reports as if it had insight into my personal goals and ambitions that I, in the very near future will be working for some state or federal politician...this cannot be further from the truth. I have become quite successful in my position with [a national investment firm] as a financial advisor, I am currently enrolled in a graduate program at California Lutheran University and am half way finished to obtaining a Masters of Financial Planning degree. My plan is to continue my education in the financial services industry and maintain a long and successful career. Whereby in my success, I can provide a tremendous amount of support to my community, perhaps not with time, but money, as opposed to the time I am contributing to the City of Fillmore, instead of money. Quite frankly, it has been somewhat of a personal struggle to devote as many "unpaid" hours as I do in my role as Mayor Pro Tem, while pursuing my graduate degree, working a full time job and helping to support a family of four. If not for the love of serving my community and feeling that I can contribute my skills in a meaningful way, that I would just assume walk away from the criticisms, judgments and outright lies. I do not plan to have Fillmore a distant memory, in contrast, living and serving the community of Fillmore has provided me an honor that I will never forget and will forever be grateful for...I only hope that when I do choose to leave the "politic-ing" to someone else, that Fillmore will not "forget me" or my efforts to enhance the quality of life we all enjoy in this beautiful little town.
Cecilia Cuevas,
Mayor Pro Tem,
Elected Nov. 2000

A Response to Councilwoman Cuevas’ letter by Martin Farrell:
Ms. Cuevas’ letter seems to come close to missing the whole point of my criticism.
Whether $1,000 or $2,000 is irrelevant. The issue is how money earmarked as travel money for city business is spent. No one should have a problem with council members receiving $2,000 for the work they do to maintain a functioning city government. However, to tell the citizens of Fillmore that you are traveling to Puerto Rico for a NALEO conference to gain information on the issue of obesity (Ms. Cuevas’ original expressed intent) was a sham. Most reasonable people looking at that trip will quickly understand its essentially political nature: networking with nationally recognized political players. That’s the primary reason for NALEO’s existence. Every such convention has dozens of workshops, any one of which could justify a trip. The point I wish to make is, that political trip was taken for personal political purposes. Why else should Ms. Cuevas need permission? Permission of her peers on the council is not required to take a vacation. If she did not use her stipend on the trip, why ask for permission? The fact is that Ms. Cuevas asked for permission to attend the first convention and was approved. She asked again this year and was denied. I assume it was too late to apply after the policy was changed.
It would be better to abandon entirely the policy of providing money for travel on city business, with or without the assent of other council members. This would eliminate the nonsense of sham excuses. Let’s just provide $2,000 to each member as just compensation for the work they do.
Ms. Cuevas’s political and ethnic bias has cost the city more than $35,000 during the past several years – most of it wasted, like her repeated insistence on forcing Spanish films on our Towne Theatre. After years of struggle, the Theatre finally crept into the black, only to be plunged into the red again by 18 months of this unwanted, unused, and expensive venture. For as many as five or six weeks at a time not a single person would attend these films – yet Ms. Cuevas had the original 6-months experiment extended, twice.
As to Ms. Cuevas’ political intentions, I merely stated my opinion. I’m (I guess) relieved that she will not succumb to the allure of high political office.
Ms. Cuevas’ work for the city is appreciated, although I find her penchant for supporting what a high majority of residents consider overly dense housing disturbing. I note that Councilman Lee questioned the fact that next to no discussion was entertained before final approval of the Shaw project at the railroad tracks was granted.
If such a “tremendous” amount of financial benefit can be created, as you say, by concentration on your successful business and educational endeavors, why not concentrate on them exclusively? That way, you can “walk away from the criticisms, judgments, and outright lies” that seem a plague to you. However, I challenge you to identify any “lies”.
The job of Mayor Pro Tem may have been a Hobson’s choice for the council. Recalling your tantrum at being passed-over for the Mayor position, which necessitated the Mayor to recess a council meeting until you gained your composure, indicates part of the problem.
Ms. Cuevas, my criticism would cease if you would act more like a council member for all the people and less of a lobbyist for “your people” and for related personal causes.

To the Editor:
Dear Fillmore,
Thank you for being a very nice, accepting community for our two AFS foreign exchange students this year. Aaron (Switzerland) and Zeynep (Turkey) became Fillmore Seniors last August and finished out their school year at the Fillmore High graduation ceremony last Thursday night. These two students have had a year of new friends, new cultural experiences, new foods, and many memories. You have seen them in the newspaper with service organizations and in sports competitions. As a host parent, I thank you for helping make this year special for our student. Teachers, community members, fellow-classmates – you’ve each shown these international students what Fillmore, California, and the United States is all about.
This month is hard for our exchange students as they are very sad to leave and at the same time excited to get back to their home country and reunite with their natural family and friends. Hopefully, their friends here in Fillmore will keep in touch.
This is also the time to look ahead to our next school year. Fillmore needs students next year for on-going cultural enrichment. If you would like to have an international experience in your own home, please talk with me about being a host family. AFS has students from countries around the globe who are waiting to be matched with a host family. Fillmore is a welcoming community.
Thank you for your support. Please contact: Sandy email: yosoysb3@hotmail.com or go to www.afs.org for information.
Sandy Butts,

Letters to the Editor
June 12th, 2008

To the Editor:
Wow! Once again I am stunned by how much money we are spending on our city management. Are you aware that Fillmore's top six city employees could cost us over a million dollars next year? $1,001,818 to be exact. Specifically, our City Manager cost us $191,018 last year and now some on the City Council are thinking about giving him almost a $13,000 raise amounting to $203,994 for 2008 - 2009. (Base salary of $132,149 plus over $70,000 in benefits.) Let's compare that to Santa Paula, a city that is twice our size. Santa Paula's City Manager's base salary is $144,087. With benefits of $41,500 his total compensation is $185,587. Remember Santa Paula is a bout TWICE our size. It just doesn't seem right or fair for our City Council to be granting exorbitant raises to our top city workers who are already overpaid. Why not use the "extra" tens of thousands to lower our city's sewer and water bill? Which would YOU prefer?
Lynne Brooks,

To the Editor:
Dear Mayor and Council Members,
After viewing the available Minutes and Agendas of the Fillmore Senior Center, Inc. non-profit corporation, it appears that the Center conducted business as follows from January 2004 to present: No meetings held in 2004; Three meetings (March, June and August) verified by Agenda and Minutes in 2005: No meetings held in 2006; No meetings held in 2007.
No regular meetings held in 2008 (There have been two special meetings within the last 30 days. One on May 19 and the other on June 2 - setting off the unfortunate discovery that the Board has been virtually defunct since at least 2004). Technically, the last day the Board worked was August, 2005. And, purportedly, three members of the Board, the President, the Secretary/Treasurer and a Voting Member deny meeting at all in the last 4 years. If that in fact proves true, no quorum could have been reached. Still, the agenda and minutes for the three meetings do exist.
Wouldn’t you think the City would be aware of this, particularly since some funding to the Center is provided by the City and the City pays several employees to work in or for the Center?
Speaking of quorums, the last Bylaw documented is a Certificate of Amendment of the Bylaws of the Fillmore Sr. Center, Inc. dated 11/26/1985. Per the Certificate, the number of directors is at least 7 and up to 15. Looks like a minimum quorum under this document would seem to be 4?
The Articles of Incorporation for the Senior Center seem to be lost as do the minutes prior to 2000. This is per Annette Cardona who informs that she is in custody of some of the corporate records at the request of prior board members.
The Board Members are volunteers. On the other hand, there are employees who get paid to work the Center. =How much money does the City pay to the guy who opens the center door in the morning right on up the line to the supervisor in charge? And who's overseeing the supervisors? Doesn't this beg the question whose in charge and whose fault is this? Clearly, the board members aren't to blame. The center was once, by all accounts a vibrant, happy meeting place. What happened? Or, more correctly stated, what did not happen and who got paid for doing nothing?
Gloria Pagliano-Hansen,

To the Editor:
It is very easy to criticize the Fillmore Senior Center by those who have never shown any interest in the center. I help to fund and move the center to its location back in the Eighties. It has always struggled with money problems and participation from the Fillmore area seniors. The Fillmore Senior Center Board is and always has been independent of the City of Fillmore. Some years ago the center was about to close do to a lack of broad members and funding. The board came to the city and asked for help. It has been with that help the Senior Center has been able to keep open.
Folks should be aware that an important part of the funding for the Senior Center has been fireworks sells each year. Some years ago and to this day the Senior Center Board and seniors in Fillmore have not been able to work in the fireworks booth. Annette volunteered to take on the challenge. She called on other city hall employees and their friends to work the booth so that the Senior Center would not lose that funding. Barbara Smith not only works that booth every year she also accounts for the money that the booth brings in each year. Annette, Barbara and the others who volunteer their time, do this out of love for the seniors in Fillmore. They do not deserve the distasteful comments that others are making. Folks when you hear one of these comments ask the person;
“what have you done for the Fillmore Senior Center?”
Roger Campbell,
Retired Mayor City of Fillmore

To the Editor:
I write this letter with such a heavy heart. I am not a political person. I know that I will be the next to be verbally abused by the citizens of Fillmore because I'm taking a stand.
I don't understand how people think it's okay to verbally abuse people the way they have for quite sometime now. The internet and newspaper are full of it all the time. 1 hope you understand that the people you talk mean about have families and friends that have grown up in this town that we all use to be very proud of. NOT ANYMORE. I can't count the times I have read the newspaper and thought I was so sad that I lived in a community that is so disrespectful to other people.
To the people that are doing these things, think about your family, your kids seeing you as the role model in there lives. Seeing you be so disrespectful to others. Why do you think the world is the way it is today? We teach our children that it's okay to gossip, and swarm like sharks at feeding time when someone else is hurting. SHAME ON YOU!!!!
To the people that are under attack stay strong and know that everyone who knows you is supporting you and are praying for you.
To the people who are attacking it will be your turn someday to answer to the abusive things that are said and done. The next time you think it's okay to take a personnel stab at someone think how you would feel if it was your mother, father, sibling, our heaven forbid your child that was being treated the way you have treated other people. Please stop the attacks that are going on so my heart isn't so HEAVY.
Donneta Smallwood,

To the Editor:
Regarding the Petition Drive for the North Fillmore General Plan Amendment
I want to thank all of Fillmore residents who supported the Citizens for Responsible Growth in our petition drive to amend the city’s plans for the very dense development in North Fillmore.
On Tuesday (3 June, 2008) we presented the signatures of 1,021 Fillmore registered voters to the Fillmore Deputy City Clerk (Steve McClary). Steve has informed me that the signatures were transported to the Ventura County Registrar of Voters the next day.
After the validating of the signatures by the Registrar of Voters the Fillmore City Council will have to make a decision to amend the North Fillmore General Plan or submit our initiative to the voters.
It was encouraging to experience the support of the citizens in this effort. Very few Fillmore citizens indicated any opposition to our effort to limit the plan for 700 dwellings in North Fillmore. It is now very apparent that few Fillmore Citizens want this type of large development that will obviously alter the nature of Fillmore.
Again, as a group, we are not against growth, but we are against this type of development, which will adversely impact the quality of living in Fillmore. Thank you all.
Clay Westling,

To the Editor:
I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank the people of the 24th Congressional District for your support on Tuesday and for the past 22 years.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties in Washington, DC. This is a critical time in our nation's history and we have many challenges ahead. I do not take your support lightly and pledge to continue to serve with commitment and dedication.
Should you have any questions or concerns about any federal issue, please don't hesitate to contact my office in Thousand Oaks or Washington, DC.
Elton Gallegly
Member of Congress

Letters to the Editor
June 5th, 2008

To the Editor:
We would like to throw out a great big thanks to the following for their help and effort with the 2008 Orange Festival Parade: To all of the parade entrants, for your patience on such a hot day. To Tom & Nikki Scott and Jessica Reed who helped with barricades, check-in and traffic control. William L. Morris for providing, delivering and picking up the flat bed truck for the judges’ stand as well as the car they provided for the Fillmore Co-Citizens of the year. To Sonshine Pre-School for providing electricity and space for the judges to work. To the Chamber for the radios, tables & chairs, port-a-potties and all of the work with mailing applications and answering many, many phone calls. To Orange Blossom Villa who so graciously provides use of the electric car year after year. To High Camp Creations for expediting the trophies on such short notice. We appreciate each and every one of you for all of your hard work and effort and support. It couldn't have been done without you!
RJ & Joni Stump,

Letters to the Editor
May 29th, 2008

To the Editor:
Re: Rev. Sherwood Haisty
As the sister, friend and acquaintance of numerous veterans, some of who made the ultimate sacrifice, I am deeply saddened and even angered by the sermon presented at the Memorial Day Services.
While this sermon may have been appropriate from your personal pulpit, I found it disgracefully inappropriate for a Veterans Memorial Service.
Our veterans have sacrificed for the right for you to give this sermon. If any thought had been given to the meaning of the service, maybe "Onward Christian soldiers" would have been a more appropriate sermon.
Janet Westerberg Cadena,

To the Editor:
As the wife of a Vietnam Veteran and Daughter of a WWII Vet I am very angered by the sermon (or should I say inappropriate tirade) delivered by Pastor Haisty at the Memorial Day Service at Bardsdale Cemetery. Memorial Day is to remember our fallen heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. I certainly hope that next Memorial Day the Board Members screen the contents of the sermon delivered by the minister so that it reflects on the Veterans being honored and not on inappropriate ramblings on subjects that in no way pertain to Memorial Day and its meaning to honor vets.
Patricia M Westerberg,

To the Editor:
My family and I attended the Memorial Day Service held at the Bardsdale Cemetery on Monday, 26 May. I would like to thank the committee who arranged this celebration. The ceremony was well organized and the Memorial Day Message, delivered by Senior Master Sergeant Roy Nichols, was inspiring and in keeping with the purpose of the service. It provided cause for reflection and thankfulness.
The "sermon" delivered by Rev. Sherwood Haisty was quite another matter. In my opinion, it was an embarrassment to the community and certainly disrespectful of those we came to honor. Reverend Haisty made a futile attempt to tie his "message" to the events of the day but failed miserably. The facts are, he selfishly seized the opportunity to use the stage as a bully pulpit to "spread the word" rather than honor the men and women of the Armed Forces.
Specifically, he spent a significant amount of time railing against abortion, homosexuality, and other "sins." This sort of discussion does not belong in a Memorial Day service any more than a speaker advocating abortion or gay rights would. I doubt if those who served us in time of war actually asked those fighting next to them if they were "fornicators" or "self-abusers" or any of the other terms that Reverend Haisty is so fond of and repeated time and again in his sermon. To add insult to injury, he defined each term in detail in case we were too ignorant to know what they meant.
In fact, I doubt if the soldier in the midst of battle even cared if the person who shared his foxhole was a Christian as long as he was there to support the troops and defend our country. As I stood there and listened to his tirade, I was looking out on gravestones that had inscriptions in Japanese and other languages. I would guess that many of our veterans were not Christians but may have worshiped God in many different ways.
Our family has a decorated veteran interred in the Bardsdale cemetery. As the Reverend droned on, I could only imagine what he would have thought had he been there to listen. In my opinion, Memorial Day commemorates U.S. men and women who perished while in military service to their country. It is not a day meant to honor only Christians who lost their life, or hold a revival meeting, or be judgmental of those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice. It also should not be used as an opportunity to advance one individuals opinion or belief.
Again I would like to thank the committee who organized this event. It takes a lot of time and coordination and they are to be commended. I can only ask that in the future the speakers be selected with more care or at least be told to cease when they wander off the subject with their rantings.
Dave and Michele Anderson,

To the Editor:
I like many have attended the Memorial Day Services at Bardsdale Cemetery for many years now. The ceremony in past years has been a very moving experience as we have honored those that have given that last full measure of devotion to this our country.
This year as in past years the ceremony has honored those that have fallen and those that have served their country. The Presentation of Colors, The Pledge of Allegiance, The Memorial Day Message (This year by Senior Master Sergeant Roy L. Nichols was very inspiring), The Placing of The Wreath, the release of the white doves , The reading of the list of our dead, the gun salute by the VFW and Taps brought tears to all that attended.
The only wrinkle to the beauty of the entire ceremony was the Memorial Service delivered by Rev. Sherwood Haisty who rather than do honor to our cherished dead decided to give a sermon on what seemed to be his favored sexual perversions and the evils of abortion. To the shock of many in attendance this disrespect of our honored servicemen and women went on for what seemed like an eternity. At the end where other speakers before and after him got a hardy applause for their efforts, Rev. Haisty, who must not have known what kind of address was appropriate for the occasion got no more than stunned silence for his inappropriate tirade and disrespect for our honored dead.
Where this kind of sermon which may be appropriate from his pulpit, it certainly was not for what was otherwise a beautiful and moving show of respect for our honored dead and those that have served and given that last full measure of devotion to this OUR beloved country where we honor the men and women that have faithfully served to keep us free. There is a time and a season for everything but unfortunately Rev. Sherwood Haisty has failed to know that time and place.
Terry Timmons,

To the Editor:
Heritage Valley 5K / 10K Run and Health Fair
On May 17, 2008 under the sponsorship of the Fillmore Sun Risers Rotary the first 5K/10K run in 10 years was held. Over 90 athletes and about 15 health related groups with displays were involved.
The event was several months in the planning by the Race Committee which consisted of: Joe Aguirre – Race Director; Epi Torres, Joe Martinez, Diane Torrence, Ken Smedley, Kim Tafoya, Garrett Kendrick, Erika Huerta and Pablo Suarez.
Race day volunteers included: Amelia Aparicio and the Mentees, Tim Hagle, Robert Martinez, Rudy Guevarra, Alisa Byrne, Carol Barringer, Glenn deSanno, Scott Lee, Juan Zermeno, Norma Sanford, Terri Aguirre, Sarah Hansen, Kathy Vargas, Natalie Garnica, Nadia Lomeli, Jaymee Harter and Aimee Orozco.
Major sponsors were: Limoneira Company, Valley Care IPA, Fillmore Mountain Search and Rescue, MTS Consulting, Edward Jones Investments, Larry Dunst and Community Pharmacy, Bennett’s Honey Farm, Curves, El Pescador, HANDS-ON Consultations, Prudential California Realty and Barkley Insurance.
Special race day recognition goes to The Water Store for keeping everyone hydrated and Cornejo’s Fruit Stand for providing fruit to keep up energy levels.
As President of the Fillmore Sun Risers Rotary Club, I want to thank all the volunteers and participants for making this event a great beginning for what will be an annual event in Fillmore. Planning for next year’s event is now underway so start getting in shape!
Ken Smedley – President,
Fillmore Sun Risers Rotary

To the Editor:
There is an upcoming election with two very interesting Propositions on the ballot. Let us assume for the moment that both Proposition 98 and Proposition 99 receive a majority of ‘Yes’ votes. Both become effective--right? Maybe not!
On the surface, both Propositions deal with Eminent Domain and the government’s use and abuse of Eminent Domain. Proposition 98 would restrict the use of Eminent Domain much more than Proposition 99. All the Eminent Domain restrictions imposed by Proposition 99 would also be restricted by Proposition 98.
Of course, both Propositions contain more than the Eminent Domain issue. Doesn’t every Proposition on any ballot have some ‘extras’? Since it is an ‘all or nothing’ vote, the voters have to decide on the individual Propositions. After the voter has decided which if either or both of the Eminent Domain issues they favor, they also need to consider the side effects.
Here is just one of those side effects. There is a ‘poison pill’ buried deep inside Proposition 99. If Proposition 99 receives as little as one ‘Yes’ vote more than Proposition 98 then Proposition 98 is negated! Proposition 98 would not take effect! All the ‘Yes’ votes cast for Proposition 98 won’t mean a thing! Even if Proposition 98 receives a majority of ‘Yes’ votes it will not take effect!
Think about it. Could it be that the entire purpose of Proposition 99 is to eliminate Proposition 98?
Yours in freedom,
Jay C. Wood,

To the Editor:
Roberto Orellana is remarkably well-qualified for the office of Superior Court Judge for Ventura County. I have known him as a student, as a practicing attorney, and as a son-in-law for more than twenty-five years and have followed his career in law practice with much attention. The promise given by his record of academic excellence at Thomas Aquinas College and Notre Dame Law School is fulfilled in his acclaimed service as Assistant County Counsel for eighteen years. Anyone who has had professional contact with him will readily acknowledge his thoroughgoing competence, openmindedness, exacting ethical standards and personal integrity. He knows the law; he honors and keeps the law. Roberto Orelana is exactly what one looks for in a judge. I strongly recommend to every one of your readers a YES vote for Roberto Orellana on June 3 - - or by absentee ballot today.
Yours very truly,
Joseph P.D. Kern,
Attorney at Law,

Letters to the Editor
May 22nd, 2008

To the Editor:
On May 28, 2008, Boy Scout Michael Watson, a member of Troop 411 in Fillmore, California, part of the Ventura County Council, will be honored at a special court of honor for achieving the Eagle Scout award, Boy Scouting’s highest honor. In your position, I know you recognize the importance of this achievement in this young man’s life.
To become an Eagle Scout, Michael earned 23 merit badges and served his troop in a variety of leadership roles. He also completed a community service project where he coordinated and helped concrete the high school’s batting cage. This project included numerous hours of coordinating schedules, obtaining volunteer skilled labor, as well as acquiring donations of concrete, rebars and sand. As a student at Fillmore High School, Michael has maintained a 4.6 GPA while competing in baseball and basketball. He is planning on continuing his education by attending a four-year university after completing high school.
Thank you so much for taking the time to help us honor this special young man.
Cliff Watson,

To the Editor:
Why is it that most of the citizens clearly see the Water Treatment Plant as a rip off, but the city thinks it is a great deal? The people wanted the same site expanded to treat water, not to have the city go through the expense of buying more land. The people can see that Gayle Washburn's comparison to Santa Paula is valid and should shame our city officials. Maybe PERC did not bid, but their Santa Paula numbers represent what Fillmore should have held out for instead of going for the first bid that came along. What was the big hurry to jump into this deal that would drive out businesses from Fillmore and raise the people's bill so high? The people are angry about this and the incumbents will feel it in November.
Dave Roegner,

To the Editor:
My Father always counseled me to never quit, never give up. But finally I had to admit that I was beaten. My wife's last six years of life took all my savings. I don't begrudge it, but now, a WWII Vet at age 90, my total income is just a bit less than my rent. I had never asked anything of my Country, now that I needed assistance, I applied to Area Housing for help with my rent. They interviewed me and told me that I was fifth from the top of the list. But the list was frozen at the Federal level. That was a year ago.
Finally I appealed to my Congressman, Elton Gallegly, for help. He said he would see what he could do. That was three weeks ago. A week ago I got a letter from Area Housing Authority setting a new appointment for May 22.
Gallegly has been developing seniority for a number of years in the House. Seniority is what other Members look at when deciding whom to support. It's obvious that our Congressman has the clout required to support us in our need. Of course I will be voting for him, but I hope all the rest of you do so as well. We need someone in our corner who understands how to get things done, and is willing to try.
Harold Wilder, Jr.,

Letters to the Editor
May 15th, 2008

To the Editor:
I would like to say THANK YOU to the Fillmore Community that helped us out with all the donations that we needed for our Fiesta Taco Dinner, held Friday, April 25, 2008.
I give WARM thanks to: Chuy at EL PESCADOR- Who Donated Rice, Beans & Salsa;
Martin at SUPER A - who Donated ALL Condiments & Taco Shells; Rigo Landeros- who donated meat; Armando at LLAMA MARKET - who donated meat; MARGARETS COCINA - who donated lettuce; VONS & RALPH's Grocery Store - who gave us a donation as well. Also, thanks to everyone who attended that night…OUR GIRLS ARE GOING TO CAMP!!!
Kimberly Davis,
Young Women LEADER

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,