Neighborhood for Learning, State of the City on Good Morning Santa Paula agenda

February 20, 2004
Santa Paula News

A program that helps the littlest children and the State of the City were featured at the February Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Good Morning Santa Paula! hosted by Centex Homes Fagan Canyon Project Manager Rick Bianchi.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesA program that helps the littlest children and the State of the City were featured at the February Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Good Morning Santa Paula! hosted by Centex Homes Fagan Canyon Project Manager Rick Bianchi.Charlotte Torres of First Five said she had lived in Santa Paula in 20 years and was pleased to return to Ventura County.First Five is the tobacco-tax measure that funds early childhood learning experiences, family health and support for children up to 5 years old.Prop. 10, which added 50 cents to the price of each pack of cigarettes sold in California, now generates about $600-million annually to the various commissions who allocate funds to programs.Ventura County receives about $10 million annually and the Santa Clara River Valley $732,000, with a $2.2 million three year financing commitment.“That’s the amount of dollars being invested in the community creating some wonderful things,” including more pre-schools which are credited for bettering a child’s chance for adult success, noted Torres.Other First Five programs include Loving Arms for pregnant teens and case management for teen mothers to ensure babies receive proper healthcare and mothering.Healthy Families is the low-cost health insurance arm of the program, said Torres.Decision-making on fund allocation is the Santa Clara River Valley’s Neighborhood for Learning, which has wide representation from the community, schools and organizations.“What happens to the $732,000 is planned for by this group; we support local community decision-making,” said Torres.She urged that anyone interested in the program contact Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley Executive Coordinator Pat Zwagerman or Martine Hernandez, Supervisor Kathy Long’s administrative aide, who both serve on the area Neighborhood for Learning.Mayor Dr. Gabino Aguirre said it has been a very good for Santa Paula with many ambitious plans for the future.
“As we celebrated our centennial last year we not only looked at our past history but took stock of our present. . .we have a more diverse community and will be very cautious in the way we develop our community.”Aguirre noted that “as a city bent on crafting its future we’ve engaged the community in a wide-spectrum of planning processes, crafting what we consider the city of the future in Ventura County.”The City Council has been successful in implementing its primary goals, he added.The goal of maintaining and enhancing the quality of life has suffered a setback with the abrupt closure of Santa Paula Memorial Hospital and the city has been actively engaged in reversing the crisis.“Although I applaud Community Memorial Hospital urgent care cannot replace,” an Emergency Room, Aguirre noted.The city committee formed to facilitate negotiations, Ventura County Medical Center and SPMH “must consolidate an agreement posthaste. . .if this is not done by March 15,” the councils of Santa Paula and Fillmore will hold a joint meeting to address opening a new hospital in the river valley.Aguirre also addressed infrastructure, the Santa Paula Beautiful program and proactive policing to stem graffiti.“Santa Paula has never had a shortage of plans and ideas but what was lacking was determination and lofty goals,” he noted.An aggressive Downtown Improvement Plan as well as revitalization throughout the city is being addressed and more tourist and community friendly entertainment events scheduled.Attitudes at City Hall towards new business have been examined and changed for the better.Public safety will be enhanced with the implementation of goals recommended by the recent SPPD management audit, said Aguirre and more – as well as varied – housing opportunities created.The state budget deficit is “one of the most critical things” the city is facing with a proposed loss of about $200,000 to the city’s budget.“Thomas Jefferson said the best way to predict the future is to create it,” and Aguirre urged that everyone get involved in crafting the future of Santa Paula.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.