Letters to the Editor

June 02, 2000
What a wash! To the Editor:A special Santa Paula Grad Nite Committee thank you to all who came out and supported the car wash at Isbell School. The money raised will help the Santa Paula grads have a safe and sober grad night.Thanks to the parents for all your support: David and Valerie Lagesse, Debbie Gill, Shirley Ryan, Kathleen Kelley, Karen Casarez, Elaine Jewett, Jan Worden, Vicky Hengehold, Gloria Reyes, Chula Casas, Shelly La France, Robley Dugas, David Gillette, Inez Burham.Santa Paula parents, we need your help desperately! This is for your kids! Where else can they go for $25 and have fun, food, and games plus $2,500 worth of cash and prizes. We need help. Every Tuesday and Wednesday night at the Girls Gym, 6 p.m., for decorations.Thanks.Valerie LagesseSanta PaulaRead the fine printTo the Editor:Hurray, hurray, hurray for Rick Cook and Roger Campbell for speaking out via the newspapers and radio against a virus that, like the plague, could kill every plan that Santa Paula and Fillmore have worked on for a slow growth future expansion of our very small city limit areas. Give a listen to the facts from these two brightly thinking citizen local council members and study the fine print of the (sore) SOAR issue that can, and if passed could, “screw up” our cities forever.Santa Paula and Fillmore are surviving and always have from farming and don’t ever want to change that. But we are like crowded beings in a closet and nowhere else to go.We need medium income housing with small clean industry to survive in these two small towns. There are many able bodied and ambitious locals who want to work but cannot afford to commute long distances for a paycheck. But we “do not need” more multi story apartment complexes. This causes problems of overcrowding and crime and dissension that our law enforcements have to find ways to control. It’s a head scratching situation that (sore) SOAR will only make worse. The out of town owners of these apartments don’t care about the problems that are created. I can figure this out without explanation. Those who started (sore) SOAR let other cities expand, now are telling us what to do in reverse.They don’t live here and should let us alone.Those few locals who are dissatisfied here could shop for real estate in Landers, Calif. where one can have views for miles.Ken (Z) ZimmetSanta PaulaTime to reviewTo the Editor:As the city nears the end of this fiscal year and is struggling with next year’s budget, it seems to be a good time to review the errors of the past few years. Each year’s budget is impacted by what has happened before.One would think that after serious mistakes are made, those who have sought election “to serve the community” would take an interest, start doing their homework, pay attention to warnings that things are not in order and ask for (and study) detailed information. Alas, except for Councilwoman Espinosa, who is usually ignored, the hard questions are never asked, with result that yet another staggering “mistake” is announced.The latest “mistake” became known after city hall had closed for the weekend on May 5, 2000. It involved the $1,030,818 misallocation of Redevelopment Agency Funds.Warnings had been expressed by citizens as far back as late 1997, that some accounts in RDA were questionable and possibly illegal. This misallocation was the latest in a series of “mistakes” that have doomed Santa Paula to being even poorer than we thought we were.The 1998-99 budget year had a little over $500,000 reduction to General Funds due to slowed revenues to the city (due perhaps to the endless construction in 1997-98). The nearly $500,000 cost overrun for the downtown revitalization project in 1998 (although it was known, it was not announced until after the November 1998 elections) made the total shortfall, at the end of fiscal 1999, $1,000,000. This latest “mistake” of $1,030,818 brings the total to approximately $2,031,000.But wait, there is more bad news! To set things right, $2.1 million in bonds were returned to lessen the debt service on bonds already spent. Also $898,090 was borrowed from the Sewer Fund (which will be sorely needed in the near future to upgrade our sewer facilities) to reallocate to the Redevelopment Agency for improperly spent RDA funds.Tax Increment monies (the plum that is dangled before a community’s eyes to encourage them to have a Redevelopment Agency and borrow money to correct blight) are now, and for the foreseeable future, needed instead to correct “mistakes.” One of the legal requirements of a Redevelopment Agency is to use 20% of the Tax Increment money for low, very low and moderate income housing.I feel that returning the bonds and borrowing from the Sewer Fund was a good short term solution to meet this obligation and the debt service obligation. I would hope that no future “mistakes” occur, because ignoring legal mandates will get the city into yet another legal tangle.To sum things up, $2,031,000 plus $898,090 plus $2,121,954 (bonds returned) equals $5,050,944 plus interest to repay the debts (the council majority neglected to determine the terms of repayment, but that is a tedious detail to them) is the amount the citizens of Santa Paula were “mismanaged out of”!WE ARE INDEED POOR!!!! Think very carefully next election when a candidate declares he wants “to serve the community.” Ask him/her how willing they are to study the budget and other issues and ask hard questions. The City Manager and Staff now essentially make all the decisions, because the majority doesn’t want to micro-manage. Also remind candidates that in a democracy, the majority rules but the minority is heard and should be part of the decision-making process.Martha K. HarrisSanta PaulaPoignant ceremonyTo the Editor:Memorial Day...Monday, May 29th...we had a poignant ceremony in the northeast corner of the Santa Paula Cemetery...an event held each year to remember those who have served and sacrificed so that this nation can represent freedom for the whole world.The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2043 appreciates the participation of the Santa Paula High School Band, Dr. Merle Lehman of the First United Methodist Church and those in attendance making it a memorable occasion. The ladies of Soroptimist International of Santa Paula provided the reception at the Veteran’s Memorial following the ceremony and it was very well done...thank you all!Carl Barringer, CommanderMercer-Prieto VFW Post 2043Who wants to be informed?To the Editor:“WHO WANTS TO BE INFORMED”! This is similar to “WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE” except there is no money involved, the only prize is a better Santa Paula. The answers may be published at a future date but they should be fairly obvious.Question #1Which Santa Paula City Council member was the ghost writer for this letter?A. Richard CookB. Laura EspinosaC. Jim GarfieldD. Don JohnsonE. Robin SullivanF. None of the aboveQuestion #2How can we make Santa Paula the laughingstock of the area, not just Ventura County. At the same time can we also turn away tourists and prospective home buyers?A. Continue to hurl accusations at public figures and be sure the accusations are published in all the papers.B. Ask for police protection for one city council member during city council meetings while said council member feel safe enough to sit behind the feared council member during another organization meeting.
C. Have one city council member cry racial discrimination each time one of her pet agenda items is not passed.D. Accuse fellow council members of falsifying their racial heritage. (And to think I was under the impression that we are all Americans!)E. All of the above and many other petty grievances too numerous to mention.Question #3What percentage of one nationality does a person need to be considered a descendant from that ethnic group?A. 10%B. 25%C. 50%D. 100%Question #4What can we as a community do to keep Santa Paula a poor city (which, as stated by a former city council member, “it always has been and always will be”)?A. Continue to make accusations against the city and its council members that must be defended at public expense.B. Build more low income housing which does not pay its full share of taxes.C. Pass a SOAR initiative (which was previously rejected) that will not allow higher end housing and more light industry in Santa Paula to help raise the tax base.D. Pass a SOAR initiative that will let the county decide what is best for Santa Paula, possibly bring more unfavorable aspects into the city such as jails and garbage dumps.E. All of the above.Question #5How can we keep Santa Paula’s gang activity and crime at a high rate?A. Take a group of young boys on a camping retreat and tell them to “take back” their community, their state and their country!B. Never provide guidelines or curfew for your children.C. Never admit that it may be your child who is painting graffiti on public property and committing crimes.D. Never ask your child where spare money and expensive items came from or report them if you think they are dealing with drugs, etc.E. All of the above.Yvonne BabcockSanta PaulaLaird’s praiseTo the Editor:If you are not buying meat from Laird’s (next to Vons) then you are missing out on one of the best kept secrets in Santa Paula.Laird’s has wonderful fresh meat from Harris Ranch, much fresher chicken than the markets, and even occasional fish. They are very well priced considering the quality of their goods, and you won’t find a more friendly bunch of guys anywhere.To top off my enthusiastic praise of this local business, over the Memorial weekend I ran out of propane to cook some chicken skewers I had bought there, and employee Marshall of Laird’s helped me get propane for our dinner! Going way above and beyond the call of his job, but that’s the kind of people you find at Laird’s.I have no connection to this business, I just think the great people of Santa Paula might want to know about a really GREAT meat store in our town!Sunny SchmidtSanta PaulaNo friend to SPPOATo the Editor:Reference Sheriff Brooks’ letter to editor on 5/05/2000. As president of the Santa Paula Police Officer Association (SPPOA) I would like to respond to Sheriff Brooks’ unwavering support of Kathy Long. There is no doubt that Kathy Long is indeed a friend of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department (VCSD), but she is no friend of the SPPOA. During a recent meeting with the SPPOA Kathy Long gave a 15-minute speech to our members about all the wonderful things she has done for our city. Not once did Ms. Long mention any support she has, or intends to give to our police department or public safety due to our budget restraints (aside from the tattoo removal program).When asked if she would consider using Proposition 172 money to increase our insufficient budget, she flatly rejected the idea, stating that the overwhelming amount of money is going to “stay with the Sheriff’s Department.” (Sheriff Brooks knows which side his bread is buttered on.) I don’t believe it was the intent of the voters of Santa Paula, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Ventura and Simi Valley that one agency (VCSD) receive the overwhelming majority of Prop. 172 money, with the remaining agencies receiving pennies on the dollar in comparison. If Ms. Long truly cared about the City of Santa Paula she would make every attempt to shift more money to the other cities in the county that truly need this money to properly fund their agencies. That would be a fair and just allocation.It is the SPPOA’s position that this candidate should support giving more Prop. 172 money directly to the Santa Paula Police Department with the appropriate spending determined by Chief Gonzales (would it make sense to have Chief Gonzales allocating monies for VCSD?).Sheriff Brooks implies that if Kathy Long were not reelected Santa Paula would lose the majority of the services that he mentioned in his letter. Factually, the majority of those services are part of a mutual aid agreement that has been in place years before Prop. 172 monies were available.With the above-mentioned in mind, the SPPOA urges the citizens of Santa Paula to vote for Mike Morgan for County Board of Supervisors. He is a man who has worked in law enforcement for over 25 years. As a member of their city council, his vision for the City of Camarillo has greatly contributed to its success. Mr. Morgan has a plan to increase Santa Paula’s Police budget, which would ultimately reduce crime; Kathy Long sadly does not. Mr. Morgan truly cares that Santa Paula has the highest crime rate in Ventura County and wants to do whatever it takes to lower it; Kathy Long is for status quo. The “status quo” is still an under-manned, overworked, under-budgeted Santa Paula Police Department. I guess Kathy Long accepts this, however, this is unacceptable to the SPPOA, Mike Morgan and the citizens of Santa Paula.Unfortunately, we know first hand what damage the wrong people elected can do, therefore, I urge the citizens of Santa Paula to take this opportunity to vote Mike Morgan for County Supervisor for the betterment of Santa Paula.John Coffelt, PresidentSPPOATaking away from youthTo the Editor:How much more can the City of Santa Paula take away from our youth? You gripe and cry about the graffiti, gangs and drugs and yet you keep taking more away from the young people of this community. All the money you spend on those ridiculous “Shop Santa Paula” signs, lawyer fees, etc. I have been here for 20+ years and all you have done is taken things away from the young people. Why can’t you spend money on things like a skate park, improvements to the Boys & Girls Club or maybe even a bike track. But no, that won’t happen.We are no longer allowed (or maybe never have been allowed) to keep the portable basketball hoops on City sidewalks without a permit, no skateboarding or bicycling, NO NOTHING! Yes the community center offers different activities, but they don’t last year round. Look at other cities in this county who have been able to put in bike tracks, skateboard/skate parks, ice rinks, etc. Even Ojai as small as it is has more to offer than here. Sure, there’s a movie house here, but didn’t we say that kids watch too much television and movies.Please, kiss, make up and get back on track to the more important issues - the people of this community and especially our youth.Raeanne CaseySanta Paula

Site Search



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