Letters to the Editor

June 01, 2012

Understanding the point

To the Editor:

Some things never change, which is the case with Peggy Kelly continuing to editorialize on the front page of the Santa Paula Times. Her spin always is in favor of friends, including MacKinnon, Bobkiewicz, Nasalroad, Krause and others without respect of due process or of the facts. In the case of Chief MacKinnon, the City has alleged unethical and borderline financial irregularities, which the city is obligated by law to pursue - shame on you, Peggy. Obviously, for the City to do its job, legal fees are necessary, and, in my experience, the amount reported by Kelly is very reasonable considering the potential gravity of this situation. Imagine for a minute, if you will, the potential liabilities to the City had the Chief been involved in any kind of vehicle accident while traveling to or from Arizona, and especially out of state, while not on City business? Would the city’s insurance have paid such a claim for such travel not in the scope of employment? Why did ex-city manager Wally Bobkiewicz seemingly construct such a poor “employment agreement letter” with so many big holes in it, and when Mary Ann Krause was the mayor, no less? Also, why didn’t the Chief insist on the needed clarifications to his agreement letter before accepting the job? Has anyone asked those questions? Not in the SP Times and certainly not on the front page. Have the chief’s partisans given any thought at all to the liability issue? Apparently not. By the way, based on what Kelly has reported, I am sure that Kelly’s FOIA inquiries put a burden on City staff and cost the City a substantial amount of money at a time when we, like most cities, are financially strapped, and understaffed. Is Kelly really interested in city finances, or is her priority actually her personal agenda? We are fortunate to have a city government that will do the right thing for Santa Paula and set aside personal feelings and friendships in deference to doing their job. As for the point that this matter should have been settled behind closed doors; that’s exactly what the City was doing before the MacKinnon fan club got out the megaphones and started their high volume propaganda campaign. You cannot ignore alleged unethical or possibly illegal behavior, especially when concerns about the very person responsible for setting the example for the rest of the city is involved, or can you if you spin it just right? An interesting and informative exercise to do is to Google the Arizona Republic, and put the key words Avondale (a former MacKinnon employer) and Stephen MacKinnon in the search box. Expand your search if you wish to get more information. Do you see any indication of a pattern or trend here?

For the silent majority,

Larry S. Sagely

Santa Paula

Thanks for support

To the Editor:

The Santa Paula Veterans of Foreign Wars Mercer-Prieto Post 2043 and the Korean War Veterans Association, Chapter 56, would like to thank the Santa Paula community for supporting our Memorial Day program.

Our Memorial Day program was an outstanding success because of the excellent support from our community, all the veterans in attendance, the Santa Paula Times, Don Johnson and Peggy Kelly, the Isbell Band, Vietnam veterans, Santa Paula Fire Fighters, Daughters of the American Revolution Golden West Chapter, Independent Order of Odd Fellows Santa Paula Lodge 314, Optimist Club, Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge 2097, Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, Jerry Garcia’s Peace Doves and Pierce Brothers Cemetery.

Colonel James Norris, United States Army Reserves (Retired) was the guest speaker. Colonel Norris has extensive service overseas with major commands and one of his primary duties was in Civic Affairs with the host government. His presentation centered on the themes of military history and the affects upon today’s military. He recalled the origins of the ‘Flanders Field Poppy’, the Flanders Field poem and the significance to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. This is the ‘Poppy’ that our Post 2043 offers twice a year to our community for donations, which go back into the community. The Veterans of Foreign Wars and the community of Santa Paula were honored to have Colonel Norris as our Memorial Day speaker. 

Gerald V. Olivas 

Commander, VFW Post 2043 

Santa Paula

Fate unknown

To the Editor:

As of May 30, we have heard nothing on the fate of our Police Chief, Steve MacKinnon. The longer this drags on, the longer we will be without the leadership our community needs to ensure our public safety. We have very capable officers, but currently they are demoralized by what has happened to their Chief, and they must wonder who will have their backs.

Clearly the Council and City Manager are holding off on any action, hoping the public will lose interest in the Chief’s fate. I am hearing from people who have spoken with Councilmembers that the Council feels like it is on the hot seat. I believe that when the Mayor, Council and Manager ruin a man’s reputation, and it appears deliberate, they deserve to be severely criticized.

It is difficult to do errands around town, with the number of people wanting to talk about the situation with the Chief. Most of the people who have spoken to me have not and will not speak to a Councilmember -- they are afraid of retribution.

Many of these people are involved with a community organization, a business, etc. They tell me that they could not speak out because the Council/Mayor might sabotage the work they are doing to make Santa Paula a better place. One might infer from this that people do not think the Mayor/Council has the best interest of Santa Paula at heart.

This fear has been heated to the boiling point by the community’s perception of what the Council/Mayor has done to “Steve MacKinnon, the Chief of Police”, and “Steve MacKinnon, a good man who loved Santa Paula so much he worked night and day to make it a better place”. Community members say that if this could happen to Steve, what could happen to them if they speak up?

More investigations are not the solution to this problem, unless the Mayor, Council and Manager are the subjects of those investigations. We deserve better government.

Mary Ann Krause

Santa Paula

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