Fillmore City Council: SPMH, VCSD issues of neighboring city mirror SP’s

March 30, 2005
Santa Paula News

It seems that Santa Paula has many of the same issues as Fillmore.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesIt seems that Santa Paula has many of the same issues as Fillmore. The City Council was firm in their goal in seeing Santa Paula Memorial Hospital reopen, and now the Fillmore City Council has jumped on board approving the creditors’ plan for reorganization. In addition, the Fillmore City Council, facing an 18 percent increase in public safety services provided by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, is also looking for alternatives.At a recent meeting, the Fillmore City Council supported the hospital reorganization plan that would reopen SPMH as an arm of the Ventura County Medical Center, but the council’s new goals affirm their desire for a hospital closer to Fillmore, located nine miles east of Santa Paula. A 2005 goal priority adopted by the Fillmore City Council in March was to begin planning for the construction of a hospital to be located along Highway 126 to serve Santa Clara River Valley residents.Reportedly, City Manager Roy Payne told the council that a location must be studied for Santa Paula Memorial Hospital when the time comes to “come down that hill….” Mayor Ernie Villegas had earlier expressed a desire for Fillmore to have its own hospital.
The Fillmore City Council also is looking to do some comparison shopping for law enforcement services, after being notified that the costs for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department have increased by 18 percent. The city is now considering cutting back on some services, including the gang prevention officer.The Fillmore City Council wants staff to start the process of putting policing services out to bid between the VCSD and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, as well as doing a study of costs for Fillmore to create its own police department.Last year the Santa Paula City Council received a management audit of the Santa Paula Police Department and later received a study by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department on the costs of contracting police services. The council ultimately rejected the VCSD plan, but is still scrambling for funds to boost the SPPD.

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