Santa Paula Council: Active Citizenry Featured

By Sheryl Hamlin

In the Presentations and Public Comments section of the April 18, 2016 Santa Paula City Council, the citizenry presented a diverse set of topics. To watch the video, click here. Monday nights meeting brought three presentations and three Public Comments.


Dee Cota likes to recycle. She has a special outfit and special equipment which she deploys to retrieve trash. She specializes in cigarette butts. In the past few years, she has picked up 422,794 butts (not counting the bags she brought to the meeting). Each butt is picked up individually … imagine one but 422,794 times.

Why? The non-profit Terracycle upcycles cigarette butts. Terracycle uses a special procedure to separate the plastic from the filters and reuses the plastic in new creations. The ash and tobacco are separated and composted.

Dee Cota also collects pens, pencils, markers, batteries and disposable batteries. What a collection she brought to show to the audience. The Mayor presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Ms. Cota.

Dee Cota

Dee Cota

Donate Life

Two members from Donate Life spoke on the joys of blood, organ and tissue donation; both speakers had benefitted from donations. Donations can be made on the Drivers License or on-line at,

Ventura 2-1-1

How many people realize that by dialing 2-1-1 on the phone, you will reach a trained, multi-lingual counselor 24 hours a day? The top ten topics received by 2-1-1 in Ventura County were Housing, Mental Health/Additions, Income Support/Assistance, Individual Family and Community Support, Legal Consumer and Public Safety Services, Health Care, Utility Assistance, Food/Meals, Information Services and Clothing/Personal/Household Needs. Mr. Eric Steinard, Executive Director of Interface Children and Family Services gave the presentation which, he said, was a subset of their annual report. He said that they received over 20,000 call last year county wide, 900 of which were from Santa Paula. To see the full report, click here.

Red Cross Smoke Detector Program

Working with the Santa Paula Fire Department, the Red Cross will have a Smoke Detector day on May 14, 2016 from 9 to 4 pm where the volunteers will canvas the neighborhood offering free smoke detectors and counseling about installation and placement.


Red Cross, Fire Chief Rick Araiza

Public Comments

Emily Moreno from San Sebastian School located at 325 East Santa Barbara Street invited the audience to attend her schools annual Fiesta on April 24th from 11 to 6 pm. Food, music and fun for all, she said, including the band House Arrest.

Sheryl Hamlin reported on a major milestone in the 2014 enacted law Strategic Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) wherein Adjudicated Basins had to report on the status of all wells in their basins. The Santa Paula Basin report can be read here.



Chief McClean acknowledged the dispatchers and volunteers of the Santa Paula Police Department. He then introduced Daniel Gosselin, the newest K-9 handler. Officer Gosselin introduced Django, who at two years old, is the youngest working dog in Ventura County. Deborah Johnson, owner of the Santa Paula Times, invited the public to the annual Spaghetti Dinner Fund Raiser, a benefit for the Police and Fire Foundation.


Special Meeting

Al Guilin, deacon of San Sebastian Church, encouraged citizens to attend a special meeting on April 28th at 6:00 pm at the Santa Paula Depot to discuss solutions for homelessness.

Continuation of the Meeting

This densely packed meeting will be continued in several installments. To view the agenda and staff reports, click here.


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