Santa Paula Council: City News and Citizen Commentary

By Sheryl Hamlin

After an invocation by Reverend Maddie Sifantus, the newly installed minister of the historic Universalist Unitarian Church, three notable announcements from city staff were made followed by three serious issues brought forth by citizens.

City News

Beverly Ruiz, Senior Coordinator, representing the Santa Paula Community Center, invited all to attend a celebratory dinner catered by Garden Market featuring Mariachi music and singing. The cost is $45.00 per person and is a fundraiser for the center. Reservations and information may be made at 805-933-4226 extension 356. Beverly also congratulated Ed Mount on his 28 years with the City of Santa Paula.

Chief McClean introduced two new officers: Chris Rivera and Heather Van Hemert, the first female officer. Unfortunately he also announced the loss of Larry Johnson, a ten year veteran of the SPPD, who is moving to a new position elsewhere. Officer Johnson was officer of the year in 2009 and worked on many areas of policing, including K-9 handling.


Chris Rivera and Heather Van Hemert

Sergeant James Fogata, announced the Disaster Service Awards. Santa Paula has been a registered member of the Disaster Council since 1954 along with several large cities in California including San Diego and Los Angeles.  At a minimum, the awardees are CERT trained but some have additional training in animal rescue, communication, emergency operations, logistics, fire, police, grid search and lost children. The goal is for all city workers to be disaster service workers according to Sergeant Fogata.  Captain Lazenby has trained over 1000 in CERT. The evening’s recipients were: Kenneth Stock, Martha Brown, Richard (no last name given), Beverly Frady, Michael Gray and James Fogata.

Citizen Commentary

Karen and Mike Karayan who live on upper Ojai Road presented “Let’s Prevent Destruction from the Santa Paula Creek in 2015/2016”. Mrs. Karayan showed pictures of the overflowing creek from previous years where the water backed up to her home and also wiped out a neighbor’s home. Detritus from the creek has been found past the 12th Street Bridge. She attended the council meeting to bring this issue to the attention of the council and to ask them to get involved with the Federal Government to rectify this situation. Recall that at the County Supervisor meeting held in Santa Paula on October 13, 2015, the Santa Paula Creek Project received special consideration due to the stand-off between the Army Corps of Engineers and the County Watershed Protection District.

Kay Wilson Bolton made two requests: 1) eliminate the $80 reconnect fee when water is shut off and then reconnected and 2) plan for a local winter shelter for homeless people. She said that there are people who have been without water for weeks because of the financial hardship of the reconnect fee. She also said that Oxnard has provided a shelter at 351 South K Street for 30 to 35 homeless with the Board of Supervisors providing $100,000 of the total $350,000. She said a local shelter without showers might cost $12,000 to $15,000 per month. With the predicted rain, such a shelter should be planned now, she said.

Audrey Vincent read a statement from the Santa Clara Valley Democratic Club.  The statement is in part:

At the October meeting of the Santa Clara Valley Democratic Club Maricela Morales, executive director of CAUSE (Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy), spoke of imminent approval by the California Public Utilities Commission of a third natural gas-fired electric generating plant in Oxnard. Oxnard’s citizens and city council have had longstanding concerns about the environmental hazards associated with the Mandalay and Ormond Beaches plants. Their citizens and councils have spent the last 50 years in unsuccessful efforts to rid themselves of these plants. They now strongly oppose the building of a third plant.

Given Oxnard’s opposition, a location on Mission Rock Road just west of Santa Paula has been proposed as an alternative site for this third generating plant. The environmental consequences for the entire Santa Clara Valley would be disastrous: air pollution and its effects on human health, and the installation of massive high voltage lines through the valley, easements for which would be profitable for large land owners such as the Limoneira Corporation.

Furthermore, while fossil-fueled plants are for now less expensive than solar and wind generated power, they will rapidly become obsolete. Legislation recently passed and signed by Governor Grown will require that 50% of all electrical power come from renewable resources by 2030.

We urge Ventura County supervisors and the city councils of Santa Paula and Fillmore to take action in opposition to the location of a generating plant in our valley, and do so before the Public Utilities Commission takes further action in this matter. We urge our fellow citizens to make their opposition to the building of a generating plant here known.

Julie White, president, for the Santa Clara Valley Democratic Club

Note that Council Member Tovias testified in favor of the Mission Bay location at the CPUC meeting held in Oxnard and Supervisor Long wrote a letter urging the CEC (California Energy Commission) to consider the Mission Bay site along with other alternatives.

The remaining portion of the November 2, 2015 Santa Paula City Council meeting will be reported in multiple installments.


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One Response to Santa Paula Council: City News and Citizen Commentary

  1. William "Bill" Hicks November 4, 2015 at 7:52 am

    1) The Karayan’s have some valid points of concern. Any community that is near a waterway that has had previous flooding episodes should be asking the same questions.

    2) Ventura’s National Guard Armory has been used in the past to shelter homeless people. That may apply to Bolton’s concerns for them.

    3) Morales could just accept that the options she advocates are just uneconomical and will hit the poor the worse. Moonbeam will not be governor in 2030, so his edicts from his throne can be reversed.


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