Santa Paula: Who will pay the bill?

EditorialBy Sheryl Hamlin

What was the rationale for the $28.6 million bond defeasance which was described in the audited financial statements? Who proposed the defeasance? How, where and when was it approved? Who voted yes and who opposed?

What is the city’s plan for providing treated waste water to the purple pipes in East Area I? Who will pay for this project, including the new trenching and enhancements to the waste water facility?

In 2013, Mayor Cook made the following statement at an Ad-Hoc Water meeting: …the city’s “no risk” deal for the wastewater treatment plant carries “a little over eight percent” … Did the city of Santa Paula obtain a bid from a licensed municipal bond underwriter for purposes of comparison to the Perc/Alinda bid?

In 2013, Mayor Cook made the following statement at an Ad-Hoc Water meeting: …“We’re paying almost $1.2 million a year tacked on” to the payment for the plant, a cost Cook said is “tacked on” as an ill-defined loan guarantee. Is this $1.2 million included within the budgeted $6.8 million payment to Perc/Alinda or is it somewhere else in the budget?

What is the plan to commercialize the waste water from the treatment plant as an additional source of revenue to the city?

The city has promoted the amount of $1.6 million from Measure F. At what point chronologically is this amount realized, assuming the measure passes in November? Does the $1.6 million include new sales tax from East Area I?

How will you prioritize the order in which streets and sidewalks are repaired, if Measure F passes?

The proposed water/sewer volumetric rate calculation lowers the monthly bills for some and raises rates for others. What percentage will see increases and what will be lowered?

Do you think it is good planning policy to demolish historic housing stock to make way for high school parking?

Built in 1884 for Wallace Libbey Hardison, one of California’s pioneering oilmen, the house at 1226 Ojai Road was recently sold to a tract home builder. Documents that were signed in its library led to founding of the Union Oil Company. How will the city safeguard this historic property from demolition?

Do you think it is good planning policy to have a massage parlor on the historic Main Street of Santa Paula?

What is the city doing to attract new businesses to downtown?

According to the audited financial statements, the Successor Agency Private-purpose Trust Fund accounts for the wind down activities of the Santa Paula Redevelopment Agency. What is the city doing to market the properties of the former Redevelopment Agency? Who is responsible for the outstanding $2,655,000 in principal and $1,233,445 in interest? What happened to the $6 million in bonds sold?

According to, Robert S. Gonzales received pension income of $91,587.84. Why is this amount not reported on the California Form 700 Campaign Disclosures?

Sheryl Hamlin: With an MS in Industrial Engineering, Sheryl Hamlin spent years in technology with stints at Motorola, Tandem Computers and various startups. She has been on the boards of neighborhood organizations both in San Francisco and Palm Springs where planning issues were her specialty. She now resides in Santa Paula and loves the historic fabric of the city.


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