Keith Mashburn’s Letter

Keith Mashburn recently had a letter to the editor published in the Simi Valley Acorn, but it was edited to make room for others. He asked that I publish the letter in its entirety here. Please read it over and share your comments.

My name is Keith Mashburn and I am a candidate for Simi Valley City Council.  Each campaign season there are several important issues that are discussed as needing urgent attention from our city officials.  One issue that has been trumpeted for several election cycles and once again has become a hot button issue in 2010 is the need for Simi Valley to do better in serving the existing businesses in the community and to encourage new businesses to move into our city.  While we have heard this for years it has turned into nothing more than campaign rhetoric. Our current council members have had years to do something more than talk about the problem. The problem remains and must be addressed.

Recently our current city council decided the way we need to help encourage business in Simi Valley is to hire a person to assist businesses through the quagmire they face when it comes to opening or improving a business in our city.  I know this problem first hand since I have owned several businesses in Simi Valley over the past 30 years; I have experienced the problems in dealing with our local government.

Since we are still stuck in an economy that is struggling, and with tight city budgets, I am a proponent of smaller government and lower taxes.  This current direction from the city council does nothing to solve either the problem in business relations or ease an ever tightening budget; in fact it adds another layer of government at taxpayer expense.  I would suggest what should be done is that we train our current city staff to address the problems that keep business owners from moving to or starting businesses in Simi Valley; that would both eliminate the need for a taxpayer funded “tour guide” and would help add revenue to our city tax base through flourishing businesses.

The city of Simi Valley should pave the way for the business community to be successful. This success will lead to more jobs in our industrial sector which will in turn lead to a stronger retail sector.  Wow!  What a concept, the city working to create jobs for its residents by actually supporting its business community.

Its time to roll up our sleeves and to go work!  As councilperson I will be in my office at city hall, serving the people of this city.  Being a retired firefighter, this is the only job I will have.  I will visit surrounding cities that are having success in bringing business to their communities.  I will contact businesses that have left Simi Valley to determine what factors led them to move.  I will reach out to all  business owners in this city for input on what changes can be made that will improve relations between the business community and the city.  Lastly, I will meet with city managers to design a plan to mitigate the identified problems.  This will be done with no additional taxpayer expense.

We need an outline for success; I will work to design and implement a solution to the problem instead of placing a band-aid on the problem that will cost the taxpayers more money.

22 thoughts on “Keith Mashburn’s Letter

  1. Wow Keith, great letter! You hit it about 90% dead on. There are a few other factors hurting our business I will be talking about in the future, but many of us saw this new position of the city to hire an ombudsman at $160k annually to help businesses wade through the red tape as one the most out of touch ideas they have come up with in a while.

    Forgetting the impact to the city budget lets look at the Council’s logic

    We acknowledge that the process for business to operate in Simi Valley is extremely difficult, so let’s create a job so we can keep all the obstacles hurting businesses in place and help these businesses be more effective in dealing with our red tape.

    Here is an idea – how about lessening the red tape so we can all go about our business and help this community prosper?

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  2. For me, starting a small business in Simi amounted to getting my business name filing in order, taking care of bank accounts, and filing for a business tax certificate with the city. Easy stuff. But clearly there’s a lot more too it for larger businesses like manufacturing facilities or large distributors.

    How can we outline what the steps/processes are for these larger businesses so we can paint a clearer picture of the problem?

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  3. The idea that the city would create a $160,000.00 a year job to help businesses through the Red Tape of City Hall is waht is wrong with Government. That isn’t solving any problems, it simply is creating a new problem. We need someone to work to help businesses which are already here and to attract New Businesses. Guess who controls the newly created position and who controls what he can and can’t say and do, yep CITY HALL. That isn’t good for this Simi or Jobs.

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  4. Ok, let me see if I have this right. Mr. Mashburn wants to be a City Council Member so he can help local business? Do what? Close their business after 7 months like he did?(Helmets) And to think he wants to manage YOUR city budget of $145,000,000………… Now that’s scary.

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  5. Talk is cheap, and that’s all he done. and don’t give me the “he was a fireman”…Anyone can write a letter. He’s just an empty suit.

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  6. If Mr. Mashburn is/was so concerned about small business and the City, why didn’t he come forward before now? Why didn’t he attend the small business fourms? Or meet with the City Manager or someone else in the city? Seems to me the City put him in a trusted position by placing him on the planning commission, nows he’s saying nasty things about the city because he wants to be a council member? Shame on him…he’s a sneek and an empty suit.

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  7. Keith,

    The only thing the shadow knows is that their re-election is now in serious question. You have them scrambling because you are a serious threat. You are an insider who knows where the bodies are buried. That makes you enemy #1 to them. We all have your back. Just keep swinging.

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  8. Shadow Knows: why so cranky? Keith Mashburn has a fair amount of supporters. I get emails asking for more coverage for Mashburn. Aside from insults, is there something specific you want to talk about?

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  9. First off, I am not a candidate, nor am I supporting one. Chandler, you’re the reporter, do some investigating…ask his neighbors, ask the firemen/women who worked with him…there’s more fire to this than just smoke….I am not going to settle for someone just because he’s a planning commissioner/ retired fireman or a police officer. Show me what they have contributed to the community….a big fat nothing…zero…so I should support them on their looks? I don’t think so.
    Show me where they have participated in some local non profit committees by sitting on their boards,,,,can’t do it can you?
    They think they can do a better job than what we have…oh please…..show me the proof. Talk is cheap….kinda like an empty suit.

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  10. Fair enough, I’ll ask around. I’m not a reporter though, just to clarify. I also don’t think participating in non-profits and sitting on boards entitles anyone to a seat on the City Council. I know of plenty of people who join Neighborhood Council boards and participate in public service events solely to add credibility to a future political campaign, but I digress. I’ll ask around and get some feedback.

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  11. I’m Keith and have never hid in the shadows. I love this city and want to make it the best possible place to live and raise a family. Over the years I have owned five businesses within the City of Simi Valley. I feel that through these businesses my wife and I have contributed a great deal to the community. We have provided many jobs and have given opportunities to not only the youth, but also to seniors within the city. All of our businesses have been retail in nature and we were very consistent in buying advertisements in the various sports programs from the students who came into our stores while fundraising. I am unable to list all of the donations we have made to different charitable groups within the City of Simi Valley. We were legitimate business owners who paid all city fee’s and taxes in support of this city. I am proud of our record of never being late or not paying our bills and doing this with absolutely no government assistance. I feel that being a firefighter (retired) has little to do with my wanting to serve on the city council. It did however give me the opportunity to serve both on the, government side of the counter, and the private side. This experience has helped me to understand the frustration of the private entrepreneur while dealing with a government entity. Although it is sometimes difficult, I respect everyones opinion and will always discuss any differences in a mature controlled manner. We may end up not agreeing on anything, but I will listen to you with respect and disagree with respect and harbor no ill feelings. No one would have to travel far to investigate my background. I am proud of my honesty, candor, and integrity. I am easy to find and open for review. I just ask that you extend your maturity and courtesy and not hide in the shadows.

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  12. Mr. Mashburn:

    Over the past few years you served on the planning commission, how many small business advisory meetings did you attend?

    They often are seeking applications. Did you ever apply?

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  13. ok…I will play nice. Now, please tell me what qualifies Mashburn or Judge to be City Council Members. I will be really nice and say Mashburn gets a chit for having insight to running a business, (but so does Sojka, Foster and Williamsonson worked in a bank for many many years, so what qualifies them? (I truly don’t know what qualifaied Judge so you’re really going to have to help me here) Now you play nice and answer the question with some sound answers.

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  14. Shadow,

    Business owners take chances and they don’t always work out. Ask successful business owners how many times they failed before it worked and you will see it isn’t surprising if a business fails.

    Businesses that are always successful frequently trade upon connections and wealth earned by others.

    You are mad he was appointed to the planning commission and speaks out? I am glad they aren’t bound to a particular regime. You should be too.

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  15. Tim, go back and read my questions. I didn’t ask what qualified the “sitting” council members, I asked what qualified Mashburn and Judge. See I think the current City Council is doing a terrific job. They listen when the residents come to them with a problem in the neighborhood, they are financially responsible, we have a beautiful town, our schools and park are in really good shape, they are on top of graffiti and gangs they give the SV police department everything they could ever want, so what the hell are you people so unhappy about? Let me fill you in on some facts because you really don’t have a clue as to what you’re talking about. Some of the local businesses think they are doing you/me a favor just by being in our community and it’s because of this attitude that they go out of business. Good examples are the local car dealerships. Have you ever tried to purchase a car in this community? Good luck. I can’t tell you how many people have to go to the valley because they won’t work a deal, and if you say that’s not true then you are truly out of touch. As I continue to read these blogs it’s the same five or six people who are unhappy with Simi Valley and you certainly don’t represent the majority of the residents, who by the way think they, the current City Council, is doing a really good job which is evidenced by them continuing to get re-elected. So to you five or six cry babies, perhaps you should move back to wherever you came from, because you certainly aren’t happy here.

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  16. Laura,
    give us some examples of where the current city council hasn’t listened to the residents. Put your proof where your mouth is, and remember they make hundreds if not thousands of decisions a year, so don’t just give one or two where they differered from the residents, give me, lets say 10, just 10. Can you do that? I think not.
    Remember, I talking DECISIONS WHERE THE COUNCIL HAS GONE AGAINST THE WISHES OF THE RESIDENTS.
    Either put up or knock it off.

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  17. Hello, Laura…..I am waiting for your response….What? you can’t come up with just 10 examples? I thought not.

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  18. Oh Laura, come out come out wherever you are. We are still waiting for some smart remark to get you out of the 10 examples…

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  19. Ah Laura Laura Laura…just 10 small tokens of goodness that the city has done. Ok I will make it easy, how about 5 cAn you think of just 5 things. You are always tearing down the city you live in..lets try building it up for a change, come on now, just 5, please

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  20. Ok, just 2…can’t you think of just two realloy good things that have happened in this town…and over a period of 10 years?

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