Last night, I attended the Steve Sojka for Mayor Fundraiser at the Woodranch Country Club. To be perfectly frank and honest, I was sincerely looking forward to the event. I realize that I have an unspoken obligation to cover these things from a “blogger’s perspective,” but some recent frustrations left me wanting to turn this into a night out with my wife instead of a personal mission to cover the latest happenings. A lack of responsiveness from candidates or bickering and fighting in the comments on this blog are just as frustrating to me as they are to you. I left my still camera and video camera at home and showed up with no agenda.
What a night. The “casino floor” was packed with energized Sojka supporters and game tables and the event was very enjoyable. The highlight of my night was my discussion with Mayor Paul Miller. Two years ago, I started this blog when citizen and business man Bruce Witkin tossed his hat in the ring to run for Simi Valley Mayor. I loudly questioned what I perceived to be an expectation that Mayor Miller would easily reclaim his seat with little or no challenge. I wanted to call Simi Valley voters to action to challenge our leaders and published a video showing that the Mayor’s campaign website hadn’t been updated in anticipation of the upcoming race — a move that I thought indicated a calm expectation of sure and unchallenged success. In actuality, I was very satisfied by our city’s leaders, but unsatisfied by what I thought was their unwavering expectation that they would always be re-elected.
What unfortunately never occurred to me was the simple notion of actually speaking to Paul Miller to get to know him better. Mayor Miller happens to be a kind and thoughtful man who cares deeply for the city. He may be on his way out to enjoy retirement, but he remains passionate about the issues and will to the very last hour. He spoke with sincere concern about the situation in Bell, about how former Chief of the Simi Valley Police Randy Adams’ salary will have an impact on our city, and that he intends to vigorously fight to protect our city’s finances. Also, his sense of humor both surprised and delighted me. Mayor Miller wears a serious, all business look on his face in Council meetings, so listening to him cover light-hearted issues and make jokes was really fun.
Paul Miller has been a fantastic leader in the years he has served, and will continue to be for his remaining months, I have no doubt. He has deep roots in this city, and many lasting relationships with influential figures, many of whom are playing serious roles in the current race for Simi Valley Mayor. Despite that, he remains completely loyal to Candidate Steve Sojka and states firmly that he is the man for the job. That is a fact that likely resonates with many of the people who were enjoying the Casino Night last night.
Cheers to Team Sojka for putting on a successful event!
For those interested in reading about the details of the event, Brian Dennert will have a lot more to say. He appeared last night with his camera in hand ready to chat with the attendees. You can find out more about his time at the event by clicking here to read his blog.