Keith Mashburn, Candidate for Simi Valley City Council, has comments regarding the landfill expansion and the recent suggestions regarding annexation. My sincere thanks to Keith for sharing his thoughts on the topic. On that note, here is what Mr. Mashburn has to say:
Keith Mashburn and the Landfill Expansion
The Simi Valley Landfill is an issue that is not only very important, it is also very complicated. The fact of the matter is, yes I do have an opinion about the expansion, however, I feel that opinion is not based on enough information to attempt to convince others that my opinion is is the best option for the residents of Simi Valley.
I truly believe in transparency and integrity in ones public life. Based on my desire to be elected to the Simi Valley City Council, I feel it is appropriate to publicly disclose my relationship with Mike Smith, the manager of the Simi Valley landfill. Mike and I are friends on a social level. We meet at sporting events, and our families get together for dinner and birthday celebrations etc. Mike and I have agreed to limit our political discussions and have also agreed that regardless of the election outcome, we are committed to remaining friends. It must be noted, that prior to my decision to run for council, we never discussed local politics at all.
When asked, Mike said I could post my sign on Waste Management property at two locations. Mike was very clear that all candidates for City Council can post their signs at these two locations. I would never stoop so low, as to ask or suggest, that only my sign be allowed in a particular location. Mike has not offered to endorse me or help my campaign in any way. I have not, and will not ask him, or his company, to support me in my council run. I have been to the landfill twice to take tours and would recommend the tour to anyone, as I had no idea what really took place at a landfill.
With the above said, I feel it is the opinion of the residents of Simi Valley that is most important when making a decision on the expansion of the landfill. As a candidate I believe it is my obligation to learn as much as I can about the expansion and to share that information in an unbiased manner with the general population of the City of Simi Valley. As a political candidate, I will be contacting Waste Management, most likely Mike Smith, and asking for detailed information regarding the proposed expansion.
Currently the residents of Simi Valley are at a distinct disadvantage as to control or input into the expansion discussions. We are at the mercy of the County of Ventura and can only hope they will do the right thing for Simi Valley. I agree with those that have called for annexation. Yes this should have been done long ago, but, rather than look back, we need to move forward and work to give the citizens of Simi Valley a voice in this important issue. I could care less who gets credit for being the first to call for annexation. I doubt the citizen/taxpayer plans on presenting a trophy to the one who called for it first.
I call on the current council to move forward with the annexation process. I will support them in this action and make myself available to help the process move forward in an expedient manner. This is about placing the taxpayer residents of our city above any political ambitions. Our citizens deserve as much control over this expansion as possible. It is the obligation of the current council to obtain that control and then discuss with the citizens the pros and cons of the expansion.
I don’t know that we as a city will ever be able to take control. I do know if we don’t try to gain some control through annexation or another yet to be determined means, we will have none. In my opinion to sit back and do nothing is not an option.
I would very much like to meet with any Simi Valley citizens that would like to share their opinions and ideas regarding the expansion. In particular, I would like to hear from anyone who lives in the Big Sky area of Simi Valley. I believe if any group of homes is being impacted by the landfill now, or in the future if the expansion takes place, it will be the residents of Big Sky.
I know and understand that elected officials are delegated the authority to vote on behalf of the constituency that elected them. I feel that this practice works on most issues and it is expected of the elected to make many decisions for their constituents. There are however issues that come up that may have a profound effect on a community and I feel it is the duty of the elected official to reach out and measure the desire of the community.
I am available to meet with anyone interested in meeting with me on this subject, or for that matter, on any subject related to the City of Simi Valley and my candidacy for City Council. I go to IT’S A GRIND coffee house on Cochran near Madera on most mornings at 8:00 am. You may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm I will be at the coffee house on the morning you plan on coming. E mail me if a different time and location works better for you and we can work out the details. To represent you I feel it is very important to discuss your views.