Mashburn on Landfill Annexation

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 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.

7 thoughts on “Mashburn on Landfill Annexation

  1. I appreciate Mr. Mashburn’s disclosure of his personal friendship with Mike Smith. Although I have never been to any birthday or sporting events with Mike, I do consider him my friend. Having said that, I would invite Mr. Mashburn to contact the Simi Valley Landfill Expansion Task Force to review the research the Task Force has done to date. As of this date we have spoken to most of the candidates, and offer him the same courtesy if he so desires.


  2. Amazing that a City Planning Commissioner and candidate for City Council still doesn’t have a clue about where he stands with respect to the landfill expansion. He thinks there may be an impact on Big Sky, but that is about all. He is clueless to the impacts described in the EIR or the fiscal impacts on Simi Valley through the loss of its industrial zone within its West End Specific Plan Area and within its Sphere of Influence. He spent more time talking about doing lunch with his buddy Mike Smith than about bringing LA’s garbage to Simi Valley. If this is new blood with a vision, I’m voting for the current Councilmembers.


  3. It doesn’t seem as though Keith knows nothing about the landfill, only that he is willing to listen and learn all he can before making a decision.

    “Not Force” is the same type of person that would be the first to accuse Keith of being friends with Mike if he wasn’t transparent about the relationship from the begining.

    I am sure the Keith takes his planning commision position seriously and has many topics he studies in relation to that…up to this point I don’t believe the landfill is one of them.


  4. Sure Teddy, they are all opposed to the expansion as defined by the permit application. Sojka has come out for annexation. All except Becerra have come out against LA garbage coming to Simi Valley. The Council directed Miller to negotiate with Waste Management. Negotiations are private. Unlike Mashburn, who sat through two hearings at the Planning Commission on the dump expansion and said nothing, the Councilmembers have taken a position and are working to address the negative impacts on our community.


  5. Just happened to run across this old op-ed and found it still relevant:

    Ventura County Star (California), January 17, 2010 Sunday

    An ugly stain on public-employee unions


    By Joe Howry

    In college, I wrote a paper arguing that the rise of effective labor unions prevented Communism from gaining a foothold in this country. The nut of my argument was that from the dawn of the Industrial Age to World War II working conditions were so deplorable that for most American workers, Communism held great appeal. Labor unions, I argued, were able to counteract that appeal by giving workers a voice and improving conditions.

    It was nothing short of a manifesto in support of labor unions. It also was an act of rebellion. My dad loathed unions. As a department store manager, he bitterly fought against unionizing efforts in his stores, believing the unions had become so powerful that, once they got in, they thwarted his ability to manage his store effectively.

    I had heard his tirades against unions most of my life but found myself sympathetic to them when I learned about the horrendous conditions many workers were forced to work under. Adding fuel to my feelings were the brutal tactics used by companies, aided by the government, to prevent unions from organizing and acting collectively to improve conditions.

    Over the course of my career, I have been on both sides of this fence. I remember the anger I felt toward management for what I believed was their insensitivity and unrelenting focus on profits above all else. On the other side, as a manager, I’m keenly aware of how difficult it can be to manage in a unionized organization.
    With that kind of ambivalence, I was a little surprised at my reaction to a story we ran about the Simi Valley Police Officers’ Association forming a political action committee to raise funds to be used to influence city elections. It irritated me, just as the efforts of the Ventura police union to unseat Councilman Neal Andrews irritated me during the fall elections.

    The tactics used by the Simi police union during the just-concluded and contentious contract negotiations with the city did little to enhance its reputation and sent a clear, unmistakable message about how it plans to use the money raised by the PAC.

    The chairman of the PAC, Kevin Duncan, tried to make the fundraising sound completely innocent, saying there was no plan to campaign against the three incumbents up for re-election – Mayor Paul Miller, Councilwoman Michelle Foster and Councilman Glen Becerra.

    I’m sure Councilman Becerra sees it as anything but innocent. How intimidating it must have been for him and his family to have off-duty police officers protesting in front of his home during the negotiations. Certainly, Becerra and his family had to wonder what would happen if they needed police help.

    In much the same manner, the Ventura police union didn’t distinguish itself in its efforts to unseat Councilman Andrews. And what was Andrews’ sin? He had the audacity to seek pension reform among public employees, including police. The union’s tactics against Andrews included an attack push poll and highly questionable, if not downright false, accusations about his travel expenses. Mean-spirited, dirty tactics don’t meet the expectations one would have for an organization representing police officers.

    It is alarming the power that public-employee unions have gained throughout California. From teachers to prison guards to police officers to rank-and-file government employees, the unions that represent them wield enormous political clout. But, unlike unions in the private sector who fight for greater shares of companies’ profits, public-employee unions fight to tap into what many consider to be an unlimited source of money: the taxpayers.

    No one should deny their right to do so, nor should anyone seek to take that right away. Working for the public, however, carries with it a degree of responsibility. It is a service that has never promised great financial rewards, but in return did offer tremendous job security and generous health and retirement benefits, some of which were negotiated by the unions. That generosity, however, threatens the financial future of our cities and counties as well as the state.

    As public employees have become siloed in their respective unions, the ideas of service and responsibility have been replaced by a sense of entitlement to get as much as possible in wages and benefits, regardless of the consequences to the well-being of the public. For all the good labor unions have done for this country, the politicization of public employees is a stain on their legacy.

    That is what irritates me the most about the activities of the Ventura and Simi police unions. Their members are endowed by the public with unparalleled trust and support. It’s not right that they would use these wonderful gifts to further narrow objectives and personal gain.


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