Huber’s Campaign

In February of this year, Bob Huber announced his candidacy for Mayor with one caveat. According to the article in the Simi Valley Acorn…

What may be surprising is the caveat that comes along with his candidacy. He said he would not run if Paul Miller decides to run for reelection. But Huber hinted that he didn’t think the current mayor would seek a fourth term.

“Many people are under the impression that Mayor Miller is not going to seek reelection,” Huber said. “If he chooses to retire, I will run, and should he run again, I will support his reelection.”

Despite taking a position to support Mayor Miller should he run again, political opportunity eventually struck and Huber’s position flipped. Now he claims the Council consists of failed leadership, “reactive” behavior, and believes Mayor Miller and the Council have been asleep at the wheel. When the Council asks Huber where he’s been during the so-called passive years, he and his supporters take offense. But in Huber’s own words, he’s been a proactive adviser to our leadership for quite some time:

“But with the state taking more redevelopment funds, revenues down and economic pressures on the people of Simi Valley, I realized I could no longer sit on the sidelines and quietly advise city and community leaders. It is time to step up.”

Bob Huber believes our City and its leaders require an overhaul and he believes he’s the man for the job. He doesn’t seem to understand much about the landfill expansion, but he’s quick to publish fear-inducing ads about it. He promises more jobs with E-Verify, though with no audit program, no plan for enforcement and no way to produce measurable positive results. He disregards the fact that our City produces a balanced budget every year despite economic challenges because it doesn’t fit with his campaign message. It seems like he wants us to vote for headlines and sound bites.

I have a real concern for this City and I want the best for it. I believed in Bob Huber several months ago. Though I disagreed with him on the effectiveness of his E-Verify proposal, I believed his heart was in the right place and that he was truly in it for the City. I had many long conversations with his strongest supporters to make sure I made an informed decision on who to vote for. Ultimately, I believe a few of his supporters and some members of his campaign misled me and let me down. Shortly afterward, his campaign launched their aggressive anti-City Hall slams that, when closely examined, are blatantly misleading and sometimes outright false. I now believe Bob Huber is NOT in it for the City but is in it for himself. I cannot support such a candidate in good conscience no matter how much momentum he may have among the people I look up to and respect as community leaders. That’s a fact that I’ll get a lot of flack for admitting.

Under Paul Miller’s leadership as Mayor, I believe our City has a lot to be proud of. I believe we are fiscally stable despite outside economic challenges. We have a community where we can safely and comfortably raise our children. We do NOT have a Mayor who has conducted “secret” backroom deals, or one who refers to our city as “America’s Dump.” I feel that Huber’s message is that a vote for Bob is a vote for sending Paul Miller into retirement as a Mayor who dropped the ball, and that’s a message that I reject without hesitation.

Josie’s Concerns

Josie Hirsch is running for one of the open seats on the Simi Valley Board of Education and she’s got some concerns. She posted these remarks on her campaign’s Facebook page, but she shared them with me as well. Public safety is everyone’s concern, and Josie is especially concerned that our kids may be in danger. I’ll let her explain in her own words…

Our Kids Are In Danger

Simi Valley used to be the safest place to live in the US. Now we are ranked in the top 35 places to live. We are no longer safe, and our property crimes continue to rise.

With only 103 street cops on our streets, lets do the math. That rounds Up to 15 officers on the streets of Simi Valley ever 24 hours. If they work 12 hour shifts, we are lucky to have 7 officers on the streets. If they work 8 hour shifts, we have only 5 officers at a time on the streets of our ENTIRE valley. Do you feel safe now?

How about our kids? The DARE program is gone. Gang problems in our schools are increasing, drugs are everywhere, just ask the high school students. These children are telling us they are scared. They are asking parents to drive them to Oak Park so they do not have to go to our schools. What is the district doing about it? One Wood Ranch parent wrote to the Board and Superintendent here in Simi Valley explaining why they were leaving SVUSD and received a letter back wishing her son better luck in Oak Park.

We ,the citizens of Simi Valley must raise our voices to the city and school board and demand more officers. With almost 127,000 residents, we should have 127 officers on the streets, plus the officers who keep the police force optimized from the desks.

Once elected to the Simi Valley School Board, I will fight along side my friends and parents to work with the city council to get to police coverage we need in this community and the police presence we need at the schools, so the gangs, drug users and dealers, and bullies know we mean business. We want our city safe for our children.

Josie Hirsch
Candidate for SVUSD School Board

Chamber of Commerce Candidates Forum

The Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce puts on a candidates forum every election. Last election, there were fewer of these to choose from and the one put on by the Chamber of Commerce meant a great deal to me. It came with a cost which was disappointing, but it’s understandable. The venue is the Grand Vista Hotel and lunch is served to all in attendance… of course, that comes with a cost, but at $25 per person and the opportunity to learn more about our local candidates, it’s not a bad deal.

What follows is an uncut video of the Candidates Forum put on by the Simi Valley Chamber. It’s about two hours long and since it’s completely unedited, it’s a sizable download. Put up your feet and make sure your broadband connection is as speedy as possible before you hit the play button!

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Bob Huber’s $30,000 Loan

Bob Huber loaned his campaign $30,000 today. Deb Holler included a $1000 contribution. This brings his grand total of contributions from his personal finances and immediate family to $42,000. Most candidates don’t raise that much from their fund-raising efforts throughout the course of their campaign!

One can only assume where that money will go! More local television ads? More newspaper ads? More mailers? More robo-calls? Election day is just days away and it looks like Bob Huber is planning an expensive few days leading up to the vote!

This is fascinating to me to say the very least. Only a couple of years ago, campaign finance reform was discussed as an important topic leading up to future elections. Who cares about campaign finance reform when you have the means to toss $42K into your own campaign coffers?

Watch out, Sojka! Huber’s richer than you!

Election Union Wars

Eric David Halub, write-in candidate for Simi Valley Mayor, has said on a number of occasions that he believes Steve Sojka is influenced by unions. But it isn’t Sojka who is benefiting from the tens of thousands of dollars spent in campaign advertising by the Simi Valley Police Officers Association. Bob Huber and Keith Mashburn are.

This morning, a full page ad in the Simi Valley Acorn paid for by the Simi Valley Police Officers Association calls out to readers with the following headline:

Ask Any Cop – We Are Sounding the Siren on the Truth About Your Safety & the Rise in Crime in Simi Valley.

These guys mean business. They’ve collected thousands in dollars in union dues with the intent of making their message loud and clear: they want the old guys out and they want THEIR candidates in.

How serious are they? The ad mentions a figure of $391,714.04 as the city manager’s 2009 compensation. Months ago, the anonymous poster calling himself “Sedell Soldier” dropped off a copy of that same compensation breakdown at my home with the same total figure. Since then, I have received copies of that document dropped in my mailbox TWICE while I’ve been at work. The intent, I’m sure, is to get me to publish the detailed figures. The problem is the source is always anonymous (or off the record in the case of “Sedell Soldier”) and the document is printed on plain paper with no identifying City mark, making it relatively useless. Today’s Acorn ad reveals the source is from a 10/2009 public information request by the POA, but it also reveals to me the anonymous source of this frequent gift in my mailbox!

Days ago in the Ventura County Star, an editorial was published regarding Police Unions flexing their muscles to influence elections. I grabbed the following snippet that relates to the Simi Valley election:

The same sort of power play by public safety unions has been seen in Ventura County in recent months. There was an independent expenditure campaign mounted by the Ventura Police Officers Association against Councilman Neal Andrews last fall, and this year the launch of a political action committee by the Simi Valley Police Officers Association. That group is backing outside challengers against incumbent members of the City Council in the wake of tough contract negotiations that included pension issues.

One reason public safety unions are so politically powerful is because they can cloak their support for a given candidate under the banner of concern for public safety.

In a message on its website — posted beneath a form to order lawn signs backing Bob Huber for mayor against incumbent Councilman Steve Sojka and Keith Mashburn for council against incumbents Glen Becerra and Michelle Foster — Simi Association President William Daniels writes: “When we hear demands for cuts that threaten public safety, we have a professional and moral obligation to sound the alarm.”

Click here for the full article…

Currently, the City of Simi Valley benefits from a balanced budget. Part of getting their meant a number of sacrifices, among them were pay cuts for city employees as well as pay cuts for police officers. It’s a very unpleasant fact, and one that makes me grateful not to have to make those decisions. I certainly don’t want our elected officials making promises that put them in a position to rob Peter to pay Paul once they get elected.

SIMI PD FACTS: All Police Officers represented by the union make more than $110,000 in pay and benefits annually. A third of Simi PD officers make more than $175,000 in pay and benefits, making our department the highest compensated officers in the County. Read the facts for yourself.

Huber’s Simi Valley Lawsuits – How Many?

As election day draws closer, the letters to the Editor of the Simi Valley Acorn are heating up. The letters regarding the Mayoral race were squeezed into a single entry in the Letters section in the online version of the Acorn this morning.

The letter that startled me this morning is pasted below. The basic summary is an accusation that Bob Huber has filed multiple lawsuits against the city, as many as 10 lawsuits according to this letter. Admittedly, I was aware that one or two lawsuits existed, but I was taken aback when I read the letter this morning. I have been unable to find any solid data to prove or disprove the claim.

The unedited letter that was published in the paper appears below:

Regarding the letters on Oct. 9 from the two widows supporting Bob Huber filing the lawsuit against the city of Simi Valley, while I sympathize with their position to back Huber’s opinion of the lawsuit he filed against the city, it does not justify that lawsuit. Nor does it present justification for the other nine lawsuits Bob Huber has filed (and lost) against the same city he wants to be mayor of.

Bob Huber, our former city councilman, has filed 10 lawsuits against the city of Simi Valley over the past 20 years, an average of two per year—including the case referenced in the Oct. 9 letters where a bicyclist lost his life in an unfortunate accident with a motorist. A jury did not believe there was any liability on the part of the city.

For the other lawsuits that Bob Huber filed against the city of Simi Valley over the past 20 years, the same conclusion was reached. He lost. They were unnecessary lawsuits that cost Simi Valley taxpayers who knows how many thousands of dollars to defend.

I’m saddened by the case referenced in the Oct. 9 letters where a bicyclist lost his life in an unfortunate accident with a motorist. To the widows—I, along with the members of our community, am terribly sorry for your loss.

The lawsuits Bob has launched, and lost, against our city have had nothing to do with anything to make Simi Valley a better place—they appear to have one purpose only—to enrich Bob Huber.

The changes to that roadway were planned before the mishap and would have happened regardless of whether or not the lawsuit was filed.

Take the proven and successful track record of our current Simi Valley leadership team, then compare it to the documented litigious history Bob Huber has against our city, and it becomes crystal clear—there is only one candidate involved and interested in improving the Simi Valley quality of life.

Bob Huber is not worth the risk. The city of Simi Valley cannot afford Bob Huber’s leadership.
Don Norris
Simi Valley

Josie Hirsch Endorsed by Eric Lundstrom

Josie Hirsch who is running for Simi Valley Board of Education shared the following letter with me a few days ago. I had heard that Josie had received this endorsement already, but this letter is probably the official notice of endorsement. It comes from Eric Lundstrom, current Trustee on the Simi Valley Board of Education.

Dear Josie,

It is my pleasure to officially send you my support in the upcoming election for Simi Valley Unified School Board.  Our discussions about Finance and Operational procedures have me excited about having you replace me on the Board.  I believe your desire to make the District stronger for the children of Simi Valley, coupled with your work experience from the business world will be an extreme asset  in which the parents within our community are looking for in a School Board Member.  Again, I look forward to having you replace me on the Governing School Board.  All my best wishes and I look forward to working with you in the future to help make our District much stronger.

Sincerely,

Eric Lundstrom
Governing School Board Member