Our New City Council

Tonight, we’ll get to see our new City Council Members sworn in. Regardless of your position throughout the campaigns, this must be exciting for most of us who follow these matters. Well, at least it is for me. Tonight we’ll see how our choices at the polls translate into real life action as the folks we voted in take their seats.

This will be an emotional evening. Mayor Paul Miller is retiring after decades of service to the community. I don’t want to see him go. Two years ago, I produced artwork and posted signs for an underdog candidate for Mayor who ran against him for no other reason than to attempt to break-up what I referred to as the “status quo” and what I perceived to be Mayor Miller’s easy, unchallenged ride back into his seat. Even the candidate who challenged him agreed that Miller was doing it right, agreeing with him on almost every point during the candidate forums. I realized when he was easily re-elected that I had more to learn about Paul Miller before I could comfortably say he wasn’t the choice for Mayor. I will miss Paul Miller.

Michelle Foster will also be stepping down, handing her seat over to newly elected Councilman Mike Judge. Foster’s campaign for re-election was clean and steady. In what has been described as an anti-incumbent atmosphere, this election cycle had to be tough for both Foster and Becerra. But Foster’s passion for the community is such that I predicted she wouldn’t get overly aggressive, attack her opponents or do anything that could be perceived as negative. And she didn’t. One could speculate that she’s stepping down as a result of that, but one can only speculate. The fact is that she is stepping down in the same positive light and with the same stellar reputation with which she joined the Council. Though she won’t be sitting at the dais, her work will almost certainly continue.

Miller and Foster will be saying their good-bye’s this evening at 5:00PM at City Council Chambers. I work out of town, but will be trying my best to get there to see them off. Hopefully some of you can do the same.

City Councilman Mike Judge and Mayor Bob Huber will be sworn in this evening. Both of these new members of the Council have indicated publicly via interviews or through community channels that they intend to put Simi Valley’s best interests first. Both have discussed reuniting the council after what could be described as a heated battle. I believe them and look forward to seeing what they bring to the table and how they serve the community. The swearing in begins tonight at 7:30PM at City Council Chambers.

36 thoughts on “Our New City Council

  1. Last weeks City Council Meeting was the last straw. First we learn that Mayor Miller and City Manager Mike Sedell had accomplished nothing in the 90 days they were given to negotiate and protect the citizens from the unhealthy, unnecessary impacts of this expansion project. And then we had to endure while Councilperson Foster lectured the concerned citizens about the dangers of annexation and how that means our homes would be in danger of being taken by government decree if we pursued this path. It’s pathetic that she has no concept of the difference between annexation and eminent domain and that annexation is a valid, legal process despite her finger pointing. (Since when did annexation result in your personal residence being confiscated? ) And then we had to watch another Councilman further complicate the issue by trying to make some unknown point that LA trash is already being buried at the Landfill. I guess this means we should accept this as proof that the next 43 years of pollution from this project is o.k. ?
    Another Councilman kept re-iterating his talking point that he’s concerned about not having enough time to negotiate ‘benefits’ for the city. The same response he made back in August which I guess is meant to somehow show his concern without really accomplishing anything. Then to top it all off, the council began arguing that they really don’t know what the impacts are that they’re negotiating about. Really? After 3yrs of having the Landfill EIR available for review, Neighborhood Council meetings, Task Force meetings and recommendations and public input they’re still unsure of the impacts to our city? The citizens of Simi are tired of being held hostage by a City Council that was going to negotiate some grand bargain with our ‘Good Neighbors’ to mitigate the unhealthy, unnecessary impacts of this expansion project only to find they’ve accomplished nothing on our behalf. Hopefully tonight will find us with a City Council with the leadership ability and understanding necessary to protect our city and it’s citizens from this proposed expansion.

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  2. I agree with Don’t let the door. This city stands a chance of getting proper representation on the landfill expansion with Huber and Judge on the Council…

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  3. I cringe when I hear people talk about eminent domain (condemnation) powers of government as if it were a bad thing (Oooh!, they’er gonna take your house away!!). Yet our forefathers specifically authorized eminent domain with just compensation in the 5th Amendment of the Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Supreme Court further extended the rights and obligations of government regarding eminent domain with just compensation by way of the 14th Amendment.

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  4. If you look at history, you will see uses of eminent domain which benefit the communities, but there are also abuses, which is where the problem lies. The abuse can also occur in how the compensation is determined.

    In Burbank, land was taken by the City so that the theater could build a new location without being out of business for some period of time. I personally don’t think that eminent domain should be used to take property away from one person so that another person, not the government, can make use of it. Often, profit is the motive for the abuse of eminent domain.

    There was also the case of the old houses being taken so that a more profitable condos/townhouses could be built, along with some businesses. The city would make money, the developer would make money, so everyone except a few property owners would be happy.

    Quite clearly, eminent domain should not be completely eliminated, but it often needs to be controlled better than it currently is.

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  5. I think one Councilman was just asking a question because one clown who spoke said over and over “I don’t want LA dumping their trash in Simi Valley!” Well clown boy, LA already is. Right now.

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  6. Mr. Miller has been a wonderful and honorable Mayor. You Task Force members are just lower than low to attack him on his final day, after he has given so many years of service to Simi Valley.

    Shame on you Ms. Williamson. Call off your dogs.

    The Task Force is literally acting like bullies. Someone needs to stop them. This is why you don’t have a “private” group act as a pseudo public group because they have no limits and rules to abide by.

    Why are you Task Force members so afraid to go before the County? If you are against the project attend the County hearings and have your voice heard. Are you afraid that your personal histories will become an issue?

    I keep hearing this mantra about “LA trash,” “LA Trash.” All I can say is that who cares where the trash comes from. Ventura County doesn’t exist on an island. What business do you know is limited to taking customers only from their county? Personally, I am shocked that Republicans would take such an anti free enterprise stance.

    Ms. Williamson, I have also heard you and your fellow bullies on the Task Force say that the few jobs created by the project aren’t good enough (btw – the DEIR lists 75 new jobs). Who the heck are you to say what is a good job or a bad job? Clearly, you are a bunch of arrogant rich people who have never worked an honest day in your life.

    America needs every single job it can get. We need to fight to keep as many jobs in Simi as possible. To me, your type of thinking is the reason why unemployment is so high. It seems to me that any company that wants to invest millions in our community should be welcomed with open arms. But that doesn’t mean I agree with every aspect of the project. The process needs to play out more so we can see what the County will make them do to protect Simi.

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  7. What in the world are you talking about? Task Force members attacking Mayor Miller on his last day? There was an agenda item speaking to the dump expansion and a couple of people gave testimony. I didn’t see any Task Force member attack the Mayor or say anything negative to the Mayor. Marty, johnny come lately, doesn’t have a clue what is going on regarding the dump expansion.

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  8. I guess some people are not paying attention, most likely too busy with childish attacks on others.

    http://www.votesimivalley.com/2010/11/our-new-city-council/

    Yeah, the task force gang does know what is going on with the expansion, but just wants to deceive people. No answer as to why the task force only trusts one judge. No answer to why the task force does not trust the County to do the right thing either. It seems that only they know what is right and everyone else is an idiot and wrong.

    Barbra can’t even follow the City of Simi Valley Code of Conduct, nor the campaign finance rules, so what do you expect?

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  9. I am confused. If he didn’t fall out of a large tree and was wearing his safety belt, then what in the world happened to the demented chap?

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  10. Peter Foy is doing his usual… nothing! If Sandberg wants to know why no one trusts the County to do anything its cuz the county isn’t doing anything with Foy at the helm. so why is there a Task Force and lawsuits and accusations?? Because of Peter Foy and his do-nothing policies.

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  11. I have to agree. Supervisor Foy has not participated publicly on this matter for many years and has been given a pass by his constituents. This should be brought up in the other threads on the landfill expansion.

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  12. Yes, Not Force, we ALL know how seriously confused you are. Now, do us all a favor and go and get some help for your problems.

    I have not seen the Simi Valley City Council doing much of anything either. Maybe there is a reason, maybe when you get past all the lies and deception there is not as much to say.

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  13. Now that Mayor Huber is official and he is very serious about the expansion I would like to see him make Peter Foy accountable. The only people who are representing Simi Valley on this are the task force and at the end of the day they are powerless. Huber needs to get some answers from Foy.

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  14. The “People” are never powerless, Foy Boy…Without the involvement of the Task Force, Waste Management would have flown under the radar and no one would have been the wiser, and the County would have been $6,000,000 richer for it, and to hell with the residents of Simi Valley, that my friend is NOT acceptable.

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  15. hey I never wanted the dump expanded so I’m with you Barbara, when I say powerless I mean that the city and the task force aren’t the ones who get the final word, the county is and so far Peter Foy has been Mr. do-nothing and come to think of it Mr. say-nothing too. Only you and the task force have been on this. I think it would be nice to see you team up with Mayor Huber to make Foy accountable and tell us what he plans to do as our supervisor

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  16. Ok, thanks….and yes, Huber and I are on the same team when it comes to the dump!
    and so are lots and lots of other people.
    I am not giving up on Supervisor Foy yet… I am trusting he will support the residents he represents.

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  17. I was there in person to see Paul Miller on his last day and I do not know anything about an attack from the Task Force. There was no negativity at all the entire time.

    I for one am looking forward to the future and wish Bob Huber the best luck and thank Paul Miller for his work.

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  18. Barbra, can you say that you would have formed the Task Force at all if you believed Simi Valley was being adequately represented by the Board of Supervisors? How can you not give up on Supervisor Foy when he has clearly given up on us? If it weren’t for you and the Task Force, Simi Valley would not be represented at all. Peter Foy has been hiding from the press and, let’s be honest, hiding from you and the City Council too.

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  19. Foy needs to be trusted until he does something wrong. So far he is doing fine. Let’s not fault him until he screws up. If he does, then lets hit him and hit him hard.

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  20. Worth posting again, because it got a lot of votes here, and because IT IS THE ISSUE (Huber we know you’re reading; tell your buddy to show/grow some balls; see the end here we know you two talk stop pretending):

    “Barbra, can you say that you would have formed the Task Force at all if you believed Simi Valley was being adequately represented by the Board of Supervisors?

    How can you not give up on Supervisor Foy when he has clearly given up on us? If it weren’t for you and the Task Force, Simi Valley would not be represented at all. Peter Foy has been hiding from the press and, let’s be honest, hiding from you and the City Council too.”

    WHERE IS PETER?

    Note: Peter Foy endorsed Bob Huber on the Friday before the election.

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  21. NO, I would not have formed the Task Force if I thought the residents of Simi Valley would have gotten a fair shake. I do believe that in the end Supervisor Foy will represent the residents of Simi Valley and Moorpark, which is what he was elected to do, but Peter is just one voice. We need at least three.

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  22. Ms Williamson, as I am a tireless advocate of open government, please answer a few questions about your “private” group:

    1. Who were the original founding members and when did you start the Task Force?; and

    2. Who is funding your lawsuit?

    Thanks for the transparency.

    ps: Supervisor Foy is merely one member of the folks that will vote on this project. Linda Parks is another and from my dealings with her office, she will not do anything that will harm the environment or Simi. Ms. Parks is a remarkable woman with an impeccable record of service to our area.

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  23. Well Marty, in your past posts you have not been very nice to me, or the Task Force, so I am reluctant to reply, however, because I really am a person who believes in transparency, I am going to answer.
    Original members of the Task Force were: Jim Dantona, Lloyd Maitland, Gary Sarivo, Louis Pandolphi, Alice Sterling, Barbra Williamson, Chuck Blaugh, and Bob Swoish. Some have droppped out because of work or time committment. Right now the main members are myself, Louis, Alice, Bob, Chuck and Jason (Jason was not a founding member).
    Person responsible for funding lawsuit: Wayne Fishback
    As you can see Marty, we, the Task Force are not trying to hide anything. And I hope your comments regarding Supervisor Parks are correct.

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  24. Oh, we started the Task Force in 2007 when Waste made the announcement about the expansion. And we are not a “private” group. Anyone interested in the Task Force may attend meetings, and make suggestions.

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  25. Like I said, no one is “black-balled” from participating in the process, unless they are out of line in their behavior or take issue with the direction of the Task Force. The only thing that smells is the expansion… 🙂

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  26. Ms. Williamson, thanks for the response.

    You state that I have not been nice to you in the past. By that do you mean by expecting you (and all politicians) to live by the rules? I certainly don’t think it’s “mean” to point out when politicians violate their ethical rules. In fact, as a voter and concerned citizen, I believe it is my duty to hold politicians accountable for their actions.

    You also state that you are “not” a private group. However, you are in fact, a very private group since you don’t have any of the typical disclosure laws or filing requirements of a typical city commission. This is exactly what concerns me. I recognize some of the names but a few on the list scare the heck out of me.

    You say that Pandolfi and Fishback’s past shenanigans do not disqualify them from serving as part of this private group. Of course, that is right in a technical sense, but in a pure right and wrong sense, you come out on the wrong side. In my eyes, these two have a real severe lack of credibility. How can I trust them now when they have shown in the past a willingness to break the rules? The fact that you and the others are willing to overlook these problems also demonstrates a lack of judgment or morals on your part. Politics may make strange bedfellows but life does not.

    Simply put, I would not take someone’s money to fund my private group if that person had such a checkered history in Ventura County. Indeed, his motivations seem to be entirely retribution against the County and others he has perceived as wronging him. I might suggest that he would be the last person, I would take money from.

    You reference a “Jason,” I have no idea who that is, please provide a last name.

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  27. Mark, this is exactly why “politicians” don’t get involved with this type of communication. It’s because you are never satisfied with the answers and continue to accuse. Reviewing some previous blogs you have written, you state that the Task Force members “attacked” Mayor Miller on his final day….what are you smoking Mark? The Task Force never even addressed the Mayor. You are so out of touch! Also, according to your definition because we don’t have any of the “typical” disclosure laws or filing requirements of a typical city commission we are private. However, Webster’s defines private as: “intended for or restricted to the use of a particular person, group or class”, well Marty, anyone, including you, may attend any of our meetings so how is that private?
    Personally I don’t give a toot about your thoughts on Mr. Pandolfi or Mr. Fishback. You are an angry little man who has nothing better to do than sit back and make off the wall comments about something you know nothing about. And yes, if anyone knows about right and wrong, I am sure it is you Mark…..
    I will not provide you with any information on Jason, because clearly you only want to spit out hatred on that person as well.

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  28. Ms. Williamson,

    Why do you keep calling me Mark? Do the people who tell you what to say think I am somebody else?

    And, why are you so defensive about the Task Force? Is there something lurking in the background that you’re afraid coming to light? If you want complete transparency, release the names of all contributors and emails (and texts) from the group. I would think emails from Pandolfi might be very entertaining to the public.

    Notwithstanding your personal attacks on my character “angry little man” and “out of touch,” I am neither of those things. Indeed, it may be you and your group of misfit toys that may suffer from both of these maladies.

    Do you ever notice that when you exchange posts with someone who doesn’t agree you that begin to name call? I guess Simi doesn’t have any kind of maturity test for its politicians.

    Since you clearly do not know how to behave and treat the people that you work for, I will help you. Lesson 1: How to be Ethical.

    In my past posts, I stated that you violated the Simi Ethical Code by filing a lawsuit against this company and not stating that you were doing so as a private citizen. This was your affirmative duty. You came on here and denied it and said you did nothing wrong and accused me of being “mean.” Interesting that your website (which again I admire), you put this disclaimer on the bottom:

    “The Simi Valley Landfill Expansion Task Force is an independent citizen’s advisory body not affiliated with the City of Simi Valley nor any governmental body.”

    This is a clear admission by you that broke the rules before and I commend you for fixing your violation.

    So next time when you have broken the ethical rules (and I am sure there will be a next time because you seem to do it a lot), just step up and tell the truth.

    BTW – The original comment I made about calling off your attack dogs (and that is exactly what Fishback & Pandolfi are) was a response to the very first post on this thread from “Don’t let the door hit you,” those comments were over-the-line.

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