Mashburn on Crime in Simi Valley

Keith Mashburn, Candidate for Simi Valley City Council, had something to say about crime, drugs and prostitution in Simi Valley on his campaign website, which became a source for discussion in the online forums. Keith isn’t backing down. He released his latest statement on his campaign platform, specifically targeting his concerns on crime. As follows…

“Crime, drugs and prostitution have invaded”. I will labor tirelessly to remove these threats from Simi Valley. Our citizens and children deserve no less. Some of the other candidates have challenged me on this, saying I’m using fear tactics and that the statistics don’t bear this out here in what once was one of the “safest cities”. Well I do not agree. I read the papers, watch the news and have observed what’s going on.

Has the sitting city council and city management artificially created the issues of Crime, Drugs and Prostitution? Did they institute programs, pass several ordinances, step up targeted enforcement, and sponsor the Heroin Task Force so they can look like heroes coming to our rescue? I don’t think so. These are well documented real problems.

Gang activity and graffiti is prevalent. Crimes by the homeless and related problems are increasing. Although “only” two in the first six months this year, any murder is way too many. Property crimes are up. And the news on armed robberies is disturbing. Finally drug use in our schools have made headlines and drug use by our youth has increased.

Here’s where I stand: Police & public safety: I’m a committed supporter of our police department, its officers and our new Chief. We must have a strong, highly professional, well equipped & paid, contented police department. They are “our thin blue line” that protects us. People sleep peacefully in their beds at night because they have the knowledge that dedicated men and women are protecting them from violence. Statistics say that crime increases in tough economic times. It’s better to be proactive than reactive. I encourage you to ride along with one of our police officers and see first hand the direction our city is heading.

Besides the criminal threat we face, there is the potential for natural disasters such as fires, earthquakes, and floods. We also are a major railroad thoroughfare with hazards that could be a major threat to our community (life and property) with each passing freight train. I will support and improve our CERT (Citizens Emergency Response Team). I will work to Maintain top-notch fire services.

We’re not the San Fernando Valley and I don’t want to become the San
Fernando Valley. I pledge to protect the suburban, semi-rural equestrian heritage of Simi Valley. I’d like to see More pro-active code enforcement, fight sign blight, illegal occupancies, non-compliant residential and business uses plus maintain the safety, aesthetics and quality of life in our great city.

I’m a Board Member of the Simi Valley Police Foundation and a retired VC Fire Dept. Battalion Chief. The best possible defense is being prepared for the worst. Not being prepared, and not being proactive is inexcusable. I practice reality, not fear tactic.

Keith Mashburn – Simi Valley Days

I had an opportunity to meet Keith Mashburn during the last election. Both he and his wife are two of the kindest people you’ll ever meet. He cares deeply for Simi Valley and it shows when you talk to him.

With two City Council seats up for election every two years, I really agonize over how to cast my votes. Even if I decide early how to cast one vote, I may decide, un-decide, decide again, and un-decide again up to the final days before the election. Therapy may be necessary. Keith is the type of candidate to sit down with you one on one to answer your questions and help you make an educated decision.

I spotted Keith Mashburn at the Simi Valley Days Parade and he was kind enough to let me give him the paparazzi treatment. Here’s Keith Mashburn at the parade…

Simi Valley Political Sign Drama

Sometimes, not sharing the details does more to stir the rumor mill than simply naming names and telling the truth. Take the latest in Simi Valley political sign gossip:

BTW, I have heard from multiple people that a certain Council person is harassing citizens who have signs from other candidates and in some cases getting people to take the other signs down.

After Ken Sandberg, candidate for Simi Valley Mayor made that remark, I began speculating and asking around, privately and in public forms, who he was talking about and learned that the latest rumor was that Council Member Barbra Williamson had “harassed” a property owner into removing a Keith Mashburn for City Council sign. No one seemed to be able to confirm it, including those involved. I asked Keith Mashburn for comment and he kindly replied:

Hi Mike.  In the interest of my camp remaining positive, I decline to comment.

I respect Keith’s decision to keep things positive. Unfortunately, however, his choice to stay quiet in the interest of running a positive campaign only made me more suspicious that the rumor might be true. I learned that the property owner was on Stearns Street and received their contact information and decided to call them directly.

It turns out the property owner’s adult son granted permission for the Mashburn sign to be posted and the sign was placed while the owner was out of town. Upon return, the owner, a long-time Williamson supporter, decided he preferred not to have the sign there and respectfully requested that it be removed. The property owner indicated that the Mashburn team was very courteous, removed the sign and apologized for the misunderstanding. When asked if Williamson played a role in removing the sign, he seemed surprised by the question and said, “No, not at all!” He reiterated that he was not harassed or coerced, that his son was also a good man who is a Mashburn supporter, and that both Mashburn and Williamson are good, respectful people. The sign was removed for no other reason than the property owner simply didn’t want it there.

Sign-gate 2012? No, not at all. The lesson learned: apparently, not everything you read on Facebook about the political scene is true. Imagine that!

Where in the World is Ken Sandberg?

Candidate for Mayor, Ken Sandberg, is nowhere to be found. I was following a discussion thread the other day on Facebook where more than one person were wondering where he was. Evidently, his website hasn’t been updated recently and he hasn’t been seen on internet forums. The other local candidates have all submitted ballot statements, but no ballot statement is available for Ken Sandberg, which makes me wonder if we’ll see one from him. (NOTE: a ballot statement has to be paid for by each candidate at a cost of $900)

By this time during the last election, Ken was very vocal in his opposition of the incumbents, and some of the challengers as well, speaking against Huber’s position on the landfill expansion. One of his online sparring partners was Council Member Barbra Williamson, who wasn’t up for re-election two years ago. Though she’s up for re-election now, Ken is staying relatively silent, having thrown in a few comments online here and there several weeks ago.

Where are you, Ken?

Candidates and the Simi Valley Chamber

When I was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, I appreciated hearing from the Candidates both for School Board and for Simi Valley City Council. Some candidates joined the Chamber and attended their monthly events, including the popular Friday morning breakfast events. I got a sense that these Candidates cared about local business and it was a good opportunity as a business owner to get to know them on a deeper level. During my time as a Chamber of Commerce member, I had the opportunity to meet several City Council Members, School Board Trustees and Candidates for State Assembly. One year, I assisted with the moderation of a candidates forum, holding up a yellow sign to indicate to the candidate that only 30 seconds remained in their time limit, and a red sign to indicate their time was up. It was a tough job, but I pulled it off… barely.

I think all candidates, particularly City Council candidates, should consider a membership with the Chamber of Commerce to reach out to the business community. I’m not certain if this is still the case, but several years ago there was a special rate for candidates running for office. At the very least, participating in the Chamber of Commerce candidates forum is an absolute must in my opinion.

Mashburn and Simi Valley Businesses

Keith Mashburn doesn’t believe that Simi Valley is business friendly. I have heard of several concerns over the past several years, most of those have been specific to the permitting processes. In the video below, Keith Mashburn identifies the problem as he sees it and suggests solutions, from cutting the business tax, training of city staff, and forming a new task force.