Dear Mitch, May 1, 2013

Originally posted on May 1, 2013 by Mitch Green

“Today’s gossip is tomorrow’s headline.” Walter Winchell

[Once again I clear out my in box of tweets from the little birdies in the know and from regular readers asking hard questions you want answered]

Dear Mitch,

Please help me to understand Mayor Huber’s explanation of the “misunderstanding,” concerning the “controversy” last fall following Simi Valley Chamber President and CEO Leigh Nixon’s personal endorsement of candidate Tim Shannon.

You do remember that incident, do you not, Mr. Green? Where Mayor Huber threatened to jeopardize the Chamber of Commerce funding following a personal endorsement?

For background, check out this article from the Ventura County Star, dated September 13, 2012, wherein the City of Simi Valley awarded a $70,000 contract to the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce to provide visitor information services, objected to only by Simi Valley gadfly, Doug Crosse.

And then, following the personal endorsement by Ms. Nixon of Council Candidate Tim Shannon, Mayor Huber reportedly made a call to Ms. Nixon and and Director of Operations Michele Bennett on Sept. 28, 2012, threatening to withhold the $70,000 funding. The Ventura County Star reported on October 26, 2012 that per Ms. Bennett, “Huber told her “this was a serious situation because four council members had called the city manager and that our city contract check was on hold. … My head was spinning.””

And in the same article, Ms. Nixon is quoted as saying, “Huber told her that “there were council members who were concerned” about the endorsement “and they had requested a hold on our city funds and will be investigating looking at revoking our contract.”

According to the same article, Mayor Huber said he didn’t mention “four council members” to Nixon and Bennett. Instead, he said he told them he had heard “four council candidates” were considering boycotting the chamber’s Oct. 2 candidate forum because of Nixon’s support of Shannon. “It was a courtesy call to try to save the forum,” Huber said. All but one candidate appeared at the forum. Huber said he had “absolutely no” concerns that Nixon was supporting Shannon.

Now to employ some deductive reasoning. Here is a list of the candidates:

City Council Candidates
Tim Shannon
Barbra Williamson
Steve Sojka
Keith Mashburn
Randy Nemecek
Mark Littleton
Eric Halub
Doug Crosse

Mayoral Candidates
Bob Huber
Ken Sandberg

Doug Crosse stated in a October 2, 2012 VC Star article about the forum “Simi Valley business climate dominates chamber’s candidate forum” and that he canceled his reservation for the forum after Mike McCaffrey, the chamber’s current board chairman, sent an email to members of the Simi Sunrise Rotary Club soliciting campaign donations for Shannon. Shannon is a past president of the Rotary Club.

Mr. Crosse didn’t say “Nixon,” and Mr. Crosse was no longer a candidate by October 2, but let’s add his name to the “four candidates” that were thinking of boycotting, unless, of course, you want to talk to Crosse, but who would want to do that? That leaves us with 3 candidates.

Huber said he had “absolutely no” concerns about Nixon endorsing Shannon so he can’t claim he was thinking of boycotting. Huber’s off the list then.

If Shannon was thinking of boycotting, we would have a problem, so let’s say no about him. That leaves us with this list.

Barbra Williamson
Steve Sojka
Keith Mashburn
Randy Nemecek
Mark Littleton
Eric Halub
Ken Sandberg

So here is my challenge to you: ask the remaining candidates two simple questions:

1 – Were you thinking of boycotting the Candidates Forum based on Nixon’s endorsement of Shannon?

2 – If so, did you tell that to anyone?

Based on those answers, if you can’t find another 3 candidates that were going to boycott the forum, it will be hard for Mayor Huber’s story to stand up to scrutiny.

Thank you for your service,

Another concerned Simi Citizen.

Dear Concerned Simi Citizen,

While I am not one to pick unnecessary fights, and I do not have a reason to pick a fight with Mayor Huber, I do respect my readers to send in their comments for perusal.

So I will take you up on your challenge.

Candidates in the last Simi Valley Election Cycle, were you planning on boycotting the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce candidate forum because of Ms. Nixon’s personal endorsement of Candidate Shannon? And if so, why?

See Concerned Simi Citizen, you ask, I throw it out there. Lets see where this takes us, if anywhere.



Dear Mitch,

I find it interesting that these names continually come up as the first people seeing your posts in Simi Valley Politics.

Jared Held (Simi Valley Moorpark Tea Party President)
Maryl Mashburn Lorencz (Daughter of Council Member Keith Mashburn)
Peter Carrube (Simi Valley Neighborhood Council Member)
Louis Pandolfi (Advisor to Former Council Member Barbra Williamson)
Chris Coulter (Simi Valley Police Officer Association President)
Bob Swoish (Campaign Treasurer for Former Council Member Barbra Williamson)
Mike Judge (Simi Valley City Council Member)

Just an observation.

Observant One

Dear Observant One,

I too have noticed the diversity of my fan base. To paraphrase Oscar Award winning actor Sally Fields, “They like me! They really, really like me!”

Or not . . . 😉



Dear Mitch,

Why has City Attorney Baxter not been fired, or at the very least be put on Administrative Leave when:

1 – She might have allegedly committed acts of retaliation against a subordinate (and may be continuing her acts of retaliation at this very moment);

2 – She might have allegedly committed acts of defamation;

3 – She might have allegedly colluded with others outside of the City before the election in their attempts to build a case against the City and maybe even one of the City’s Council members (Mitch Note: Could this be in reference to the allegations of assistance to then Simi Valley Moorpark Tea Party President Doug Crosse’ government claim against Council Member Sojka for cell phone use?);

4 – She might have allegedly wasted City money unnecessarily in hiring outside legal council when it was not needed (Mitch Note: Coming in clearer – is this starting to smell like the allegations of assistance by Baxter in connection with then Simi Valley Moorpark Tea Party President Doug Crosse’ government claim against Council Member Sojka for cell phone use, where she requested an opinion from an outside private law firm on how to handle Crosse’ simple claim that could have been denied with no expense to the City and where instead Baxter needlessly spent over $2600 on something she should have known off the top of her head?);

5 – She might have allegedly entered into a contract without the City’s approval by signing what should have been a draft of an MOU, providing it to the Mayor to sign and then allowing the MOU to be delivered and finalized (Mitch Note: Oh yeah, that whole spin and cover up of a cover up regarding the New Urban West MOU fiasco; wonder if she is still trying to throw her employees under the bus for that FUBAR??);

6 – She might have allegedly spoken of confidential personnel matters with people outside of the City and provided names (Mitch Note: You don’t say? Really, tell us more!);

7 – She might have allegedly withheld information from certain council members while providing legal council exclusively to individual members.

8 – The Public Employee Performance Evaluation of the City Attorney has been on the City Council Meeting agenda, set for closed session 4 times since February 25, 2013;

9 – The City Council had the ability to take action against the City Attorney back on April 22, 2013 because of the inclusion of California Government Code 54957(b)(2) on the Closed Session agenda.

Again I ask, why has City Attorney Baxter not been fired, or at the very least be put on Administrative Leave to protect the City from further hard due to her clear MALPRACTICE!!!

Dear Outraged!

You know, I hear many of those same stories, and I ask myself the same thing. I can’t believe that any one Council Member would put up with the same antics from their own personal attorney if said Council Member actually had to foot the bill for such shady stunts.

Then again, its not their money, so incompetence may not be an issue, huh?  Maybe YOU need to come to the next Council meeting and ask those same questions of the Council as a whole during public comments.  That could certainly get entertaining!



With that, Simi Valley, I bid you a good night. And I recommend you too take a good long shower to wash off the “Stank O’ Bell” that any one of the above letters could be revealing if there is even ten percent truth to the allegations.

But then, I know you know just how informed my fan base is. Check out the list of regular readers!


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