Election Day in Simi Valley

Today is Election Day and despite the loud opposition to Steve Sojka, I predict he will enjoy a sound victory tonight. Some of his loudest critics have opted to attack from the shadows with anonymous robocalls which makes supporters rally, and pushes those on the fence to cry foul and show support.

What I can’t predict is who will be joining him. After years of practically worshiping the ground she walked on, Barbra Williamson lost my support this election. But as an incumbent with a lot of support, a lengthy history on the Council, and a name the city recognizes, she stands a good chance. Tim Shannon has put in a lot of work and a good deal of money to get his message out to the voters. His campaign has been precise and coordinated, and stands a good chance of being effective. Keith Mashburn has run a clean campaign, keeping it honest and staying clear of the negative. His name is out there and his key endorsements give him an advantage.

I think Randy Nemecek has done a great job through his campaign. Having first met with him when he started several months back, seeing how far his reach expanded has been impressive. If we don’t see a victory for Randy tonight, I hope to see him run again in the next election. Mark Littleton appears to have a very loyal following online. With more fundraising, he could have spread the word to a broader audience. I would have liked to see more of him and I suspect that I will if he isn’t victorious tonight. Eric Halub campaigned harder than I expected. His signs are everywhere, suggesting he’s investing the time to knock on doors and spread the word. Though he’s outperformed the expectations of most who are familiar with him, I’m skeptical that it will be a victory for him tonight.

Good luck, candidates!

Sneaky Robocall the Last Straw

Robocalls and lies are a common occurance in this election. And the funny thing is the people behind them truly believe THEY are the good guys.

The robocall that several Simi voters received included a distinct lie about Sojka disbanding the police department. Sojka indicated firmly that he would never pursue dismantling the police department. So who was behind the deceptive robocall?

Listen to the call again by viewing the video below. Pay close attention to the words in the script and follow along with the screen capture of the discussion online. This casual poll came from a close associate of Council Member Barbra Williamson.

Maybe this is just a coincidence. If it is purely coincidental, will we ever know who’s behind this? Considering the deceptive nature of the robocall and the culprits’ efforts to stay hidden, we may never know for sure. I’ve drawn my own conclusions and I know who will NOT be getting my vote.

Meet Randy Nemecek on October 30th

Election day is quickly approaching and your opportunities to meet the candidates are becoming more limited. Have you met Randy Nemecek yet? If not, here’s your chance.

Join Randy Nemecek at Topper’s Pizza on Erringer and Cochran for a Meet and Greet event at 7:00pm. Randy will discuss the issues and answer questions. Attendees are invited to swing by, meet Randy, and enjoy some pizza!

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!