2014 Simi Valley Election Results

Bob Huber was re-elected as Mayor of Simi Valley. Congratulations to Bob Huber for earning another term as Mayor.

In 2012, the people spoke and told Barbra Williamson they were ready for her to move on. They have spoken again and confirmed their decision was final. Both Mike Judge and Glen Becerra were re-elected to the City Council. The people of Simi Valley sent a message yesterday that it takes more than a smear campaign to change their minds about who represents them on the council. Congratulations to Mike Judge and Glen Becerra.

For Simi Valley School Board, Bill Daniels is the top vote getter and has earned a spot on the Board. Scott Blough appears to be the second most vote getter, earning 18.79% of the vote. Right behind him is Elaine Litster, with 18% of the votes and a discrepancy of just under 300 votes behind Blough. She outperformed the incumbent candidate and a three time experienced candidate, gaining momentum for her campaign late in the race, and without a boost from any of the active unions. If these are the final figures and Daniels and Blough are for sure our new trustees, Litster MUST run again. She will surely be victorious if she tries again in two years.

Congratulations to everyone!  And brace yourselves… the next election is in two years and it’s unlikely that it will be as quiet as this one.

SV POA Apology for Negative Ad

We’ve seen negative ads recently. In one case, the owner stands firm and continues to fire away, oblivious that a resulting loss is imminent. In another case, we get a humble apology. Cheers to the Simi Valley Police Officer’s Association for recognizing a mistake, owning it and apologizing.

The SVPOA PAC fund published an ad in the October 31, 2014 edition of the Simi Valley Acorn questioning our schools. We acknowledge that we made a mistake with our ad and we wish to apologize to anyone that was offended.

The intent of the ad was to stimulate conversation. Our schools play a critical role in our town and we believe that safe schools are an essential component of safe streets. While our schools certainly do not “suck”, declining enrollment is having a negative impact on our community.

This ad is not intended as an attack on any candidate and those candidates listed in the ad had no involvement in the content of the ad. We apologize to those listed for any negative impact we had on the positive campaigns they are running.

We hope that all residents who haven’t already voted will do so on November 4 and that together we can continue to keep all of Simi Valley safe.

Humbly,
Jim Wismar
SVPOA Treasurer/PAC Fund Manager

Teachers were angry about the ad because it could be interpreted that teachers were responsible for local school troubles. Parents and students were angry because it suggested that the best and the brightest students in the district were no longer there and had left for other districts. The Simi Valley POA was right to respond swiftly and most of the community is hoping their apology has the same outreach as the ad that was published in the newspaper. I believe their attempts to right a wrong are genuine and I appreciate their sincere efforts. This is a wound that will require time to heal, but this is an excellent start.

We Deserve The Best

Every election season, I get to hear secrets. I know about the negative ads before they hit the papers or mailboxes. I get forwarded emails consisting of disparaging remarks about candidates and I get copies or screenshots of text messages. I also get approached to publish content or stories on candidates to prevent the source from being identified, and I’m pleased to report that I always decline.

In this election season, I’ve been given enough data to convince myself that there really aren’t a ton of people in the world of politics that we can truly trust. It’s a revelation that isn’t necessarily devastating because we’re all supposed to already know this, but it’s certainly disappointing. I’m beginning to say things to myself like “this candidate only lies to me about small inconsequential things, so I’ll still go ahead and cast my vote their way.” That’s not too great.

Going forward, I feel more compelled to focus less on local politics and more on local schools. I’m feeling very positive about the benefits we have experienced from Santa Susana High School and am pleasantly surprised by how amazing Wood Ranch Elementary is. Their PTA is over-the-top fantastic. It’s nearly impossible NOT to share positive news about these two schools, and I am starving for positive Simi Valley news. I think it’s time to focus there.

I’m taking over the Simi Valley Deserves Better website.  Simi Valley does indeed deserve better, and I’m not convinced that politicians hold the key that unlocks what’s best for our city. Our citizens do, and we need our politicians to represent us and get us there. Until I can find a good partner for that website, it won’t be used as a political piece and will remain offline until a constructive use for it can be found.

I’m quite excited to pursue more positive interests going forward and am eager to vote on November 4th. I hope all of you are too. Let’s pick the best and the brightest. I have made my decisions on who to vote for and hope they make it. Best of luck to all the candidates, and a sincere thanks to all who kept it clean and positive. We deserve the best and the only way to get that is to do your homework and select the best candidates. Good luck!

The Barbra Williamson Mistake

Debbie Thomas, Paula Cornell and Judy Pepiot have chosen to rescind their endorsement of Barbra Williamson. They are planning to mail a letter to Simi Valley women who previously received their first letter of endorsement. What follows is the text of that letter…

We made a mistake.

We love Simi Valley and in our effort to support qualified women to the city council we asked you to support Barbra Williamson as someone who would bring people together and work collaboratively.

We were wrong and we need your help to fix it.

We’re rescinding our endorsement of Barbra Williamson as a result of a vicious smear campaign she is running that smacks of Washington and Sacramento politics that has no place in Simi Valley.

We know that disagreements are part of politics. We know that different opinions are healthy parts of campaigns. We also know that personal attacks and destruction are ruining our ability to work as a community and we all need to stand up against it when we see it.

Standing up against this type of politics is what we’re doing now and we strongly encourage you to join us. The only way this behavior will stop is if we all take a stand.

We made a mistake. We were wrong. We’re embarrassed to have been fooled. Please help us make it right by rejecting the campaign attacks of Barbra Williamson.

There’s no place for personal attacks in Simi Valley.”

– Debbie Thomas, Paula Cornell and Judy Pepiot

Women Displeased With Barbra Williamson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Women of Simi Valley Disgusted with Barbra Williamson’s Vicious Tactics

Simi Valley, CA (Oct. 30, 2014): Last month, Paula Cornell, Judy Pepiot and Debbie Thomas sent a letter to the women of Simi Valley urging them to vote for Barbra Williamson for the Simi Valley City Council. Today, in light of the disgusting and vicious hit piece Williamson mailed about City Councilman Glen Becerra, the three denounced Williamson’s tactics and urged voters to vote against her.

“Barbra Williamson surprised us all with a hit piece on Glen Becerra today that is reprehensible,” Cornell, Pepiot and Thomas said in a follow-up letter to the women of Simi Valley. “It is politics at its worse. It was meant to do harm to a city councilman who is highly respected in our city. Simi Valley deserves better and it deserves a City Council who can and will work together to continue doing what is best for our community.”

Cornell, Pepiot and Thomas are all involved in numerous volunteer roles that sustain and bolster the quality of life in Simi Valley. Each tackle their volunteer jobs by working with all sectors of government, as well as nonprofit groups, service clubs and the public. Over the years, they have had close encounters with almost everyone involved in Simi Valley’s decision-making processes. They endorsed Williamson because they believed the city needed a woman’s perspective on the City Council.

“We signed the original letter on the understanding that Barbra would run a clean campaign. Now we fear this may not be the last hit piece from her. Shame on Barbra for stooping as low as she did to say nasty untruths about a city councilman” Thomas said.

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Williamson Supporter Slams POA

I read a lot of positive letters to the Editor of the Simi Valley Acorn this morning, along with a few negative ones.  Among the negatives was a letter from a Barbra Williamson supporter with some commentary regarding the Simi Valley POA’s lack of support for her campaign.

So now let me get this straight. Barbra worked to get $100 million for Simi Valley, which included this shooting range for our police department, and yet the Simi Valley Police Officers Association isn’t endorsing her? What’s up with that? Maybe they like all that extra overtime and the comfy desk jobs.

To read the letter in its entire context, click here.

The Simi Valley POA has been very active this election cycle. They’ve endorsed Simi Valley School board candidates (Blough and Daniels) in addition to their endorsements for Council and Mayor. They’ve also made financial contributions to several Council candidates beyond the ones they endorsed.  Their motives appear to be in the best interest of the community, encouraging democracy and providing voters with more choices than just the incumbents. I applaud their efforts.

Something About Elaine Litster, Candidate for School Board

homecoming

In the last few days I had the chance to meet Elaine Litster, candidate for Trustee on the Simi Valley School Board. I didn’t get to speak with her for long, but in the five minutes or so that we conversed she came across as very intelligent, well educated and approachable. And then she told me she was from Idaho and that was it, I was intrigued. You see, I am from Eastern Oregon and my dad and younger sister and her family currently reside in Boise Idaho. Eastern Oregon and Idaho border each other and the people there tend to be kindred souls, if not distant kin.

A day or two after we spoke I checked into Elaine’s background on the internet. That’s when I learned that she has succeeded in one accomplishment after the next since young adulthood. She obtained an Associates in Art degree in Interpersonal Communications from Ricks College in 1983, where she was also Homecoming Queen in 1982, causing quite a stir by landing in a helicopter mid football field. She was Miss Idaho National Guard and then Miss Idaho in 1983 and finished in the top 18 at Miss America 1984, the year Vanessa Williams won. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Economics from BYU in 1986 and later obtained her Masters in Urban Planning from UCLA.

Clearly she is well educated. But what has she done in education that may give her a background for School Board Trustee?

Her employment record shows that after college she worked as an Admissions Counselor at Boise State University (Go Broncos!), seven years as a middle school and high school teacher teaching choir, band and harp ensemble. Harp ensemble? It would seem I forgot to mention she is also an accomplished harpist who has played on stage at Carnegie Hall and she was at one time principle harpist for the Boise Philharmonic and she has appeared on camera as a harpist on day time television The Bold and the Beautiful (I was more into the Edge of Night).

Elaine has worked with the music department for Royal High School since 2007 classified as an “Assistant Coach.” She is past President of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Harp Society and served since 2008 as a Board Member for the American Harp Society Foundation. She was PTA President for Justin Elementary in 2010 to 2012.

In her personal life Elaine and her husband Greg have been married for 26 years and they are the proud parents of five children. Elaine and her family are active in their local church where Elaine works with a group for 12 to 18 year old young women and where she coordinates Sunday and mid week faith meetings. Quite the roll model she is for those young women, no doubt.

If you would like to learn more about Elaine Litster’s background, her goals and her stand on issues relevant to the Simi Valley School Board, check her out at http://electelainelitster.com.

I am sure you will be just as impressed with Elaine as I am once you’ve checked out her background and credentials. Myself, I think she is eminently qualified to be a Simi Valley School Board Trustee. Disclosure: I live in the school district and I know who I am going to vote for.

Mitch

PS: Elaine is the one in the middle wearing the crown as 1982 Ricks College Homecoming Queen. Nice Firebird!