Santa Paula Times

Letters to the Editor

October 20, 2006
Community support To the Editor:All of us who live in the communities of the Santa Clara River Valley are breathing easier now that our hospital is once again up and running; saving lives and bringing new life into the world. Many of the people whose families have been served by the “Hospital on the Hill” over the last 45 years were instrumental in making sure that it came back to serve us once again. Santa Clara Valley Wellness Foundation (formerly the Santa Paula Hospital Foundation) has begun to develop financial resources that will allow the hospital to acquire needed new medical equipment. As the Foundation has initiated the effort, several people from the community have questioned the need to raise funds “for the benefit of the county”.What many folks have not previously understood is that, while the Ventura County Medical Center purchased and refitted the hospital, at a cost of over $7 million, the actual operation of the facility must stand on its own financially. The County subsidy to VCMC for its ongoing hospital operations is minimal, at times less than 5% of the cost of doing business. Because of the manner in which hospitals are required to deliver services today, especially in California, those private facilities (like Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura) that can generate a 2-4% profit are considered to be doing a good job of management. Public hospitals, on the other hand, additionally provide the safety net for those among us who depend on Medicare and Medi-Cal. These governmental programs, which reimburse hospitals for services to those who are most at risk and are least able to obtain critical medical care, reimburse the hospitals for services rendered at significantly lower rates than private insurance providers, making it even more difficult for public facilities to make ends meet.The Santa Paula Hospital was built and supported by the people of the valley it has served for over 45 years. Today, as it once again takes its place serving our communities, we have an opportunity to provide financial support to ensure that it is truly the top-flight medical treatment center that we deserve. In order to provide that margin of excellence there is a serious need for new medical equipment to replace the leased and used equipment with which it has opened.The mission of the Santa Clara Valley Wellness Foundation is to support healthcare initiatives in the communities of Santa Paula, Fillmore and Piru. We place a special emphasis on supporting the rebirth of the hospital. All of the funds raised by the Foundation will be spent in and for the benefit of the people of the Santa Clara River Valley as its communities continue to grow through the years.The Foundation has two grant making programs: A pass-through fund that will make direct grants to the Santa Paula Hospital for the purchase of capital equipment; and a Heathcare Endowment that will be invested for the long term, from which the income will be used to support other healthcare related projects in the three communities of the valley.The Foundation’s Board of Directors is a group of volunteer community leaders equally representing the communities of the valley, all of whom have extensive non-profit and business management experience. The Foundation is dedicated to distributing the maximum amount of donated dollars through local grants.If we could look into the future and talk with our great-grandchildren, what would they tell us we should be doing today, to make our valley a better place for them to live? We at the Foundation hope that our friends and fellow citizens will join us as we work to make the Santa Clara River Valley with its “Hospital on the Hill” a healthier place to raise our families; a place that will be a shining example to others of what the people of small regions can accomplish in their own best interest.For additional information about the Foundation, contact Marsha Rea, President, in Santa Paula: 216-0690, or Martha Gentry, Vice President, in Fillmore: 524-4377. Tax-deductible donations may be sent to the Foundation at P.O. Box 348, Santa Paula, CA 93061-0348. Please specify whether your donation is for the Hospital or for the Healthcare Endowment.Marsha M. Rea, PresidentSanta Clara Valley Wellness FoundationUncivil disobedienceTo the Editor:We’ve been tucked away in Florida for the past six months so have not been able to keep up with the unfolding local politics. Upon our return we find it has blossomed into not-so-fragrant immaturity. But that’s not surprising to anyone familiar with our contentious little community. Reading some of the angry letters, I am disappointed that solutions to our lingering civic problems go no deeper than the simple-minded “throw the rascals out” mentality. That’s not a solution; it’s simply childish pique. I hear we’ve also had some rather vitriolic displays at public forums directed at the City Council. (For those of you still in bib overalls, by vitriolic I mean crude, rude and disrespectful.)Apparently, we’ve reached the point of no return to civil discussions of our differences. Perhaps the only hope for future prosperity is to invite outsiders to our meetings and charge admission for the entertainment. Why anyone would want to be on the City Council is beyond my understanding. They’re like ducks in a shooting gallery and every nincompoop who comes down the pike has a gun. I wonder how many who spout off at public forums and write letters by the yard to the editor would have the guts to serve on the Council? Don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer.Bill GlennSanta PaulaMuch too manyTo the Editor:Will Santa Paula become the apartment complex prize for a so-called small city in Southern Cal? In the last four years these multi complexes are going up en masse all over town. The sign on Hwy 126 says Shop Santa Paula, should read Shop Santa Paula for apartments, many kids welcome, plenty of sidewalk play areas, plenty of street parking. All done without the local citizens to vote on it. On a good note though, is that the Goodwill department store may bring in a “big tax revenue.” On a sad note is the Fire and Police Departments may work overtime.In my lifetime I have been to 24 countries, and where there are large apartment complexes in cities, there are big troubles of sorts - you name it - ongoing problems aplenty. It is common sense that when there is crowding there can be trouble aplenty. Anywhere.Is there not enough traffic, street parking, trash and plenty of full classrooms? The sewer system, “antique 25 years ago,” and the sewer and trash bills. Sells a lot of toilets. The streets are full of “potholes” but the paving in the “many many” new apartment ultra low-income complexes is new and smooth. No holes there to cause damage to tires and alignment and nerves.Many well-known businesses moved out of downtown. Why? Shop Santa Paula.Ken ZimmetSanta PaulaFull supportTo the Editor:As Unitarian Universalists we are proud of our long legacy of support for full civil marriage equality for same-sex couples and their children. From our religious experience of worshipping and being together in community, we know that what unites us as families and as people is much greater than what divides us.We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the action of the California First Appellate District Court of Appeal in its failure to uphold equality and justice for all as evidenced in its recent ruling against civil marriage equality for same-sex couples.As people of faith we remain committed to continued engagement in the struggle for marriage equality, until the day when full legal and civic equality is a reality for all loving couples. We honor every person’s inherent worth and dignity and are proud to stand on the side of love with same-sex couples and their children.In faith,Rev. Marjorie N. LeamingRev. Carolyn PricePeggy A. PoehlerJerry GrayJohn RoblesRuth RicardsPatricia EnglishLoni Kate EnglishSuzi SkutleyJyl AtmoreCarol HardisonStuart FoxHelen C. MorrisonMargaret BroughtonAudrey W. VincentDale PeaceDoris VernonLois E. FreemanLora FriedmanJean McGregorShirley AtkinsRobin E. HolcombeHelen GrayMatt StoreyAlbert LearnJohn NicholsKristin Jensen StoreyMary Moncrieff-YeatesAllan AtmoreI like the incumbents!To the Editor:I like the incumbents - Mary Ann Krause, Rick Cook and Gabino Aguirre - running for city council. I like that fact that, although they come from different occupational, political and ideological backgrounds, they cooperate for the good of Santa Paula. I like that they have proven to be knowledgeable and prepared regarding the tough issues we have faced and will be facing in the future. I like their dedication and dignity in the face of adversity. I like the job they are doing and I’m sticking with them.Leslie NicholsSanta PaulaThe ultimate deceptionTo the Editor:Dear Readers of the Santa Paula Times,Last week I submitted a letter urging you to vote for Bob, Ralph, Fred “AND Measure L6.” This week I would like to explain WHY your vote is SO IMPORTANT and WHY your Yes vote is needed:1. Firstly, it restores the dignity of community and the right to CHOOSE what we, as SP residents, want in terms of growth and development. Sure, we elect our local representatives and leaders, but THEY don’t have to choose for us. We are intelligent enough to decide for ourselves.2. Secondly, it restores the unity, bond and connectedness in our community. There is currently a great deal of resentment in our community among residents that their rights and freedoms, AS CITIZENS, have been violated, and decisions made for them, against their will.3. Thirdly, although many people are threatened by Measure L6, there is actually little reason for concern. People are simply asking for their democratic rights, as individuals, to be restored. It has VERY LITTLE to do with development AT ALL.Of course, a handful of alarmists are focusing on the “what ifs,” but THEY are missing the WHOLE POINT of L6. It is an APPEAL by the residents of Santa Paula to have their Constitutional Rights restored; nothing more, nothing less.So what is so important about THIS? It is WHY we live in America... simple as that. Vote YES on Measure L6.Yolie CerdaSanta PaulaWhat kind of show are they running?To the Editor:I’m outraged! City workers removed the campaign signs from in front of our home. I live at the corner of Peck and Foothill. (The big Curve) I tend the easement, sweat out there weekly, weeding, watering and planting along the front of my property. I spend my hard earned money to maintain this strip of land. However in all the years past, I have never had a sign removed from that area.Yesterday, our hard earned tax dollars were spent having city maintenance workers go along in a flat bed truck and pick up the political signs of my neighbors and myself.It obvious that this is no coincidence. The signs were all for YES on L6, Fred, Bob and Ralph. Those challengers with opposing views to our current city council.In prior elections I was fooled and led astray by supporting Incumbents those signs were out on the easement and never removed.It seems ironic that the 3 incumbents, who currently sit on the council and give orders to the maintenance department, have suddenly become concerned about enforcement of the sign ordinance. What about all the garage sales and lost pets? Those are still out there. The only signs removed were the opposition’s signs.What kind of show are they running!!Don’t be fooled voters of Santa Paula. These incumbents don’t have the cities best interest at heart. They have been seduced by big land developers and $$ signs.We need a clean sweep. Ralph, Fred and Bob do have Santa Paula’s best interest at heart. Remember, we are only being permitted to vote on L6 because a court has ordered them to cease interfering with our right to vote. Incumbents fear losing some of their power if L6 is adopted by voters.It’s time for a change. Let’s have a CLEAN SWEEP.Jeanne WadeSanta PaulaEditors Note:This issue was brought to our attention and a check of signs collected from the public right of ways were from all candidates for City Council that have placed campaign signs throughout Santa Paula (Rick Cook, Mary Ann Krause, Dr. Gabino Aguirre, Ralph Fernandez, Bob Gonzales, Fred Robinson. L6 signs were also collected from the right of ways.
The final strawTo the Editor:I probably should not write a letter to the editor when I am mad, because when I get mad, I become quite sarcastic (no! really?) - but I have had it with this City Council, the city manager, and their combined pettiness!Yard signs for YES ON L6, and for RALPH, BOB, and FRED have been DISAPPEARING from homes along 10th Street and Foothill Rd. east of Peck. Some people have had their signs “stolen” twice now. Today, the culprits were caught red-handed - they were CITY MAINTENANCE WORKERS!!Believe it or not, it seems that our very own city is spending our hard earned tax dollars to keep us safe from NAUGHTY YARD SIGNS. Forget about fixing the streets or trimming trees - we must save our city from this affront to civilization as we know it!The city maintenance workers either took it upon themselves to clean up our fair city or perhaps they were told to by their higher-ups to rid the city of this scourge. Are we all grownup enough to figure out which of these two scenarios is probably true?The signs of which I speak have been placed in or near the right-of-way because these particular homeowners do not have a visible yard or their yards are indistinguishable from the right-of-way because there are no sidewalks. A few of the purloined signs were definitely in private yards, but it would take a surveyor to actually prove it.Is the city within their legal rights to CONFISCATE CONTRABAND on public land? Absolutely. Santa Paula, as other cities, has a sign ordinance. If these signs happen to end up on the public right-of-way, (or apparently if their shadows at any time of the day happen to fall upon public land), they are deemed illegal.The problem I have with it is that during the rest of the year, the city’s enforcement of the sign ordinance in regards to garage sales, lost pets, and public events is HAPHAZARD at best. Why, then, at election time, does the city decide that it will now become righteous and enforce law and order into our publicly visual world? And especially in regards to signs for those who don’t happen to see eye to eye with the current City Council?Drive through the rest of Ventura County and notice the political signs and where they’re located. Santa Paula should hold its head high that we are the ONLY city in the county enforcing its sign ordinance to the tiniest letter of the law. If there’s a ANTI-YARD-SIGN-ON-RIGHT-OF-WAY non-profit organization out there somewhere, we’ll probably be written up in their next monthly newsletter!!Yes, sir-ee, folks, I sure hope you all email, call or write the City Council and the city manager, and thank them for the fine job they’re doing protecting all of us from those DELINQUENT AND DANGEROUS YARD SIGNS. We’ll all sleep a little better tonight knowing that tomorrow morning we will wake up to a world free of yard signs on right-of-ways. And the best part is that no one had to bear the entire financial burden to do it - we all paid for it!As far as I’m concerned, it’s the FINAL STRAW to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt it’s time for a CLEAN SWEEP of not our right-of-ways but of our City Council. Vote for change. Vote for FERNANDEZ, ROBINSON, and GONZALES!!Mary DollSanta PaulaImpartial analysisTo the Editor:Do you know that we are facing an increase of $100-$200/month on our waste/sewer bills for the new sewer plant? (They don’t call it that. To the City it is a “Water Recycling Facility!) Yes, that’s right, $100-$200 per month, NOT $10 or $20 a month.How could this happen? I think that there are two major sources of the problem, in part caused by our current city government. First, is the problem of inaccurate analysis. We would have had to absorb 2500 or more additional homes if the Fagan Canyon project had been approved by the voters. It seems certain that the passage of Fagan was a foregone conclusion in the mind of current Council members. Thankfully, it was not passed by you, the voters. This project, which was heavily promoted and then approved by the City, didn’t pass, and the question now becomes, can our existing plant be modified or expanded at a substantially reduced cost?Obviously, everyone would like a nice new state-of-the-art plant, but are you willing to pay for it if our current facility can be modified in a way that will satisfy Regional Water Quality and the Feds and at a much lower cost to you and the City? Do any of us really need higher bills?Personally, I think we need to have an impartial analysis by an independent evaluator who has no stake in selling an all-new plant before we move ahead with this costly project, which admittedly is far down the path, already. Sure, there may be cancellation costs if we change direction, but these costs pale to insignificance when they are compared with the cost of what is presently underway. Remember, $70 million becomes over twice that ($140 million) when interest and fees are added. No one has mentioned this publicly at a Council meeting, that I can recall.If we choose to modify our existing sewer facility, we may be able to get new developments that are acceptable to the voters to share a significant part of the costs, thus reducing our monthly water bills.Another problem contributing to the increase in our water bills is poor fiscal management. To prove the point, simply look at the hundreds of thousand of dollars being unnecessarily spent by the city on frivolous lawsuits and to promote fictional TV characters on the “West Wing” television show - that’s your money that they are spending. Just try to get a really detailed cost analysis from this City on basically anything. Either they can’t, or won’t, provide it.It is extremely important that you know that even though a historic number of voters signed the petition to get L-6 on the ballot and even though the city has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, some of it your money, to unsuccessfully fight the Initiative in court to keep it off the ballot, these incumbents, if they are reelected, apparently now have a contingency plan to waste even more of your money in court to keep L-6 from being implemented if it does win in November. Unbelievable, yes! But the statement was made at the October 5 League of Women’s Forum along this line of thought. There is a simple solution to the problem. Vote “yes” on L-6 and do not vote for any of the incumbents that are seeking reelection. They have proven that they do not care about the concerns of the voters.Fortunately, in November we have a chance to change things for the better by electing candidates with Integrity, Leadership and Common Sense. These candidates have the Business, Engineering, and Leadership backgrounds necessary to solve complex problems like those facing our city. The candidates of choice are Ralph Fernandez, (a degreed and licensed architect) Fred Robinson (a successful business executive) and Bob Gonzales (a proven Santa Paula Leader). Please vote for these candidates and vote “YES” on Measure L-6. All of these candidates have said that they will work diligently to implement L-6 to respond to the will of the voters.Larry SagelySanta PaulaSupport K6To the Editor:Voters in Santa Paula are being asked to consider many important state and local issues on the November 7, 2006 general election. One initiative that has not received much attention is Measure K6. This measure would authorize the Santa Paula Housing Authority to develop, construct or acquire up to 150 units of affordable housing within the City. The 150 units can be developed in different ways and would likely occur over many years. Under provisions of the California State Constitution, local voter approval is required for a public agency like a housing authority to undertake this work.On first look, many people might say of this initiative, “Santa Paula has plenty of affordable housing, why should the voters authorize more?” It is important to look at why housing becomes “affordable.” In few instances, qualified non-profit housing developers use Federal and State funds to construct high quality affordable housing. These developers then manage the units to ensure that residents and the larger community enjoy quality housing for the long term. Unfortunately, most rental housing becomes affordable as individual properties run down and absent landlords do not properly manage them, to the detriment of both tenants and the community.Measure K6 will help improve the quality of affordable housing in Santa Paula by allowing the Santa Paula Housing Authority to expand on its thirty-seven year track record of managing quality affordable units in the community. The Housing Authority currently manages sixty-four units of affordable housing in Santa Paula in projects exempt from the State Constitutional requirement and assists nearly 600 other Santa Paulans with government housing subsidy programs. Measure K6 will allow the Housing Authority to work with other agencies and non-profits to purchase and upgrade existing housing in Santa Paula and provide competent management of the properties to the benefit of the entire community. Measure K6 costs local Santa Paula taxpayers nothing.Voters in eight of ten Ventura County cities have already given their local housing authorities the approval to expand their housing development efforts. Housing is an important issue in Santa Paula.Remember that to qualify for “low income” housing in Ventura County, the gross annual income for a family of four is $64,500 or under. There are many young families working to better themselves and our community with incomes like these that need good quality housing.I encourage all Santa Paulans to carefully consider Measure K6.Wally BobkiewiczCity ManagerCity of Santa PaulaVote for KrauseTo the Editor:Councilwoman Mary Ann Krause has served the residents of Santa Paula with commitment, hard work, courage and the highest of integrity. I truly appreciated Councilwoman Krause and the entire Council when they stepped up to forge the solutions needed to reopen Santa Paula Hospital. Councilwoman Krause gathered the facts, pulled the community leaders together, and worked closely with the Creditor’s Committee and with the County to craft the proposal accepted by the bankruptcy judge. Today, the hospital doors are open for business!Mary Ann doesn’t back down from a challenge, even if confronted with conflicting sides. She works to bring fairness and balance to her decision-making. Issues aren’t always simple, aren’t always black and white, and sometimes become personal. Leadership requires that you set aside the personal, evaluate the facts, and make decisions for the greater good of the community. Councilwoman Krause has always demonstrated the strengths of leadership and the commitment to serve the public -- for the greater good.I strongly support Councilwoman Krause for re-election. She deserves your support. Please Vote Nov. 7th to return Councilwoman Mary Ann Krause to the City Council.Supervisor Kathy LongCamarilloSupporting current CouncilTo the Editor:I am writing to support the current City Council candidates for reelection. I have been so impressed with the changes that have occurred throughout Santa Paula in the last four years under their watch.Just a few of the most visible changes that I have noticed in the downtown historic district are new businesses and attractive new storefronts. Two long-awaited city projects have come to fruition -- the South Paseo and Green Street Alley.When Santa Paula Hospital closed, the council stepped in and worked tirelessly to find a solution to reopen this critical community facility. They did not need to stick their necks out, but for the good of the community, they did. I commend and thank them for their courage.Under this council, meetings are at long last, televised, giving everyone in Santa Paula an opportunity to watch their council at work. The city now has a useful and informative Web site. I also want to mention the efforts of the city’s dedicated and creative City Manager, Wally Bobkiewicz.While we may not all agree on every vote every member of the council has taken, I believe this council listens to its constituency and works extraordinarily hard for Santa Paula. Collectively they are the most responsive and dedicated City Council I’ve seen in the over twenty years I’ve lived in the city.This is why the incumbents -- Mary Ann Krause, Dr. Gabino Aguirre and Rick Cook -- are getting my vote for City Council. They are getting my vote because they’ve earned it.Judy TriemSanta PaulaNew team neededTo the Editor:Please vote YES ON MEASURE L6. This precious vote is only being permitted due to an order of the Superior Court. Approval of L6 will require a public vote on future developments exceeding 80 acres whenever the density specified in our General Plan is increased. That is all it does. L6 will result in better planning because council members will know that voters are looking over their shoulders. L6 IS ABOUT OUR RIGHT TO VOTE. It is opposed by council incumbents Aguirre, Krause, and Cook. They want us to vote against our own right to vote. L6 is supported by three highly qualified candidates: FRED ROBINSON, RALPH FERNANDEZ, and BOB GONZALES. They deserve our votes.My wife and I have lived in the same house in Santa Paula for 32 years. Until the Fagan fiasco, we rarely attended council meetings or wrote to the newspaper. Four years ago, I was proud to support some now seeking reelection. But I was shocked to observe the direction our city was moving after those now up for reelection took office. Hundreds of citizens have brought concerns to this council only to be totally ignored as the council proceeded along a predetermined path. Council members know that this is true. They did the same to Mr. Victoria on September 18.A recent writer pointed out that my letters were among the first to challenge the serious flaws of the Fagan proposal. Then the council approved a massive development that would have forever changed our way of life, pouring 26,000 vehicles per day onto existing two-lane streets during “phase one”. They have also approved virtually every low-end infill project that developers could imagine in a city that already had the highest percentage of such housing in the county. Every city needs to provide some low income housing, but this council sees no need for balance. The history of development throughout the nation provides ample evidence that concentrating low-end housing invariably leads to crime and blight.This council has also engaged in repeated, deliberate legal maneuvers to prevent Santa Paulans from voting on perfectly legal petitions of initiative and referendum that had been properly signed by local voters and validated by the County Elections Division. These actions have twice resulted in court orders to cease interference with our right to vote. One court even issued a SLAPP decision. SLAPP stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. SLAPP decisions are rare and are issued only when a court finds that public participation has been chilled through abuse of the judicial process.And there is an asphalt plant on hold. With three incumbent council members facing a serious reelection challenge, the political climate “just isn’t right”. If we are to avoid this abomination, we will need a new council.It has had little publicity, but the most recent estimates for the sewer plant imply sewer charges of $100 to $200 monthly for each ratepayer over many years. Most people just cannot afford such charges. We are told that there is no choice, but why are other cities which also discharge into a river allowed to modernize their old plants for a fraction of the $70 million figure being considered here? The $70 million can easily become $140 million when interest is added. No further commitments should be made prior to the election. There is crucial need to rethink the current proposal.Have you noticed that the slick campaign ads of incumbents fail to mention the above matters?We need a new team.I want to express my appreciation to each person of whatever point of view who has taken the time to write about these issues. Thanks also to the hundreds of you who have encouraged me to continue writing. Isn’t it great having Yolie Cerda-Lee in Santa Paula! She makes me proud to be an American. Regardless of the outcome of this election, our community has been made better by the efforts of all who have written. Special thanks are due to the editor of the Times for publishing all comments on all sides of these matters.It has consistently been my intent to concentrate on issues rather than personalities. My comments have at times been sharply critical of the ACTIONS of some politicians, but whatever happens on November 7, I wish everyone well.Delton Lee JohnsonSanta PaulaDisturbedTo the Editor:There is a seriously disturbing situation involving three candidates in the race for city council that needs close attention and clarification. At the recent candidate’s forum at the community center, Bob Gonzales, Ralph Fernandez and Fred Robinson without hesitation said they supported the development of Adams Canyon. Yet, their campaign signs are all over town along with L-6 signs that read, control future growth. How can they have it both ways?Their support of Adams Canyon development is not only puzzling but it is also an arrogant disregard of the voters that three times have turned down proposals to develop the canyon. What on earth are these candidates thinking? We cannot let them get away with this apparently deceitful manner of dealing with the public. Or do they just not know what they are doing?Robert BorregoSanta PaulaGaining perspectiveTo the Editor:Recently I have had a number of comments and questions about the apartment building under construction on Main Street west of 7th. I would like to provide some perspective on both the building and its use.Land planners and architects have realized over time that it is very important that buildings address and respect the buildings that they face across the street. The apartment building faces the Masonic Lodge and another building that is currently used as a thrift store. Those two buildings do not have front setbacks, the building fronts being right behind the sidewalk. The new apartment building respects and mirrors the setback of those two buildings.Secondly, if you look down Main Street from east to west, it is apparent that the height of the new apartment building respects and mimics the height of the Masonic Lodge, which creates a comfortable space for pedestrians, and gives the appearance of narrowing the street. This narrowing effect helps to slow down drivers on Main Street, which will help pedestrians trying to cross at the difficult crosswalk at 7th Street.The new apartment building includes some elements of Moorish architecture, a style also referenced in the Masonic Lodge, so that the two buildings will complement one another in architectural style. The new apartment building will incorporate some rich finishes to reflect its prominent location in the downtown, and will be faced with travertine marble at the ground level on the street frontage.Probably the most startling aspect of the apartment building is its appearance from the east, where the full size of the building is currently visible. The bank building just to the east of the apartment is built in suburban style rather than downtown style, and therefore there is some starkness to the relationship between the two buildings. The apartment designers and city staff had to consider which building style to mimic. Obviously, the newer bank building is neither the dominant nor the enduring style to mimic. In fact, as property values continue to increase in downtown, it is likely that properties such as the bank site will redevelop at higher intensities, more like the Masonic Lodge and the new apartment building.The new apartment building is a security building, with gated underground parking. The developer has been conditioned to conduct a parking analysis one year after full occupancy, to ensure that the residents are not impacting the parking available to other properties. Parking rules will also be a part of the rental agreements, so that violations related to parking will be violations of the rental agreement.The recreation area for the property includes a basketball court, tot lot, barbeques and picnic areas above the parking structure. There is also a large recreation room with TV and game tables. There is a community room with a computer lab for after-school homework help and adult courses in basic computer use, as well as courses in how to become a homebuyer, etc.One of our biggest challenges in Santa Paula is landlords and slumlords who do not manage or care for their properties. This apartment building will have onsite management. This developer builds to own and manage, not to sell off properties. Before considering approval of the project, I toured two facilities that he owns and manages in the City of Carson. One of the facilities is a family apartment complex built over and behind retail stores in a very prominent location. The other was a senior complex that looked and felt like the expensive assisted living facility where my mother lived in Michigan. Both properties are very well managed. I spoke with some of the residents, and was able to observe the ongoing maintenance of the complexes. There was no indication from the exterior of the complexes that they were “affordable housing”.Half of the apartments will be reserved for farm workers, and half for individuals and families making approximately $17,000 to $43,000 per year at today’s income levels. At $20,000 per year a couple would be classified as extremely low income; at $43,000 per year a family would be classified as very low income. For reference, low income for a family of four persons is currently $64,500, and moderate income for a family of four is $95,400.There is no local money involved is this project, nor did the developer request any assistance from the City or the Redevelopment Agency. By law we can provide housing subsidies with redevelopment funds through the moderate-income level. For another point of reference, the 325 units of affordable housing that were proposed in the Fagan Canyon project were reserved for families making from $28,200 per year for a one-person household, to a six-person household making $110,700 per year. These “affordable” units also would have been provided without any local subsidy.Mary Ann Krause AICPCouncilmember, City of Santa Paula