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Monday, May 15, 2006




Sunday, May 14, 2006


Playback of Council Goal Setting Workshop

The City Council's May 13 goal setting workshop will be replayed on
Wednesday May 17 at 6:30 PM and Sunday May 21 at 1:00 PM on Adelphia
Cable Channel 10.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Newsy Items on Monday's Santa Paula City Council Agenda

1. Unveiling of new City website
2. Consideration of proposed rate increase for sewer services
3. Discussion of location for proposed Farmworker monument
4. Consideration of adoption of social host ordinance
5. Discussion on weed abatement
6. Third quarter budget report


Pedestrian / Bike Trail Planning Meeting

The City of Santa Paula is conducting a workshop for community
participation on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 at 6:30 PM, at the City of Santa
Paula Council Chambers regarding the Santa Paula Recreational Bike Trail
Project. The trail will be a walking/bicycle trail that will be
designed and constructed along the railroad right-of-way from Peck Road
to the Santa Paula Creek Bridge. The project will provide a safe
pedestrian/bicycle trail through the middle of town that connects the
entire City.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Recount on Measure Y

The Pinnacle Group has requested a recount of the April 18, 2006 Measure
Y election. This will be a hand recount and will be held on Monday, May
15, 2006 beginning at 10 AM in the City Council Chambers. Pinnacle will
pay the cost of the recount (estimated at $3,000) unless the count turns
in their favor. The measure lost by 107 votes.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Proposition 1B - Transportation Bond

The Legislature passed the end of last week a transportation
infrastructure bond initiative for the November, 2006 ballot. $1
billion is allocated in the initiative for city streets. Santa Paula's
share is $925,590 which can be used for repaving/rebuilding local
streets if the initiative passes in November.


Santa Paula Fire Chief Paul Skeels Announces Retirement

Santa Paula Fire Chief Paul Skeels announced today his plans to retire on June 30, 2006 from the Santa Paula Fire Department after thirty-one years of service, including eighteen years as Fire Chief. "Paul Skeels has completely transformed the Santa Paula Fire Department during his tenure," said City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz. "The citizens of Santa Paula today are safer because of the improvements he championed during his career. All Santa Paulans owe Chief Skeels a sincere debt of gratitude for his years of service," Bobkiewicz added.

Paul moved to Santa Paula in 1973 to practice law with C. Russell King. The 24 members of the Santa Paula Fire Department in May, 1975 voted to accept Paul for membership as a volunteer firefighter. At that time the Department was dispatched to about 150 emergency calls per year.

After being promoted to Fire Engineer and later to Fire Captain, and having been instrumental in the mid-1980's in assisting with the change in the firefighters' status from volunteers to part time/paid call City employees, the firefighters elected Paul to serve as their Fire Chief in February, 1988. In March his election was confirmed by the Santa Paula City Council. Skeels was the last Fire Chief "elected" by his peers. Meanwhile the City was considering creating a full time Fire Chief position to manage the two-person full time Fire Prevention Bureau, the fire mechanic, and the part time/paid call firefighters. During the next 20 months Paul continued practicing law while serving as the City's last elected part time/paid call Fire Chief. In December, 1989 following a competitive process, the City appointed Paul to serve as its first career Fire Chief.

During his tenure as Fire Chief, Skeels led a complete makeover of the Santa Paula Fire Department. The Fire Department implemented an Emergency Medical Technician program to provide Basic Life Support to the people of Santa Paula. In 1995, the City Council created three full time Fire Captain and three full time Fire Engineer positions, which enabled the Department to staff a fire engine around the clock at the 10th Street station (Station 81) with two full time firefighters plus one to two part time/paid call firefighters. Emergency response time for the department to most emergencies and the overall level of service to the community was greatly improved. In 2002, three full time Firefighter positions were added so that Station 81 would have three full time crewmembers around the clock.

With the gradual but steady increase in the annual number of emergency calls (2,271 calls in 2005), the City Council approved another reorganization in early 2005. Three more full time Fire Captain positions were created to supervise a second engine company for Station 82 on West Main Street. The remaining part time/paid call firefighters became volunteer Reserve Firefighter/EMTs, and they, together with the new Reserves that the Department began attracting from among the graduates of the Oxnard College Fire Academy - and other fire academies - now provide the second, third and sometimes fourth firefighters on that engine company during each shift.

Santa Paula Fire Department currently consists of fifteen full time personnel, thirty-four Reserves, and a volunteer Fire Chaplain. One Fire Captain is currently serving a one-year special assignment as City Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.

Skeels served as Interim City Manager from late 2001 to late 2002, and in addition to his Fire Chief duties since then he has served as the City's Business Ombudsman.

After his retirement from City service, Paul plans to take a little vacation with his wife, Linda Garcia Skeels, and he then expects to re-open his Santa Paula law practice. The City will begin a recruitment to replace Chief Skeels immediately and hopes to have a replacement hired by early Fall. Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Fildes will be Acting Fire Chief as of July 1, 2006 until a replacement for Skeels is named.


Santa Paula Hospital Grand Re-Opening June 24

County Supervisor Kathy Long announced at "Good Morning Santa Paula"
today that Santa Paula Hospital will have its grand re-opening on
Saturday, June 24. The Hospital expects a "soft opening" sometime the
first week in June. The County has spent $4.3 million of a planned $4.5
million in capital improvements at the facility and it has a proposed
operating budget for its first year of operations of $14 million.


Interesting Facts from County Assessor

Ventura County Assessor Dan Goodwin spoke at "Good Morning Santa Paula" today and shared some interesting facts about Santa Paula. The assessed value of the property in the city has risen from $1 billion in FY 2001/02 to $1.36 billion in FY 2005/06. Increases per year have ranged from 5.9% to a 10.3% increase in the last year. This translates into additional property tax revenue for the City, but not a direct correlation given the changes in how property tax funds are allocated in recent years. A perhaps more interesting fact is that 21% of properties in Santa Paula are still assessed at pre-Prop. 13 rates. This compares to 16% in Ventura and 13.6% in Oxnard. Goodwin did not know for sure, but speculated that this was the highest percentage of any City in the County. The higher this percentage, the less tax that is collected on parcels with the pre-Prop. 13 assessed value.

Monday, May 08, 2006


Measure E6 Sample Ballot Information

Copy of sample ballot information for Measure E6 (PDF) is now on our Fagan Canyon website.

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