FILLMORE : Small-Town Feeling Praised in Survey

Fillmore residents responding to a recent survey said the city's greatest assets are its small-town atmosphere and scenic rural setting, while gangs and a lack of activities for young people are the city's biggest problems.

The five-question survey was mailed to Fillmore's 2,800 residential water customers early last month as part of an effort to improve communication between government and citizens, city officials said. Mayor Scott Lee said this week that 100 residents completed the questionnaire.

More than a third of the write-in responses praised Fillmore's "good-neighbor" atmosphere and pastoral setting. A smaller percentage mentioned surrounding citrus groves, its low crime rate and city renovation projects as assets for the city.

Those who completed the survey listed twice as many problems as positive features. A total of 23% of the respondents said gangs were a concern. Ten percent felt schools needed improvement; the same number said local shoppers need more choices.

Limiting growth was a priority with 31%, while 8% wanted more industry. Several residents said Fillmore needed a better economic base. Residents who mentioned low-income housing were evenly divided on the question of whether the city needs more.

A park would be the best use for 13 acres the city recently bought from Southern Pacific railroad, 38% of the residents said.

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