Congressman Lagomarsino's Addresses City Oct. 20, 2004



My name is Robert J. Lagomarsino. I am a native of Ventura and still live in Ventura at 3040 Solimar Beach Drive. I served as your California State Senator from 1961 to 1974 and as your United States Congressman from 1974 to 1993. Before that, I was Mayor of Ojai; that is, I have been a "duly elected official" almost all my working life.

Believe it or not, there are times when duly elected officials make mistakes. The duly elected officials of the City of San Buenaventura made a mistake in the 1960s when they made the decision to demolish St. Mary's and City cemeteries. I believe that it is the responsibility of today's city officials to do what they can to rectify that mistake.

There was only one Lagomarsino buried in St. Mary's: Edward John who died in 1916; Edward John, an infant, was transferred to the Lagomarsino crypt when Ivy Lawn was established.
I do have many relatives buried in what in now City Memorial Park, however: Charles Gandolfo, who died January 18, 1905; Ernest, Lena, and Gwendolyn Raffetto, buried in 1901; 1914 and 1920 respectively; Nellie and Candida Oliva, buried 1901; and Pietro Noceti, nephew of Nick Peirano, who was buried there in 1912.

On their behalf and on the behalf of all those 3,000 remaining buried in City Memorial Park, I ask that you do everything in your power to see that justice is done.

Some suggestions:
1. As the park is unnamed, you should establish a name that makes it clear that this site is both a cemetery and a park and then post a substantial sign stating so. The sign should reflect the historic nature of the site and coordinate with the WPA rock wall.
2. Commemorate those buried there either with flush markers or a large monument listing their names.
3. Retrieve as many headstones as possible and arrange them in a secure location, preferably in the cemetery itself, so that descendants, historians, as well as the general public will have access to them.
I have faith that you, as duly appointed officials, will do all you can to encourage our duly elected officials to do their duty, and correct the mistake made by their predecessors some 40 years ago.



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