A New County Supervisor

November 14, 2014

Speaking for All

…is an opportunity to stir things up and get better representation for ALL the people of the 3rd District

All these elected politicians whose names have been put forth so far to replace Jeff Stone as Supervisor for the Riverside County 3rd District can tout their experience at playing the usual political party games as they climb their personal partisan government career ladders, which is hardly the same as having real experience in actually resolving the problems that face the people in Riverside County.

We need someone who will focus on the needs of the people; needs which have regularly been pushed aside by County officials in favor of 3rd District business development. We need a proven outsider who will use the their position as County Supervisor to address basic problems and stir up the status quo, which has brought us to where we currently are throughout Southwestern Riverside – in a mess of overly rapid development that is all too often poorly planned and allowed to move forward without consideration of needed infrastructure and support systems.

We do need more quality development that includes businesses that can provide decent paying jobs in the long term. Developers like to boost about the number of jobs their latest, greatest projects will provide, but they forget to mention that many or most of those jobs are temporary and pan out at the low end of the pay scale.

To achieve good growth and job creation we need a Supervisor that can think long term, and whose focus is on the communities in the 3rd District rather than their next stepping stone to a bigger, better paying political position.

Riverside County’s demographics have dramatically changed over the last decades, and we need a board that is representational of all the people.  It’s time to break the accepted, longstanding strangle hold of County power that resides solely in the hands of a Board that is all male, all white and all Republican.

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Parks Cost Soooo Much

October 28, 2014

Parks 1

Yet deliver so little for so few!

We’ve had another poorly attended Parks Subcommittee meeting last Tuesday, where only 3 or 4 residents showed up, followed by some whining and complaining on blog sites and Facebook about the public’s lack of interest in our parks planning.

Some egotistic blogger even suggested that Mr. and Mrs. Wildomar should be scolded, shamed and sent off to bed without supper because they didn’t show up! These remarks show little understanding of how disenchanted the public is with city officials’ performance – especially regarding parks management.

Well what do you expect? It is abundantly clear that the Parks Subcommittee has learned nothing from their failure to complete an acceptable rehab the parks or develop a decent parks maintenance plan.

It’s also obvious that the subcommittee had already decided what they are going to do even before they sat down at the dais. Making suggestions or voicing concerns is a pure waste of the public’s time in the face of the subcommittee’s attitude.

The subcommittee’s ideas for recreation programs offer nothing but a repetition of the inadequate, mostly unsuccessful plans of the past, which focus on a meniscal percentage of Wildomar’s children – those tucked tightly into the small Southwestern corner of the city.

Really folks – dancing lessons provided by a for-profit Wildomar business favored by Marsha Swanson and Bridgette Moore, and a crafts program at the library. These are not PARKS programs. At best they offer some entertainment and after school child care, neither of which has anything to do with getting kids out into the parks’ environment for much needed exercise.

Parks 2

Of course, the various sports leagues didn’t show up at the meeting either. Why should they bother? They already have an iron-clad assurance that their teams’ needs will be the major focus of any other parks programs!

The rest of Wildomar’s residents will have to be content with these limited parks programs that offer them NOTHING except the opportunity to pay the taxes that support these misguided plans.

Hello Wildomar – isn’t it time to demand better, more inclusive parks programs. What we’ve seen to date is simply not acceptable. City officials may be content with using our parks as venues to stage entertainment events for maybe 100 + people’s enjoyment, but is that all we get after passing the Measure Z tax?

We need better, more robust parks programs that will serve a greater range of Wildomar’s people.

After over six years of incorporation, it is high time for Wildomar’s council and staff to give up their amateur, sophomoric approach to managing our parks, and address these tasks in a professional manner?

For more details and photos of Wildomar’s troubled parks follow the link below:

http://www.wildomarconnected.com

 

More False Promises

October 17, 2014

No New Taxes

…that will require HUGE NEW TAXES

Wildomar officials gave us another self-serving, ego boosting party which attracted only a paltry number of attendees.  Last Tuesday’s Master Parks Planning meeting was a complete farce…but undoubtedly was an expensive one.

Public input from this ill-timed and poorly noticed meeting was limited to the usual dozen or less city supporters, and that count includes some city staffers and city appointees. This is hardly a fair representation of a city with a population of 33,000, but we will undoubtedly see important decisions and plans based on this fake “workshop”.

It was basically a waste of time and god alone knows how many taxpayers’ dollars. Many people in Wildomar have woken-up to the fact that these planning sessions are pretty much just for show as we approach the 2014 council elections. They consist of advertising empty promises and utter nonsense which are not worth the public’s time or trouble.

They simply serve as the proverbial carrot in front of the donkey’s nose.  They propose false possibilities for the future which the city has no viable capacity to make good on for decades to come.  At some point even the dumbest donkeys figure out they are being tricked and deceived by the wagon master e.g. the people who are currently running Wildomar into the ground.

No one with any understanding of the city’s financial situation, including the city council and the current city staff, have any faith in these “pie-in-the-sky” plans which would cost citizens millions of dollars and the unacceptable burden of huge new taxes.

People in Wildomar are fed-up with the hollow promises of what is possible in the DISTANT future. They are far more interested in the city providing the level of basic, essential public services which they are obligated to deliver.

City Planner and newly minted Assistant City Manager Dan York should quit spending our taxpayers’ money on fancy presentation materials and mock workshops. He should come down to earth, get out of his city hall office and take a hard look at the reality of what needs to be done in Wildomar RIGHT NOW.

Our roads are crumbling and unsafe, our existing three parks still in need of much rehab work and a comprehensive maintenance plan, and there is a crying need for some effective code enforcement to clean-up certain areas of the city.

Clean-up

At some point even the most oblivious and ignorant of our existing city officials will have to recognize that they have lost the attention and trust of most of Wildomar’s citizens.

They have ceased to be interested in attending city meetings that are more like circuses or “dog and pony” shows.  More and more people are wondering aloud about how long we must endure the kind of poor local government, and how difficult and costly it will be to clean-up the bad decisions and financial failures that six years of city-hood have given us.

Wildomar Officials Cry Foul

October 2, 2014

 Money House of Cards

…over the AB 69 Bill VETO on returning lost VLF funding

With Gov. Brown’s veto of a second bill to require the state to return lost Vehicle License Fees to Wildomar, the city’s council and staff have some tough decisions ahead.  They simply can’t keep deceiving themselves or the public about the city’s financial reality.

Wildomar never had a sufficient tax base with enough revenue to be financially sustainable on its own.  Its bid for city-hood always required special help in the form of VLF revenue and other special funding deals.

This was pointed out very clearly to city-hood supporters by those who opposed incorporation, but enough voters ignored the distinct warning signs of economic trouble and voted for incorporation. Now it’s time to pay the piper.

LAFCO originally refused to recommend Wildomar incorporate as the area didn’t have a large enough tax base.  Only after Bob Buster offered to sweeten the deal with 10 years of illegal “augmentation money” amounting to approximately $3,000,000 did LAFCO finally allow the incorporation vote to go forward.

Riverside County encouraged cities like Wildomar to incorporate while knowing full well that their Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis (CFA) painted an overly optimistic financial picture.  Some of the projected revenue figures were known to be pure fiction. The city was on shaky financial ground from the very beginning, and pushed into premature incorporation by a County eager to get them off their books.

County Supervisors will now say and do just about anything to quell the thoughts of disincorporation, and are happy to blame the Governor instead of admitting to their own poor judgment.  They don’t want to take any failing cities back.

City-hood supporters also ignored the warning signs of an impending Great Recession from which we have yet to recover.  They charged ahead with outlandish abandonment and grandiose schemes of “having it all from day one”.

The city has failed to repay the County for the transition year costs over the allotted 5 years, raised taxes, fines and fees and unsuccessfully tried to impose a $5,000,000 Mello-Roos tax in an attempt to precipitously expand the city’s long term indebtedness!  At the same time they have cut public safety services to the bone, and neglected much needed maintenance and repairs on roads, parks and infrastructure.

The council’s GPA decisions to disregard established land use designations and convert our prime commercial areas to ultra high density housing will cripple the city’s commercial and retail growth and leave Wildomar without the revenue to survive financially.

We need to face facts rather than waste more time and taxpayers’ money on all this talk of political “payback” and the new cities being penalized for voting conservatively. The VFL funds are not likely coming back.

Wildomar should focus on operating with what established revenue streams they actually have coming in rather than continuing to throw money away on pipe dreams of cockamamie special development deals…and the outrageous costs of having their own lobbyist in Sacramento.

Better yet, the voters might consider replacing the politicians who bamboozled them into thinking city-hood would really bring rapid improvements in governance.

Prosperity is not just around the corner in Wildomar.

Mother Nature’s Gift To Wildomar

September 17, 2014

Storm Flooded Streets

 . . .an early warning of things to come? 

Concerned Wildomar citizens – often times disparagingly labeled as “negative nellies”, “constant complainers”, “Cantankerotti” and much worse by rabid city supporters – got their comeuppance and retribution Tuesday  afternoon.

A short but violent thunderstorm, of only 2 + hours duration, left us with flooded streets, stranded cars, power outages, downed trees, city parks underwater, and substantial damage to our Elsinore High School campus. Shops were inundated with storm waters, and businesses forced to close after losing electrical power.

Guess what! The concerned citizens who have repeatedly warned city planners, engineers and council members of the need for better storm water management and the dangers of serious flooding were proved right – with a little help from Mother Nature!

Photos and video show just how dramatic the flooding was even after such a short storm. Just imagine how bad a situation a major storm of several days duration would leave Wildomar in? It’s something everyone, and especially voters, should think seriously about.

Storm Downed Trees and Power Lines

Wildomar’s council and city management have been so busy chasing after questionable new development that they have almost totally forgotten the essential maintenance and long overdue improvements to our city’s existing infrastructure.

Our roads are falling apart, our weed abatement and fire prevention programs woefully neglected, our parks restoration poorly planned and left half done with no tangible plans to finish the work or develop a structured maintenance schedule with tasks defined and assigned to specific city personnel.  The ineffective Parks Standing Subcommittee has skipped over the necessary on-going maintenance planning and flooding issues made so apparent by the recent storm.

When the concerns of knowledgeable, experienced citizens are criticized or blatantly ignored by poorly informed, self-serving city council members and their equally ignorant or totally disengaged staff, citizens have to face the fact that their fundamental interests are being disregarded…in favor of personal political ambitions and individual gain.

Mother Nature has given all of us a wake-up call.  After six years of incorporation Wildomar has made little meaningful progress on those items of concern to most citizens. 

** It is time to put aside the “dog and pony” shows and other claptrap and nonsense that are a poor substitute for   productive city council meetings and true governance.

** It is time to demand that the city council and staff treat citizens with due respect instead of deriding and disparaging them from their big chairs behind the dais.

** It is high time we elect new council that have in-depth knowledge of the city’s history and infrastructure, and will utilize that knowledge in the decision-making process

** And, it is high time we get rid of ANYONE on the council or city staff that will not put the true needs of Wildomar’s citizens first and foremost on the city agenda.

Please join me in voting for someone who will implement the changes Wildomar needs.

Kiss The Wildomar We Knew Goodbye

September 7, 2014

Council actions slashing the community’s visions for our future!

Crowded Freeways 2

What we wanted to escape from…

Wildomar presented its citizens with an impossible overly crowded council agenda for Wednesday’s meeting.  They posted the first version on Friday 09-07-2014  and then added a second version on Saturday at 8:58 pm.  More confusion?

The accompanying agenda packet, a mere 980 page document, would be a challenge for even the most ardent and conscientious city watcher to digest.  And, that’s before you look at the supporting documents for the latest Lennar Housing Project which is millions more bits of detail.

Not only will citizens be overwhelmed by this copious amount of material, but you can bet your bottom dollar that council members are not going to wade their way through it.  

Doubtless our sitting council members have already decided how they will vote, and don’t want to clutter up their thinking with facts or time for any public discussion.  They certainly don’t care about following the Brown Act – why let a pesky little thing like respecting the law get in the way of their progress?

Heaven forbid the council would present a reasonable amount of items for discussion.  NO, they are simply going to climb into their proverbial MAC truck and drive it over both the law and citizens – thus killing off any objections as they push forward with an agenda to destroy the Wildomar most residents envisioned.

This council is marching forward in lock step to build insane ultra-high density housing projects with reduced lot sizes, narrower streets and woefully inadequate parking space.  Projects which will not produce the necessary revenue to support servicing them.

Most current council members don’t care what the people of Wildomar want or think; they simply want to push forward with their plans to saddle our community with poor, hastily approved development plans that will forever change our environment while city personnel enhance their personal  financial positions.

What we dreamed of preserving!

…What we hoped to preserve and protect!

Under this council’s greedy, self-serving direction Wildomar will become just one more over crowded bedroom community with decaying streets, inadequate infrastructure, higher taxes and expanding long term indebtedness.  This is NOT what we voted for with incorporation.  We, the people, need to turn this ruinous situation around before it’s too late and we have to deal with its catastrophic results.

What we didn't sign up for in Wildomar!

People who want this should go back to OC or LA!

 

If you’re tired of this Wildomar council madness, start with demanding a return to a full work week for all city staff, two council meetings each month with reasonable agendas, and a requirement that the city be run in a lawful manner where the wishes of its citizens are respected and made the top priority.

If any of these people dare to say no to these reasonable demands…then they need to go.  And, yes, there is a legal way to do that if necessary.

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Taxpayers’ Money Being Squandered?

August 31, 2014

 

sad dogs in rain

BUT WHAT ARE WE GETTING FOR THOSE $$$$

The City of Lake Elsinore, acting as one of the city members of the Southwest Animal Shelter’s Joint Powers Authority, has recently called for a full and independent audit of the Animal Friends of the Valley’s management and financial records – something that is seriously overdue.

As a dog lover and someone who has adopted my pets from this organization for many years, I am reluctant to write this negative comment, but am compelled to do so. It is not only high time for a financial audit, but also a complete review of policies, procedures and the direction of this whole organization.

The city members of the JPA have to recognize that they are not getting enough of the primary services the shelter is supposed to provide, and that the cost to taxpayers of running this organization is simply far too high.
Animal Friends management has allowed their service to drift away from delivering true ANIMAL CONTROL to cities in favor of focusing on ANIMAL RESCUE AND ADOPTION.

As responsible citizens we must not get overwhelmed or lost in the persistent and highly emotional calls for volunteers and donations for AFV.

This is wrong as taxpayers are already paying far too much for ineffective animal control. We have hordes of feral cats and unlicensed, abandoned dogs wandering our streets. Many of them have not been vaccinated and many carry diseases or are infested with fleas which also have the potential of spreading disease to our properties, homes and well-cared-for pets.

Animal control is one of the essential services that AFV should be delivering to their member cities in an efficient and cost effective manner.

In other words they should be working with member cities to make full animal control pay for itself. With only an estimated 20% of dogs in Wildomar being licensed, it is no wonder the shelter is looking to raise costs and constantly go begging for donations. The license fees for this meager 20% amounts to approximately $80,000 annually which is turned over the AFV as part of our contractual agreement.

Full compliance with existing city ordinances would bring in another 75%-80% or roughly another $320,000 in revenue. This would be more than enough to mount a licensing compliance campaign throughout the city – and provide better, faster response to calls about dogs and cats running loose on our streets.

Compelling owners to license their animals is a two-sided safety net that helps everyone. Lost animals who are licensed, tagged and micro-chipped have a much better chance of being returned to their owners, and license fees would support personnel and equipment for better animal control services throughout our cities.

This would be better all-around and citizens and voters need to ask why Wildomar’s council members haven’t been the ones to demand this long-overdue audit and policy review.

An Opportunity to Help Wildomar

July 29, 2014

NR Speaking Out

 

Dear Friends and Fellow Wildomar Residents:

I wanted to alert you to a serious problem with the safety of our parks. I know you would not want to see any child hurt because of the city’s negligence or see Wildomar burdened with the costs of a lawsuit and litigation which the city cannot afford and which our PARSAC liability insurance may not cover.

Ken Mayes has two new and very well researched and carefully documented blogs up on both his own site and on the front page of the new Lake Elsinore-Wildomar Patch. Please take the time to review them. Ken is most sincere in his concerns for Wildomar’s children and the city’s welfare, and has shunned any political/partisan remarks to reach the widest possible audience. This information is something that every Wildomar resident should be made aware of and hopeful will feel the need to speak out to the council about correcting the problems as quickly as possible.

For the sake of the children and the city, I hope you will help get the word out…and encourage your neighbors to call or write the city council members with your concerns. This is a problem that we can help correct right here in our own city with action of the city council. Please let them know you want this problem addressed promptly.

ARE THEY SAFE ? OR DO WE SHUT THEM DOWN ?
Another look at our parks after the Measure Z Oversight Committee to answer questions raised about maintenance.
http://patch.com/california/lake-elsinore-wildomar/are-they-safe-or-do-we-shut-them-down#.U9eE5k1Mvcs

A LETTER SENT TO THE CITY COUNCIL
Letter sent to each Council Member describing the unsafe conditions of Wildomar’s Tot-Lots in all 3 parks. Included is a recommended course.
http://patch.com/california/lake-elsinore-wildomar/letter-sent-city-council#.U9eFIk1Mvcs

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND A FULL PHOTO ARRAY OF THE PROBLEMS

http://www.wildomarconnected.com/wildomar/

The Tax Man Cometh…

July 1, 2014

Police an Fire

Again, and again, and again!

Our local city councils and county supervisors know all too well that police and fire protection are at the top of most residents’ priority list.  We all want our property and loved ones to be safe from harm.

If you take a broader view of what is going on here in our communities, our various government representatives have deliberately cut these essential safety services to the bone, knowing full well that people will feel endangered even in their own neighborhoods and homes.

Why, you may ask, have they let this situation get so bad?  Because city councils and county supervisors are not above playing hardball with the very people they have sworn to serve and protect.  When all these discussions and hyped-up media reports on the growing level of crime have reached a certain scary level, count on our elected representatives to propose tax increases.

They’ll tell you straight out that if you want an acceptable level of police and fire protection you must vote for higher taxes – usually in the form of dreaded Mello-Roos based bonds.

Wildomar has already done this with its new and probably illegal city-wide Developer Agreement for all new housing projects…and others will surely follow that same route if the courts don’t declare it illegal or if WRCOG  (Western Riverside Council of Governments doesn’t enforce their contractual agreements with rogue cities.

Wildomar’s new Developer Agreement makes out-and-out liars out of every single sitting city council member.  Every one of them helped push Wildomar into premature incorporation on the assurance that there would be improvement in essential police and fire protection.  And, they promised us that city-hood and those improvements would be fiscally possible with NO NEW TAXES.   

They have been breaking those pledges and assurances repeatedly since day one.

Wildomar Memorial Weekend Event

May 26, 2014

Image

 

Was the city’s Memorial weekend event either appropriate or successful?

Did it deserve to be called a Wildomar “City Event” or enjoy the city’s sponsorship and the utilization of our park or the expenditure of our other taxpayers’ resources?  The answer depends on who you ask.  Ardent city boosters and local politicians looking for votes in the upcoming elections would like readers to believe it was both.

Others, however, are left wondering if Wildomar has had enough of this kind of worn out BBQ – swap meet type of happening with its thinly disguised purpose of making vendors and non-profit organizations money and gleaning re-election votes for incumbent city council members.

Was it a success, and if so for whom?  The photos, videos, numbers of attendees and first hand observations tell a vastly different and darker story.

What we had was something more akin to a shabby or amateur  bunch of vendor booths set up in swap meet fashion and very reminiscent of the failed “farmers market” that was held at the same location back in the day.  You will recall that effort was a complete bust – start to finish!  It seems Wildomar officials just can’t get it right.  They rely on hype, but have trouble getting any substance.

The only partially refurbished Marna O’Brien park venue certainly wasn’t ready for the crush of people, let alone the damage done to newly planted grass from heavy vehicles allowed to park on it.

For more details, sans the disruption of nonsensical comments and postings of pure gibberish found on the local Lake Elsinore-Wildomar PATCH by a small army of AKAs talking mainly to themselves follow this link:

http://wildomarmagazine.wordpress.com/

While the video postings on this link will give you some idea of how sparsely the event was attended, they won’t answer any of organizational questions about park permits or vendor health certifications!  The devil is in the details, and somehow the city never quite gets around to taking care of them!

So once again Wildomar has utilized the taxpayers’ resources to support an event for the enjoyment or profit of only a very small percentage of its 32,000 residents.  Of course, there is nothing new about that…it’s what has served as a recreational program for years under the guidance of Parks Subcommittee members Bridgette Moore and Marsha Swanson.

Was this the way to lead up to paying our respects to the brave and selfless men and women who died in defense of our country?  An event to make money and garner votes is no substitute for the proper remembrance of those who gave their lives to protect our freedoms and this great country.