..CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS FOR FAILURE TO RECUSE BEFORE VOTE
It’s good to hear someone else besides Zak Turango complain about the negative aftermath of inherent conflicts as a result of of how Cornerstone Community Church originally tried to stuff the Wildomar City Council as we selected city Council members for our first City Council.
No single political entity, and don’t for a minute imagine that Cornerstone Community Church is not a political entity, should be able to back financially, through campaign donations and “groupthink” voting to secure a majority of seats on the City Council in a small community like Wildomar.
Zak understands that it is marginally legal, but it just doesn’t look right and the Grand Jury is appropriately critical of the result. Nor is it healthy for a small community, like Wildomar, as most thinking citizens would agree.
For example, Mayor Bridgette Moore is a proud member of Cornerstone and her appointee for Planning Commission was Harv Dykstra, also a Cornerstone member. As I recall, before Cornerstone withdrew its application in the face of a threatened lawsuit by reasonably concerned neighbors, Moore unabashedly and almost happily voted in favor of the project. As did Council member Scott Farnam, also a Cornerstone attendee.
To his credit, Commissioner Dykstra had recused himself before the Planning Commission vote on the Cornerstone project but only because he had sold them some doors in the then recent past.
According to the grand jury, each of the Cornerstone members on the City Council should have recused themselves prior to voting on the church project, based on their relationship to the church.
Although the City Attorney for Wildomar, Julie Biggs, had opined that recusal was not legally necessary, Zak thinks that the Grand Jury has a better grasp on the issue of conflict of interest then does the city attorney, whose task it is to determine what is often exquisitely legal, not necessarily what is proper.
In any event, I have linked Wildomar Magazine to the Grand Jury website, where you can read their report and reach your own conclusions for yourself.
With the upcoming election season looming, and with Cornerstone’s immense “mining” project (See September 2009 Archives) still out there seeking eventual approval, informed voters may have to consider a normally distasteful political element such as considering a candidate’s church affiliation when contemplating their vote for leaders for the city of Wildomar for the next 4 years.
A 3 vote majority bloc of Cornerstone Community Church members would not be healthy for the entire community of Wildomar.
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