Rational Discourse In Wildomar….

November 30, 2010

… IT HAPPENS

 I am posting, with his permission, an e-mail I received from John Garrett, in response to my November 23, 2010 article “Y’ALL SHOULD’VE LISTENED  TO SHERYL…. BUT DIDN’T.”

I am further posting my e-mail response to John, with my permission, as I thought the “debate” on the medical marijuana collective issue is important for Wildomar. It’s a bit long for Wildomar Magazine but I encourage my readers to take the time to read it, for the mental stimulation.

Zak,

A comment on today’s post.

I don’t claim to know what’s best regarding medical marijuana and collectives in Wildomar. I’m sympathetic to both sides. I accept that Sheryl’s approach would have pre-empted this lawsuit (bold by Zak), but I also sympathize with the other council members who opposed it.

How does one compare the costs of this lawsuit against long term perceptions of our community that may influence whether businesses set up shop here? 

I connect cannabis use with the mental breakdown of someone close to my family and with the failure of many friends and acquaintances to graduate from high school or from college. That cannabis is plentiful doesn’t mean we should broaden its acceptance through medical collectives.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I recall that Wildomar received numerous applications for collectives, a number that seemed beyond the need of local medical use. 

Being corrected on this would persuade me to reconsider, but I wonder if Wildomar is a pawn in the politics of this issue and was targeted because it is a weak, new city: e.g., win approval for a collective here (broadens a precedent), and if not, win a lawsuit against a city less likely put up a fight (a better precedent).

The part I take issue with is connecting this with parks. I don’t see where you’re going with the two. The council members trying keep marijuana out of our community also support parks. It doesn’t prove financial recklessness.

Until I know whether Wildomar is being played as a pawn, I don’t see the error or inconsistency. I hope to do some catching up on this issue by learning whether our larger neighboring cities allow medical marijuana collectives. Any information you can refer to me would be welcome.

JG “

 Hi John;
 
Having had enough time to reflect on your questions, and getting all of my baking of Bridgford dinner rolls completed for family dinner this afternoon, I respond here with.
 
I have never been in favor of marijuana “dispensaries,” but a closely managed and monitored, nonprofit collective is already legal, according to California state law, which, according to Attorney General Jerry Brown, supersedes federal law.
 
You state that you “accept” Sheryl’s approach, which indicates rational thought on your part, but that you “sympathize” with council members in opposition to her approach, which indicates an “emotional” response. 

 You are correct in that 25 applications have been filed in Wildomar; however, mostly were probably “dispensaries,” not collectives.

 In my opinion, this is reflective of the “cultural tsunami” toward the complete legalization of marijuana use in our society.
  
Wildomar did not invite any one of these entities into our community. They were coming anyway. The best that the city could or can do is to “manage” and mitigate their impacts.
 
That is what Sheryl, along with Marsha Swanson’s “brief” initial support, was attempting to do with the medical marijuana ordinance.
 
Failure to do anything, other than to oppose, is to cede all initiative on the outcome to the marijuana entities.
 
With the initial collective applicant, the city thought they were going to be able to secure a Temporary Restraining Order through the courts, if the collective opened again, without permission from the city. Instead, the Collective filed their lawsuit first, pursuant to the Compassionate Use act of 1996 and have asked the court, in their lawsuit, for a Temporary Restraining Order against the city of Wildomar. In effect, they turned the tables on the city.

When the collective opens next week, with their lawsuit already filed and served, if the city moves against the collective, the attorneys for the collective will head to Court for an emergency hearing on their TRO. If they get that, the city is stopped, except through ongoing and expensive litigation in the courts. If they don’t get their restraining order, they will spend the money to go to the appellate court, where they are likely to get their restraining order, in light of the recent Anaheim case.
 
In the Anaheim case, the courts did not shut down the dispensaries, as requested by the city of Anaheim, but told them to take the matter through an entire expensive trial and let a jury decide.

 
Such legal activity in Wildomar would bust the budget.
 
The connection to the parks is that Bridgette Moore and several other people were behind the “public outcry”against the marijuana collective at the City Council meeting, and disingenuously used that outcry as the basis for their “no” vote.
 
As a result of her manipulation, rather than responding to Sheryl’s studied and thoughtful leadership, Bridgette and her followers will be responsible for the degradation of the city’s financial stature. Thus, the “tie-in”between the  parks and her vote and manipulation in opposition to the Medical Marijuana collective.
 
I intend to hold her responsible for her failed and “manipulating” leadership, through the pages of Wildomar Magazine.
 
It is crucial that the City of Wildomar succeeds, in order to provide primary services, such as police and fire protection. Having parks, though desirable, is not  critical.
 
In my mind, Bridgette Moore may have sacrificed Wildomar’s parks for her unsophisticated, overly-moralistic reaction to the cultural tsunami of marijuana use.

 
With your permission, John, given our discourse via e-mail, I would like to use some of the content in this exchange in a future Wildomar Magazine article, since this issue will be on the front burner for some time and discussion like ours should be thought-provoking and helpful to others in the community. Any objections?

 
Thanks.
 
Zak
 
Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.
 
My thanks to John Garrett, for being a reader of Wildomar Magazine, and for taking the time to challenge my article.
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Elisnore Is Unworthy of Thomas Buckley…

November 28, 2010

… BUT RICHLY DESERVES DARYL HICKMAN

Now that the election has been certified and Daryl Hickman has officially exceeded Thomas Buckley’s vote count, I would suggest to Buckley that he save his money, forego any recount and get on with his life, knowing that he deserved far better treatment from, and recognition for, his years of public service to Lake Elsinore and that the people of Lake Elsinore are, in the end, unworthy of any additional efforts by him on their behalf.

I have been involved in observing and commenting on Lake Elsinore politics since the middle 1990s. As a writer for Elsinore Magazine, publisher Bill Reimbold and I had a hand in dismantling the corrupt political machine that dominated Lake Elsinore politics through the Kevin Pape and Pam Brinley years. In fact, were it not for Elsinore Magazine, Pam Brinley would likely still be the mayor of Lake Elsinore.

Sadly, for the ignorant voters of Lake Elsinore, they have re-elected the spawn of the corrupt Pape and Brinley, who, if they had re-produced a child between them, it would be Daryl Hickman, whom we always regarded as the “dumbest politician” we knew.

Of course, that was before Wildomar became a city and Ben Benoit became a Wildomar City Councilmember.

Hickman, first entered elected office, by enthusiastically riding the gracious and generous coattails of “Reformer” Thomas Buckley.

Without Buckley’s commitment to reforming Elsinore’s politics, Elsinore Magazine would have remained a political curiosity, inflicting intentionally painful stings of mockery and satire on the pale, wide,  backsides of Pape and Brinley.

Starting as a reformer sidekick to Buckley, Hickman has, over the years, degraded into the epitome of corruption itself, aligning himself with, and benefiting from, an unsavory affiliation in Lake Elsinore.

Unfortunately  for my good friend, Thomas Buckley, a personal indiscretion occurred during the middle of an undeserved bogus recall election, which likely doomed him to fall short in his re-election effort.

As an honorable man, Buckley acknowledged his indiscretion publicly. My personal and political esteem for Thomas Buckley remains intact, if not enhanced.

However, I am p*ssed off at the abject hypocrisy that abounds in the Elsinore body politic.

Since I was there to witness it, I recall the many nights spent throwing darts and drinking adult beverages at “The Wreck” when any number of then-“wannabe” City Council candidates desired Buckley’s political endorsement, his political knowledge, and, in most cases, his political contributions.

It was “the” place to discuss politics and strategize election efforts while everyone was tossing darts and drinking. Back in the day, the wannabes included Planning Commissioner Michael O’ Neal, Bob Magee, , and of course, Daryl Hickman.

In recent years it even included Amy Bhutta and current mayor Melissa Melendez, although not to the same degree of bacchanalia.

But they all knew where Buckley “held court” to discuss politics in Lake Elsinore.

One evening, a number of years ago, I hurriedly ran to my truck for my camera, hoping to catch a photograph of one of the wannabe’s wives exuberantly dancing atop the bar in The Wreck. The image is still seared in the remaining memory bank of my damaged brain but, unfortunately, I can’t show it to you.

But if I could, it would’ve looked something like this. 

And now that they have all been elected or appointed, at one time or another, it’s as if they didn’t even know that The Wreck existed.

Hypocrites all. I don’t recall anyone of them coming out in support of Buckley during his recall ordeal.

In fact, I recall the evening that I attended a Lake Elsinore City Council meeting that his colleagues on the City Council nearly trampled one another to make and second the motion to move up the date of the recall election, rather than to wait until Buckley’s complaints about the questionable recall to the FPPC and Dist. Atty. were heard and considered.

Former publisher of Elsinore Magazine, Bill Reimbold, said it best when he renamed the Hickman-supported “Riverwalk” boondoggle, “Rio de la Mierda.” (See the actual photo, above). Pretty, isn’t it?

Enjoy your Hickman-sponsored basketball team, Lake Elsinore. You only have yourselves to blame.

Comments can be made to  zakturango@excite.com.

Ask one of your Spanish speaking-friends to translate.


Part-time Political Pundit….

November 26, 2010

….FULL TIME “BOOTLEG” PLANNING COMMISSIONER

Both of which are inappropriate for a representative of the City of Wildomar. Apparently, “inappropriate” is the accepted standard for Wildomar’s appointed and elected officials.

One of Wildomar Magazine’s credible sources provided a portion of Planning Commissioner Harv Dykstra’s political punditry in a written commentary he made on a Facebook page, the day after the election results were in.

Obviously commenting on the voters of Wildomar failing to return Incumbent City Councilmember Sheryl Ade to office, for which I am personally grateful, Dykstra opines, as follows:

“I don’t think it was Medical Marijuana as much as being anti-church and anti-business (especially small business).

That’ll kill you in politics.

Church people and small businesses built this town.

Sheryl forgot that.”

Harv Dykstra is way off base, as a political pundit.

It’s the larger businesses operating daily on Clinton Keith Road, gas stations and fast food restaurants, like MacDonald’s, which generate sales tax revenue, and  which keep the City of Wildomar functioning, for now.

Alas, the bevy of “bedroom businesses” which largely populate the Wildomar Chamber of Commerce, can’t/don’t provide sufficient tax increment  to fund a single police officer or fire fighter, let alone the city’s operations.

Only the Medical Marijuana collective ordinance issue explains how the previously unknown candidate Timothy Walker was elected. Walker admitted to putting out a few campaign signs. And no flyer handouts or mail outs were funded by Walker’s $600 campaign budget limitations, wisely imposed on his campaign by his spouse.

Had he spent more, or less, it would not have changed the outcome.

Unlike Benoit, Walker did not buy his council seat. It was a gift.

Walker also candidly admitted,  in candidate forums, that he knew nothing about how the city was governed and only cared about stopping medical marijuana collectives as his primary motivation for running.

But for the Medical Marijuana Collective issue, a Walker-style candidate “usually” only gets the votes of family and friends.

And Dykstra’s presumption that Sheryl’s single vote against Dykstra’s church, Cornerstone Community Church, who was trying to push an ill-prepared, community upheaving, parking lot and sports field project past the Council, constitutes being “anti-church,” is patently unfounded.

Perhaps Dykstra should have had a private conversation with Sheryl, seeking her personal thoughts about  church, before making  a written public record of his own  conclusions as to her personal beliefs.

After the City Council voted for in favor of the Cornerstone project, led by the “anti-citizen/pro-church” Council majority, despite insufficient consideration of Ade’s reasonable and appropriate criticisms, Cornerstone soon abandoned their incomplete application, in the face of a threatened lawsuit by concerned neighbors.

I suspect that Cornerstone’s Senior Pastor Ron Armstrong, a lawyer himself, knew the eventual outcome of that litigation.

If God says no to a congregation’s intercessory prayers, as He sometimes apparently does, is God, then,  anti-church?

Apparently, the only “small business” that concerns Dykstra is his own.

Said business is reportedly out of compliance with local codes. 

If the bootleg businesses in Wildomar don’t pay for the necessary and appropriate improvements  to run a commercial operation, eventually you and I will have to do so or we will continue to suffer the negative impacts of those businesses.

Unfortunately, as a Planning Commissioner, Dykstra’s moral authority to vote to extract appropriate infrastructure requirements from future commercial applicants, on behalf of the citizens of Wildomar, has lapsed.

It was already lapsed when he was first appointed by fellow Cornerstone Church member, Bridgette Moore, who wanted to have an assured “pro-Cornerstone” vote on the Planning Commission.

Were Dykstra to insist upon any necessary infrastructure extractions for any future commercial application, beyond the obvious hypocrisy, his actions could invite litigation against the city for a violation of  the applicant’s right to “equal protection” under the law, found in Article 1 of the California Constitution.

How can you require a future applicant to meet certain infrastructure requirements, when you are unable or unwilling to do so yourself, as a Planning Commissioner? That seems to be “unequal,” on its face.

Back to Dykstra’s political punditry.

Harv, thanks anyway, for your meaningless deconstruction of the recent election.

However, it was only the medical marijuana collective issue that elevated Tim Walker’s vote count to exceed both Incumbent Marsha Swanson’s (pro-chamber, pro-church and originally pro-medical marijuana collective ordinance) and Sheryl Ade’s vote counts.

Your explanation, as a result, doesn’t hold water, on it’s face.

And, as all can now see, Sheryl’s judgment and leadership on the medical marijuana collective issue has been vindicated and was the proper choice to make on behalf of Wildomar, given the filing of the lawsuit against the city by the collective applicant. (See article below).

After the election, Sheryl told me that, if she had to do it all over again, knowing the outcome of the election, she would make the same arguments on behalf of all of the Citizens of Wildomar best  interests and vote exactly the same way.

Sheryl knew that she might be risking her reelection when she voted. 

Sheryl didn’t forget a damn thing, Harv.

I truly admire that kind of thoughtful core value in a public servant, like Sheryl Ade.

My contempt for Dykstra’s “double standard,” as an appointed official, is elevated now,  commensurate with Dykstra’s foolish and uninformed and unnecessary punditry.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Watch for a flurry of nonconforming “bootleg” businesses to make application to the new council with their request for waivers for site improvements.


Happy Thanksgiving…

November 25, 2010

…..FROM TWO FUTURE WILDOMAR “MAYORS OF THE DAY”

We deserve to be next.

Right after the alpaca gets to be Mayor for a Day in Wildomar.

Hey, we took the picture in a park.

That should count for something.

Besides, it’s our turn.

‘Nuff said.


Y’all Should’ve Listened To Sheryl Ade…..

November 23, 2010

 

…BUT YOU DIDN’T

And now, Wildomar is being sued for it’s failure to enact a workable Medical Marijuana collective ordinance, which would have prevented this lawsuit.

I’ve attached a copy of the Summons, which I purchased directly, with money I might’ve otherwise spent on lemonade, from the Riverside County Superior Court records system, upon hearing of the lawsuit from a credible “Word on the Street” source, which was served upon the city earlier today.

You’ll notice there are no links to any local newspaper as Wildomar Magazine is the first medium to know, and first medium to report this important event in the civic life of Wildomar. And of course, the only medium to offer immediate commentary, for context and thought-provoking perspective.

Councilmember-elect Tim Walker, who ran his “one trick pony” campaign adamantly opposed to permitting any collectives, as one of his first official acts upon being sworn in on December 08, 2010, should be prepared to ask the City Attorney Julie Biggs for her “litigation budget,” as the un-anticipated legal costs involved is going to further impair the current budget for Wildomar.

For those of you who supported Walker, it wasn’t just about the fact that the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 is current California state law, or the fact that suffering people are entitled to medical marijuana to assuage their pain, without having to secure their palliative compounds, “on the street.”

It was the portent of expensive, budget-busting litigation against the City of Wildomar that would have been avoided by the enactment of the ordinance.

But I guess Walker couldn’t/didn’t think that far ahead. Nor did Wildomar’s voters.

Sheryl did.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Special congratulations are in order for “very-soon-to-be-former” Mayor Bridgette Moore, who  reportedly  organized the “anti-collective” speakers at the City Council and then disingenuously cited their protests as a reason for voting no on the ordinance.

Why should folks support a Park assessment, Bridgette, when you’re now wasting the money already entrusted to your stewardship?


Are Educators Losing Their Minds?…

November 23, 2010

….IF THEY ARE RESORTING TO THESE TEACHING METHODS

At first blush, the idea seemed interesting.

According to yesterday’s Press Enterprise, a Wildomar Elementary School teacher has released a CD for school kids, promoting the various elements of education, such as math and language arts, through music. Rap music, as it turns out.

Please click on the following link for the brief story.

http://www.pe.com/localnews/lakeelsinore/stories/PE_News_Local_D_teacher23.41c0135.html

However, ever curious about the deeper story, I followed the news article to the band’s website, which  understandably promotes additional CDs, and band gigs, for the band.

From there, I went to YouTube, hoping for a demonstration of what this band is promoting and found “this.”

Please click on the following link to enter into the sometimes desperate and bizarre world of unproven 21st-century teaching methods.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWgZsJmATsI

Whether you care about the music or not, shouldn’t  matter. Just look past the child (a future American Idol “wannabe,” no doubt) in front of the camera, to her other classmates in the rows behind her, to discover the perfect visual demonstration of sheer boredom.

I wonder if the LEUSD District Superintendent Frank Passarella has approved this odd teaching methodology?

After serving as the initial Site Council President of Murrieta Valley High School in 1994, I became much more sympathetic to the dilemma confronting public school teachers, most of whom started out their careers while highly motivated and dedicated. Unfortunately, some of them seem to lose their way along the education path.

However, without the presence of concerned parents, whose motivation to educate their own children must exceed that of the teaching community, we are left with this attempt to “trick” students into learning.

I can’t tell you what education methodology is best suited to educate children, for which we taxpayers generously provide with our tax dollars, but I know what isn’t, when I hear and see it in the faces of abject classroom boredom.

Getting an education is always hard work for children, but it is essential to their development in a modern world. It is ultimately the parent’s responsibility to shut off the computer games and cell phones and make their children study.

Am I the only rational adult left in Wildomar?

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

I’m not certain that wacky charter schools are the answer, either.


The Rule Of Law In Wildomar Prevails…..

November 20, 2010

 

….OVER PLAYGROUND ANTICS

After lodging a formal complaint with the City of Wildomar regarding credible concerns as to whether or not Councilmember-elect Ben Benoit maintains a residence within the city limits of Wildomar, I received the following response from Julie Hayward Biggs, Esq., of the law firm, Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP, who is  legal counsel for the City of Wildomar.

“Dear Mr. Rasmussen,
Your complaint regarding the residence of Councilmember-elect Ben Benoit has been forwarded to the County Registrar of Voters.

That office acts as the elections official for City elections.  The duties of an election official are ministerial in nature and generally do not include conducting investigations regarding the qualifications of individuals for public office.

Nevertheless, the City has also asked Mr. Benoit to submit his current address within the City of Wildomar to the City Clerk.” 

Ms. Biggs continues with a precise explanation of the legal definition of “residence” versus “domicile” and cites a court case from the City of Santa Barbara, where the Court held that “homeless persons in the city…. could register to vote, using the address of a park where the persons were camping…..”

So, if anyone observes a pup tent being erected in a shaded corner of  Marna O’Brien Park, relax.

It just might be your Councilmember-elect meeting his residency requirements.

Based on the above response by the Wildomar City Attorney, it appears that meeting residency requirements for Councilmember-elect Benoit should be relatively easy to accomplish.

However, at the very least, he now understands that he must do so, in any event, in an adult world.

Pup tent sightings can be reported to zakturango@excite.com.

A word of thanks to the City of Wildomar officials for their prompt and appropriate response to a citizen’s concerns.

This isn’t a game, folks; it’s “our” government.