December 30, 2011


Now that Windsong Park has been fenced in order to prevent access to any citizens of Wildomar, we should take a moment for a political necropsy as to how and why Windsong Park is closed.

First, the lawsuit filed by former resident  Steve Beutz(Beutz has moved from Wildomar), was filed back in 2006 (long before Wildomar became a city). After working its way through the court system, Beutz initially lost his case against Riverside County, but filed an appeal.

In 2010, the Fourth Court of Appeals overturned the initial verdict, and ruled in favor of Beutz over the legal arguments of Riverside County.

This has been a long and drawn out process, but the potential for an adverse ruling was always known to the entire City Council with plenty of time to make alternative preparations.

In 2010, when the adverse ruling became a fact of life in Wildomar, the City Council ignored sound advice from myself, and others, that a $28 per year replacement parcel tax should immediately be put on the ballot, without any delay. However, inept, ineffective leadership at the city Council level, in the persons of Bridgette Moore and Marsha Swanson, could not bring themselves to make such a simple decision.

Rather, they resorted to the time-wasting artifice of a Blue Ribbon Committee, who took five months to come up with a consultant-driven $5.2 million Mello Roos bond issue that was doomed to failure from its inception, given the extremely negative connotation of “Mello Roos.”

The City Council finally dropped the $5.2 million bond issue in the face of public outcry, but were unwilling or unable to direct their staff to find a way to put a parcel tax on the next ballot. For some reason, Bridgette and her cronies were locked into that Mello Roos infrastructure.

We all know the result of the vote by the public on Measured D on June 07, 2011.

As a result of that significant failure of leadership by Mayor Bridgette Moore, Windsong Park is now closed off with a fence and Marna O’Brien Park is kept open only through the efforts of volunteers and fundraisers.

There were, and are, only five people in the City of Wildomar who have authority and power, as elected officials, to make decisions on our behalf. Steve Beutz (Beutz is not one of the five) may have filed a lawsuit against the county; a lawsuit that ultimately and negatively affects Wildomar, but he’s no longer the problem.

Inept, ineffective leadership is.

The ongoing park dilemma is still the result of the failure of our elected officials, through the failure and inability of then-Mayor Bridgette Moore to lead the City Council to a successful resolution of the park assessment dilemma, and which makes for a fair and reasonable allocation of responsibility for the fence across Windsong Park to Bridgette Moore.

As Pres. Harry Truman once said, “The buck stops here.” There is, simply, no one else to blame.   The fence, and gate, rightfully “belong” to Councilmember Bridgette Moore.

By the way, do you really think a fence will reduce the city’s liability exposure by unsuccessfully attempting to restrict access to Windsong Park to our energetic youth? (Photo taken by the Wildomar Magazine at Windsong Park on December 30 at approximately 3:30 PM).

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Don’t expect an apology, or some verbal form of contrition, for her failed leadership emanating anytime soon  from the lips of Bridgette. That would be the mark of a mature politician. Besides, next year is an election year and Bridgette must find someone else, anyone else, to blame for her failures.

Confirmed: Zak’s Re-Thinking Wildomar….

December 30, 2011


Today’s Californian article lays out the factual economic realities for Wildomar and provides appropriate context to my proposed path for the future of Wildomar for two solid reasons, as follows:


1) The Comprehensive Fiscal analysis (“CFA”) which projected revenues of $15 million by the year 2011, and was the justifying, foundational basis for Wildomar’s Incorporation, unfortunately, didn’t pan out by half.

2) The State of California will continue to devour the tax revenues created by the private sector in order to fund its own bloated bureaucracy, probably for decades to come.

Therefore, as I’ve already proposed, permit me to simply outline the economic changes that I believe are necessary for Wildomar to function as a viable government body:

1) Eliminate one of our two city executive positions, saving up to $250,000 annually.
2) Sever Wildomar’s relationship with the Joint Powers Agency that funds Animal Friends of the Valley, saving up to $100,000 annually.
3) Re-locate City Hall to a single pre-manufactured building set up on the grounds of Marna O’Brien Park, saving up to $120,000 annually.
4) Review and rebid all current contracts, including contract employment relationships, such as InterWest, saving multiplied  1,000s annually.

Imagine, if you will, what Wildomar could do with those re-allocable savings totaling nearly $500,000?

Wildomar  would be able to afford operating Marna O’Brien and Windsong Parks.

Once again, Wildomar, a city of 32,000 citizens, and less than 10 employees, in my opinion, can be operated effectively with a single executive.

Lest you think my proposal specious and implausible, the City Manager just negotiated a three-month severance package extension ( for a total of nine months) to his contract to make this outcome less likely, if not more expensive. (This is not personal; it’s an economic proposal.) (See Wildomar Magazine article published on December 15, 2011, “Poison Pill,”  below.)

I am currently in the process of doing the research necessary regarding the proposed establishment of a city-operated Animal Shelter, that would   relieve Wildomar of the expense of paying its ill-advised portion of  the $12 million construction bond for a private, nonprofit organization, without the prospect of facility ownership.

It should not surprise you that  the inept City Councilmember Bridgette Moore was/is  the city’s Council representative to the Friends of the Valley JPA. (More on this later.)

At present, Wildomar is making the equivalent of what it would take to  make the monthly lease payments on a fleet of plush luxury SUVs, without ever owning them.

Since Wildomar owns title to the land upon which Marna O’Brien Park sits,  a pre-fabricated building could be set up as City Hall on a portion of the park, restoring the natural ” center of the city” to Wildomar’s civic feng shui. (Former Planning Commissioner Gary Andre, who is apparently thinking along the same lines, has already drawn up a design for the placement of the facility.)

After the initial setup costs, the monthly $10,000 monthly lease payment for the current location of the city offices will be a thing of the past.

Wildomar must evaluate and consider moving beyond using contract employees for its various services, including Planning and Public Works.

One of the reasons I have published this concept in detail, is that it is not necessary for the City to wait for the 2012 election cycle to begin to deliberate these ideas. Any one of the five current City Councilmembers could embrace one, or more, of the proposals and begin to examine and then deliberate their potential benefit to the citizens of Wildomar.

I would be happy to share my research and thoughts with them, for the betterment of the City of Wildomar.

 Comments are permitted.

City Should Learn The Phrases….

December 29, 2011




In the topsy-turvy world of Wildomar, where the failure of leadership by the Wildomar City Council to enact a simple parcel tax of $28 per year to replace the $28 per year Park Maintenance assessment  eliminated by litigation, the City of Wildomar has potentially increased its liability exposure  by permitting untrained and ill-equipped volunteers to  abate graffiti on the old restored water tower that sits at Marna O’Brien Park.

Contemplate, if you will, the following:


If the City of Wildomar allows untrained and ill-equipped volunteers to climb up on the water tower and paint over graffiti, and that volunteer should happen to fall to the ground and suffer severe personal injuries, the City of Wildomar could be held liable for those injuries.

Another exposure to the City of Wildomar is the unfettered access to the tower itself by youthful graffiti artists.

Should a young “tagger” climb the tower, even though breaking the law and trespassing, and happen to fall to the ground and suffer severe personal injuries, the City of Wildomar could be liable for those injuries.

Contemplate, if you will, the following:


Yes, even a 17-year-old gang “wannabe” tagger, who is injured while falling off the water tank at Marna O’Brien Park will be portrayed by his plaintiff attorney as a defenseless child who was lured to his injuries by the City of Wildomar, who knew, or should have known, that the water tower was an ongoing attraction to children, even troubled ones.

It may be necessary, to avoid injury and subsequent litigation, that the City of Wildomar dis-assemble and remove the historic water tank from it’s park premises, for the time being.

Comments can be made to zaakturango@excite.com.

That is what a functioning, mature city government would do.

It’s ironic that a harmless little park , such as  Windsong Park, would be fenced off  from the public due to liability exposure, and the water tank, which is repeatedly climbed by taggers, and then by foolish but well-meaning volunteers, remains accessible.

Wildomar Chamber Of Commerce Laughably…..

December 27, 2011



The Wildomar Chamber of Commerce has found a way to make its existence utterly meaningless.

In the not so distant past, I used to mock the Wildomar Chamber of Commerce over the lack of actual commerce in then-unincorporated Wildomar, at least until the first Jack-in-the-Box in town, opened on Bundy Canyon.

However, the Wildomar Chamber has been done in by the Temecula Chamber of Commerce, who apparently managed to overcome their inner demons by publicly opposing Granite Construction’s Liberty Quarry project, slated for the foothills above Temecula, and as a thin layer of silica dust on your tabletop.

Please click on the following Press-Enterprise article on the vote which occurred on Thursday, December 22, 2011 to confirm:


By being responsive to the public outcry from those most affected, the citizens of Temecula, against the Liberty Quarry project, the Temecula Chamber of Commerce has displayed social responsibility and political astuteness, thereby rendering the pro-Quarry position taken by the Wildomar Chamber of Commerce in support of the project, ” laughable.”

Congratulations to the Temecula Chamber of Commerce for resisting the intense pressure of the Granite lobbyists, to the betterment of the community of Temecula.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Is there any reason that the Wildomar Chamber of Commerce should ever again have a place on our City Council agenda?

I think the Wildomar Chamber of Commerce is an embarrassment to the citizens of Wildomar.

Zak “Witnesses” The…..

December 26, 2011



In a rare moment, so rare that it is, in fact, a first-time experience for myself, I personally witnessed the exact moment when the earth shifts on its axis, also known as the winter solstice.

Please click on the following link for information about the solstice:


At approximately 2:00 AM, in the early morning hours of December 23, 2011, I was awakened from my baby-like sleep when my Seiko watch, which had sat unused on an upper shelf of my bedroom bookshelf for the past year (don’t most of us resort to our smartphones for time information these days?), suddenly toppled to the ground.

My first thought, upon being awakened, was that we were experiencing an earthquake. However, noting the absence of any tremors or rumbling, quickly eliminated that as a possibility.

Sensing no immediate danger (I am an earthquake “runner,” preferring to evacuate any building, if possible to do so safely, at the onset of any perception of seismic activity), I returned to my sleep.

However, the next morning, upon arising and seeing my watch languishing on the floor, I recalled the moment of it’s plummet and began to consider the possibilities.

After a few moments of contemplation, it dawned on me that the only possible explanation is that the earth had shifted on its axis, as a result of the winter solstice, and that the new “tilt” of the earth permitted gravity to take over control of my watch.

There is no other possible explanation and I am personally amused by my notation and observation, so much so that I decided to share it with you, dear readers.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Wildomar Chamber Of Commerce Could Not Have Been More…..

December 25, 2011



…. Which is why they should mind their own business.

As I continued, like an amateur  political proctologist, to explore the dark crevasses of the Wildomar Chamber of Commerce, I found this amazingly out-of-touch promotion on the Wildomar Chamber’s website!!!


Granite Construction’s Liberty Quarry project has no discernible economic benefit for  the City of Wildomar itself, other than campaign contributions to Chamber members, Mayor Marsha Swanson and boy-Mayor-Elect, Kim Jong Benoit.

The support of the Liberty Quarry was brought up several years ago by the farmhand, Scott Farnam, but the Wildomar City Council majority, led by Sheryl Ade, concluded that Wildomar did not have any valid reason to weigh in on the  quarry issue and chose not to take any public stance on the matter, properly leaving it to the citizens of Temecula to decide their own fate, without Wildomar’s meaningless interference.

Apparently, the leadership of the Wildomar Chamber of Commerce never got the message.

It may have been, as Chamber CEO Scott Mann pimped, “the right project at the right location at the right time” but the people of Temecula were/are the right people to make that determination.

The Wildomar Chamber of Commerce should try to figure out what it’s own business is, and then mind it.

I would be more than happy to sit down with Mann’s successor to discuss “the Chamber’s business,” or he/she can simply read the pages of Wildomar Magazine, presuming he/she will be literate. (We could meet in Lake Elsinore, Murrieta, or Temecula;  wherever it is convenient or closer to her/his residence or business.)

 Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

By the way, since soon-to-be former CEO Scott Mann is such a large “orifice,” access for the political proctological examination was easy. (See WM archive for October 29, 2009 for context.)

Wildomar Chamber Of Commerce Christmas Gifts…..

December 24, 2011



The Wildomar Chamber of Commerce provides the ultimate Christmas gift to the citizens of Wildomar for the exposure of it’s self-indulgent CEO, Scott Mann.

Mann, while unquestionably representing the Wildomar Chamber of Commerce, and ostensibly, the community of Wildomar, according to the Californian article on October 26, 2011, provided his support of Granite Construction’s Liberty Quarry, an invasive mining operation in the hills above  Temecula.

Please click on the following link to confirm:


According to Scott Mann, he is “livid about the delay” by the County in permitting the Quarry, which permit was finally, and appropriately, denied in December.

Mann’s lividity is most likely tied to the monetary support provided by Granite Construction to the Wildomar Chamber for their last installation dinner on February 26, 2011.

Who knows what other support has been provided, and to whom?

(Editors note: As I continued to dig into the story, I found the following Fallbrook-based blog regarding Wildomar City Councilmembers who have taken political donations from Granite Construction, as follows:)


Wildomar Magazine is livid about the hubris of Scott Mann,  a Menifee resident, who has just been elected to the Menifee Union School District Board of Trustees and continues  to have no genuine interest, if it ever existed, in promoting the interests of Wildomar.

Inasmuch as 50% of the officers/directors of the Wildomar Chamber of Commerce do not live in Wildomar and their businesses are located elsewhere and, as result, they apparently had no compunctions about retaining the services of such a opportunistic political sojourner as Scott Mann.

Why would they have such compunctions when they are not a part of Wildomar, nor committed to it’s future?

In the December Chamber newsletter, Scott Mann announces his resignation as CEO of the Wildomar Chamber of Commerce, as result of his obtaining a contract from a new consulting client, effective January 2012.

Wildomar Magazine cannot wait for that revelation. It’s just a matter of time before the information will float to the surface of the bog.

Please click on the following link to read his resignation for yourselves:


Wildomar Magazine is satirically “grateful” to Scott Mann for his “gift” of public support of Liberty Quarry, (a project which has no direct economic benefit for Wildomar and is potentially a regional environmental disaster for the entire area), as it exposes Wildomar Chamber of Commerce for it’s naked commitment to everyone but Wildomar.

Wildomar Magazine is further “grateful”for the bigger gift of the news that Mann has resigned and will cease his awkward and insincere intrusion into Wildomar’s community interests.

On another important note, given that the Wildomar Chamber of Commerce has aligned itself with Granite Construction, without considering the interests of the community of Wildomar toward the project, it is time for the Wildomar City Council to eliminate their funding of City Manager Frank Oviedo’s $1700 annual budget for membership to and expenses for activities relating to the Wildomar Chamber of Commerce and the City Council themselves, should repudiate the Chamber’s position, or have the courage to publicly embrace it.

Barring any repudiation, we can assume that the City Council supports Liberty Quarry.

Don’t hold your breath, waiting for repudiation; Santa doesn’t bring that kind of gift from this Adolescent Council.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

(Editor’s note: For more background on Scott Mann, see Wildomar Magazine article, dated October 29, 2009 entitled “Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be…”)

Lunch With….

December 23, 2011

Headshot - Judah Friedman 


On Wednesday, Sheryl and I had the  pleasure of having lunch with Judah Friedman, radio talkshow host of the KLEAN Radio program which is heard on the historic Los Angeles radio station KFWB (980 AM) as well as KFMB (760 AM), and my beautiful daughter, Melissa.

Judah is a bright and interesting young man, whose primary interest, when not distracted by my daughter, is substance abuse recovery.

For more information, please click on the following link:


Melissa is the former President of the Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter, a 501 (c) ( 3) nonprofit organization and has been involved in the rescue of animals for a number of years.

When the Soviet empire collapsed in the 1990s, she was involved in the rescue of dogs in the former Eastern Bloc country of Rumania.  (True to my Zakian instincts for priority, I often inquired of Melissa if she rescued all of the hungry people in Romania before she spent time and energy rescuing  hungry dogs.)

It appears that interesting, and attractive, people still gravitate to one another.

It was a great pre-holiday lunch.

 Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

From The Desk Of…..

December 22, 2011


The Outgoing-President of the Board of Trustees of the Wildomar Cemetery District, that is.

On November 09, 2011, I made a presentation as President of the Board of Trustees as a part of the Joint Meeting of the Wildomar City Council and the Wildomar Cemetery District, which was the final meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Cemetery District as a California Special District, as the Cemetery District became a subsidiary District to the City of Wildomar.

Please click on the following link, and scroll down to page 4, to confirm:


This was the culmination of a long effort by the trustees of the Cemetery District to avert a proposed merger of the Wildomar and Lake Elsinore Cemetery Districts, which was being urged by Riverside County as a cost-saving measure through consolidation.

Rather than submit to the pressure from the County to merge with Lake Elsinore Cemetery District, the Trustees considered  the opportunity that the newly- incorporated City of Wildomar provided and, as a result, proposed instead that the Wildomar Cemetery District become a part of the city of Wildomar, which would create positive benefits for each entity.

The classic win-win situation.

After getting the final approval from LAFCO, the County entity which oversees such things as incorporations and mergers, the stage was set for the transfer of responsibility for the Cemetery from the Board of Trustees of the Special District to the Wildomar City Council, who would become the new Board of Trustees of the Subsidiary District.

As outgoing President, however, there were several concerns that I wanted to address and put “on the record,” as I spoke to the Wildomar City Council, in order to assure myself, as best as possible, that the sanctity and serenity of the Wildomar Cemetery would remain undisturbed.

In particular, there were three concerns that I wanted to address, as follows:

1) Precedent. I thought it would be important that the leadership, and votes, of the former Board of Trustees not be undermined by the incoming Board of Trustees by thoughtless re-considerations of issues previously deliberated and resolved.

Once again, and in particular, was the issue of of the objectionable insertion of Vietnam-era politics into our Cemetery.

There is a local club of motorcycle enthusiasts, whose commendable mission is to not forget those service members who are unaccounted/missing in action from the Vietnam War, a noble and thoughtful sentiment which I embrace as a Vietnam veteran, and in the appropriate location, such as a “national” Cemetery.

However, this group originally approached the City of Wildomar, asking the City to fly the POW/MIA flag on the flagpole in front of City Hall.

 Apparently, it was determined by the City that there was insufficient space on the City flagpole to fly the POW/MIA flag along with “Old Glory” and the flag of the City of Wildomar.

Since one of the Cemetery District Trustees is also the Community Service Director for the City, the matter of flying the POW/MIA flag was inappropriately re-directed and put on the Cemetery District agenda for consideration, thus creating  an unwarranted and unnecessary controversy for the Cemetery District. For context, the Cemetery District’s Board of Trustees were never approached directly by the proponents.

It was an issue that should have been resolved by the City Council, on behalf of the City of Wildomar.

After hotly debating the issue at an agendized District meeting (something unheard of in City Council chambers), the matter was put to a vote before the Trustees. The outcome was 2-1 against flying  a politicized emblem of an unpopular war and thereby avoiding any disruption to our hallowed ground, which has been set aside for the final resting place of the remains of loved ones belonging to Wildomar families and family members.

I insisted that, while addressing the City Council, should the same issue arise in the future, they honor the precedent established by our previous vote. As the only Vietnam veteran among the outgoing Board of Trustees and the future Board of Trustees, I believed I was uniquely credentialed as outgoing President to assert the right of precedent over this issue.

2) Politics. Under no circumstances, should the sanctity of the Wildomar Cemetery become the platform for future political activities.

3) Paula Willette. Due to her unique standing as a member of the Cemetery Board of Trustees as well as the Community Services Director for the City of Wildomar, I made the public point that Paula Willette cannot, in the future, have anything to do with the operations or activities at Wildomar Cemetery, given her role with the City of Wildomar.

In fact, it was a “condition precedent, ” in personal discussions/ meetings with City Manager Frank Oviedo, prior to voting on the merger, that my support for the merger of the Cemetery District into the City was predicated upon his assurance that this would be the case.

The primary reason for my insistence was that, after having voted in favor of the merger, the subsidiary District should not be a means to bolster Willette’s current and future  relationship as a contract vendor with the City of Wildomar.

One of my former colleagues on the Cemetery District Board, when I dissented on a subsequent issue, presumed that I had some lingering issues with my childhood, and stated so in a public meeting, since I appear to be outspoken on important issues. (Since that colleague later apologized for the unwarranted remarks, that former Trustee will remain nameless in this article).

It appears to be a symptom of the thin-skinned among us that vigorous debate indicates a lack of unity.

Instead, vigorous debate over honestly held positions on important issues is an important element of political maturity, not to mention democracy.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

I further want to commend the Wildomar City Council for reducing their stipend to $50 per meeting, so as not to artificially deplete the coffers of the Cemetery District, now that there are 5 trustees, rather than three.

A Wildomar Holiday….

December 21, 2011



Having lived in Wildomar since 1994, and beginning my political involvement in 1997 with the Ortega Trails Citizens committee (our first attempt to keep our parks open in Wildomar), I have been a long-term observer of  and participant in the political environment that constitutes the community of Wildomar.

Although I initially opposed cityhood for Wildomar and voted against the incorporation measure, once the City of Wildomar emerged from incorporation, I have always supported Wildomar through the pages of Wildomar Magazine, believing that political criticism is an important aspect of our representative democracy. Using parody and satire to be critical, when deserved, simply makes it more fun for me.

And more readable for you, I surmise, which is why more than 95,000 individual views of Wildomar Magazine have occurred since July 2008.

However, since 2008, I have watched the degeneration of Wildomar’s body politic under the auspices of the cowboy porn star, Mayor Scott Farnum (he  had to remove some lurid videos from his MySpace account after being elected to the City Council in 2008), through the teenybopper student body president/Mayor Bridgette Moore (remember she had to have M&M candies with the name Wildomar on them  for the Incorporation party and she had a farm animal appointed as Mayor for the Day?), and now the boy Mayor, Kim Jong Benoit.

(I don’t think anyone in Wildomar has the right to be critical of North Korean presidential succession policies, given what’s happened in Wildomar since  2008.)

Therefore, in the spirit of the Yuletide holidays, and in the context of Wildomar politics, Wildomar Magazine offers the following festive celebratory tune:


Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Fortunately, we have elections where we can change our environment.

We are all in this together, after all.