Melissa Melendez Has Zak’s….

February 29, 2012

 

….SUPPORT

Although she is relatively new to the political arena and, as a result, she has made some political mistakes (most neophytes do!), Lake Elsinore City Councilwoman Melissa Melendez has the support of the Editorial staff of Wildomar Magazine in her quest to represent the newly-configured 67th State Assembly district in the seriously-dysfunctional California State Assembly in Sacramento.

If you want to read an informative news piece in the Patch, followed by robust commentary, please click on the following link:

http://lakeelsinore-wildomar.patch.com/articles/lake-elsinore-candidate-aiming-for-sacramento

First and foremost, since the Republican Party in Sacramento is mostly neutered by its permanent minority status in the leftist Banana Republic of California, there is little likelihood that any Republican or conservative is going to make an impact in Sacramento, based upon the usual political concept of coalition building; you know, that “reaching across the aisle” thing.

Read my lips, “permanent minority status” for Republicans/conservatives.

Instead, my support is based on my observation that Melissa appears to be sufficiently contrarian and occasionally willing to stand up against the forces of influence in the political sphere.

For example, consider the recent issue of a request for support by the City of Ontario to take control of their airport produced a “no” vote from Melissa, with the appropriate explanatory commentary on the Ontario airport issue that it was primarily ” none of Lake Elsinore’s business,” which makes sense. (If you didn’t notice, Wildomar did not weigh in on the issue either, perhaps for the same reason. Or maybe, Wildomar doesn’t matter, so Ontario didn’t ask).

One of the things I like and respect about Melissa Melendez is her unassailable record of service in the United States Navy.

A Navy veteran myself (I  provided support to P-3 Orion Russian submarine-chaser flights by Patrol Squadron VP-9 from Naval Air Station Adak, located in the remore Aleutian Islands, before I was ordered to Vietnam), I acknowledge, but don’t myself possess, the profound personal courage required to fly along the coastline of the Soviet Union, translating captured radio traffic (signal intelligence) from Russian to English.

That was a dangerous Cold War  game.

One of my longtime personal friends, Rick Collins, did the same thing during the Vietnam war, flying C-130s along the southern coast of Red China, translating radio traffic from Chinese to English.

On one of his bad days, his plane was shot down by a Chinese MiG, forcing him to eject from his disabled airplane, landing in the water, where he was rescued by the U.S. Navy mere minutes before North Vietnamese patrol boats would have arrived to capture him.

It took b*lls, really big ones, for Rick and Melissa to serve their country in that manner.

My belief is that, upon her arrival in Sacramento as an assemblywoman, Melissa Melendez will be better suited to “kick *ss and take names,” (a primal military concept), then will her competitors, who are generally better politically “qualified,” but only by their political connections and political experience, to kiss *ss and play games,” (a primal political concept).

In dysfunctional Sacramento, anyone elected from the 67th Assembly District will be a meaningless part of a permanently-minority Republican Party, unless they are unique, as is Melissa Melendez.

Therefore, I’m supporting the potential of powerful personal courage over powerless political connection and experience.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

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Director Of “Un-Used”…..

February 26, 2012

 

… UNNECESSARY COMMUNITY SERVICES

Disregard, if you will, my opinion that the City of Wildomar annually spends $30,000 plus for a Director of “un-necessary” Community Services position, the recent sewing classes offered by the City of Wildomar are not being supported or used by a sufficient number of its citizens to justify its cost.

If I recall correctly, the initial motivation for closing City Hall on Fridays was to save the expense of heating and lighting of the city offices.

However, on Tuesday evening, February 21, 2012, I popped into City Hall at approximately 7:45 PM to observe the level of response of the city’s promotion of a sewing class.

Please click on the following link to the city’s website for confirmation:

http://www.cityofwildomar.org/uploads/files/events/Sewing%20Class%20Flyer%20Feb%202012.pdf

As I peered into the open door of the temperature-controlled, brightly-lit City Council chambers, I observed a total of 3 human beings and 1 sewing machine.

Presumably, 1 of the humans in the chamber was the sewing  instructor, leaving a total of no more than 2 sewing trainees. (A math equation even Mayor Benoit could figure out).

As an aside, based on previous investigation via the Internet into the connection to Wildomar and the background of the sewing instructor, it appears that the sewing instructor is based in Murrieta, thus eliminating any rationale for facilitating the sewing class as a benefit to a Wildomar-based business.

Please click on the following link to confirm:

http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/community/article_8cb26ae0-4f55-5e7d-bece-879c810fe7a8.html

Accuse me, if you will, of “sewing-class” warfare, but it appears to me that the ongoing promotion of unnecessary, and obviously unused, community services, such as sewing classes, are intended to benefit and bolster the non-employee, contracted position  of a single individual, to the detriment of our community.

With the approach of the public hearings for the next budget year of 2012-13, it is time for the citizens of Wildomar to show up for the hearings and demand that this misuse of public funds be stopped and the funds thus saved be reallocated to provide water and electricity for Marna O’Brien Park or, perhaps, to reopen Windsong Park.

We live in a community that is hampered by an adverse economic environment at the state and federal level, yet the City Council and Staff continue to waste our limited resources on frivolous programs which are not supported, or used, by a substantial percentage of the Wildomar community.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

If this issue is debated publicly and, as a result, next year’s budget is created without allocation for the plethora of unnecessary services and the need for a contract vendor to facilitate them, the city can simply exercise its contractual right to terminate its current agreement with the vendor with more than ample notice.

Unlike someone with employee status, there is no obligation to provide severance, only notice, to a contract vendor.


Farewell, To A Friend Of Wildomar…

February 24, 2012

 

…CITY ATTORNEY, JULIE HAYWARD BIGGS

On February 08, 2012, during City Attorney comments at the last  Wildomar City Council meeting, the City’s first, and only, City Attorney announced that she would be stepping down from her post as the City of Wildomar’s legal advocate.

Fortunately, for the city, another attorney from her firm will take her place in the future, providing continuity to the city’s representation.

Ms. Biggs did not elaborate on the “whys and wherefores” of her decision to step down, opening the door to rampant speculation by Zak to provide his own surmise as to the reasons. Surely, that will come later.

However, out of respect to Ms. Biggs, I will refrain from doing so, for the present and instead, limit my commentary to a missal of gratitude on behalf of the Citizens of Wildomar for her unique and significant contribution to Wildomar during her tenure.

When the inaugural City Council was confronted with a plethora of choices during the approximately 6 months between voters choosing to incorporate Wildomar as a city and actual incorporation on July 01, 2008, there was a surfeit of applications from individuals and firms seeking to become City Attorney of Wildomar.

This included the current law firm representing our rogue water district, EVMWD, Best, Best & Krieger (“BBK”). Fortunately, this applicant was eliminated from consideration.

Another applicant was a former city attorney for the City of Lake Elsinore, whose legal opinion in favor of the Lake Elsinore City Council also becoming the Lake Elsinore Re-Development Agency (“RDA”) paved the way for that city’s financial labyrinth, which continues to impact their budget to this day. Again, fortunately, this applicant was eliminated from consideration.

After sorting out all of the applications, the inaugural City Council wisely selected the law firm of Burke, Williams & Sorensen, and Julie Biggs, to provide the new city’s legal representation during the extraordinarily important start-up phase of the new city’s existence.

And City Attorney Biggs has done so with competence, professionalism, and grace.

I’m not certain that this edition of Wildomar Magazine will be printed, framed and added to her firm’s office gallery… but it should.

For there can be no finer accolade than to receive an official thanks for a job well done from Editor and Publisher of Wildomar Magazine, Zak Turango.

Therefore, Madame City Attorney, on behalf of a grateful community, thanks for a job well done.

‘Nuff said.


A Moment To Regret An Act….

February 22, 2012

…OF VOLUNTEER SERVICE

As I perused the Facebook page, which I do on occasion, for the Wildomar Chamber of Commerce, I came upon their latest social media “moment.”

It was at that same moment, that I realized that, years ago, I  personally painted the interior of the decrepit building in the background, as it was being renovated for use by the Lake Elsinore Animal Friends (“LEAF”), which is now the Animal Friends of the Valleys.

At that time, LEAF agreed to share the building with the then-sleepy, unobtrusive Wildomar Chamber of Commerce.

Upon completion of my painting chores, I was given a formerly fostered cat named Tiffany from LEAF, as a gift for my volunteer services .

Unfortunately, Tiffany, although a beautiful cat, hated men, including especially myself, and I eventually had to return her to LEAF.

Observing a photograph of physically-out-of-shape, supposedly adult professional men and women, attempting a physical stunt better left to more athletic teenagers in front of the renovated Wildomar Chamber of Commerce building, has briefly re-connected me with two regrettable elements of my civic life.

I still have respect for Tiffany, as a cat, however.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

According to their Facebook page, this photograph is taken in anticipation of their new webpage.

Who in the world is giving marketing/branding advice to these people?

Did Lake Elsinore resident Judy Guglielmana just discover that she had “five across” on her Bingo card?


A Mayor Kim Jong Benoit Hint For The Future…..

February 21, 2012

…OF THINGS IRRELEVANT TO WILDOMAR

However, maybe Benoit has found something that works better….for him.

Ever since I heard rumblings around the city about the non-Wildomar issue of Human Trafficking, I have been looking to confirm the genesis of why Wildomar would issue a proclamation from the City of Wildomar.

There has been no foundation or expression of local concern, with any public presentation of supporting documentation or evidence at the City Council, that human trafficking is a problem for the City of Wildomar.

So why would the City of Wildomar issue a meaningless proclamation opposing  it?

While perusing the uploaded minutes of the January 11, 2012 Wildomar City Council meeting, the genesis is confirmed.

Please click on the following link, and scroll down to page 3, to confirm for yourself:

http://cityofwildomar.org/uploads/files/minutes/01-11-12-cm.pdf

Apparently, and for the next calendar year, the Wildomar City Council meeting will be exploited by our “dear leader,” Mayor Kim Jong Benoit, in order for him to hand carry irrelevant (to Wildomar) proclamations, most likely for his social benefit.

I noticed at the last council meeting, Kim Jong, while discussing public safety, referred to the “Sheriff’s Department,” rather than the Wildomar Police Department, indicating that his diffuse, adolescent mental processes will not be limited to or focused on  issues that are important and pertain specifically to the citizens and City of Wildomar.

This reminds me of the political father that spawned him.

No, not Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit, but former-Mayor Scott Farnam, who facilitated the unqualified Benoit’s appointment to the Planning Commission and, ultimately, the City Council.

Farnam used to bring  irrelevant regional matters to the Wildomar City Council, including a request for support for Liberty Quarry.

Apparently, like Farnam, Kim Jong Benoit wants to exploit his status with the City of Wildomar in order to meet, and seem important to, “chicks” at County functions.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Benoit once rankled at my public proclamation that he was Farnam’s “evil spawn.”

My proclamation still stands, without refutation.

Perhaps, having cloven-hoofed farm animals be “Mayor for the Day” will seem tame, before this year is over.


No Amount Of Frantic…..

February 19, 2012

 

… FUND-RAISING EFFORTS…

….on the part of Bridgette Moore can obscure her personal failure of political leadership to secure funding for Wildomar’s parks.

This morning’s Californian reports on the current activities, without commentary.

http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/wildomar/wildomar-residents-turn-junk-into-cash/article_cd411348-6581-58a8-867b-aa76d8e3f82a.html

Wildomar Magazine is happy to fill in the commentary vacuum;

However,  there is a window of opportunity for Bridgette to fund the maintenance of Marna O’Brien Park in next year’s budget.

Bridgette could achieve that by taking the lead to secure majority concurrence on the City Council for the elimination of the contract position (not an employee) of Director of Unnecessary Community Services, thereby freeing up more than $30,000 in the budget, which could be reallocated to the maintenance of Marna O’Brien Park, which would provide a staff-desired reliable,  and significant, funding source for our parks.

 Bridgette would likely have the immediate support of councilmember Bob Cashman, who has publicly stated that there must be a way to re-allocate funds within the current City budget to keep Marna O’Brien Park open. But I doubt that Bridgette has the courage to do so.

DIRECTOR OF UNNECESSARY COMMUNITY SERVICES

Let us go no further afield than the Staff Report to the City Council citing the “accomplishments” of the Community Services Department for Fiscal Year 2009-10 comments, as follows:

“2009 Spring & Summer Programs reached more than 2500 residents.”

That amounts to less than 8% of Wildomar’s population of 32,000 citizens who benefited from these “accomplishments.”

ACCOMPLISHMENTS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2010-11

1) 6 movies in the park. (Perhaps fun for some, but unnecessary).
2) 4 concerts in the park.(Perhaps fun for some, but unnecessary).
3) Farmers Market,
(which subsequently failed). (Unnecessary).
4) Birthday celebration, (quietly, and properly, celebrated at City Hall with an inexpensive sheet cake and coffee).
5) Mayor’s Ball, (a fatuous “insider” costume party). (Unnecessary).
6) State of the City, ( where the next “honorary” Mayor will soon report that there is still no money in the budget).  (Unnecessary).
7) Eggstravaganza Egg Hunt. (Perhaps fun for some, but unnecessary).
8) Breakfast with Santa. (Perhaps fun for some, but unnecessary).
9) Chili Cook off at the Farm. (Perhaps fun for some, but unnecessary).

Nearly all of the other “accomplishments” listed related to adult softball leagues, which, of necessity, disappeared when park funding disappeared, exquisitely making my point that the position of the Director of Unnecessary Community Services has also become patently unnecessary.

The Staff Report continues:

DEPARTMENT GOALS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2010-11
1) Work with local business to expand recreation program.
2) Update the City website to include an online application for special events.

Since 1) is now meaningless, we are left with a $30,000 plus annual budget allocation for number 2), an amateur website administrator.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Since the Director of Unnecessary Community Services is a personal friend and political crony of Bridgette Moore, there is little likelihood of any significant change in next year’s budget, unless citizens began to demand change.

As a result, Wildomar will continue to function as a city-wide thrift store collection center.


When Donations Are Being $olicited….

February 17, 2012

 

… ABSOLUTE ACCURACY IS ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED

On February 10, 2012, an article in the Press-Enterprise reported that a proposed Girl Scout project at the Wildomar Cemetery was the product of an original request on the part of the City of Wildomar, which is inaccurate and untrue.

When I, as former president of the Wildomar Cemetery District, read the article, I was immediately disturbed and concerned by the inaccuracies reported by the “correspondent” to the Press Enterprise, who is not one of the local reporters.

I remain concerned that the inaccurate information provided to the correspondent could cause a potential donor to wrongfully conclude or assume that the Girl Scouts involved were responding to a request for service by the City of Wildomar.

Normally, such a distinction would be unimportant, but since the goal of donations proposed to be  raised is targeted to be $2200 for the two projects, (not an insignificant amount), and whenever solicitations of donations are involved, no mis-representation or mis-statement of fact appearing in a local medium can go unchallenged.

Today, Mark Acosta, Editor of the Press Enterprise, published an inadequate follow-up attempt at correction, which you can read if you click on the following link

http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/wildomar/wildomar-headlines/20120210-wildomar-sisters-plan-project-to-aid-cemetery.ece?ssimg=467665#ssStory467667

Unfortunately, it appears that someone, as a source, continues to promulgate false information in support of the fund-raising.

Specifically, the PE article now reads, “The Board suggested a directory that listed the deceased and the location of their burial.”

That statement is categorically false.

The Board of Trustees, which was comprised of three persons, never, as the sole decision-making body for the Cemetery, suggested that a directory be erected by anyone, including Girl Scouts, as the small Cemetery has functioned since 1955  without a directory. There was a previous proposal brought by an Eagle Scout  to create a virtual directory online, but that never came about.

For the record, and to be accurate, I voted in favor of the “directory” project but I ultimately voted against the “benches” portion of the project, having legitimate concerns relating to the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) compliance, as well as not being convinced of the absolute need for additional benches in the Cemetery and their potential displacement of future plots, if the project were completed.

Again, for the record, the other two trustees voted, as a majority, to approve the bench project and the process continues to go forward.  It may still require final approval from the current Board of Trustees (which is now the Wildomar City Council).

Apparently, the regional Girl Scout Council, according to the original Press Enterprise article, has yet to approve the project.

If, for some reason, the Girl Scout Council does not approve the projects, then the applicants should be required to re-submit proposals to the current Board of Trustees, to seek approval for the projects as individuals.

These projects cannot simply “morph” from a Girl Scout project into a project by an individual without a properly agendized public hearing.

In my opinion, without Girl Scout sanction, the projects are probably unjustified.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.