Michael J. Williams, the Californian’s ace reporter (because he pays such exquisite attention to what officials are saying), reports on last Wednesday evening’s Wildomar City Council meeting, accurately capturing the City Council mood and manner in today’s article on the subject of the animal shelter dilemma, as follows:
Permit me to recap some of the comments for you, with my commentary added (in blue):
1) Councilman Tim Walker termed the situation “a great fiasco” during the Wednesday’s council meeting. “I’m for having the shelter here, but it has to be equitable,” he said.
I am pleased that councilmember Walker finally understands the implications of his thoughtless vote on December 08, 2010, when this supposed “conservative” meekly surrendered his vote in favor of the “great fiasco.”
Click on the following link to City Council minutes for the December 08, 2010 meeting, and scroll down to page number 10, to confirm the unanimous vote:
2) Councilmembers directed their administrators to analyze what it’s costing the city… “Once we get the right numbers, I am willing to pursue other options, if it has to come down to that,” Walker said. “It needs to be fair. What it is now is not fair.”
I remain hopeful that once Councilmember Walker gets his “right” numbers, he will be willing to consider secession from the JPA in order for Wildomar to form its own municipal animal control service, which will save more than $200,000 annually, and to undo his previous vote.
3) City officials agreed it was a logical progression for the city to participate in the authority, considering the new building was within city limits.
If that were truly the justification to participate in the authority, than “every” church-going city councilmember should attend Cornerstone Community Church.
That being said, if “logic” and “progress” are to be employed, the City Council members must finally arrive at my conclusion, which is the secession from the Animal Friends JPA.
4) In a meeting last month, however, they (“the other JPA authority members”) rejected a request by Wildomar officials to revise its that service formula…
To be fair to the founding members of the JPA, they were, and are, entitled to agree to any allocation formula they desired and their “rejection” of an “after-the-fact” request by Wildomar to alter the terms of the agreements, is ultimately reasonable and appropriate.
As a result, the only “logically progressive” action left to Wildomar is to secede from the agreement, which will do no more than restore the JPA to its original configuration, causing no harm to the JPA or the shelter.
Since the underlying bond language is based upon the original agreement, which includes the “animal count” allocation, any single member of the JPA has a bulletproof veto over any change, except for the unilateral right of each member, including Wildomar, to secede from the agreement, with a modest 60 day notice to the other members and re-payment of any outstanding obligations.
(Since Wildomar was not a member of the JPA when the original construction bond was established, Wildomar currently has NO obligation to repay a portion of that bond indebtedness, once they secede. Any future re-finance of the bond, however, if Wildomar remains a member, would create a $2,000,000 + repayment obligation for Wildomar).
In conclusion, it appears that the economic distress being felt by the Wildomar City Council is a “logical progression” from their non-deliberative, unanimous vote of December 08, 2010, when they “failed” to direct their administrators to analyze what it would cost the city to join in the JPA, in the first place. (Since Walker and Benoit were newly-sworn city Council members, this “fiasco” has to be laid at the feet of Council incumbents, Bridgette Moore, Marsha Swanson and Bob Cashman).
At the very least, it would behoove the City Council to direct their administrators to research the feasibility of Wildomar developing their own municipal animal control service, which could be, if properly scaled to fit Wildomar only, accomplished for about $170,000 annually, compared to the $411,000 in annual cost to be a part of the JPA.
If you do the math, that’s a difference of $241,000 per year.
In the meantime, we can only hope for the next “logical progression.”
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Now that councilmembers Walker and Benoit have almost two years of political seasoning under their belts, and as they appear to be noticing the adverse financial implications of their previous vote, they should take the lead in undoing the City Council’s error.