Argument In Favor of Measure….



In an ironic twist of fate, the powers-that-be have assigned the letter “Z” to Wildomar’s proposed $28 per year parcel tax measure, likely foreshadowing the future amount of revenue willingly provided by the voters of Wildomar, namely $$Zero dollars for parks.

Despite authorizing the expenditure of an additional $35,500 for the professional consulting services of the Lew Edwards Group (hereinafter “Edwards”), the following, rather amateurish Argument in Favor of Measure Zero is presented for your contemplation, with my commentary interlaced in blue italics:

 Argument in Favor of Measure Z

How can a city exist without parks? How can we let Wildomar become known as “the City without a single city park?”

Unfortunately, the opening argument is a false premise. The City Council has been presented with a plausible alternative to the current status of Marna O’Brien Park, whether or not Measure Zero attains a 66 2/3% majority vote necessary for its enactment. (For that matter,  scroll down to an earlier article on the issue provided by Wildomar Magazine).

By moving City Hall into prefabricated buildings located at  Marna O’Brien Park, Wildomar can re-allocate a significant portion of the $120,000 per year in unrecoverable lease payments into the care and upkeep of the park.

Do something about it!

Some of us are trying to save our park, by offering real-world solutions, but the Wildomar City Council isn’t listening.

Maybe they will after November 06, 2012.

Vote YES on Z to Save Wildomar Community Parks.

Wildomar has already closed two local community parks. Without Measure Z , Wildomar will have to close Marna O’Brien Park, leaving Wildomar without a city city park.

Windsong Park and Heritage/Regency Park are not “community” parks. Rather, they are neighborhood parks, which have no parking facilities nor any restroom facilities.

In any event, their closure is the responsibility of the Wildomar City Council, specifically Incumbent Councilmember Bridgette Moore, for whom parks have been her “signature issue,”  but apparently only if on her terms.

For some unknown reason, Bridgette has been unwilling to embrace the relocation of City Hall to Marna O’Brien Park, which will ultimately save the Marna O’Brien Park for the citizens of Wildomar.

 YES on Z will provide locally controlled funds to keep Wildomar’s parks open and address our local park priorities-with funds that are required by law to stay local and can’t be seized by Sacramento.

This particular ” red herring” is a contrivance developed by the Oakland-based (not that far from Sacramento) consultant, Edwards, and is a part of their telephone survey “premise” that 90-98% of the people they spoke to allegedly supported.

For context, the Edwards survey question, was as follows: “Regardless of your opinion of the measure, after I mention each one, please tell me how important that provision or use of funds is to you personally;

1) Requiring that all funds are used locally. (98% against)
2) Guaranteeing that no funds are taken by Sacramento.” (90% against)

Naturally, such leading questions would likely provoke a deep response.

What hurts the survey’s credibility is the preamble, “Regardless of your opinion of the measure.”

I guess, after all, the telephone survey wasn’t about a park tax measure in Wildomar. Rather, it was about 300 Wildomarian’s opinions regarding tax policy and tax practices emanating from Sacramento, a completely different and separate issue.

And the City Council wasted $22,500 for that questionable methodology and conclusion?

YES on Z requires that every dime from Measure Z is used locally to save Wildomar community parks.

Unfortunately, if Measure Z fails to attain the 66 2/3% threshold required, that “requirement” will be rendered moot.

YES on Z maintains safe playground equipment
YES on Z maintains clean public restrooms
YES on Z restores park security patrols and safe lighting
YES on Z removes park graffiti
YES on Z maintains sports fields
YES on Z requires mandatory independent financial audits

Each of the above will be achieved when City Hall is re-located to Marna O’Brien Park.

Local community parks give local kids a healthy, safe place to play when they are not in school.

YES on Z includes tough Accountability Provisions and Safeguards.

As does any current city financial  activity.

YES on Z requires independent financial audits to ensure that funds are spent Saving Wildomar Community Parks only.

As does any current city financial  activity.

In these tough economic times, local community parks offer one of the few affordable options for recreation.

Therein lies the “root” of the problem for Measure Z.

The Wildomar City Council squandered their “best opportunity” for the passage of a parcel tax in June 2011. Had they engaged the Edwards group last year, rather than relying upon a blue-ribbon committee of amateurs, who were led astray by a consulting group seeking future employment to administrate a Mello Roos/Community Facilities District, they would not be attempting a parcel tax in a far tougher economic and political environment than existed in June 2011.

The current adverse political environment is one of their own creation.

YES on Z would ensure local families and residents can enjoy the inexpensive, healthy entertainment and recreation that local community parks provide.

Join residents, business and community leaders in supporting YES on Z to SAVE WILDOMAR COMMUNITY PARKS.

All funds are required by law to be used locally and cannot be taken to Sacramento.

But those funds can be “given” to any park-related consultant and/or  subcontractor , the City Council may deem desirable.

Vote YES on Z

 Do so, if you believe there are no alternatives to a parcel tax.

 My guess is that 40% of the voters will still vote no .

 Comments can be made to

The argument was signed by the following:
Ben Benoit, Mayor of Wildomar
Tom Tisdale, Retired Cal Fire, Riverside County Fire Department
Stan Crippen, Trustee, Lake Elsinore Unified School District
Craig MacKenzie, Chairman of the Board, Wildomar Chamber of Commerce
Tim Underdown, Men’s Auxiliary President, VFW Post 1508

I think would be fair to name this group, the Baby Blue Ribbon Committee, for foolishly lending their names, prestige, and support to such a flawed process and argument.


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