After receiving a $125,000 grant from the Southern California Association of Governments (“SCAG”) under the Compass Blueprint program, the 25 citizens of Wildomar who showed up for yesterday’s kickoff meeting to define and develop an “Old Town” concept, the biggest and most positive response of the day was to the inclusion of a “petting zoo” within the confines of a conceptual future Civic Center.
Please click on the following Press Enterprise article for context:
Although 32,897 of Wildomar’s 32,922 citizens did not participate, rather than pausing to reflect on the lack of community response, this unfortunate grant money-driven juggernaut will doggedly continue to move forward into 2013 and beyond.
One of the odder moments for the hastily arranged City Council meeting (despite the lack of a proper 72 hour notice of the meeting), was the formal and perfunctory introduction by Mayor Ben Benoit, of each of the City Council members in attendance.
The abject silence from the group to the meaningless introductions was deafening. What were we supposed to do? It was, after all, just another City Council meeting.
By the end of the day(actually by mid-meeting, Sheryl and I each had to leave to attend to our elderly mothers), it was obvious that this “rollout” of the “Old Town, Town Center, West Wildomar”, a potentially promising civic effort had been squandered in order to provide a “feel-good, happy time” political meeting for the incumbents, Bridgette Moore and Bob Cashman (although, to his credit, Cashman had voiced objections to City Manager Frank Oviedo prior to the meeting).
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For the record, if you eliminate city staff and the consultants, there were only 25 people participating in the meeting (and that number included City Council members and Planning commissioners who should have been the observers, not participants).
The rollout of this meeting had all of the similar dysfunctional characteristics of the recent Caltrans stop sign fiasco on the Baxter Road overpass.