Bending The Rule Of Law For…

November 30, 2012

    Celebrating Corruption

…PARKS

The process of corruption in government usually starts with small, well-intentioned decisions made by those who are in a position of presumed authority to have their dreams and wishes carried out.

In Wildomar’s case, lightheaded and giddy with the recent passage of Measure Z, the small clique of adolescents who have been obsessed with parks are now apparently prepared to “cut corners” for parks, if they haven’t done so already.

According to the Lake Elsinore/Wildomar Patch, last evening’s celebration has produced a stunning admission by the non-elected park activist John Lloyd that should be noted by the citizens of Wildomar, as follows:

1) “”Lloyd said that although the city has taken over paying the utilities at Marna O’Brien Park, it’s unclear what financial commitment it will make in the near term for the facility.”

I am not aware of any recent City Council agenda that has revoked the contractual agreement between the Friends For Wildomar’s Parks and the City of Wildomar, authorizing the City of Wildomar to resume “paying the utilities at Marna O’Brien Park” which begs the question, under what circumstances are utilities being consumed, and by whom?

And notice, if you will, that Lloyd’s emphasis is on Marna O’Brien Park, not the closed Windsong Park.

But then it’s always been about Marna O’Brien Park and it’s sports fields (as depicted in the celebration cake, below).

John Lloyd was not alone with his revelatory admission. An elected official also weighed in on the subject at hand.

2) “Moore said she hopes there will be a strong turnout by the community at the Dec. 12 meeting.“This is not over,” she said.”

For her part, the recently re-elected city councilmember Bridgette Moore, who used Measure Z as her primary campaign platform (what else did she have two run on?), continues to seek support from a “strong turnout by the community at the December 12 meeting,” presumably, as in the past, to provide legitimacy for where ever this corrupted process is going to take our tax dollars.

Her “this is not over” statement is an admission that the actual language of the Measure Z ballot argument is likely going to be ignored in favor of whatever Bridgette Moore and John Lloyd have envisioned for Wildomar.

Therefore, dear reader, stay tuned to Wildomar Magazine as your only source of “parody, satire, opinion and commentary” that will continue to provide an alternative context and perspective on these important issues.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

For my part, I am happy that these two adolescents are unable to restrain themselves from speaking,as it reveals what they are thinking. It makes for a useful “public record.”

If you want to read the entire Patch article for context, please click on the following link:

http://lakeelsinore-wildomar.patch.com/articles/wildomar-parks-supporters-celebrate-while-looking-at-the-road-ahead


Hapless City Council “Spokesman”…

November 28, 2012

 

….”CLARIFIES”…

…HIS PREVIOUS MISSTATEMENT

Apparently, the un-restrained and in-exact quasi-official spokesman for the Wildomar City Council has felt the need to issue a further statement on “what happens next” with regard to the implementation of Measure Z.

Since his first self-generated pronouncement appeared in the comments of the recent Press Enterprise article, as well as the last Wildomar Magazine article, it appears to be necessary to utilize another local medium, the Lake Elsinore/Wildomar Patch, to provide a much more detailed, but no less confusing or inaccurate blog to re-state his position.

Let’s take a look at his latest pronouncement, with my commentary interspersed (in bold and blue), as follows:

“The Riverside Registrar of Voters has certified the election results and Measure Z has passed. While that marks the end of a very long road to creating a funding source for our parks, it also marks the beginning of a new road towards developing and maintaining a park system that fits the needs of the community.

I thought that the very wordy Measure Z Ballot Question created by the consultant more than “said it all,”as follows:

1) To reopen closed community parks.
2) Prevent closure of Marna O’Brien Park.
3) Restore funding for recreational services/community events.
4) Maintain safe playground equipment, clean public restrooms, sports fields and youth/children’s recreation/afterschool programs.
5) Restore park security patrol/safety lighting.
6) Remove graffiti.

Perhaps the Wildomar City Council should simply execute Items 1-6 before they initiate the development of a “park system that fits the needs of the community.”

Nothing more.

Nothing less.

It’s not going to be easy to identify exactly how to achieve that goal. Part of the City Council’s job will be to review each of the parks and identify what physical improvements each of the existing parks could benefit from and then set priorities to match the budget.

(Once again, see Items 1-6).

Since the City of Wildomar will be collecting twice the amount of money previously collected, Items 1-6 should easily “match the budget,” unless someone else has something else in mind.

The most important “To-do”, to most people in the community, is to define the “When”. Our new Parks Tax will not be collected until 2014. That’s quite a ways into the future. We have already seen how hard the non-profit “Friends for Wildomar Parks” has struggled to keep Marna O’Brien open, and has found only a limited success. Even with their hard work and good intentions they are currently thousands of dollars in debt to the utility companies. Leaving the park, solely in the hands of this non-profit doesn’t appear practical.

For the record, Measure Z taxes will appear on your tax bill as of July 01, 2013, with your payment on the the first half of the tax due on November 01, 2013, but payable by December 10, 2013.

The second half is due on February 01, 2014, but payable by April 10, 2014.

Despite the efforts of the hard-working volunteers, their exploitation by the city could not overcome the not-unexpected failure of the incompetent “model” and leadership of the nonprofit.

The City Council does have the option of temporarily funding parks until the park tax funding is available. A question that has come up in the community is, “Can the City Council borrow from their back-up fund to re-open the parks and pay that back over time from the Parks Tax”? While this sounds interesting and possibly a positive move, there is little doubt that the City Council will have their legal staff review this, in detail, and identify exactly what the state law says on the issue.

There is no “backup fund” in the City of Wildomar. There are “contingency funds” and “reserve funds” that are generally only to be used in an emergency. Publicly promoting a “question” as a possible solution, without first knowing the legal and political ramifications thereof, is wholly consistent with the ongoing demonstration of incompetence.

These issues will need to be addressed over the next couple of months and an initial set of goals identified to get the parks moving in the right direction, but don’t expect this to be a slam dunk. We will have Parks, We will have Events, We will have Activities, but we can’t expect City Council to rush this. The community has decided it does want parks, but we also understand the community wants to see this done correctly, even if it takes a little longer to get the plan just right.

Since the Wildomar City Council, and their surrogates, rushed Measure Z onto the November 06, 2012 ballot, they can be “rushed” into executing Item 1 with no misgivings. In fact, since Measure Z played on the emotions of its citizens to induce them into voting for Measure Z, would be patently dishonest now delay the implementation of the reopening of Windsong Park, which could be accomplished by the simple removal of the fence and gate, making it accessible once again.

Yes, Wildomar will have Parks, but that’s just the answer to the first question.  I believe it’s important for the City Council to hear from the community on this issue.  Please take the time to come to the next City Council meeting or send in your comments prior to the meeting.”

(See Items 1-6).

Other than the above, I felt the $23,000 telephone poll survey conducted by the Lew Edwards Group was supposed to accomplish that.

One of the important elements left out of the above “clarification,” was the previous comment by the spokesman to “someday reopen the closed parks.”

“Someday,” is not going to sit well with some Measure Z proponents.

If you want to read the blog for yourselves, please click on the following:

http://lakeelsinore-wildomar.patch.com/blog_posts/into-the-nuts-and-bolts-of-parks

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

The bottom line is that the Wildomar City Council needs to display some competence and integrity in this entire process by producing what they “sold” to the community, at the earliest opportunity.


At Best; Incompetent….

November 26, 2012

 

 

…AT WORST; DISHONEST

We could resort to other words such as “Pollyanna,” instead of incompetent, or “liar,” instead of dishonest.

Whatever your taste for words, civil or otherwise, the leading pro-park proponent, John Lloyd, has admitted the underlying truth about the supposed benefits of Measure Z in his latest “comments” to a recent Press Enterprise article, as follows:

http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/wildomar/wildomar-headlines/20121114-wildomar-parks-measure-too-close-for-celebration.ece?fb_comment_id=fbc_304689039635096_1461972_308212912616042#f3b1fb5d912366

Had these important “disclosures” been made public prior to the election, it is likely that the eventual “support” for the measure would have been far less than the 208 vote margin of victory.

For the sake of “clarity,” let’s deconstruct Lloyd’s public pronouncement:

1) “Some folks believe it’s just a matter of turning on the water, but the fact is, the city won’t receive any funds from the tax until 2014.”

For the record, no one was discussing this delay in funding until Wildomar Magazine brought this important and relevant truth to everyone’s attention.

However, finally, economic reality is pressing into Lloyd’s dreamland.

2) “Now comes the hard work of defining a path to keep Marna O’Brien open, get it back to its normal state…”

According to the “official” language of the Measure Z Ballot Question, the following: “To reopen closed community parks, prevent closure of Marna O’Brien Park.…. shall the city of Wildomar levy $28 per parcel annually..?”

Therefore, based on the ballot measure language, the “re-opening” of Windsong Park and Heritage Regency Park should be on a co-equal footing with preventing the closure of Marna O’Brien Park.

Lest you have any doubts about Lloyd’s priorities:

3) “…. and someday re-open the other two parks.”

Now I understand that John Lloyd is not an elected official, but as former Chair of the incompetent Blue Ribbon Committee, and lead spokesman for the Citizens for Wildomar Parks, his words have the imprimatur of the Wildomar City Council, whose surrogate he was and is.

Despite the recent invitation by Lloyd to “dream,” it would have been more honest to invite prospective voters to “dream sequentially.”

For comparison and contrast, please review John Lloyd’s visionary words of inducement prior to the election, as follows:

http://lakeelsinore-wildomar.patch.com/blog_posts/when-we-dare-to-dream-yes-on-z

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.


Wildomar Magazine Is Right On The Money…

November 26, 2012

 

…AGAIN…

… on the cost of animal control services.

According to the recent Californian article on “municipal housecleaning,” the City of Wildomar is making preparations for the future employment of key staff members, including Animal Services staff.

Please click on the following link for context:

http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/wildomar/wildomar-council-takes-care-of-some-municipal-housekeeping/article_48eff9bb-0d99-527b-ade9-2c66d7dd53d0.html

Hopefully, this reflects a realistic recognition by city management at its current relationship with Animal Friends of the Valleys (“JPA”) is not economically sustainable. As WM has previously calculated,  the City of Wildomar could provide its own “properly-sized” animal control services for no more than $170,000 per year (less $82,000 per year in license revenues now ceded to Animal Friends).

Please click on the following link to a previous WM article, “Bitten By Their Own Numbers,” as follows:

https://wildomarmagazine.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/bitten-by-their-own-numbers/

As you can see from my previous calculations, my numbers were reasonable and accurate, and now confirmed, by the City of Wildomar.

According to the Agenda Packet for the November 14, 2012 City Council meeting, the following salary tables were promulgated and approved:

1) Animal Services Officer – Salary range from $32,946.06 to $41,145.12.
2) Animal Services Supervisor – Salary range from $46,350.42 to $57,895.31.

Based on the above, if the City of Wildomar hired an Animal Services Officer AND an Animal Services Supervisor at the top of the proposed  salary ranges, the total amount would be $99,040.43 (plus benefits), which compares favorably with my previous calculation and projection of a total of $110,000.

However, in true bureaucratic fashion, government seems to feel the need for a qualified animal services officer to be supervised by an identically qualified animal services supervisor, answering to a “non-animal services qualified” Committee Services Director. (Is that duplication or even more bureaucratic, triplification?)

In my calculations a single, qualified animal service officer should be able to handle a total of less than 5 (4.8, to be exact) stray dogs/stray cats per day.

The point is, dear reader, however the City of Wildomar configures its animal control services, the total cost will be far less than the $411,000 annual cost for being a part of the Animal Friends of the Valleys Joint Power Agency. And apparently, the executive staff of the City of Wildomar is finally heeding Wildomar Magazine’s advice and appears to be making preparations for the eventual secession from the Animal Friends JPA.

I noted a recent payment (quarterly?) to the Animal Friends JPA in an amount in excess of $100,000, so with a modest amount of planning and preparation, the current budget contains the financial resources necessary to immediately initiate, and properly fund, Wildomar’s very own municipal animal control service.

All it will take to start the process will be the leadership and direction from the Wildomar City Council to move forward.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

 On the other hand, Wildomar City Council can “hang in there” until the Animal Friends JPA refinances their $15 million bond, which will contractually “lock-in” the City of Wildomar to a debt obligation of approximately 20%, or $3 million.

At present, the City of Wildomar can secede from the Animal Friends JPA with a 60 day written notice and reimbursement of any outstanding debt, which is currently approximately $57,000 for a “loan.”


Wildomar’s Parkland….

November 25, 2012

 

….PIPE DREAM

According to the Online Dictionary, the following definition of “pipe dream”:

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/pipe+dream

Flush with success of the apparent passage of Measure Z, with what appears to be a razor-thin 208 vote margin of success, park proponent John Lloyd and Wildomar City councilmember Bob Cashman have indulged themselves in flights of fantasy over $350,000 per year “revenue stream,” as if the passage of the parcel tax measure is somehow a mandate to convert every remaining undeveloped parcel of land in Wildomar into a park.

For example, in today’s Californian, the following comments by each were noted:

 When asked for his reaction to the realization that Measure Z had passed, Lloyd said, “That it’s about time. It’s been a very, very long road, and here at the end, it’s been two weeks (of waiting) since the election.”

 Wildomar park supporters believe that achieving the super-majority level of support for Measure Z amounts to a strong statement of public will.

It tells me that the people understood how important it was to make sure we have parks,” Councilman Bob Cashman said. “They came out and voted for making parks available in Wildomar and I’m very, very happy.”

At the end of the day, despite the best efforts of any future Citizens Committee, all of the budgetary allocations for “park-related services” will mostly erode the $350,000.

It is the nature of “bureaucracy” to do that.

Even if the dreamers are counting on the election of Kevin Jeffries over Bob Buster producing a gift of the land adjacent to Ronald Reagan Elementary School, there will be insufficient funds available to turn a deep arroyo into a usable park facility.

 It is more likely that the recently reported budgetary shortfall for the sheriff’s and fire departments will overwhelm Wildomar’s budget (whether chasing the VLF funds are successful or not).

On a more personal note,  the large “crack” developing in the paved surface of the street in front of my tract home will soon have to be addressed by the City as  any accumulated rainfall descends into the crack and  percolates into the expansive soils beneath the asphalt surface, creating the potentially destructive forces of “heave” and “uplift.”

Measure Z was the simple passage of a minimal replacement tax, not a mandate for anyone’s park obsession.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

 If you want to read the entire article for context, please click on the following:

http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/wildomar/wildomar-park-tax-measure-wins/article_4e1edc06-688e-53f0-9d16-255e2cccec57.html


Wildomar Resorts to…

November 23, 2012

…. “BIRG”-ING

“BIRG”-ing, is an acronym for “Basking In Reflected Glory” by associating with someone else’s “success” as a means of elevating one’s own diminished self-esteem.

Wikipedia provides a fuller definition, for context, as follows:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basking_in_reflected_glory

The “normal” political state in Wildomar is for the Wildomar City Council members to “BIRG” about local events, such as the Clinton Keith Road bridge, whose construction has little or nothing to do with any engineering skills or political influence, wielded by any individual, or group of individuals which make up the Wildomar City Council. Nevertheless, said lack of influence has not diminished their ongoing association with the construction project as if they were somehow responsible for any of its progress.

Oddly, if not unseemly, the City of Wildomar  is now indulging itself in a reverse twist of the phenomenon.

According to a press release issued by the City of Wildomar, Mayor Ben Benoit has been chosen to replace the outgoing Mayor of Riverside, Ron Loveridge, on the hyper-environmentalist Southern California Air Quality Management District (“SCAQMD”).

Please click on the following to the Lake Elsinore/Wildomar Patch, for context and confirmation:

http://lakeelsinore-wildomar.patch.com/articles/mayor-benoit-appointed-to-south-coast-air-quality-management-district-board

While Mayor Benoit might take personal satisfaction in his appointment (it might be a resume enhancement), it adds little value to the citizens of Wildomar and only displays the desperate and adolescent need for affirmation and approval by others on the part of City Staff to issue the press release in the first place, as if the appointment somehow enhances Wildomar’s thin resume.

In addition, it appears that Mayor Benoit’s appointment will not take effect until February 2013, two months after the end of his tenure as Mayor of Wildomar, making his replacement of the Mayor of Riverside far “less prestigious,” (apparently prestige is more important than accomplishment) and, perhaps, creating a one-year  delay of Mayor Pro Tem Tim “Mad Dog” Walker’s accession to the pinnacle of Wildomar’s student government-like political body.

Which is, in my opinion, not necessarily a bad thing.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

At the very least, or most, depending on how you look at it, we will know who to call to complain to when we are prohibited by the AQMD from using our personal fireplaces on a cold and rainy evening.


Wildomar Magazine Had It Right On The Money….

November 21, 2012

 

 

…BACK IN OCTOBER 2010

Although the vote counting is still not completed by the Riverside County Registrar of Voters, it appears, after finally heeding my oft-repeated recommendation that the Wildomar City Council pursue a $28 per year parcel tax to replace LMD-2006 (Landscape Maintenance District, a legally-flawed, County-created funding mechanism to replace the Ortega Trails Recreation & Park District), that Measure Z will eke out an electoral victory with only a slight margin over the 66.6% “super majority” required for passage.

For factual documentation, please click on the following link to Wildomar Magazine (and scroll down to “Pardon Me While I Dawdle Awhile,” October 25, 2010):

https://wildomarmagazine.wordpress.com/2010/10/

However, rather than listening to sound advice and wisdom, the adolescents on the Wildomar City Council instead “considered the source,” and indulged their petty feelings about Wildomar Magazine, and it’s editor (Your’s Truly), taking the community of Wildomar on a long, and expensive, tour of their adolescent and petulant world of high school-like student government

Let’s revisit the adolescent tour, and it’s cost, for context as follows:

1) Blue Ribbon Committee (COST: A five-month delay, resulting in a “hurry up and vote on something” process, which resulted in the unsuccessful Measure D, plus the $16,500 paid to Webb & Associates).
2) Measure D (COST: $102,000 wasted on a failed election).
3) Measure Z (COST: $58,500 for a telephone survey and an “educational” campaign by the Lew Edwards Group, plus at least $12,000 for the cost of the election itself).
4) Loss of Community (COST? Throughout the various “Comments” sections of the local media, such as the Lake Elsinore/Wildomar Patch, and the social media, such as Facebook, those thoughtful citizens who vocally opposed the imposition of another tax, were described as “haters,” as well as other derisive terms, probably forever ending a natural sense of comity and friendship within the City of Wildomar.

I guess that means that Wildomar has achieved the same status of seared and soiled cityhood that one would find in Lake Elsinore, Murrieta and Temecula.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.