… A “RETURN” TO DISTRICTS
We will all have to wait for a courtroom showdown over the recently-filed lawsuit filed by Martha Bridges to compel the Wildomar City Council to abide by the wishes of the 2008 voters who selected, through their ballot, the means of electing future city councils “by district.”
The original City Council properly jumped through the necessary hoops, at a significant expenditure of public funds, to define and enact the above district map into a local ordinance.
However, at some point, someone on the City Council (it appears to have been Marsha Swanson, according to the City Council minutes) must have recognized the political and electoral implications that their residential addresses might have on future elections so they brought the “at-large” issue, already rejected by the voters in favor of districts, back to the voters in 2009, even before the “by district” format was allowed to be put into actual practice.
For the record, in 2008, I voted against cityhood, fearing, in the future, of having to hear the words “Mayor Darrell Ruff.”
Darrell Ruff was an early figure in pre-inaugural Wildomar, primarily involved in the Wildomar MAC (“Municipal Advisory Committee”).The members of the MAC were political appointees of Supervisor Bob Buster and provided some point of contact between Riverside County and the unincorporated community of Wildomar.
Again for the record, Darrell Ruff was and is a fine gentleman and a respected citizen of Wildomar, but I thought he, or someone like him, would have lacked the political sophistication required to take Wildomar out from under the auspices of the County and to develop Wildomar into a successful and functioning city.
At the same time as I voted against cityhood, I recognized that my opinion and vote against cityhood might not prevail at the ballot box so I voted for “voting by districts,” as a means to eliminate “clustered” representation in the future.
Unfortunately, as a result of the serendipitous nature of elections, the “at-large” schema has produced a “cluster” of elected officials in “District 3” (Walker and Swanson) and “District 5” (Moore and Benoit), leaving “Districts 2 and 4” with less than satisfactory representation. (Bob Cashman is located in “District 1,” as a result of the odd-looking, “gerrymandered” green tab which protrudes into “District 2”)
Is it any wonder, then, that the recent Parks Subcommittee meeting, conducted by City Councilmembers Swanson and Moore, resulted in an official relegation of the re-opening of Windsong Park (located in “District 2”), behind that of Marna O’Brien Park (“District 3”) and the floodwater detention basin, known as Heritage Regency Park, (“District 5”)?
While I am not a part of the Martha Bridges lawsuit (in my opinion, the legal dispute will be purgative for Wildomar), I support it’s legal purpose and challenge to the political status quo, and I will observe, and comment, for my Dear Readers, on the future twists and turns of the looming legal battle and its implications for the Citizens of Wildomar.
Comments can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the “hand-wringers” of Wildomar, this litigation will provoke more thoughtful discussion than did the Special Election in November 2009.
In any event, Windsong Park should have its fence removed immediately.