Wildomar’s “The Farm” Has A….

March 31, 2013

….DIRTY LITTLE SECRET

Unfortunately for The Farm homeowners, the unusual, and unexpected,  public support for the Oak Creek Canyon project by the leadership of The Farm Property Owners Association (“POA”), has brought the environmental impact of The Farm’s sewage treatment into focus.

Wildomar Magazine was initially curious as to why anyone from The Farm, especially their leaders, would support an intrusive 275 parcel project, where  nearly 2/3 of the parcels will be postage stamp-sized lots of  6000 ft.², or less (4500 ft.²). This medium high density residential tract will change the semi-rural environment for The Farm residents.

However, it soon became obvious what the motivation for the POA leadership is all about. The POA, and their surrogates, have made it clear, through their seeking assurance from the Wildomar City Council that the eventual approval of the project will be conditioned to connect The Farm’s property owner-owned, and operated, sewers to the EVMWD sewer line that is designed and proposed for the Oak Creek Canyon project itself, but not any other groups of properties, such as The Farm.

Whenever The Farm eventually connects to the EVMWD’s sewer lines,  whether that is tomorrow, next year, or 10 years from now, the cumulative environmental impact  of the spraying of minimally-treated sewage over the nearby “spray fields,” since 1974  will have to be addressed, and remediated , at the expense of the persons who utilized the primitive system for the past 39 years.

One of the byproducts of human urine is “nitrates.”

“In addition to animal waste, untreated human sewage can contribute to nitrate levels in surface and ground water.  Leaking or poorly functioning septic systems are a source of such nitrates. City sewage treatment plants treat sewage to make it non-hazardous, but treatment plants still release nitrates into waterways.  In addition, industrial plants that produce paper or munitions are potential sources of nitrate pollution.

Although having excess nitrates is usually associated with some type of human activity, excess nitrates can come from natural sources.”

For more information on this, please click on the following link:

http://peer.tamu.edu/curriculum_modules/water_quality/module_5/lesson2.htm

A recent article in the Press Enterprise reports on the presence of “nitrates” was discovered in the nearby privately-owned County Water of Riverside in the year 2003.

Please click on the following link to confirm:

http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/wildomar/wildomar-headlines/20120903-wildomar-county-takeover-of-water-company-an-option.ece

For a government study on the impact of spray fields, please click on the following link :

http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2005/3092/

Before the City of Wildomar  votes to approve the building of 275 homes immediately adjacent to The Farm’s spray fields, they need to address the cumulative environmental impacts of nearly 40 years operation of a primitive sewage treatment operation.

Comments can be made to  zakturango@excite.com.

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Keeping Wildomar “Running…

March 30, 2013

…SMOOTHLY”

 At least until a little self-inflicted financial “speed bump” took out one cylinder of the political machinery.

After reading a recent Californian article on the resignation of Paula Willette as Wildomar’s Community Service Manager, Wildomar Park Oversight Committee Member-elect-now Chairman ), John Lloyd offered a bit of insight on his view of Paula’s unofficial role while employed at City Hall.

In his comment attached to the article, Lloyd states, “Paula worked tirelessly to keep things running smoothly within Wildomar.”

Please click on the following link to the Californian, and scroll down to the comments section to confirm:

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/feb/25/wildomar-community-services-director-willette/

For an example of  how Willette was “running things smoothly in Wildomar,” the three-member Board of Trustees of the Wildomar Cemetery Special District, included myself, Paula Willette, and Planning Commission Chairman Stan Smith,  it was Willette who originally initiated the idea of merging the Cemetery District into the City of Wildomar (according to the District official minutes.)

Since it appeared to be a good idea (rather than  being forced to merge with the Lake Elsinore Cemetery District, as the County of Riverside recommended), I supported the idea as President of the Board of Trustees, but with the condition precedent, (as agreed to by former City Manager Frank Oviedo), once the merger was complete, that Willette could have no active responsibilities or connection to the Wildomar Cemetery in the future, as that would be a conflict of interest since she voted in favor of the initiative.

One of the primary reasons for my concerns was my observation and experience as a trustee with Willette working “tirelessly to keep things running smoothly within Wildomar.”

In another significant example, Willette promoted a Girl Scout Gold Award project to the Board of Trustees, repeatedly mentioning that she was in contact with “some” un-named Girl Scouts who were considering proposing a “serenity garden” for a small portion of the Cemetery.

At the time, the Board of Trustees was being genuinely sensitive to the efforts of groups, such as the Wildomar historical Society, and  a local Boy Scout troop, who annually volunteered to spend a day cleaning and polishing grave markers at the Cemetery, usually just before Memorial Day.

As a result, the suggestion of a Girl Scout project  for a small serenity garden was not unusual and the Board of Trustees was willing to consider such proposals.

Finally, after a year of “prepping” the Board of Trustees, a formal proposal was made to the Board of Trustees for a Girl Scout Gold Award project, to install two brick-and-mortar “reflection benches,” as well as a kiosk containing a directory for the gravesites. However, it was only at this point that Willette disclosed that the project was being proposed by members of the John Lloyd family.

Had I been aware that the proposals were coming from a politically-connected family, I would have discouraged my fellow trustees far sooner in the process. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing prior encouragement by the Board of Trustees, the Girl Scouts had already invested time and effort with the Girl Scout organization, seeking approval to move forward with their project at the Cemetery District.

As a Trustee, and Vietnam veteran, I consistently resisted efforts to permit politics to invade the serenity and sanctity of our Cemetery, including interjection of Vietnam-era politics, in the form of a request from a local motorcycle club, to continuously fly a POW/MIA flag on the Cemetery flagpole, another “smooth” Willette initiative being foisted from City Hall.

Fortunately, at the end of a robust debate, the initiative was voted down by the Trustees.

Once again, as the Cemetery District was being transferred to the control of the Wildomar City Council, I publicly spoke before the City Council, admonishing them as the outgoing Board President, that they must also resist any efforts to politicize or exploit, for political purposes, the sacred confines of our beautiful cemetery.

For the record, I voted against the final approval of the brick-and-mortar reflection bench portion of the project (the kiosk directory plan and design was still in progress), but was out-voted 2-1 by Willette  and Smith.

Unfortunately for the process of credible political debate, even as the debate was in progress, I observed Paula Willette reach her hand over to one of the Girl Scouts, whose project was being debated, and while patting her thigh, whispered (loud enough for me to hear it), “Don’t worry. We’ll get this done for you,” thereby rendering credible debate meaningless.

As a result, I don’t discount Lloyd’s comment about Willette “working tirelessly to keep things running smoothly in Wildomar.”

Instead, in my opinion, I see it simply as tireless manipulation.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

 Again, for the record, the Cemetery directory is substandard in its construction execution and will require remediation to make it usable.

(Editor’s note:  This article was originally prepared for publication on February 27, 2013, but I withheld its publication due to the resignation of the Community Service Manager. However,  after the passage of 30 days, I believe it is still important for the readers of Wildomar Magazine to understand how their municipal governance has been subjected to political forces operating outside of the parameters of transparency. )


Bridgette’s Kiddie Program Obsession Produces…..

March 29, 2013

…THIS CIVIC EMBARRASSMENT:

“THE GREAT ASPHALT EGG HUNT OF 2013”

It’s been reported that the hired Bunny, as well as some of the children, are seeking therapy.

 Perhaps someone else should, as well.

 According to the Press Enterprise article, 500 children “scrambled” around the parking lot for 6000 plastic eggs provided by the generous, but abused, taxpayers of Wildomar.

 Please click on the following link to the Press Enterprise to confirm:

http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/wildomar/wildomar-headlines/20130320-wildomar-community-gathers-for-egg-hunt.ece

 Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

 It looks like the kids are picking up trash.

It would have been  far more  preferable to wait to do this until next year when Marna O’Brien Park is finally up and running properly.

(Note to Zak:  Children, and immature adults with obsessive personality disorders, can’t wait that long.)


Local Methodists Marching On….UPDATE:

March 25, 2013

….MARINA O’BRIEN PARK

On June 01, 2013, members of several local Methodist churches will be bringing their proselytizing outreach, known as the  Great Day Of Service 2013   to Wildomar’s Marina O’Brien Park. As you know, the late Marina O’Brien was an early pioneer of community activism in the community of Wildomar and, quite obviously, one of Wildomar’s parks is named in her honor.

According to their website, church volunteers will be “painting playgrounds” and “building shade structures.”

For confirmation, please click on the following link:

http://www.rethinkchurch.org/impact-event/2013-great-day-service

Since “painting playgrounds” makes little sense  as a description of their proposed efforts, I sought verification of their proposed activities by referring to the Wildomar City Council minutes recounting the public deliberation and  city council discussion which occurred when this matter came before the Wildomar City Council  for consideration and approval.

 However,  in yet another display of  pro-park impatience, the Wildomar City Council has yet to consider  this matter in a public meeting, so those minutes to not exist.

It appears that the  City of Wildomar is adapting its park rehabilitation schedule to the unrelated volunteer project schedule  of a group of churches, who exist outside the borders of Wildomar, without the benefit of any legitimate City Council approval conducted in a public, such as a City Council meeting, in accordance with the law.

According to officials at City Hall, the leadership of the volunteer group is appropriately requiring a commitment from the City of Wildomar so that their volunteer efforts will be properly maintained by the city. However,  since the funding from Measure Z will not arrive in Wildomar until early 2014,  it appears that the Wildomar City Council  should have addressed the potential expenditure of public funds in order to meet that reasonable requirement.

Going back to  the church volunteer’s scope of work of “building shade structures,”  a number of questions arise, as follows:

 1) Who will be designing the proposed shade structures? After all, the health and safety of our citizens, including children, must be protected.

 2) Will a building permit have to be pulled from the City of Wildomar?

3) Will building inspectors from the City of Wildomar approve the proper installation of the shade structures ?

 For a visual context of what the proposed Great Day of Service 2013  will entail, we need only to reference the following YouTube video from  last year’s Great Day of Service 2012, produced by one of the volunteers , as follows:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMnakDN0YGA

The fact that this volunteer project already has a dedicated website confirms that  discussions have already occurred between “somebody”   representing the City of Wildomar and the Methodist Church-based volunteer group, without the benefit of a properly-agendized City Council meeting authorizing such discussions reflects the  disregard for community deliberation prior to the expenditure of taxpayer funds for maintenance and the proposed construction of  shade structures in a city park.

According to my sources, this matter came before the Parks  Subcommittee (consisting of councilmembers Bridgette Moore and Marsha Swanson) in a secret meeting that  included a few “select” members of the Citizens Parks “Oversight?” Committee, but was never presented to the  City Council for approval.

 Comments may be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Marna, or Marina, whatever, must be turning over in her grave.

(Editor’s note: As of 2:00 PM, as I was sitting in a Orange County Superior Court, monitoring a defense attorney, and his experts, on behalf of the insurance company that hired them , as well as myself,I double checked on the RE-THINK CHURCH website and noticed that the GREAT DAY OF SERVICE 2013 website has been corrected so that the local non-Wildomar Methodists are no longer dishonoring the memory of the late Marna O’Brien by misspelling her name).


Creating Two Good Jobs In Wildomar While….

March 24, 2013

…SAVING THOUSANDS OF $$$

Without hurting any other organization, including the Animal Friends of the Valleys.

As you know, Dear Reader, I recently presented my  written proposal to the City of Wildomar at the Budget Study Session conducted by City Manager Gary Nordquist, outlining the extraordinary economic benefits to the City, if it were to develop its own Animal Control Department.

Due to the time constraints which arose during the presentation, primarily  as a result of the  verbal  challenge from the  back row of the Chamber from the wife of the City’s mayor, Maria Walker, I was unable to elaborate on and extol the additional benefits that such a development would provide.

Therefore, I will continue my thoughts, through the pages of Wildomar Magazine.

In addition to the net savings of up to $325,000 annually,  the City of Wildomar would create 2 full-time jobs  for highly motivated individuals who  had taken the time to educate themselves in the art of animal control, a specific education requirement for the two positions potentially offered, as follows:

 DESIRED  MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS  

1)  Graduation from an accredited college with an Associate of Science degree in  Animal Health Technology , Animal  Husbandry , Animal Science or closely related field…Graduation from an accredited Animal Control Academy.. is preferred.

Ironically, but not surprisingly (since this inspired idea does not emanate from a City Council-approved source), despite the Walker Duo’s (Tim and his surrogate spouse, Maria) oft-repeated mantra of the benefits of creating jobs in Wildomar, especially food service jobs at the proposed Subway fast food restaurant on  Bundy Canyon, I don’t expect any rational, thoughtful support from the from the city’s elected officials.

However, as we saw in the money-saving ($200,000 plus annually) voluntary  departure of former City Manager Frank Oviedo,  good ideas have their own power and momentum.

 Why wouldn’t the withdrawal of the City of Wildomar’s economic support of the Animal Friends of the Valleys /Southwest Communities Finance Authority not be detrimental to that organization ?

First, and foremost, the entire animal shelter arrangement  was created by, and for, the benefit of  the cities of Temecula, Murrieta and Lake Elsinore.  The newly-incorporated City of Wildomar, in 2008, was an afterthought to the shelter creators.  Without the economic contribution from the City of Wildomar, some of which is loaned annually to Wildomar by the aforementioned cities, those cities would return to the planned economic allocations  upon which they based their original decision to create the shelter in the first place.

 Secondly, the development of a competing animal control entity, would provide useful philosophical comparisons as to how human beings care for their furry friends.  My beautiful and talented daughter, Melissa ,was once the President of the Burbank Animal Shelter, and was heavily involved in the “rescue “of stray dogs behind the former Iron Curtain . I would often challenge her to be as interested in the saving of “stray humans, ” as well.

 Unfortunately, as we approach next year’s budget approval process, I doubt that the City Council  will seriously consider my proposal.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.


Even If My Calculations Were Off By One Of These….

March 21, 2013

…WILDOMAR WOULD STILL SAVE AT LEAST TWO OF THEM PER YEAR…

…. by  withdrawing from the Animal Friends  agreement and developing  our own Animal Services Department for the  City of Wildomar.

This significant savings would be achievable because the contractual”arrangement” with the Southwest Communities Finance Authority, originally  negotiated by former City Manager Frank Oviedo and then-Mayor Bridgette Moore was, and  continues to be laughable and extravagant.

 Please click on the following link to the Lake Elsinore/Wildomar Patch report regarding last evening’s Budget Workshop :

http://lakeelsinore-wildomar.patch.com/articles/wildomar-residents-brainstorm-with-city-manager-during-budget-workshop

Withdrawal from the agreement can be accomplished under the terms of the agreement , as follows

.”SECTION 4. TERMINATION AND AMENDMENTS

(b)  The parties hereto may terminate their participation in the Joint Powers Authority , and this Agreement  as provided herein.
(c)  …. each party may terminate this Agreement on giving not less than  sixty (60)days written notice to the other parties .

 Despite all  of the fiscal handwringing by the City Council, and despite the potential of saving an additional $300,000 per year , and despite being able to celebrate the creation of two additional jobs in Wildomar,  I doubt that the Wildomar City Council has the political b*lls to take  the necessary steps to achieve this significant economic benefit for the people of Wildomar .

 Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

 For the record, since I  used Wildomar’s recently approved salary numbers for Animal Service Officers, and since the cost of labor is generally the greatest expense in any department budget, I doubt that my numbers would be off by $100,000.


Saving More $$ Than Measure Z Takes In…

March 20, 2013

…EVERY YEAR

…Without raising your taxes a single penny.

This year’s City of Wildomar Budget Workshop will be held this evening at Wildomar City Hall.

According to a recent Californian article,   City Manager Gary Nordquist “is hoping for ample feedback” from this evening’s workshop .

Please click on the following link for the entire article:

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/mar/18/wildomar-budget-workshop-nordquist/

 With tonight’s budget workshop in mind, I have re-calculated my previous presentation on the potential savings to the City of Wildomar by having its own municipal animal control service, rather than continuing to participate in the paying of the  $15,ooo,ooo mortgage for the “puppy and kitty Taj Mahal,” built by the Animal Friends of the Valleys, through their enablers formally known as the Southwest Communities Finance Authority.

Using numbers taken from the Budget Agenda Packet for the November 14, 2012  City Council meeting, according to my calculations, the cost for  a “Wildomar-sized”animal control service would cost approximately $165,000 annually,  with an offset of an additional $80,000 in dog license revenues currently ceded to  Animal Friends, reducing the “net cost “to  less than  $100,000 per year.

In direct contrast , the 2011-12 Budget for Animal Control was $354,300 , which did not include the $80,000 in revenues for the sales of dog licenses, making the total cost for continued participation with Animal Friends a total of $434,300, which is almost 5 times more than it would cost the City of Wildomar to provide its own animal control services .

In terms of raw savings, it would amount to a savings nearly $nearly $350,000 annually, which exceeds the reported potential income from Measure Z.

 Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

For a City Council to recently brag to Congressman Calvert that their budget surplus for the  entire last year was only $1700, saving  $348,300 should get their attention.