In response to my formal complaint to Wildomar City officials that the Wildomar Parks Subcommittee conducted itself in violation of the Brown Act, the Wildomar City Council pulled out all the dramatic stops at last evening’s City Council meeting, by having City Attorney Tom Jex opine that a Brown Act violation did not occur as alleged, even as he announced that it would be his recommendation that the City Council reject the proposed Great Day Of Service 2013 project offered by the United Methodist Church (“UMC”).
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Immediately thereafter, City Manager Gary Nordquist threw himself under the municipal bus, by claiming that he was the person who made the arrangement with Mayor Tim Walker to attend a subsequent meeting of local UMC pastors in order to confirm and commit the monetary resources to maintain whatever improvements were made on June 01, 2013 by the UMC-organized volunteers. (Even if true, a Brown Act violation still occcurred when the third member of the City Council was contacted.)
Despite the Jex opinion, it appeared that the City Council was about to do a 180° U-turn on the volunteer initiative, with all previous agreements and commitments nullified and rescinded, as I demanded . If they wished to do so in the future, the Wildomar City Council would then still be free to re-engage in new negotiations for a different time frames with a much more appropriate Scope of Work, as long as they did so lawfully.
However, even with the recommended corrective U-turn, something was still missing, so I filled out a request to speak in order to directly address the city’s elected officials, as well as City Staff.
After announcing that I thought the proposed nullification and recission of any and all previous agreements would be an acceptable political response to my complaint, I spoke directly to Bridgette Moore and rebuked her for her misconduct. “Shame on you, Bridgette Moore.”
I then turned to Marsha Swanson and also rebuked her for her misconduct. “Shame on you , Marsha Swanson.”
Yet I was not finished. “Shame on you, Tim Walker.”
Our Elected officials must understand the consequences of skirting the laws of transparency, no matter how ” beneficial” they presume their misconduct might be.
I then turned and vented my outrage on City Manager Gary Norquist for his admission that he was the “bag man” for this arrogant and power abusing City Council majority. “Shame on you, Gary Nordquist. “
Still I was not finished.
Without missing a beat, I also offered a rebuke to UMC representative Tom Pilkington, who was sitting in the back row of the Chamber, for his whispered, but still audible, recorded suggestion that he would prefer to meet without the public present, and that, if he intends to work with elected officials in the future, he must recognize and understand that there are specific legal requirements for the conduct of such meetings. “Shame on you, Tom Pilkington.”
After returning to my seat amidst the Council chamber silence, save for a few nervous giggles by those adolescents who are unfamiliar with adult confrontation), the Wildomar City Council, led by Bob Cashman, then voted 5-0 to rescind any previous efforts and commitments by the Park Subcommittee to facilitate the Great Day of service 2013.
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Lessons learned? if so, let’s move forward from here and get back to conducting city business as adults.