I attended the opening session of the United Methodist Church/City of Wildomar Great Day of Service 2013 and observed approximately 200 persons in attendance between the hours of 7:00 AM and 8:00 AM, meaning less than one half of the “promised” 500 volunteers showed up.
According to Tom Pilkington, the primary force behind the church-sponsored event, he opined that 300 people eventually showed up to work as volunteers throughout the morning, perhaps even as much as 400 persons, although there is no current documentation of that amount .
Check out the “crowd” of no more than 150 persons for yourself, by clicking the following link;
This video of the was taken just before the team leaders broke to meet with their teams, most of whom were not yet present. (A scan of the ginormous ‘crowd” starts at 3:11.
Despite briefly showing up to the city event, I was accorded a less than appropriate reception by two Wildomar city officials, as follows:
1) Half-*ssed insult:
Wildomar City councilmember Ben Benoit:
When I approached Benoit, he asked me if I was present at the event to “harass” the volunteers?
Before I could respond in the negative, Benoit turned his back to me and walked away.
2) Fully-*ssed insult:
Wildomar Planning Commissioner Bobbie Swann:
As I was taking a still photograph of the group leaders, I was approached by Commissioner Swann, who inquired as to my purpose for being present. I responded by stating that I was taking photographs for the readers of Wildomar Magazine. Swann then denigrated by efforts by claiming that I represented an illegitimate journalistic entity.
Since I was already holding my camera in my hands, I elevated it as if to take a picture and asked Commissioner Swann to repeat what he had just said.
Instead, he degraded himself to the level of a crude and vulgar sexual suggestion, which begins with the letter F.
Overall, it appears that the volunteers performed to the best of their abilities, even though a significant amount of work remains to be completed by the City of Wildomar.
I can only assume that the self-inflicted pressures of substandard participation in a dysfunctional city government has resulted in the depraved official conduct displayed by an elected City Councilmember and an appointed City Planning Commissioner.
In my opinion, this depraved conduct amounts to harassment and bullying of an involved citizen, whose activist participation and opinions they dislike and disapprove of.
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There was one humorous moment when a visiting minister was about to pray an opening invocation, I noticed that the City of Wildomar Mayor’s spouse, Maria, was peeking at me across the courtyard to see if I was closing my eyes and bowing my head in prayer.
For the record, I did neither.