An Updated Organizational Chart for the Lake Elsinore/Wildomar….

May 27, 2014

..PATCH

We’re not certain who is calling the shots on the current journalistic status/standard, if anyone is, of the Lake Elsinore/Wildomar Patch, but its value as a news organization is being degraded on a daily basis by the juvenile commentary which now dominates its presence.

It’s the “Inlet from Home” arrow to the Liquid Effluent/Sludge that seems to be most potentially damaging to the Patch brand in the future.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

A little “gas,” and a thin layer of “scum,” is generally  expected, and acceptable, in a public comments section,  but “liquid effluent”  and “sludge” are on a much lower level.

Unfortunately, for the Patch,  it’s all there on their front page.

Advertisements

More Vendors Than….

May 26, 2014

…VISITORS

One of the hallmarks of a government bureaucracy, is the inability to be sensitive to and nimbly respond to “market conditions.”

That bureaucratic inability was evident in the sparse attendance at last Saturday’s barbecue at Marna O’Brien Park, sponsored by the “leadership” of the Wildomar Rotary Club and the City of Wildomar, which is the same people (Ben Benoit and Bridgette Moore).

Perhaps, they have gone to the same “well” too many times, relying on the presumed “draw” of still another Henry Sylvestre barbecue.

In any event, as a result of a “new” news source, you are able to decide for yourselves, dear readers, as to how robust was the response by the public to the latest “community” event, by clicking on the following:

http://www.wildomartians.com/WildomarCity.com/WildomarCity.com_HOME.html

If you click on the links to the 2 short YouTube videos, representing   two different  timeframe/sessions  for the Marna O’Brien Park event, you will be able to observe for yourselves  how this governmental/service club bureaucracy  is functioning.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

This is hauntingly reminiscent of the city-sponsored  Farmer’s Market, which failed at the same location for the same reasons, perhaps.

Do try to ignore the presence of wheeled vehicles parked on the city’s newly planted grass.


Round Two…A Win For The….

May 24, 2014

….PLAINTIFFS

In the court room-based litigation “boxing match” between the Alliance for Intelligent Planning versus CV Communities over the issue of whether or not Tract Map 25122 (located at the intersection of Palomar Road and McVicker Street) had actually expired, Round Two goes to the Alliance.

The judge, the Hon. Sunshine Sykes, late yesterday afternoon, granted a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”), severely restricting CV Communities from moving forward on their defiant and ill-considered City-issued grading permit until June 13, 2014. At that time, the Court will consider upgrading the TRO to a more permanent Preliminary Injunction, which would remain in effect, at least until the underlying issue of the Tract Map expiration is decided by the Court at trial.

 The hearing before Judge Sykes, originally set for 9:30 AM, was continued until 2:00 PM on “getaway” Friday afternoon. After completing my less rigorous appointment schedule, I was able to drop into the court room to observe the procedure.

As the sole non-party observer in the courtroom, I watched with fascination as Judge Sykes methodically discussed the original TRO motion and the opposition filed by CV Communities. It quickly became apparent that the Judge was going to grant the TRO, while permitting CV communities to initiate some grading at their site, but with severe limitations, as follows:

 1) No more than 52 truckloads of soil importation between the hours of 7:00 AM and 4:00 PM.

2) All of the heavy equipment utilized by the CV Community graders must meet environmentally friendly certification standards set by the State of California.

 3) The total number of “diesel horsepower hours” for heavy equipment usage is limited to a specific number.

 The upshot of the restrictions is that CV Communities will not be able to aggressively grade their project until June 13, 2014, and then, only if the Court does not grant the Preliminary Injunction.

 Since the Courts usually do not like to grant a TRO prior to having a full hearing, if not the actual trial, in order to consider and rule on the entire facts of the case before them, the granting of this TRO by Judge Sykes has to be considered, in my opinion, a significant, although admittedly temporary, setback for CV Communities.

Therefore, Round Two of this 10 round Main Event goes to the plaintiff, making the score 2-0 in the early rounds of this dispute.

 Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.


Oh What A Tangled Web…

May 22, 2014

THEY WEAVE

I just received the results of my latest Public records Request  for the documents surrounding the “Consent Calendar “approval of the City of Wildomar  becoming the “front” for the  local charter school, Sycamore Academy, to secure a $15,000,000 bond  through the California Municipal Finance Authority (“CMFA”).

Rather than answering my questions, these documents have only created more questions.

Apparently, the genesis of this agenda item came from the Sycamore Academy  and was funneled through the office of the Planning Director,  Matt Bassi, and the office of the  City Engineer/Public Works Director,  Dan York.

The question is, why would a financial matter be addressed by city officials, whose scope of work is related to construction projects,  not  financial matters,  within the City of Wildomar?

Noteworthy quotes, contained within the  various e-mails archives follows:

1)  E-mail response from Matt Bassi to the principal of the Sycamore Academy, Barbara Hale,  dated May 01, 2014: “Our intent is to have the report on the Consent  Calendar, but it may be pulled for questions.”

The question is, since the Consent Calendar is intended for  “non-controversial” matters, why would the Planning Director  want to slide this matter on to the Consent Calendar, acknowledging that “it might be pulled for questions?”

2) E-mail from the attorney representing Sycamore Academy  to Matt Bassi, dated, April 03, 2014: “We are moving along with the due diligence on the  23151 Palomar property for Sycamore Academy. We have an environmental study that is about to get underway. .. As soon as that study is complete, we’ll proceed with the earthquake fault study…”

The question is, if Sycamore Academy is doing their due diligence regarding earthquakes and other environmental issues, why wouldn’t the City of Wildomar take the time to do their due diligence regarding the  ability of Sycamore Academy to pay for the principal and interest  on a  $15,000,000 bond  and which  is made possible by the City of Wildomar  resolution?

 3)  E-mail response from  Matt Bassi to the attorney for Sycamore Academy , dated April 03, 2014:  ” Dan and I discussed this with Gary and he was not specifically familiar with this particular bond idea.”

One of my specific requests was a copy of the legal opinion provided by the City Attorney  with regard to this agenda item. However, there apparently was no legal opinion from the City at Attorney  so the  publicly uttered statement by City Manager Gary Nordquist that there is no  potential obligation whatsoever  on the part of  the City of Wildomar is baseless.

The question is, can anyone, including the City Attorney, guarantee that the City of Wildomar will not be named and, as a result, be required to defend itself in a  bondholder lawsuit, if Sycamore Academy somehow defaults  on their bond repayments?

Finally, despite sounding like  an official government organization,  that California  Municipal  Finance Authority   is actually a part of the 501(c)(3)  non-profit organization known as  California Foundation for Stronger Communities.

For additional information, please click on the following link:

http://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/201508498

For additional information on the entire issue, including potential for conflict of interest,  please click on the following link:

http://liberty-tribune.com/explore/cities/apple-valley/item/261-apple-valleys-conduit-financing-with-cmfa-potential-conflict.html

The question is, does anyone in the City of Wildomar have any questions for your City Council?

If not, please meekly and quietly return to your Facebook page  and prepare for your next happy park event.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

 


Another Successful Rasmussen….

May 18, 2014

…OFFSPRING

One of the most satisfying parts of being a parent is to have one’s offspring become successful in their own right and by their own power.

My  lovely and talented daughter, Melissa Di Meglio has put her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from California Polytechnic Pomona (“Cal Poly Pomona.”) into her successful photography business, as her photography work is highlighted in a recent issue of Racked.

Please click on the following link, as follows:

http://la.racked.com/archives/2014/05/09/austere_brings_sleek_scandinavian_design_to_dtla.php

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.


Council Handwringing Over Animal Shelter….

May 16, 2014

…INJUSTICE

 

Last Wednesday evening, Sheryl and I had completed some personal errands and stopped at Denny’s for a bite to eat and then popped into the Wildomar City Council chambers to catch some of the City Council meeting before returning to our home in Hemet.

I was curious to see if the Wildomar City Council would passively approve a $15,000,000 bond on  the behalf of the Sycamore Academy. Despite City Councilman Bob Cashman pulling item 1.11 from the Consent Calendar in order to provide an opportunity for the City Council to briefly pause and reconsider the potential economic exposure to the City if Sycamore Academy were to default, for any reason, on the repayment of the bond.

Rather than to do so, City Council relied on the meaningless reassurance by the City Manager that the City of Wildomar has no exposure whatsoever to any future obligation even as it becomes the municipal facilitator of an avenue of finance for a charter school, whose existence relies upon the ongoing approval of another local political entity, the Lake Elsinore Unified School District.

Once Nordquist went on record, assuring the Council that there would be no exposure to Wildomar and a surety bond was unnecessary,  Cashman’s concerns were dismissed with some scorn and the City Council then went ahead and voted 5-0 to approve the item.

Ironically, several minutes later, the same City Council engaged in a spectacle of municipal handwringing when Council member Cashman pulled the recommendation to approve the Animal Friends of the Valleys field and sheltering agreement under item 1.6.

 Cashman opined that it was unfair for Wildomar to be charged on a “per animal” basis, rather than a per capita basis, which leaves Wildomar paying for the Mission Trail Puppy Palace on an equal basis with nearby cities, whose populations are three times as large as that of Wildomar.

 

After emitting squeals of pain over the issue, it was the consensus of the City Council that:

 

1) “We had no choice but to use Animal Friends for animal control.”

2) “We asked them to change, but they won’t do it.”

3) “We have no choice but to continue to pay.”

 

What makes the irony so ironic is the fact that each of the five members of the City Council voluntarily agreed, in a 5-0 unanimous vote to join the Animal Friends Joint Power Agency on December 8, 2010 with little or no discussion of the implications of their vote.

Unfortunately, the City Council appears to be easily vote on items such as $15 million bonds without pausing to consider the adverse implications of their votes.

 

When three of the five current City Council members ask for your vote for their reelection in the next six months, the voters of Wildomar should ignore their appeals to conservatism.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.


Due Diligence In….

May 12, 2014

…WILDUMBMAR?

As a follow-up to a recent article, I expended a total of five minutes on the Internet to find that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors were confronted by a similar California Municipal Finance Authority (“CMFA”) proposal back in February 2008.

Please click on the link to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors staff report, dated February 12, 2008, for context:

http://file.lacounty.gov/bos/supdocs/36801.pdf

Unlike the City of Wildomar, who has put this issue on the consent calendar apparently hoping that no one would notice, the LA County Board of Supervisors staff identified reasonable financial risks and made the following recommendations:

1) First, find a determination of public benefit for sponsoring the bond. (It would be important for the Wildomar City Council to publicly discuss the benefits of sponsoring a $15,000,000 bond on behalf of a charter school.).

2) The borrower must obtain a form of “credit enhancement”  to help protect the City of Wildomar against any liability  as a result of  default  by the borrower in the payment of debt service.  (This requirement to obtain credit enhancement may be satisfied either  through municipal bond insurance  or a bank-issued letter of credit.)

Again, putting this on the consent calendar appears to be a means to avoid discussing  relevant questions about the  propriety of the City of Wildomar “fronting”  a bond issue for the  Sycamore Academy.

‘In an earlier section entitled FISCAL IMPACT/FINANCING , the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor staff report discussed  the potential risk in approving such a bond, as follows:

1)”There is a potential risk  to the sponsor  for this type of transaction should any borrower default on its bond payments.”

2)” A lawsuit could be brought by a bond holder against all the parties involved with the bond transaction, including the “sponsor ,” alleging securities fraud.”

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.