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.


Wildomar’s Commissioner of…

October 16, 2013

 

….MIS-INFORMATION

One of the primary reasons the newest, and therefore least experienced Planning Commissioner, Bobby Swann, repeatedly graces the front page of Wildomar Magazine is that Swann continues to disseminate incorrect information on various Facebook pages about planning matters that will come before him as a Planning Commissioner.

In the current instance, Commissioner Swann, as recently as last evening, has been discussing tonight’s Planning Commission Agenda, which includes an application for a significant General Plan amendment which will convert more than 26 acres of finite prime commercial land, with highly-desirable freeway frontage, into a developer-friendly land-use designation of “Very High Density Residential.”

Since he seems unable to learn to resist his penchant for blathering on, it is our privilege, if not a moral obligation, to expose his mis-information to the general public as an embarrassing corrective, as follows (with my comments, in blue):

“This matter is open to the public as all meetings are but this matter is not open to public hearing.”

The public may address any item on the Planning Commission agenda, without restriction, save for the three-minute limitation.

Under Public Comment, the public may address any matter whatsoever, again save for the three-minute limitation.

“So we ALL need to remember this is not a meeting about the elements of the project, It is about the potential of updating the general plan to be able to proceed with the planning process or not prior to paying several hundred thousand dollars to get an EIR done by the applicant.”

The Planning Commission will indeed be voting on an actual General Plan Amendment, and not a General Plan update.

It should not be within the purview of the Planning commissioners to be concerned about the developers expenses in bringing a project to the city. Rather, the Planning Commission should be about protecting the interests of its citizens through developer compliance with the General Plan, as a safeguard against predatory development.

Even when challenged by another Facebook member, Swann doubled-down on his ignorance, as follows:

“Read the agenda closer XXXXX. This item is a general business item not open to public comment. Please in the future you want to distrust me, please show me the courtesy of having your facts checked and correct.”

If Commissioner Swann continues to insist on being the public mouthpiece for the rest of the Planning Commission, it would behoove Chairman Stan Smith to privately correct and censure Swann for speaking out of turn.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

If you are interested, please click on the following link to the “Wildomar” Facebook page in question:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/435176553255173/

 UPDATE: Upon returning from attendance at the Planning Commission meeting this evening, I opened the “Wildomar” Facebook page and found that the page administrators had once again returned to a “closed” status, thus restricting the potential for any further embarrassment of exposure of the mis-statements Planning Commissioner Swann. For the record, at the opening of the meeting, the Planning Director “clarified” that the public was always entitled to speak on any agendized item, contrary to Commissioner Swann’s earlier confused/confusing pronouncements.

 


The “Creepy” Factor Arises In…UPDATE

June 17, 2013

…WILDOMAR

Apparently the “former” administrator (alas, with 168 total members so far, it was time to delegate the administration chores) of the WILDOMAR.CA.LOCALS  Facebook page is attempting to form yet another clique, this one based on the religious concept of  “shunning”  for three specific members of the community, namely Martha Bridges,  Yours Truly ,and Ken Mayes, according to the comment posted by said former administrator, himself, as follows:

“If a few select people continue to try to fracture the morale and efficacy of our volunteers and our city leadership, then it’s time to shine a big light on these few select people with the intent to eventually ostracize them.” 

Please click on the following link to  the Lake Elsinore /Wildomar Patch, and scroll through the comments,  to confirm:

http://lakeelsinore-wildomar.patch.com/groups/opinion/p/martha-bridges-gil-rasmussen-ken-mayes-et-al

(Editor’s Note: The above link to the Patch is no longer active as the author of the blog, as is his prerogative, previously stated that he  intended  to close it and eliminate the need to “monitor” any future comments. thus confirming the long-practiced wisdom of Wildomar Magazine to generally preclude  comments to my own commentary in the first place, thereby preventing inane and anonymous comments from destroying the original  thought. Meanwhile, the reprehensible “intent to ostracize” comment is preserved in perpetuity on the fearless 24/7/365 pages of Wildomar Magazine).     

“Shunning” is a creepy relic of  the religious world

Please click on the following link to Wikipedia for more information:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shunning

Wildomar Magazine wants to congratulate the former administrator  for taking the lead on bringing Wildomar “back” to the 17th century.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Private Message to Ken Mayes: Dear Ken, since we have never met in person, please don’t take my failure to do so as “shunning.”


Those Wacky, And Loveable Methodists Are…..

April 16, 2013

….. AN EAGER BUNCH

My cries of “shame on you” are probably still echoing down the hallways of City Hall, after forcing the Wildomar City Council to suspend their  Brown Act-violating back room deal with local area United Methodist Church (“UMC”) congregations for a Mother Nature-defying Great Day of Service , originally set for June 01, 2013.

Although the determination of the Wildomar City Council, last Wednesday evening, was to return the proposal to the Parks and Recreation Subcommittee to start the process all over, this time to be properly discussed before the public, it appears that, once again, a formal date for the UMC project has been set without the benefit of a public hearing.

 According to the UMC’s “Re-Think Church/Great day of Service 2013” website, Saturday, October 12, 2013 will be the day that the UMC will convene a religious service at Marna O’Brien Park , followed by several hours of volunteer work , and then a “celebration,” which will provide a Praise Band for the weary volunteers.

Please click on the following link to confirm (and mark your calendars!), as follows:

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

I, for one am amused, and at the same time impressed, by the methodical, machine-like obsession of the United Methodist  Church in their quest to penetrate community of Wildomar for their particular brand of “congregational development.”

But then, that’s apparently why they call themselves “Methodists.”

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.


Wildomar Resorts to…

November 23, 2012

…. “BIRG”-ING

“BIRG”-ing, is an acronym for “Basking In Reflected Glory” by associating with someone else’s “success” as a means of elevating one’s own diminished self-esteem.

Wikipedia provides a fuller definition, for context, as follows:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basking_in_reflected_glory

The “normal” political state in Wildomar is for the Wildomar City Council members to “BIRG” about local events, such as the Clinton Keith Road bridge, whose construction has little or nothing to do with any engineering skills or political influence, wielded by any individual, or group of individuals which make up the Wildomar City Council. Nevertheless, said lack of influence has not diminished their ongoing association with the construction project as if they were somehow responsible for any of its progress.

Oddly, if not unseemly, the City of Wildomar  is now indulging itself in a reverse twist of the phenomenon.

According to a press release issued by the City of Wildomar, Mayor Ben Benoit has been chosen to replace the outgoing Mayor of Riverside, Ron Loveridge, on the hyper-environmentalist Southern California Air Quality Management District (“SCAQMD”).

Please click on the following to the Lake Elsinore/Wildomar Patch, for context and confirmation:

http://lakeelsinore-wildomar.patch.com/articles/mayor-benoit-appointed-to-south-coast-air-quality-management-district-board

While Mayor Benoit might take personal satisfaction in his appointment (it might be a resume enhancement), it adds little value to the citizens of Wildomar and only displays the desperate and adolescent need for affirmation and approval by others on the part of City Staff to issue the press release in the first place, as if the appointment somehow enhances Wildomar’s thin resume.

In addition, it appears that Mayor Benoit’s appointment will not take effect until February 2013, two months after the end of his tenure as Mayor of Wildomar, making his replacement of the Mayor of Riverside far “less prestigious,” (apparently prestige is more important than accomplishment) and, perhaps, creating a one-year  delay of Mayor Pro Tem Tim “Mad Dog” Walker’s accession to the pinnacle of Wildomar’s student government-like political body.

Which is, in my opinion, not necessarily a bad thing.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

At the very least, or most, depending on how you look at it, we will know who to call to complain to when we are prohibited by the AQMD from using our personal fireplaces on a cold and rainy evening.


Lofty “Promises” Made In One Campaign….

July 3, 2012

…CAN TURN INTO A CAMPAIGN ANCHOR..

…FOR THIS ONE

Not only does Scott Mann make repetitive reference to his career in the U.S. Navy in his repetitive campaigns for himself, a recent campaign “commitment” from Candidate Mann, made while running for a seat on the Menifee  Union School District Board of Trustees in the recent November 08, 2011 election, may turn out to be an un-intended naval artifact in Mann’s current campaign to be the Mayor of Menifee,  in the upcoming November 06, 2012 election.

Please click on the following link to confirm his oft-repeated naval references:

http://www.pauleforassembly.com/news_details.php?id=38

Then, since he speaks of “integrity,” we suggest you read an additional reference.

Please click on the following Californian link to evaluate the quality of Mann’s “commitment” to the voters of Menifee during his last election effort:

http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/menifee/article_151debe1-a9e0-56bf-8aa6-cc402f188a00.html.

Since a campaign promise is a politician’s “stock-in-trade,” it is, ultimately, up to the voters to “weigh” the integrity of that promise.

In Scott Mann’s case, his recent promise to the Menifee school district voters, if elected, to be “committed” to their service, in light of his current campaign for Mayor of Menifee, might come back to haunt him.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Political opportunism and crass ambition eventually becomes a legitimate campaign issue.


Benoit’s Odd Critique Of…

June 16, 2012

…. SUPERVISOR BOB BUSTER

Since Wildomar Mayor Ben Benoit cannot pass up an opportunity to offer up a quote to local reporters, he will once again festoon Page One of Wildomar Magazine.

In his latest episode, Benoit taps into his many years of experience as a political pundit to offer an odd critique on the record of incumbent Riverside County Supervisor Bob Buster.

According to today’s Press-Enterprise, the following:

Wildomar Mayor Ben Benoit, who endorsed Jeffries, said a lot of people in his community “have felt that Bob Buster has been there for a long time and has done some great things. But (he) has been leaning in the last few years … more Riverside-centric.”

If you want to read the entire article for yourselves, please click on the following link:

http://www.pe.com/local-news/politics/jeff-horseman-headlines/20120615-2012-election-geographic-split-in-buster-jeffries-support.ece

From Day One as Wildomar’s Mayor, Benoit has himself been “Riverside-centric.”

For example, if you recall, in his very first action as Mayor, Benoit requested that the Wildomar City Council issue a declaration in support of a Riverside County-based Committee on “human trafficking.”

I don’t recall any particular issue within the confines of Wildomar relating to human trafficking.

For another example, whenever Benoit currently speaks in support of public safety in Wildomar, he never refers to the restoration of funding for the Wildomar Police Department, but rather, declares his support for the “Sheriff”s Department,” which is patently “Riverside-centric.”

Apparently, there is someone outside of Wildomar that Benoit is trying to impress.

Unfortunately for Benoit, with his personal choice of Kevin Jeffries as Buster’s replacement, Benoit inadvertently admits to the superior service of Supervisor Buster on behalf of his continuous support for Wildomar.

Again, quoting Benoit, “Bob Buster has been there for a long time and has done some great things.” (That normally qualifies as a favorable endorsement of a successful politician).

Note to Benoit and his cronies. When an honorable public servant such as Buster, “has done some great things,” they tend to be re-elected for repeated terms in office for obvious reasons.

To quote an old proverb, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” 

In my opinion, Buster has actually been “Wildomar-centric.”

When the City of Wildomar incorporated into 2008, Supervisor Buster thoughtfully relocated his District Field Office  from Lake Elsinore to Wildomar.

 He didn’t have to do so, but I presume that he wanted to show his support for our new city.

Kevin Jeffries, on the other hand, currently maintains an office in Murrieta, which I suppose, using Benoit’s political metric, would suggest that Jeffries “leans” towards beingMurrieta-centric.”

Don’t you find it curious, Dear Reader, that out of all of the local politicos in the area, including other mayors, that the Press Enterprise reporter would seek out Ben Benoit for a quote? (Notice, if you will, that Benoit is even being mocked by the Press-Enterprise editor, by using Benoit’s term, RIVERSIDE-CENTRIC? as a “pull quote.”)

I just hope, as the publisher of a satirical online magazine, that Benoit never catches on.

He is, after all, the political gift that “keeps on giving.”

Comments can be made to gilrasmussen2012@gmail.com.


Oddly Adolescent….

May 12, 2012

…MENTALITY

The current Wildomar City Council is intent on altering the “ranch community” lifestyle, in favor of their urbanized version of what Wildomar should become, despite a robust “visioning” process that included a large number of community members. This important visioning session took place four years ago in 2008.

However, neither Mayor Kim Jong Benoit, who admittedly “lived off Bundy Canyon Road for six years,” nor Mayor Pro Tem Tim “Mad Dog” Walker, who has lived on acreage on Palomar Street for years, attended the visioning meeting, as neither of them were involved in community affairs prior to their recent election.

Please click on the following Californian article for context:

http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/wildomar/wildomar-roads-sidewalks-the-focus-of-public-works-spending/article_81f39e6b-af74-5be2-85d3-36126b769cf1.html

In particular, is the approval by the Council for a 4 foot wide sidewalk, curb and gutter, on the west side of Almond Street, between Waite Street and Bundy Canyon Road.

The East side of Almond Street already has a designated and dedicated 8 foot wide Multi-Purpose Trail (which can be used by pedestrians, bicyclists, as well as horses with riders). It would be far less expensive to improve the trail with cementitious decomposed granite and install the appropriate fencing.

And far safer for students walking to high school, as well, if safety is the overarching issue.

While watching this portion of the City Council agenda last Wednesday evening, I once again observed a political phenomenon for which Mayor Benoit has an unusual proclivity.

Benoit loves to preen and posture while recusing himself from debate and leaving the council chambers to go into private exile in the hallway. In fact, he does so with enthusiasm and elan rarely seen in other public venues.

Several times, during his brief and un-remarkable political career, Benoit has found himself with a potential political conflict that may have required his recusal.

And, for some deep-seated emotional reason, he is energized by it.

The first time, Benoit had improperly taken money for a city Council political campaign ( while an appointed Planning Commissioner), from Kenny Robles, whose “muffler shop on Palomar” project was pending before the Planning Commission. As a result of that donation, Benoit was unable to perform his service on behalf of the citizens of Wildomar, by having to recuse himself from the deliberative  process.

Later, during a campaign forum held shortly thereafter by the Press Enterprise, Benoit naïvely bragged about his recusal, failing to discern his ethical failure in his service to the community, as if it was something to be proud of.

In the same creepy manner, last Wednesday evening, when  the Almond Street sidewalk agenda item came before the council, Benoit couldn’t wait to lock eyes with the city attorney and happily inquire, “Is this where I recuse myself?

Once he had the city attorney’s subtle, father-like approval and affirmation, Benoit issued a proud proclamation that he lived within 400 feet of the potential project and, as a result, would have to leave the room and go stand in the hall by himself. (This must trigger some self-empowering memory from elementary school).

Back to the urbanization issue.

Since Wildomar is never going to be Temecula or Murrieta, nor would most of us wanted to be, it becomes important that we don’t permit urbanization to intrude into our lives and community until it changes the very nature of what we are as a community.

Voting to approve the installation of urban-style sidewalk, curb and gutter across the street from a designated Multi–Purpose Trail, based on the recommendation of a non-resident bureaucrat, reflects the City Council’s lack of knowledge and sensitivity to the “vision” of the residents of Wildomar.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.


It’s Usually A Problem When Johnny-Come-Lately……

April 10, 2012

 

….FINALLY SHOWS UP

A hard-working community volunteer, Gary Andre, has spent untold thousands of hours over the past decade to voluntarily create a map of the Wildomar Trails System. His work also encompasses the inclusion of ” regional” trails that extend beyond Wildomar’s city limits.

And now, Ben Benoit, Wildomar’s very own “Johnny-come-lately,” threatens to undo all of Gary’s hard work for his own mysterious political needs and insecurities.

Andre’s efforts have been supported by a network of community volunteers, including the Wildomar Historical Society, who have provided thoughtful input into this process. In fact, in 2010, an ad hoc sub-committee of the Wildomar City Council conducted meetings that established a comprehensive and thoroughly “vetted” name identification process for the individual trails.

Those names were incorporated into Andre’s Trail Map, which was presented to the Wildomar City Council on March 14, 2012.

Please click on the following link to the agenda packet for the March 14, 2012 city Council meeting, which reflects all of the hard work that has been put into the Wildomar Trails System, as follows (Scroll down to page 118 to begin your trip through Wildomar’s history):

http://www.cityofwildomar.org/uploads/files/minutes/03-14-12-cap.pdf

Now, however, there is a problem. 

Our political novice-turned-Mayor, Ben Benoit, objects to the inclusion of Supervisor Bob Buster’s name on a trail, which is accompanied by the legendOur County supervisor who encouraged us and guided us into cityhood.”

For some  political reason, most likely due Benoit’s support of Kevin Jeffries to replace Bob Buster as Supervisor, Benoit wants to turn the entire process upside down and establish new criteria for trail naming that would likely exclude the Bob Buster Trail.

There are several possible outcomes to this episode, as follows:

1) The Wildomar City Council can recognize the efforts of a cross-section of the community and back away from the imposition of new guidelines to be superimposed upon the work already completed.
2) They can still approve their new criteria, which is reasonable, but make it effective only going forward into the future.
3)  Or they can approve their new criteria, but unwisely making it retroactive to include Gary Andre’s Trail map.

 (Unfortunately for the City Council, they seem to have missed the fact that until the trail map is finally accepted by the City, it still belongs to Gary Andre as his own personal work product).

Then-Mayor Bridgette Moore, was a full participant on the ad hoc sub-committee (circa 2010) which previously approved all of the proposed trail names, including that of Bob Buster, and her support for the proposed imposition of the new criteria is laughable.

Benoit was allegedly living in the area, but did not participate in any of the ongoing political processes involving Wildomar until it suited his own political ambitions.

Unfortunately for Benoit, it is a little too late for him to attempt to “revise”  Wildomar’s history.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

If they make the criteria retroactive, who is going to take the time to “vett” each of the remaining  names to ensure conformity?


Awkward, To Say The……

March 25, 2012

…LEAST

Eleven, when you count this gaffe by Mayor Benoit.

Let us set the table for background and context.

At the last Wildomar city Council meeting, when the issue of trail names was being tossed, to and fro, Mayor Ben Benoit publicly objected to one obscure trail out of the entire Wildomar Trail system that would be named the “Supervisor Bob Buster Trail,” in recognition of the fact that the City of Wildomar, including the trails, would not exist were it not for the gracious generosity of Supervisor Bob Buster.

Benoit actually suggested that we should not name anything after someone until that person has died. (Temecula blew that theory away when they named an elementary school after a very much-alive Joan Sparkman).

Please click on the following link to the Lake Elsinore/Wildomar Patch for additional context:

http://lakeelsinore-wildomar.patch.com/articles/clinton-keith-bridge-widening-in-wildomar

In addition, if you don’t recall, Supervisor Buster  endorsed then-candidate Ben Benoit during the 2010 City Council election.

Benoit apparently understands nothing about gratitude among peers.

Because of the aforementioned personal and professional/political generosity of Supervisor Buster to Wildomar and it’s preeminent political naif, Benoit’s political insult could/should result in an act of political revenge, to the detriment of the City of Wildomar.

Fortunately, because Supervisor Buster is a mature and gracious politician, he will stand shoulder to shoulder with Mayor Benoit at the upcoming groundbreaking ceremonies for the upgrading of the Clinton Keith bridge on March 30, 2012.

In fact, unless one of Benoit’s cronies or friends clue him in about the political insult (I doubt he reads Wildomar magazine ’cause there’s too many big words), Benoit’s naïveté should carry him through the day without incident.

However, this is just one more excellent example of what happens when unaccomplished adolescents are elected to public office.

Because we can’t easily undo an election, we are left with the pages of Wildomar Magazine, deftly using the tool of mockery.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com

Actually, when it comes to political naïveté, Benoit’s only peer seems to be Lake Elsinore City Councilman Daryl Hickman.