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.

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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.


But Then, Everybody Knows More About Wildomar’s Ins and Outs…..

January 16, 2012

 

…THAN DOES IT’S MAYOR

Today’s Press Enterprise provides some “creepy” insight into Wildomar’s current state of it’s land development review process, provided by Wildomar’s boy-Mayor Kim Jong Benoit, in yet another meaningless stream of unconsciousness quote to the media.

Please click on the following link to feel “creepy”, as follows:

http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/menifee/menifee-headlines/20120113-menifee-city-considers-tweaking-rules-for-appointing-commissioners.ece

Does the citing of Benoit’s unremarkable five-month Planning Commission “career” (entailing no more than four meetings, from one of which he recused himself for taking campaign money from the applicant) provide any useful context to his statements?

Do the citizens of Wildomar want to experience a “visual” of a male elected official and his male appointee being “tied together, breeding cooperation?”

And do we need to know that Benoit and his appointed commissioner now have a “bond?”

That’s known, in the real world, as Too Much Information (“TMI”).

Finally, “Dear Leader” admits to conferring with his Planning Commissioner “before and after” important decisions. Since most Planning Commission meetings have been canceled in the past year, due to lack of applications for projects, how much before and after could there possibly be?

That ongoing contact, dear readers, if it truly occurs, is the epitome of influence, and inappropriate.

Don’t even get me started on what “ins and outs” means.

Kim Jong Benoit is going to be the parodic and satirical gift to Wildomar Magazine that keeps on giving, throughout his term, if he continues to blather mindlessly with reporters.

(Note to Ben: The Press-Enterprise did you no favors in seeking you out for a quote on a Menifee issue. Lesson learned? Unlikely.)

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Don’t blame Wildomar Magazine for the use of such highly-sexualized descriptive phraseology. Welcome to Ben’s vocabulary list.


Pulling Wildomar’s….

January 12, 2012

 

…. CHAIN

Presenting a preposterous scheme to develop a 15 acre lake near the Baxter Road offramp and the I-15 freeway, two Canyon Lake residents appeared Wednesday evening before Wildomar’s “business friendly desperate” City Council.

Apparently, they intend to utilize, and potentially drain, nearby and existing water wells, to fill their little “field pond of dreams.”

After the  lake is created, Wildomar would be witness to nearly-naked human beings being pulled around the artificial pond by a chain contraption while they waterski within the confines of Wildomar’s ranch community.

I don’t recall that scenario in Wildomar in its citizen-driven “visioning” process.

Please click on the following Californian article, to confirm and amuse yourselves:

http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/wildomar/wildomar-plans-unveiled-for-lake-wakeboard-park/article_b61a844c-00cb-5ee1-98bf-9830c403665c.html

Unfortunately, for the schemers, their proposal has fallen  on intentionally deaf ears on the very night that this City Council voluntarily relinquished their authority over such potential boondoggles to their appointed Planning Commissioners.

As a result,  if the project is approved by their Planning Commission, the City Council will never have a chance to vote yes or no on the project themselves, unless a concerned citizen coughs up $900 to file an appeal or, as Wildomar Magazine has previously noted, they initiate litigation against the developers and the city, which is less expensive for the citizen plaintiff, and much more effective.

The irony is exquisite.

In an important sidebar item, Planning Commission Chair Harv Dykstra, who owns commercial property across the street from this proposed waterpark, and whose personal involvement should be constrained by potential conflict of interest, has already unwisely corrupted the process with his “on the record” and inappropriate comments to the Californian reporter. (Go back and read the article, once again, to confirm).

Deaf would be good.

In Chairman Dykstra’s case, mute would be preferable.

In other City Council news, City Manager Frank Oviedo officially received his three month extension to his severance package, re-invigorating the economic “poison pill” for Wildomar to swallow, should myself, or anyone else, take a seat at a future City Council dais and realize that Wildomar has a redundant executive superstructure, costing approximately $250,000 per year.

By the way, Kim Jong Benoit is now the Mayor of Wildomar.

Neither the Californian, nor the Press Enterprise reported on the changeover, probably seeking to avoid being the newspaper “link of record ” to another Wildomar Magazine parody.

The irony is exquisite.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.


Zak Has No Stomach For……

January 11, 2012

 

….ANOTHER SELF-INDULGENT MAYOR

Wildomar  has already “been there, done that” with Former Mayor Scott Farnam.

Perhaps you will excuse me from attendance at the Wildomar City Council meeting on Wednesday evening, January 11, 2012, as I have a conflict with my schedule.

And my stomach.

I normally adjust my dinner schedule to accommodate the earlier start time for City Council meetings.

However, rather than watch the ascension of Kim Jong Benoit to the pinnacle of Wildomar’s City Council dais, I believe that I will enjoy my evening meal at its regular time, watching “World’s Dumbest Crooks.”

Since Wildomar’s “Dear Leader” will  be so absorbed in his narcissistic moment, he likely will not notice my absence.

I had contemplated addressing the City Council and take the opportunity to mock the City Manager for inducing his naive and economically-unsophisticated Student Council to inflate his severance package by extending it another three months, presumably because your’s truly is making as-yet future campaign noises about eliminating his redundant executive position from the city staff, thereby saving $250,000 for the City of Wildomar coffers, part of which savings could be used to fund our parks.

I also contemplated addressing the Counsel for their hypocrisy while embracing the manufacture and distribution of Bridgette, Tim’s drug of choice, ” alcohol,” in Wildomar,  and to its detriment, after being so adamant about opposing medical marijuana.

Considering the above photograph, certain  people should never consume liquor in public, ’cause it shows on their faces.

You might want, Dear Reader, to consider remaining in your home and not participate, through your presence, in the civic degradation.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

(Editors Note: If you pose for a picture in public, as a public official, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy.)


A Singularly Un-impressive…..

January 8, 2012

… RESUME FOR A MAYOR

Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration.
 
Seeming to do is not doing.
Thomas A. Edison
 
On Wednesday, January 11, 2012, the Wildomar City Council will conduct a “passing of the gavel” ceremony, at which time, a young man of little personal or professional accomplishment will assume the honorary title of Mayor of  Wildomar.
 
Please click on the following link and scroll down to page 4, to confirm:
 
http://www.cityofwildomar.org/council-agendas-minutes.asp
 
Lest you prematurely dismiss Zak for being unfairly critical and demeaning at this usually festive moment of civic celebration, permit me to “highlight” the mayor’s list of “accomplishments,” as follows:
 
1) Graduate of Palm Desert high school, circa 1998, or so. There is no indication of  any further endeavors at higher education, either from Ben’s campaign literature or his Facebook page.
 
2) Proprietor of a “suspended” Corporation (usually suspended by the State for for nonpayment of corporate taxes).
 
Entity Name: ADAPTIVE BUSINESS SYSTEMS
Entity Number: C2572269
Date Filed: 01/08/2004
Status: SUSPENDED
Jurisdiction: CALIFORNIA
Entity Address: XXXXXXXXXXXXX
Entity City, State, Zip: WILDOMAR CA 92595
Agent for Service of Process: BENJAMIN J BENOIT
Agent Address: XXXXXXXXXXXX
Agent City, State, Zip: WILDOMAR CA 92595
 
 3) Family Values?  Being involved in divorce proceedings is not, in itself, unusual in our society. Asking your ex-spouse to permit you to continue to stay at her house over the final weekend of the November 2010 election cycle, in order to avoid public and political embarrassment, is highly unusual. (Hopefully, 2012 will bring a little less police activity to Benoit’s life than did 2011).
 
If you recall, Benoit made the point during his campaign that he came to Wildomar to “plant his family.”
 
The hypocrisy, be it personal or political, is, if you’re going to run on “family values,” try to have some.
 
(See Wildomar Magazine article, in the December 2010 Archives, dated December 01, 2010, titled “Where’s Ben?” ). Wildomar Magazine, through its many reliable sources, was aware of the drama then on-going. However, since Benoit’s hubris and ambition has driven him into the Mayor’s seat, we think he has made this part of his life appropriate for disclosure and commentary.
 
Wildomar has a right to know about it’s Mayor. He’s going to be “front and center” on our behalf for the next year.
 
You’ll have to excuse me if I seem to be a bit contemptuous of an unaccomplished young man whose primary political asset is his father’s surname.
 
Benjamin J. “Smith” would not have a gavel passed to him  come next Wednesday evening.
 
My guess is that my grueling year of service in Vietnam at the age of 21 causes a little bile to rise up in my throat when someone who has accomplished so little during his 31 years of life, presumes to be qualified to be “our” mayor.
 
Mayor Kim Jong Benoit is, and probably always will be, the ultimate empty suit.
 
Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.
 
“This is not a game; this is our government. (Zak Turango, 2010)