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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.