Wildomar Magazine has just received documents requested pursuant to the Public Records Act which, unfortunately, did not provide documentation for the initial contact between the City of Wildomar and representatives from a church group who is offering to recruit and facilitate volunteers to rehabilitate parks in Wildomar.
Those documents did, however, provide evidence of unauthorized commitment of City of Wildomar sponsorship, as of January 26, 2013, on the part of the former Community Services
Manipulator Manager, to engage in a church-based volunteer effort, without the matter coming before the Wildomar City Council in a public meeting, as required by law.
At first blush, it appears that the coming together of two disparate organizations for a common good would have universal approval. However, on further examination, there are serious, if not illegal, problems with the current “arrangement.”
First, let’s examine the first documented contact, which provides context for the current state of questionable circumstances, as follows:
From: Tom Pilkington (email@example.com)
Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2013 4:03 PM
To: Paula Willette
Subject: 2013- Great Day of Service
“Paula: I’m happy to inform you that the United Methodist Churches of SW Riverside County did approve the Wildomar Parks project for June 1. I’m moving ahead with the planning and will look forward to meeting with you again. A big item on my list of needs is the project list you want us to accomplish.
(Editor’s note; What follows in the original e-mail is a comprehensive list of significant physical changes to our parks, supposedly to be accomplished by recruited volunteers over a span of four hours on June 01, 2013)
We are excited to help you in this very worthwhile project . As soon as you’re able to refine your project list, let me know so we can meet again.
Your friend in Christ,
Despite the fact that initiatives such as this must be approved by the entire Wildomar City Council before any commitments can be made, (it apparently will be on the April City Council agenda), this project is, in fact, already set up, rendering City Council actions meaningless, as follows:
It appears that the desperate Wildomar Parks subcommittee members, Bridgette Moore and Marsha Swanson, have surrendered to the inducement by Tom Pilkington and his Band of Merry Methodists of up to 500 volunteers to such an extent that they have illegally usurped the City Council’s authority in doing so, in violation of the Brown Act.
But there is another side to this equation, namely the surreptitious intrusion of religion into a city-sponsored project.
Tom Pilkington is more than an enthusiastic and generous volunteer, seeking to assist the pathetic City of Wildomar with their parks dilemma.
Pilkington, in fact, also holds a significant “volunteer” position in the Riverside District Office of the United Methodist Church.
Please click on the following to confirm (and scroll down to page 4, to review ) :
As Chair of the Riverside District Board of Congregational Development for the United Methodist Church, Pilkington’s area of interest (“congregational development”) and involvement in the proposed project cannot be ignored.
Further, Pilkington apparently has a personal interest in the concept, and establishment, of “home churches,” as follows:
For the record, Tom Pilkington has every right to exercise his religious proclivities, in whatever format he desires, including door to door evangelization within the city limits of the City of Wildomar. or any other city for that matter. That being said, however, he cannot conjoin his theological and religious initiatives with, and within, a city-sponsored (and therefore, secular) program of any type.
If the Methodists, or any other religious group , desire to secure a permit from the City of Wildomar in order to conduct a religious service at Marna O’Brien Park, they can do so.
What church organizations cannot do is have their evangelistic activities sanctioned, sponsored by, or involved with, the City of Wildomar.
Comments can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wildomar Magazine will continue to address this issue (in subsequent articles), further discussing the additional negative implications for the City of Wildomar, as a result of this unauthorized project.
We will expose, through documentation (there are more e-mails), the corruption that already infects, and renders useless, some members of the Wildomar Park Citizen Oversight Committee.