The Crossing…And Re-Crossing Of..

October 19, 2013

 

..LIFE’S PATHS

LIke so many others, I was shocked to hear the news of the tragic passing of a local pastor, Ed Dufresne, of the World Harvest Church in Murrieta, who died yesterday, along with his pilot, in a plane crash near Wichita Kansas.

According to the local newspaper, the Wichita Eagle, his business jet exploded and crashed in a field, with no survivors.

Please click on the following link to the Wichita Eagle for more information:

http://www.kansas.com/2013/10/18/3065996/california-pastor-pilot-killed.html

In 1978, while fulfilling a life pathway of my own, after the sudden and untimely death of my father, Roy Rasmussen in 1957, (after having just moved from pastoring  a small church in Wichita, KS to start a up church in  Long Beach CA).  After I became an adult, I moved my then-young family to the central California town of Visalia, for the purpose of starting a new pioneer church, renting the facilities of the Visalia Women’s Club to do so.

At the same time, another church was also developing in a nearby facility, known as the Praise The Lord Club,  by Ed Dufresne. At the same time, several elderly members of my family, who had also recently moved to Visalia to retire, visited Dufresne’s church and were impressed by his energy and zeal in promoting his new church.

One of the things that impressed my uncle was Dufresne’s request for financial support from his members for the purchase of what was probably his first small, propeller-driven private airplane, which would enable Dufresne to expand his ministry.

Years later, in 1994, after moving to Wildomar, our paths crossed once again when I discovered that Dufresne was the pastor of the local World Harvest Church, located on Palomar Road on the border of Murrieta/Wildomar. (It’s actually located in Wildomar.)

It is always a profound tragedy for “families” when confronted by the untimely death of husbands, fathers and their pastor.

Our condolences go out to each of the families, for their loss.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

For more local information about Pastor Dufresne, please click on the following link to the Press Enterprise:

http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/murrieta/murrieta-headlines-index/20131018-murrieta-inland-pastor-dies-in-kansas-plane-crash.ece


Learning Lessons From….

March 16, 2013

…SUCCESS

Perhaps the Wildomar Little League could turn this season’s unfortunate “darkness” into a period of contemplation, introspection and ,ultimately, rejuvenation  by researching, and adopting, the innovative fundraising method reported in a recent article in the Californian about a nearby public school’s successful utilization of sponsors, instead of continuously resorting to economically insufficient, and outmoded, fundraising techniques.

 Please click on the following link to the Californian article for details:

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/mar/15/cougar-run-curran-elementary-military/

According to Murrieta’s E. Hale Curran  Principal, “Organizers this year instituted a sponsorship fee system rather than sending students out into neighborhoods soliciting pledges, Principal David Koltovich said. The cost of sponsoring one student was $25.”

Along the same lines, Wildomar City Manager  Gary Nordquist, in the recent past, was contacted by an organization that would create a system of sponsors in the City of Wildomar, who would pledge their financial support for individual athletes , thereby providing a very positive connection  between our young athletes and the rest of the community.

If you recall, we included that information  in our “pre-Measure Z” original suggestion that the care and upkeep of Marna O’Brien Park could be accomplished by the young athletes of the various sports leagues, while developing the aforementioned “Nordquist”   community-wide, and community-building, sponsorship program.

 Unfortunately, rather than exploring the possibilities, a number of sports league officials, including those of the Wildomar Little League, descended on the next Budget Study Session being conducted at City Hall during to wring their hands and whine about the lack of taxpayer-funded parks in Wildomar.

 And now, two years later , despite the advantage of  their own baseball fields, rather than tossing baseballs, the Wildomar Little League  has “tossed in the towel.”

Principal Koltovich, and his PTA,  have exhibited the benefits of innovative thinking.

 Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

 I am sure that City Manager Nordquist still  has the contact information for that organization.


When Politicians Are Out Of Office For Very Long…

January 28, 2013

                       

THEY GET LONESOME, FORGETFUL, AND TRY TO REWRITE HISTORY

Unfortunately for former Murrieta city councilmember, Doug McAllister, his recent sad, pathetic revision of Wildomar history cannot stand the glare of exposure from his own former city’s Council minutes.

In the recent “news memory” submitted to the San Diego Union Tribune, current publisher of the Californian, McAllister attempted to rewrite his own involvement in the annexation attempt by the City of Murrieta over the southern portion of the then unincorporated community of Wildomar.

So grab a Kleenex and click on the following link to McAllister’s pathetic rewrite:

 http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jan/22/mcallister-wildomar-success/

1). McAllister’s misstatements(in “quotes”), with facts/corrections (in blue italics):

      a). “I was deciding vote on virtually everything… Among the most intense was the debate as to whether Murrieta should annex Wildomar.”

(According to the Murrieta city Council minutes of February 15, 2005, the following, ” Mayor Van Haaster gave an update regarding Wildomar annexation  and stated that due to the issue being politicized, he will be asking to agendize the complete withdrawal of the proposal for Wildomar annexation.”

      b.) “Targeted for dis-incorporation by the State and relentlessly swarmed by forces of the bullying brand that bizarrely desires Wildomar’s demise, the “little city that could” has consistently overcome over- the-top obstacles. They’re living proof that real leadership makes a difference.”

(Such political paranoia!! State-driven disincorporation? Swarmed by Bullies? Real leadership? These comments sound like desperate “pickup lines” at a League of Cities after-hours cocktail party.)

In addition to the above, the last known formal inter-city interaction between McAllister and the City of Wildomar occurred last June 2012 when representatives of the City of Wildomar presented a reasonable “population count” alternative to the present “animal count” protocol to the Governing Board of the Southwest Communities Finance Authority, the Joint Powers Agency for the Animal Friends of the Valleys.

After a thoughtful presentation by then Assistant City Manager, Gary Nordquist, McAllister quickly dashed any hope for reconsideration by declaring that City Council of Murrieta would rebuff any such proposal and, as a result, could and would exercise its single-vote veto.

As a result, Wildomar remains the “little city that can’t afford its animal shelter,” ultimately leaving secession from the Authority as the only means of saving $250,000-$300,000 per year by hiring its own animal control officer.

I know of no particular reason for Doug McAllister to write this particular piece of fiction. However, given the extent of the fallacious content, I thought it necessary to respond and clarify this part of Wildomar’s history.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

If you so desire, and you should click on the following link to the City of Murrieta minutes, for February 15, 2005 and March 01, 2005 for confirmation and context:

 http://www.murrieta.org/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=4095

http://www.murrieta.org/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=4096

For even more historical reading on the subject, please click on the following:

http://www.myvalleynews.com/story/11240/


Animal Friends JPA Puts On A….

June 13, 2012

 

… POLITICAL DOG AND PONY SHOW

It all seems very odd to me. However, when you understand what’s at stake here, perhaps not.

As a result of the specific and sustained criticism of Wildomar residents, including yours truly, the Animal Friends of the Valleys/Southwest Communities Financing Authority (AFV/JPA) is apparently feeling the heat and has put together a “dog and pony show,” set for 1:00 PM this afternoon. 

The purpose of the meeting is to address Wildomar’s contention (as set forth by Assistant City Manager Gary Nordquist) that the current “animal count” allocation, versus a “population count,” is economically detrimental and unfair to the City of Wildomar, to the tune of 2 1/2 times greater expense to Wildomar for their “share” of paying the $12,000,000 mortgage of the overly-lavish Mammalian Taj Mahal, than should be allocated.

In response, and in order to avoid the possibility that the City of Wildomar would consider seceding (that’s my recommendation) from the AFV/JPA (the only substantial victim/city that can do so without incurring enormous penalties), an unusual” agenda” has been published that will appear to provide the least objectionable supposed “compromise.”

Please click on the following link to review for context:

 http://www.animalfriendsofthevalleys.com/Index%20Files/Agenda%20SCFA/6-13-12/SCFA_BOD_Agenda_2012_0613.pdf

6.  Cost Allocation Ideas

 a) History/Status Quo-Cities of Temecula and Murrieta

It will be interesting to watch (I plan on attending to do so) these two cities explain how they somehow managed to create and sustain such unfair allocations while inducing un-sophisticated community leaders in Wildomar to become partners in this “overpriced” and “overrated”enterprise.

Why is it necessary to defend the status quo, since “it is what it is?”

It’s merely the opening act of the show.

b) Priority Housing Rights-City of Lake Elsinore

As part of the posturing to make it look like serious and meaningful alternatives are being considered, that City of Lake Elsinore will be demanding that animals that are picked up in Lake Elsinore will be guaranteed a “room at the inn,” or at least the first 26 out of 100 strays detained will get the preferential treatment that Lake Elsinore is stuck paying for.

Please click on the following Press Enterprise link to see if you can make any sense out of what counselors position:

http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/swcounty/region-shelter-board-to-discuss-financing-formula/article_73e73e20-92bf-579a-a858-22d17129c493.html

Rather than argue that Lake Elsinore is also being taken advantage of by the “animal count” allocation, though to a lesser extent than Wildomar, this meaningless “proposed amendment” is offered as the second act of the show.

It’s only a distraction.

c) Cost Allocation based on Population Count-City of Wildomar

This is what the “dog and pony show” is all about, to whit, camouflaging the real issue by surrounding it with meaningless posturing and irrelevant ideas in order to minimize and diminish the impact of Gary Nordquist’s compelling arguments for a much more reasonable allocation based on population count.

d) One-Half Population and One Half Animal Count-City of Canyon Lake

While this “half-baked” compromise was first floated by a representative of Canyon Lake in the March 07, 2012 meeting, at the time, it appeared to be no more than “can’t we all get along?” plea from an elected official who didn’t like controversy or adversity.

However, given it’s position on the agenda, this appears to have been set up in such a way that it will become the only palatable “compromise” for Temecula, Murrieta, and/or Lake Elsinore, although its implementation would have little economic relief for Wildomar.

This will likely be the “final act.”

In the “final” analysis for Wildomar, in my rather informed opinion, anything less than an allocation based on “population count” will continue to be economically unfair, and unsustainable, for the City of Wildomar, providing reasonable justification for the City of Wildomar to extract itself from this inequitable agreement.

That would be the “final, final” act. And the best outcome for Wildomar.

I will be monitoring the meeting in order to observe how Wildomar’s elected representative, Councilmember Bridgette Moore, advocates on behalf of the city of Wildomar.

Since she originally facilitated and “led” Wildomar into this debacle, she has a lot to answer for.

Comments can be made to gilrasmussen2012@gmail.com.

These people were hoping we wouldn’t notice what they are doing.


Oviedo Steps Up To The….

June 11, 2012

 

….PLATE

Wildomar City Manager Frank Oviedo has finally assumed his proper role as a City Manager, by formally challenging the unfair allocation formula of the Southwest Communities Finance Authority (“JPA”), which oversees the operation of the Animal Friends of the Valleys (“AFV”) on behalf of the various participating communities, including Wildomar.

To be fair, Oviedo was probably not getting any direction from the City Council, especially Council member Bridgette Moore, who participated in the negotiations of the original agreement as the Council representative to the JPA. Apparently, she was unable to understand the extent that Wildomar was being abused economically by Temecula and Murrieta. (It’s what happens when you want to be friends with everybody).

Please click on the following link to confirm Oviedo’s evolution, as follows:

http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/temecula/temecula-headlines-index/20120610-wildomar-small-cities-look-for-shelter-cost-relief.ece.

Unfortunately, it will take a unanimous vote of larger cities such as Temecula and Murrieta, to switch from “animal count” to “population count.” In effect, McAllister and his cronies in Temecula each have an absolute veto over any change that would be beneficial to Wildomar.

At the end of the day, Wildomar will have to secede from the JPA.

Notice, if you will, that Murrieta City Councilman Doug McAllister admits to the known economic imbalance that is the underlying and unfair basis which apparently motivated Temecula and Murrieta’s initiative and assistance in the creation of the oppressively-expensive Mammalian Taj Mahal (AFV/ JPA).

Since Murrieta has zero room in their budget for any increase for animal control services, it is unlikely that there will be any changes, leaving Wildomar with the only option of seeking either a less expensive alternative, or to quote McAllister, “Murrieta and Temecula could have built their own, smaller shelter for much less money, since they have fewer strays, he said.”

It is always gratifying to be a forward-looking voice of leadership in the community (even if not always appreciated) and then to have events validate your efforts.

Please click on the following (and then scroll down to page 4) to confirm:

http://cityofwildomar.org/uploads/files/minutes/09-08-10-cm.pdf

Comments can be made to gilrasmussen2012@gmail.com.

Now, if only  we can get the City Council to move forward on my recommendation that City Hall be moved to Marna O’Brien Park.

Congratulations are in order to Frank Oviedo for his initiative.


County Ben Conflicts With..UPDATE:

May 5, 2012

 

…CITY BEN

Roses are red…

Violets are blue…

I’m schizophrenic…

And so am I.

According to this morning’s Lake Elsinore/Wildomar Patch, Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone is pushing for federal appropriations to complete the modifications to a 7 mile stretch of Murrieta Creek. These modifications were previously proposed and approved during the 1990s and did not include any consideration for Wildomar, despite formal requests by Wildomar’s community activists at that time.

Please click on the following link, for context:

http://lakeelsinore-wildomar.patch.com/articles/murrieta-creek-discussion-wildomar-wants-in.

Notice, if you will, whenever there is an issue that involves Riverside County Supervisors, which would include Mayor Kim Jong Benoit’s daddy, then County Ben wants to play. (I understand how that father/son thing works. Years ago, I had son, who played  AYSO soccer badly, yet I cheered him on without reservation. He eventually outgrew the need for a such unmitigated parental approval).

What makes this issue so schizophrenic is that when City Ben can actually have an impact on flood issues in Wildomar, he doesn’t support the application of appropriate flood control policies.

For example, the following:

1) The litigation over the Subway project on Bundy Canyon was filed over the issue of failure on the part of the developer or the City to properly mitigate drainage issues.

2) The current Canyon Plaza project, which is underway as you are reading this, is going forward without the formal notification of the project to the Riverside County Flood Control District. As a result, if this project is completed without the County’s involvement, the City of Wildomar will be responsible for the maintenance of, and the potential liability for, any and all flooding issues between the Canyon Plaza project and property south of the project.

It makes no sense whatsoever to want to be involved in the Murrieta Creek JPA, while ignoring flood  control issues contained solely within the City of Wildomar.

Unless you’re schizophrenic.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

City officials in Murrieta may have been equally schizophrenic, in the past, by permitting the building of residential tract homes on the very edges of Murrieta Creek at the northern border of Murrieta, where it joins the southern limit of Wildomar.

At present, the Hoover Ranch project is proposing to build homes within the flood plain of Wildomar, which will ultimately contribute to future flooding in Murrieta.

Final note to City Ben: When runoff rainwater has passed through Wildomar and stacks up in Murrieta, it no longer actually “affects us.”

UPDATE:   The Californian also had an article on the subject, which completely omitted any reference to the City of Wildomar. When you take a look at their attached map, you can see why:

http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/swcounty/region-stone-proposes-takeover-of-murrieta-creek-project/article_2537619a-252d-59bd-b929-bd7b083bdb88.html


Don’t Waste 90 Days Waiting For Murrieta….

March 18, 2012

 

…TO RECONSIDER SWITCHING ALLOCATIONS ON ANIMAL CONTROL SERVICES…

…Murrieta won’t…

….’Cause they’re broke, too.

If Wildomar’s City  Council is hoping for relief from any of its fellow members of the Southwest  Communities Finance Authority (“JPA”), which oversees and provides funds for the operation of the Animal Friends of the Valleys (“AFV”), where it needs a unanimous vote from each member, including Murrieta, to change from the current”animal count-based “allocation to a “population-based” allocation, it must give up all hope.

Murrieta’s  budget woes  become Wildomar’s budget woes, when it comes to animal control services.

Please click on the following Californian link for context:

http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/murrieta/murrieta-council-to-get-dismal-update-on-budget/article_55780499-5310-5b71-9e6a-2596d62d8dc4.html

As a result, Wildomar will continue to be allocated a charge of approximately $227,000 for “debt service,” based on the theoretical “animal count,” when Wildomar would/should be paying no more than approximately $95,000, if it’s allocations were based upon the comparative populations between Wildomar and Murrieta.

Further, the JPA has already conceded a “loan” of approximately $58,000 to Wildomar to cover it’s “shortfall,” due to Wildomar’s admitted financial inability to pay its full 2012-13 budget allocation.

There is only one rational answer for Wildomar to this entire dilemma.

Secession.

Wildomar must secede from the JPA, before Wildomar incurs any additional financial obligations which the city would be required to reimburse the JPA, under the terms of the lopsided JPA agreement that Wildomar’s adolescent City Council agreed to, on December 08, 2010 (Benoit and Walker had been on the council for less than one hour when they voted in favor of the agreement, without any serious questions or deliberation).

When the JPA reconvenes in June, to hear their staff report on allocation alternatives, Murrieta will be unable and unwilling to shift an additional financial burden to themselves.

Although secession would leave the JPA with one less participant, Murrieta, Temecula and Lake Elsinore created their own monster, by agreeing to finance a $12,000,000 bond to build the Mammalian Taj Mahal.

By ignoring/forgoing secession, Wildomar will have to continuously try to wrap its arms around that $12,000,000 monster, which it admittedly cannot do this year.

It will only get worse with the passage of time.

The Wildomar City Council must address this issue and should put this matter on their next agenda, pushing aside any consideration of some remote and unrelated political interest of Benoit, and give direction to city staff to initiate the process of finding a reasonable alternative to the JPA, most likely contracting with the County of Riverside, through the County’s Ramona Animal Shelter facility  in nearby San Jacinto.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Time is money, especially in this case.