Monday, December 10, 2018

• City Council Meeting December 2018 (special meeting)

The December 10th special city council meeting honored former city council member Tim Walker for his eight years of dedicated service, and then ushered in Joseph Morabito as the new city council member from district 3. 
Joseph Morabito takes the oath as the four other council members look on.
Tim spoke about his years in the seat and that he finished his final meetings on the city's behalf just a few hours earlier in the day. He was awarded a rocking chair from the city, and several proclamations acknowledging his years of service.
After a brief intermission city clerk Debbie Lee administered the oath of office to Joseph Morabito (that's me speaking in the third person if you're not sure). 
Joseph Morabito, Marsha Swanson, Ben Benoit, Bridgette Moore, Dustin Nigg.
From there I read some prepared words, thanking friends and family.
I’m not going to drag my feet with the job of city council member, but I’m also not going to start off at full speed ahead. I want to find the path (if there is such a thing) that has the fewest pitfalls and stumbling blocks, but I’m human and am sure to screw things up from time to time in the eyes of many people.

My goal is to represent Wildomar in a way that brings honor to our city and community.

I have several things I have to balance at once. 

First and foremost I have to represent the best interests of the people of Wildomar, and as long as we have districts, I have to be extra mindful of the issues and concerns of those that live in district 3.

Second, I need to be a good team member with my fellow council members and city staff, while at the same time keeping my individuality and not being afraid to take an unpopular stand when necessary. 

The job of city council member can be a mixed bag. There are plenty of instances where smiles and pats on the back occur, but there are a lot of tough decisions that have to be made too. Decisions that no matter which way the vote goes, about half of the people will be angry. It’s just part of the job.
With that, I’m eager to begin the real work that I’ve been elected to do and encourage email communication, or FaceBook messages, from all the Wildomartinis within the sound of my voice. 
  —Joseph Morabito, December 10, 2018
The video below is the complete second half of the meeting, which includes an interesting public comment by Murrieta city council member Randon Lane. The swearing in begins around the 4 minute mark (link).
I haven't had a chance to access my email yet, but it's going to follow the typical pattern of first initial followed by the last name:

I'll be sharing my number when I get it, and it'll be available at the city's website too.

Wildomar Rap opinion time

It's been a great run providing video and other commentary of the city meetings over the last several years. Tonight was the last night I'll need to do that. Not only will I be up on the dais, but I heard some good news.

At tonight's special meeting there was a camera in place to livestream the meeting, and I was told that all future meetings will be live streamed too.

Check out this link, I believe it's the one to the Wildomar video page.

Hope to see you at Breakfast With Santa this Saturday at the fire station on Gruwell St.

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Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.
– Pericles

Just because you don't take an interest in Wildomar Rap doesn't mean Wildomar Rap will bat an eyelash one way or the other.

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Sunday, December 9, 2018

• A Good Deed

Here is a good local story that involves neighbors, a lost bible and more than a decade in between.
The bible found by Wildomar resident Michael Leonard.
I first saw this story about a week ago in the Windsong Valley FaceBook page... proof that social media can be a good thing.

I asked if I could share this story with the rest of the community, and Michael Leonard, than man that found the bible, agreed.

The bible's owner asked that I don't use any of their names. 
I asked him, "What motivated you to look for the owner this many years later?"

His response was, "When I found it I wanted to find the owner but was not really sure where to start so I decided that I would just hang on to it until I could find the owner. I figured in Gods timing it would happen. Then the day I posted it I was reading through this exact bible and I had a discussion with my wife about how we have held onto it for so many years and how I wondered if the owner was still around."
Some of the comments that followed.
He continued, "My wife suggested to post it on fb and it just so happens that as I opened Facebook I saw a feed from the Windsong page and so I thought why not, what could it hurt?"
"And the next day the owner of the Bible messaged me. We still haven’t met up but come to find out she is friends with my mother in law."

Thank you to Michael Leonard for his kindness to this family that he never had met before. 

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Don't throw stones at your neighbors if your own windows are glass.
– Benjamin Franklin

Wildomar Rap goes one further than ol' Ben Franklin in this instance... how about this revision: don't throw stones at your neighbors —period, end of story.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

• Grand Avenue Update

A couple of quick updates involving Grand Avenue. 
Newly repaired fence posts.
You may remember that it was reported on November 21st about part of the Grand Avenue multi-purpose trail that had been plowed into by a hit and run driver.

I don't have any cost details at this time, but I'm happy to report that this was repaired promptly and it's good as new again!
What it looked like on November 20th.
The second item will interest those that either use Ortega Highway, or get to Lake Elsinore by way of Grand.
I noticed these soft barriers while driving down Grand Ave on the way to work.
Um, errr... I was using a tripod for those wondering.
Too many drivers don't respect the rules of the road so now they've installed several clusters of flexible delineators to prevent illegal passing. 
I counted twelve delineators in each cluster.
I first encountered them at about quarter till five in the morning, and can only imagine how long it'll take before someone plows into them. I'm all for slowing down the crazy drivers, I just hope they don't come with unintended consequences as uncaring drivers play chicken with them.
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Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
– T.S. Elliot

Mr. Elliot makes a good point, but Wildomar Rap is hopeful that he wouldn't extend that to reckless drivers.

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Friday, November 30, 2018

• Bronze Award Project at Wildomar Elementary

Let me begin by saying that one of the best parts about writing Wildomar Rap is being in a position to meet interesting people. Sometimes they're older and very accomplished, other times they're young and basically just starting out in life. 
Mikayla alongside the finished mural
Today meet ten year old Mikayla. She's a 5th grader at Wildomar Elementary and recently completed a Girl Scout Bronze Award project on the campus. The idea stemmed from the theme of a school assembly: Be Your Own Superhero.
During the early stages of the project, drawing the image onto the wall.
It was originally going to be one mural, but then blossomed into more than half a dozen murals throughout the school.

Being the current secretary of the Wildomar Rotary Club, I had the chance to chat with Mikayla before she started the project. She was looking for donations and I was the one that heard her presentation.
This meeting was at The Bean in early October when Mikayla discussed the project she had in mind, looking for donations. She was well prepared for the meeting, as she was the day she showed me the finished project.
She's been in the Girl Scouts for a year and a half, in the junior level. (Hint: junior level wears a green vest).
Mikayla poses with the supplies.
Mikayla gave me a tour of the work she oversaw and then answered some questions for this blog.

Her inspiration for this project was her own experience with being bullied. As she explained it, she's been bullied and seen others suffer bullying at the hands of others. She wants to bring awareness to her school and the community.
More than thirty people helped Mikayla with this project.
I asked her which part of the project she enjoyed most, her response was, "My favorite part about this project [has been] meeting all the people that have helped me. Without them, none of this would have been possible." 
Time for a group shot... say "Cheeeeeese"! ☺
She told me that the most difficult part of the project was "learning how to communicate [...] with people in person and in email" but now feels confident in such situations. 
This No Bullying mural can be seen from the blacktop.
In addition to learning how to communicate better during this project, she also listed, "how to manage a project from start to finish, how to express myself [...] through art and painting, the importance of how you treat people, and friendship."
Posing under one of the finished murals.
She received donations from Wildomar Rotary ($100), Lowe's donated much of the supplies, Diversified Landscape and Consultetech also chipped in. 
If only people would pay attention to such advice...
I asked her if she had any additional thoughts to add to the blog and she said, "Yes, I want to thank everybody who helped me through this project. My mom and dad, Ms. Connelly my Assistant Principal, Mr. Hoffmann my Principal, Wildomar Student Council, Britney Drysler and the Interacters from Temescal Canyon High School, April Watkins, (I might say your last name wrong) Joseph Morabito and the Wildomar Rotary, Miss Grace, Lisa Cabrera in Lakeland Community Center. For the materials Lowe's, Diversified Landscape and Consultetech." 
It's not all that difficult to be nice to people... 
Mikayla has been part of THINK Together at Wildomar Elementary for a couple of years now. As it happens, back in Spring of 2017 she was one of the key participants in a promotional video for the Justine Lee Pesicka Memorial 5K at Marna O'Brien Park.

Mikayla is part of a new Girl Scout troop lead by her mom Sonni LeGault, Troop 1929. The girls are in grades 4th through 8th, and go to schools in both Wildomar and Lake Elsinore. They meet once or twice a month on Sundays. 
Words to live by.
If you have a daughter that age, and are interested in her possibly joining Troop 1929, be sure to send Sonni an email:
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Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.
– Benjamin Disraeli 

Wildomar Rap is neither smoke nor fire... if anything, it's closer to steam coming off a demitasse of espresso.

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

• Cookies With Santa: Cops For Kids 2018

The Christmas time of year is eagerly anticipated by kids of all ages with hopes of getting presents under the tree. However, not all kids come from families that can afford gifts and many charitable organizations seek to fill that gap.

Cops For Kids is a local organization that has been giving gifts to children for more than twenty years. 

"What started twenty years ago, by a couple of patrolmen out of the Lake Elsinore Sheriff Station, who saw a need among some in the underprivileged areas, who then went back to the station and took up a collection, bought gifts and distributed them to kids in need, while on duty, in uniform, from their marked patrol cars, has blossomed into an institution in the area: Cops For Kids."
- Dave Fontneau, Executive Director of the group
The area served by Cops For Kids stretches from the unincorporated areas north of Lake Elsinore down to Wildomar. It basically mirrors the Lake Elsinore School District boundaries.  

If you (or a family you know of) needs assistance, please check with your student's school or visit the Lake Elsinore Police Station to fill out the application. 

Please return the application to your student's school office or the Lake Elsinore police station.

To be eligible for gifts, this application needs to be filled out first.The flyer is wrong when it comes to the deadline (that's a Sunday).

Deadline Monday 12/3/18

Cops For Kids can only provide gifts for students in the LEUSD ages 2-12 years old. They thank you for your understanding. Also, no double dipping. If you're being assisted by another organization this year, please do not ask for an application this year.

There is a "Cookies With Santa" event being held at the Lakeland Village Community Center that is opened to all. See the flyer below for more details.

Free Cookies with Santa event on 12 7/18!

On Saturday, December 15th be sure to attend Wildomar's annual Breakfast With Santa at Station 61 on Gruwell St.

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He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.
– Roy L. Smith

Admittedly, Wildomar Rap is not a good wrap for Christmas presents.

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Sunday, November 25, 2018

• November 25, 2018

A couple of items 

1: Planning Commission Opening
With a new city council term comes a new term for a planning commissioner. Each city council member can nominate someone for the planning commission, which then has to be approved by a majority of the council.

It's customary for the city to advertise in the Press Enterprise and send out emails informing interested persons that applications for a seat on the Wildomar planning commission are being taken. I'm sure that will happen as usual, but I'd like to get the process started now.

If you are interested in working for the betterment of Wildomar, and would like to be interviewed for a seat on the planning commission, please reach out to me. I haven't been issued a city email or phone yet, so at this point you'll have to use other email (or facebook messages) for the initial contact.

I'm not looking for any one thing in a potential planning commissioner, but a commitment to serve the entire four year term, and an overall positive demeanor are a must.

Other things I'm looking for: someone that doesn't have an agenda, is easy to work with, will do all their homework, visit the various project sites before voting on them, be able to explain to the public their votes during commission discussion before a vote.

You don't necessarily have to be a long time resident of Wildomar, but you're going to have to convince me that you have a commitment to our city if you're new to the area.

I'm looking to have this filled in a reasonable time frame so that the commission will have its full complement of five members with as little delay as possible. 
If you're interested in the position, then you'll have to fill out an application with the city. (which can come off as invasive, but that's the tradeoff when you want to serve the public)

2: Measure AA Oversight Committee
This is a new oversight committee that was promised with the passing of the sales tax increase known as Measure AA. I haven't heard the particulars yet, but I don't believe this will be filled the same way as the planning commission. 

All interested persons would need to contact city hall and ask for an application for the Measure AA Committee. You can also approach any of the council members and let them know you're interested.

My suggestion is that, in addition to the qualities listed above, you also have a head for numbers. 

3: This Blog
Wildomar Rap opinion time

You may have read that some of Wildomar Rap's standard blogs will be going away. Primarily the recap of the city council and planning commission meetings. I still want to share what has gone on, but it'll be tricky while abiding by the Brown Act. 

For example, if I come in with opinion on a pending agenda item, it could be seen as an attempt to communicate with other council members... something strictly forbidden. Each council member can communicate with ONE other member, but that is all.

More than that and there is a voting majority (3 is a quorum) and trying to circumvent the Brown Act is an easy way to get into serious trouble. 

I'm not going to rush this, as it's always better to measure twice and cut once... as my grandfather would always say.
Wildomar Rap will still highlight things within the community. Local businesses, park events, people and the like. If you know of something or someone that has a story that should be shared with the rest of Wildomar, please let me know about it, I can't write about something I'm unaware of. I can't promise that I'll blog about it, but I might. 

•                •                •

I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.
– Abraham Lincoln

Come on Abe, no one bats 1.000, Wildomar Rap is willing to walk back when the situation calls for it. 

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

• City Council Meeting November 2018

The November city council meeting opened with a presentation by Sue Reed of the Special Olympics of Southern California. (video link 2:45 mark)
Seven of the athletes posed with the council for a photo.
PUBLIC COMMENTS (video link 9:00 mark)
    • Monty Goddard talked about new taxes (Measure AA) and incorporation.
    • Ken Mays noted that live streaming of meetings still weren't in place, discussed fire codes, and information signs.

COUNCIL COMMUNICATIONS (video link 19:45 mark)
Council communications are where the council members recap their activity of the last month. I don't usually report on this part of the meeting, but Tim Walker used part of his time to shake hands with me (Joseph Morabito), wish me success and give me a gift of some chocolates; a classy move.
Tim Walker and Joseph Morabito shake hands.
Photo courtesy of Scott Rux.
Item 2.1 HUD Assessment Survey (video link 28:50 mark)
Back in September there was an online survey the city asked the residents to participate in (link to blog about it). The goal of the survey was to get public input on issues most concerning to the community. 
Highest needs per category.
There were many charts generated from this study found in the agenda packet (link to agenda packet) skip down to page 109 for this item and goes to page 165.
Wildomar Rap opinion time

Only 94 people participated, and if we parse that a bit further I'm guessing that the number of residents that are not dialed into city issues would drop below 50.

Voter apathy (or just apathy in general) is a real thing, the majority of people leave it to others to make the decisions. That's all well and good, and one vote/opinion may seem insignificant, but it's from the collective data that policy is made. If you don't participate, the data is incomplete, but the decisions still have to be made. 
2.3 Fire Prevention Fee Proposal (video link 37:00 mark)
I read this as a good thing for the people of Wildomar. If you have a project that needs input from the fire department, now you won't have to traverse up to Riverside (often multiple times) to get that box checked off your paperwork.

3.1 Wildomar Meadows GPIP (video link 46:00 mark)
This project is at the early stages. Various versions of it have been around for many years. In short, it's a large development (think Windsong Valley) that is going to be nestled between The Farm and the pending MSJC campus.
Map of Area, blue star is the project.
This has a long way to go. I'm curious about the ingress and egress (what will La Estrella to Salida Del Sol to Clinton Keith turn into?) and also if they're going have shopping amenities like a previous version talked about?

For more details, check out the video or the blog about the October planning commission meeting. (link to blog)
3.2 Holiday Light Contest (video link 1:01:00 mark)
There are two categories of the contest that you can enter into. The first is traditional, the second is Clark Griswold. In short, one is decoration with a basic approach and the other is with an over the top approach.
Here's a look at what the Clark Griswold competitors are trying to match.
Key dates: Entries will be accepted through Thursday December 6th, and the winners will be announced at the December 12th city council meeting.

City Manager Report (video link 1:02:30 mark)
    • Special Meeting on Monday, December 10th to swear in new councilmember Joseph Morabito, and say a thank you to outgoing councilmember Tim Walker for his years of service to the city.
    • Measure AA will go into effect around April (at the soonest) with the first revenues hitting the treasury in June of 2019.
    • Photo Contest for the 2019 calendar. You can submit up to two photos, and one can be chosen. For assistance or for more information, please contact Janet Morales at or 951-677-7751 x210.

This will be the last of the Wildomar Rap blogs about city council meetings. There are just too many potential conflicts of interest to continue, plus it takes a long time... time that I'll be using to prepare for the meetings.

I was asked about video taping meetings, and I really hope that we can all work together so that there is no interruption in making the video(s) available. From what I was hearing, it sounded like video is slated for January (not sure what that entails). 

Outside the chamber I heard the Mayor suggest that this could be bumped up to December, I hope so. 
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There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.
– Erroneously attributed to Charles Dickens

Most things are better than Wildomar Rapeven with chocolate.

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