Thursday, December 12, 2013

• Bob Cashman calls it in... again!

The meeting started nearly 10 minutes late trying to hookup a remote for Councilman Bob Cashman. He was on business in Montreal. On the one hand a person might think, “Hey, this guy’s a gamer… he’s on the phone, participating in his duly elected post, though he’s three time zones to the east… what a guy!”

Until you realize that it was on the city’s dime.

You remember, we don’t have many of those in Wildomardimes to spare. In our modern age of Skype, and other nearly free forms of dependable communication, our city had to foot the bill —long distance phone bill, so that Bob Cashman could participate the old fashioned way... and in a specially rented room too.


He definitely participated, and he put out his points about the Housing Element in the General Plan Amendment… thing is, call me blind, but I didn’t see why he had to be present at added expense. Things happen, he had to represent his company in a foreign country… people have to miss meetings all the time. I didn't detect any life or death votes on the agenda.

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News Items From the Council Meeting
1)
CDBG (Community Development Block Grants)

A series of speakers looking for block community grants. There were $16K available, and four groups were vying for it... actually according to a UT article they had applied for $60K.

The Assistance League
H.O.P.E. (Helping Our People in Elsinore) 
A local chapter of Habitat for Humanity
Merit Housing 

In the end, the city council allocated the grants this way. $7K for H.O.P.E. $4K for The Assistance League; and $2,500 for the other two groups.  


2)
 Spring Meadows Ranch

The council voted 4-1 (Bob Cashman dissenting) to accept the Planning Commission's recommendation on the project. Which namely is that the project, which is only in concept stage at this point, may continue in the process. 


3)
New Mayor for 2014 

By unanimous choice, Marsha Swanson was chosen to hold the title of Mayor next year. By the same vote, Ben Benoit was chosen to be Mayor Pro Tem. He was nominated by Bridgette Moore, and though he was happy for the nomination, thought it might be council member Moore's turn for the post. After a brief discussion, where Bridgette was happy for the post to go to Ben, the first nomination was made official.

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Some Thoughts On What Went On
  
1) The Farm and Spring Meadows Ranch

If Spring Meadows Ranch becomes a reality, it will be bigger than the Windsong Valley section of town (which means it wouldn't be done being built for 20 years). Its early conceptual drawings show several parks (purportedly Public Parks) an equestrian center, community center and a local shopping area.

I get it, residents of The Farm don’t want their bucolic lifestyle altered, but are you really telling me you want to be cut off from the shopping, and other amenities there, by refusing to allow access to the three roads you have there? 

IMN2BHO People can be pretty shortsighted. 

Still, the biggest issue should be the fact that Bundy Canyon isn’t anywhere close to being able to handle all that additional traffic, and until the ingress and egress issues are resolved, with a modern approach, it should stay as a pie in the sky project.

2) Future Agenda Items

Ben Benoit suggested a couple of Future Agenda items. The ones that I applauded dealt with the city being billed for council members that are out of town  (hint, hint check out the title of this blog for clue as to which one) needing special rooms and long distance calls. 



Also, it seems that one council member (I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count) demanded a hard copy of the agenda. Something that took 3 reams of paper and multiple hours of city staff overtime to prepare it before a plane trip.




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3) Parks Commission

Marsha Swanson added "Parks Commission" to the future agenda. Noting that the current format made it difficult to have direct communication with interested people/groups. It sounds as if the City Council may not be here to suppress the will of the people after all... gorsh dern it! ☺

4)Windsong Park Fence

Also put on the future agenda was the fate of the Windsong Park fence. I've been against the fence remaining. The subject was part of the impetus that got me more involved in the community. I know some would like it to stay (Hi Monty), and we'll see how this unfolds. If you have an opinion this meeting would be key attend. The date hasn't been set yet, nor the location (though it has been suggested to be held at the park itself).


Last, though it was first... the council meeting started by recognizing the efforts of the local, under 12, girls soccer team that had advanced further than any previous team in Wildomar.
Click to view image of team at the council meeting

Christmas in Wildomar City Council Chambers      Picture Courtesy of Grace Morabito



4 comments:

  1. Fair, Honest and Frank... the way a blog should be... Keep up the great work Joseph!!!

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  2. Joseph,
    Another great update. How can I get an auto-email of your weekly blog?
    SB

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    1. It appears that I didn't have that option activated... until now that it.
      You can either "Subscribe by Email" below, or click the RSS square orange button at the top. Thanks for letting me know... :)

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