Thursday, February 13, 2014

• City Council Meeting 2-12-14 Windsong Park Fence — Community Services Commission

This was a long meeting with many different topics. It started 15 minutes late due to the closed session running long. I'll give you some of what went on.

The regular session started with a moment of silence for Ricky Losey.

Next was a plaque presentation to Supervisor Kevin Jeffries. The council remarked how things have gone much smoother for our city since he's taken office. That $660K was transferred from the county to the city. This is money that had been collected in the past, but never got to us.   If I heard correctly, that makes the total close to $1,000,000 that Supervisor Jeffries has gotten back for us.  It was good to meet him, and I look forward to getting a chance to talk with him soon.
Mayor Swanson and Supervisor Jeffries.

There was a presentation of Elsinore High School's FFA (Future Farmers of America). It's always nice to see the next generation in action, and they gave a nice presentation detailing their program. Their funding is being threatened by Governor Brown, and they are looking for donations to continue the program which currently has 240 students in it.
Then there was the report from the Fire Chief Steven Beach. He mentioned that average response times were at 4.7 mins... well below the target of 7 mins for areas like ours. That of the seven stations he's in charge of, ours (station 61) is the busiest.

One thing that was very disturbing was the report that 26 five gallon buckets of toxic waste was dumped in Wildomar. It happened February 11. Since the various 'toxic soups' were flammable, they qualified for the super fund clean up. It took three hours, with many man hours to clean up. Had the state not stepped in, the cost would have been nearly $30K out of our pockets... if you see people dumping something, please report it.
From there the Public Comments were opened. Dena Piraino spoke of the continued stop sign issues at The Farm. Sycamore Academy's 2nd/3rd grade class gave a short presentation. Anne Bowman, of Wildomar Pageants brought several of her young ladies to meet the council. April Vitale (sp?) spoke about her concerns with the traffic in front of David A Brown Middle School. George Taylor thanked the council for getting Bundy Canyon needed attention when he said, "Thanks again... if you can do it."
Council Member Bridgette Moore discussed speed limit signs that can track data. The ones in mind can be moved from one part of the city to another. They would be helpful in tracking problem areas that are plagued by speeders. Planning Commissioner Bobby Swann did a lot of digging around to get the best price, the sign's cost $4200 a piece, and though they would be useful, money is an issue... and I do wonder about vandalism of the signs. I remember a similar one in Lakeland Village getting spray painted the first month it was up.

 (I wonder if any of that money, going to defend 3 separate lawsuits, 
could have been used for these devices instead?) 

Wildomar will be going from 12 to 16 employees... and
that's counting five council members in that total.
The city will be hiring 4 new staffers. Currently the positions are contracted. I had to appreciate Tim Walker's conservative approach as he repeated, "I don't want any unfunded liabilities."

I find it an interesting point. Contract Employees v. City Staffers. Contract employees cost more upfront, but there are no legacy costs (retirement). City staff costs less upfront, but could possibly cost us more 20 and 30 years down the road.

I know that's the trend... no one seems to want employees anymore, but when we go looking for a job, most of us want to be an old fashioned 40 hour a week employee... but I digress.

 Community Services Commission 
Suggestions included
  • 5 members
  • 4 year terms, staggered 
  • dissolve the current Parks Subcommittee
  • Bob Cashman made a good point about wanting representative membership on the commission.  
  • Discussion about if the commissioners should be appointed in a manner similar to that of the Planning Commission, or to not be selected by individual council members.
For details, watch the council discuss the Community Services Commission.

The fate of 
Windsong Park Fence
 The fence is coming down

The topic of the fence at Windsong Park has been going on for me since we passed Measure Z in 2012. Last Summer, I met council member Moore for the first time... and it was one of the first things I mentioned to her. I started going to the various city meetings, and the fence was always on my radar. 

I first met Monty Goddard at an impromptu parks meeting last year. I'd heard about him from Gil Rasmussen when he told me that "Monty Goddard was pushing hard to keep that fence up," and I'd have to ,"get around him before that fence was going to come down."

When I met him, he was nothing like had been described to me. I was told he was an old man. I joke about being an old man, but Monty isn't an old man. George Bush the dad is an old man. Anyway, I quickly found Monty to be engaging and very neighborly, but he really has been fixated with this park fence. His balcony does overlook the park, and if anyone is going to hear noises in the park, it would be someone right there.

Monty's biggest concern isn't that the park should have a fence, but that we need more policing. I can't disagree with that. The council is asking to have security patrol the parks. Something beyond the drive by stuff the previous patrols did before the parks were closed.

Before you say, "But how can we pay for that? I'd rather have more police first." There is money in the Measure Z funds for Security Patrols. That money can't be spent on anything other than the parks and the maintenance of them.

Though I'm happy that the council voted in favor of the fence coming down, and it's good news to hear about the security measures going in... I know how worried Monty and some of the other residents that live in sight of the park are, and I hope that we keep on top of park security this time round.

I am so glad this issue is over. The fence should be down by the time of the parks grand opening, which is slated for April 12, 2014. Though the grassy areas won't be ready for play, look for the play grounds and basketball courts to reopen in only a couple of weeks at most.

For details, watch the video of Monty's comments on the fence, followed by the council's discussion.



  1. Joseph
    Your excited like most of the people at the council meeting about the $661,859 turned over by the County to the City of Wildomar. This excitement is primarily due to the mention of this money in the same statement as parkland and the previous $300,000. Look at and go to the bottom of the document and you will find this money is going sit in an account for many years to come as the projects this money is specified to be spent on a years away from completion. This transfer was nothing more than an accounting move by the county to clean up their books.

    1. Ummm... you must have extra sensory perception to have gauged that I was "excited" about it. You seem to have translated the use of a yellow highlight as enthusiasm. I just posted what I heard. I too was wondering what significance it had for us... if that money was readily available, then I think the council would have approved Council Member Moore's idea of speed limit signs that track data.

      I think it is a fair point to ask, "Great, now what? What is that money going to do, and when is it going to happen? Thank you Kevin Jeffries, but what does it mean in the real world?"

  2. "head tilts" HUH?- I guess there is a way to turn anything into a negative. sheila

    1. It's a magical power that is possessed by so many these days. I'm guessing the favorite phrase by such people is a simple two worder: "Yeah... but."

    2. If money is earmarked for a project I don't know why that bothers anyone. that is still money that doesn't have to come out of city budget. Example- my daughters car needs repairs I give her money to fix the car, does that mean she should be grumpy because the money has been "earmarked"? No she should be glad it doesn't have to come out of her own pocket.


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