Tuesday, May 20, 2014

• City Meeting Double Header

Tonight there were two city meetings. First was the Parks Subcommittee meeting, which has Mayor Marsha Swanson and Council Member Bridgette Moore on it, also on the dais was City Manager Gary Nordquist.

In it was discussed many items. From the future calendar of events for the parks to improvements, like the mention of covers for the playground areas, a water fountain and bathroom at Windsong Park (that would be greatly appreciated).

Highlights of coming events over the rest of the year:
  • June 21st, Movie in the Park (Marna O'Brien Park)
  • July 5th, Incorporation Day (Marna O'Brien Park)
  • July 19th, Movie in the Park (Windsong Park)
  • July 25th, Wildomar Night at the Storm (The Diamond, Lake Elsinore)
  • August 9th, Camp Out at the Park, (Marna O'Brien Park)
  • August 23rd, Freedom Swing dedication (Marna O'Brien Park)
  • November 1, Trunk or Treat (Marna O'Brien Park)
  • December  13, Breakfast with Santa (TBD)
Another hot topic [with the audience anyway] was should there be "sing-alongs" where there are movies in the park, and which titles would be best to play. I'm guessing that inter-generational relations will be put back 50 years if such a thing is really tried, especially with The Sound of Music... but if that title isn't available why not Singing in the Rain?

The second end of double header was a Budget Workshop hosted by City Manager Gary Nordquist. It was mostly comprised of boilerplate stuff. Facts and figures about past budgets and revenue forecasts. When we got to the part with public input a guy from City by App got up, I believe he was invited by Mayor Pro-Tem Ben Benoit.

For a total of $3560 a year, the city can participate with a mobile app that would keep people updated on all sorts of things. I'd like to be more detailed here, but I'm not a smartphone guy so I zoned out when all the gadget talk was going on. 

Grace Morabito was enthusiastic for it. She was happy to report that she'd already been using the apps for news from Murrieta and Temecula.

Sheila Urlaub went to the microphone to ask the CityByApp rep a question. She wanted to know if it could be affected by the same kinds of trolls that post outrageous things at a local site called The Patch. They made it clear that such nonsense doesn't take place on their app. If you know The Patch that counts as two tallies in the positive column.

Here's a link to the website, you decide if it's something you'd like Wildomar to get or not.  

So it was asked if there were anymore thoughts from the public so I went up there and mentioned  more code enforcement. I referenced the CityByApp we'd just heard about while pulling my flip phone out from my pocket, raising it high, as I kiddingly said, "You can take this from me when you pry it from my cold dead fingers."

"As nifty as the smartphone app thing is, we could really use more code enforcement in our town. There are real things that make our city a lesser place that are allowed to become permanent." 

I find it funny that there are those out there that don't want the codes, that 95+% of us abide by, uniformly enforced. The lack of enforcement only leads to a dirtier and coarser city. Once one person decides they don't need to follow the rules of the community, others say, "If he's not gonna, then I'm not gonna either."

If you live in one of the rural sections of town, I get why you don't care one way of the other. Most of the residents in Wildomar live in neighborhoods, and I dare say that most of us would like our city to be a nice place with standards. Sure, there are some that think trying to be a "nice place" is just too fancy for our town... and they like it dirty. Sorry fellas, you're in the minority on this one.
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  1. I use the CityBy Apps for Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, Murrieta, and Temecula. You can tell which cites paid and which didn't, but since the developers want users to use their app, they'll post stuff about the cities that don't pay too. I would not pay them to repost news that is available elsewhere, so I don't think the city should pay for it either. But I know that I would not use the app for surrounding paying cities if my own town were not included too, so if they want to keep collecting from the payers then they will play nice with the rest of us too. Use the app, even send them info to post, but don't pay them for it.

  2. I think it is one of the better values for our money(from a city perspective). We need a way for information to get out there. This app would still be free for the individual. The city paying into it would make it more robust and more impactful. But I would like our city staff to speak with the city people in temecula and murietta to see if they feel this has been worth the money. sheila

  3. $3560 per year may not sound like a lot of money to some, but there are those of us who are trying very hard to get something done about the speeding/stop sign issue plaguing our city. That money could be put to use in any number of ways to assist this endeavor. dena

    1. Dena, I agree with you. Though there are legitimate uses for such an App, I think it is something way down on the list of things a growing city needs.

    2. Currently we struggle to get the word out about events and activities and issues. Think about the potential that if you wanted to get more people aware of a item you had put onto the city council agenda and people had this app to keep them posted? People need to think broader with regards to problem solving and long-term vision. sheila

  4. Let's do "Frozen", please. Then the kids won't riot.


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