Friday, August 8, 2014

• City Council Elections 2014

November 4th, election day, will be here sooner than you think. 

The die is cast for this year's city council election. All three incumbents (Mayor Marsha Swanson, Mayor Pro-Tem Ben Benoit and 2013 Mayor Tim Walker) are running to retain their seats. Joining them are Israel Leija, and Gary Andre. Two other people (Albia Miller and Roger LeClerc) did "pull papers" but failed to turn them in.

A thanks goes out to Mr. Israel Leija for getting me an updated photo for this graphic.

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I've been going to most city meetings during the last 12 months (city council, planning commission, parks sub committee, special neighborhood meetings... just not the Measure Z Oversight Committee. Even I have to draw the line somewhere). 

I'm not sure that committee does anymore than fulfill a perfunctory
obligation. Apologies to Monty Goddard and Kathy Bundy.  :^)

From what I can see, from that experience, is that the three incumbents take their positions seriously. I don't necessarily agree with all the various positions they take, but it's obvious that they do their homework, they get out in the community, and they have Wildomar's best interest at heart. I'm a firm believer in term limits, but since Wildomar is so young, none of our council members have been there too long... yet.

In the same year, I've seen and spoken to Gary Andre many times... including at the parks reopening event at Marna O'Brien Park earlier this year. Nice enough fellow, he often goes to council meetings or planning commission meetings. He's been part of the city in the past. He was a Planning Commissioner appointed by former council member, and repeat litigant against the city after she failed to gain reelection in 2010 —Sheryl Ade. He also was Volunteer Trails Coordinator starting in June of 2012, but he resigned less than a year into the two year term.

Until this election cycle, I'd never heard of Israel Leija. I've never seen him at a city meeting before nor heard him speak. I look forward to chatting with him to see what his stances on the issues are and why he thinks a new comer, that hasn't participated in the city before now, should leap frog to one of the three top seats that will be up for grabs.


I've come up with some questions that I'd like hear the candidates expound upon. 

←In no particular order→

  1. What is your stance on Walmart coming to Wildomar?
  2. Why are you running for office?
  3. What is your take on the frequent lawsuits being filed against the city?
  4. What should be done to improve code enforcement?
  5. What is your vision for Wildomar?
  6. Will you be accepting any campaign contributions from developers, land speculators and/or consultants who work for or represent developers?
  7. Would you support higher taxes to maintain, or increase, current levels of services expected by your residents?
  8. What do you consider to be the most important unmet need in Wildomar?
  9. What sets you apart from the other candidates in this race?
  10. How important is it to you to get city council meetings streamed online, and archived for easy review by your constituency?
  11. Have you been in a leadership position and, if so, what did you accomplish in that role?
  12. What's your position on term limits for city council members?
  13. Grade each member of this city's council (on a scale of "A" to "F") and explain your grade.


Now it's your turn. Please add to this list of questions in the comment section. Feel free to be more specific than I've been here. If you have a concern that you'd like to hear addressed by the candidates, list them here and/or email them directly. If they want your vote, I'm sure they'll be more than happy to address your concerns.

Tim Walker –
Ben Benoit –
Marsha Swanson –
Israel Leija –
Gary Andre –

☼   ☼   ☼   ☼   ☼   ☼   ☼   ☼   ☼   ☼   ☼

 .Wildomar Rap can be found on FaceBook by clicking this link. Still undefeated in the America's Cup race... mostly because I've never entered it.


  1. Hasn't Andre also been a part of lawsuit's against developers? Or tried to portray himself as working for the city when he wasn't? Or caused problems at planning commission meetings? Or tried to claim expertise in areas where he has no formal training or experience?

    1. Gary Andre is no way a nice person. I have seen him lose is temper in public. He has been a problem to our community. I think Gary Andre needs to move out of Wildomar.

  2. What would you do in order to bring more sales tax revenue to our city. If you had the ability to bring any large box store to Wildomar, what would it be and why?

  3. This is going to be GOOD!

  4. Would someone who is in favor of suing the city or developers over ridiculous things be a good fit to lead the city? Is someone who is a new comer really good for the council and our city?

  5. Andre drives around to our local businesses and pretends to be a building inspector. He has threaten to sue business owners for ADA violations. I have personally seen Andre lose his temper in a local dinner because they ran out of peanut butter. During his temper tantrum he threw his plates and coffee to the ground. He also insulted the server to the point he made her cry. Gary Andre is NOT liked in his community. People Please !!


Let's hear what you have to say... for other inquiries try the email listed under "view my complete profile" but if you want to discuss a blog topic, I'll only do it in this comment section, not by email.

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