Thursday, October 13, 2016

• City Council Meeting October 2016

Other than a library update and recognition for Fire Captain Ed Estacio there were no presentations, a bit different from the hour's worth the month before.

Public Comments on non agenda items
  • Peter Cracchiolo and his concerns about the quality of work and the dangerous conditions on Lost Road. 
  • Ginny Kishbauch spoke about worsening conditions in her neighborhood.
  • Kenny Mayes consent calendar issues and needing more than three minutes to comment on multiple items.
  • Mireya Gresham from Sycamore Academy spoke on many topics, including a new parking structure they intend to build, an upcoming History Showcase and a pet food drive where they collected 2000 pounds of food for AFV.
Check out the video to hear the speakers in their own words.
Consent Calendar
This is where items end up that are supposed to just need a rubber stamp, and not full discussion by the council or the public. Still, a councilmember —or a member of the public— can ask to have items "pulled" and discussed. 

Though I agree with Ken Mayes —that too often weighty items end up on the consent calendar, I'm not sure what difference it would make if they were listed elsewhere. Often councilmembers will "pull" an item for discussion and members of the public have the same right. 

When he pulled several items (1.6, 1.7, 1.8, and 1.9) all I got out of his comments were that —at least it appeared to me— that he was against widening Bundy Canyon because it would make crossing the street more difficult for wild animals that have been here longer than any people. 
"[To] provide a connected pathway for the wildlife that has existed here for eons, long before man came around, created a roadway of carnage and destruction, which you now want to enhance by widening."

Kenny Mayes

Mayor Bridgette Moore pulled an item for further discussion.

1.9 Regional Homeless Alliance
In the meeting Brian Ambrose of Murrieta and Steve Falk of HOPE spoke the local efforts mentioned in the PE article.

This is a noble cause, where local municipalities are getting together to address homelessness in the area. Something that is anticipated to worsen as time goes by due to a severe housing shortage.

The concern I have with such endeavors is funding. It's NOT a city issue, and the way that the state has jacked around with the funding that counties get, I'm not so sure that it's a county issue either.

It was established that it costs "nothing to join" the collaborative. 

Beyond "nothing to join" it should never cost the people of Wildomar an additional dime. If monies are to be needed, I suggest they be taken from the CDBG funds and from no other source... come hell or highwater.

2.1 Allocation of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds for Fiscal Year 2017-2018
Every year, the City of Wildomar has the opportunity to apply to the Riverside County Economic Development Agency (EDA) to receive an allocation of Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.

Up to 14% of the CDBG funds not to exceed $20,360 was up for grabs. In the end it was split 51-49 between the Assistance League and COPS for Kids.

HOPE didn't see the deadline coming and failed to submit their paperwork for part of the pie. Merit Housing, which operates Wildomar Senior Assisted Living, walked away with nothing. 

2.2 Zoning Ordinance Amendment - Construction and Public Hearing Notification Signage Code Amendment.

In short, this was tabled because what the planning commission came up with, and what Councilmember Ben Benoit had in mind were vastly different.
On the left is approximately what Councilmember Benoit (8'x4') had in mind and the one on the right is akin to what was presented to the council (4'x4').

3.1 FY 2016-17 First Quarter Budget Report
The key takeaways from this item were the city getting a CSO officer (at about $100K "fully burdened") and whether or not to fund a city social media program.

If you didn't read the agenda packet, you didn't know that a "social media program" was going to be mentioned.

The agenda only said this:
3.1 FY 2016-17 First Quarter Budget Report RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends that the City Council review and consider approval of the Fiscal Year 2016-17 First Quarter Report.

The social media program got hung up on the proposed cost of $10,000.

As much as I've always thought that the city having an official FaceBook page would be a good thing, I don't think so if it's going to cost us any more money in man hours.

This is Wildomar, not a city that is full of hustle and bustle, where there might be a need to constantly update info to the public. We don't even have a parks and rec department at this point. 

What I noticed was that there was a lot of miscommunication between the staff and the council and even among the various council members. They are all bright people, but it's obvious from the video that they weren't on the same page most of the time. 

I'm including a video of the council discussion on the item. It lasts more than 15 minutes but it gives some insight on what happens when the council doesn't agree on a topic. (There are edits in the video. Since this item dealt with three things, I edited out the portions that weren't about the facebook policy, and I had to change the battery in my camera once.)
I'm glad that Councilmembers Swanson and Cashman were able to derail this and hopefully it can come back as a workshop project that invites interested residents to participate. 

It was more than apparent that they wanted additional details before voting on such a program, and to be part of the policy making process itself.

It would be nice to have a facebook page, but not to the tune of $10,000. This city is so strapped for money as it is. Is $10,000 —against fixing his road (points to Mr. Cracchiolo) to put a FaceBook page in?

Councilmember Marsha Swanson

After the meeting there were many good ideas that were touched on for a future FaceBook policy, and what the approach should be. 

Last, a small amount of googling landed me at several sample policies after entering "sample social media policy for cities" in the search bar. 
•          •          •

“Brigands demand your money or your life; women require both.”  

— Samuel Butler, 1835-1902

Wildomar Rap has neither the time, nor the inclination, to worry about your money or your life... I'm currently occupied with answering to Mrs. Wildomar Rap about such things.


  1. Wildomar got bamboozled once again. When is the last time a government agency developed a "White Paper" that didn't cost money. They are also talking about increase public safety personnel’s training, more money. Inform and educate the public about homelessness, like the Tiny House Village meeting. There are cost associated with the entire Mission Statement of this Group.
    Citizens were cheated of the opportunity to discuss this item when it was put on the consent calendar, how dare the mayor allow members of this coalition to discuss this item without rebuttal from the citizens affected.

    1. The mayor sets the agenda, so it seems like it would have been easier to have 1.9 as part of the regular agenda, rather than she pulling it from the consent calendar.

      As far as "citizens were cheated" I disagree. It could have been advertised in all the major media, and sky writers too, and not a single additional Wildomartini would have made their way to the meeting. Of those that did attend, you did speak about it.

  2. So we can add a total burden of $100,000 extra annually for a community service officer (?) But we can't scrape up $35,000 or so to repave the 100ft or so on Lemon Rd where it intersects with Gafford down to the mailboxes?? Meanwhile someone complains again about lost Road? Was it one of the residents who lives at the top wanting to make their lives easier? Or one of us who lives down at the bottom who have to deal with speeding cars and dangerous drivers??

    1. When I hear such figures I instantly know why government budgets are so high. Not to minimize the work of a CSO, but why would the compensation (fully burdened) need to be that high? At some point, not that far into the future, there will have to either be major tax increases or freezes/rollbacks for those that pull a government check.

  3. I know I sound like a broken record, but:
    Our police work days, the criminals are working the night shift. Does anyone have a clue what we should do?

    1. Fair question.

      With the passing of AB 109 and Prop 47 jail has become a revolving door for the low flying criminal class. Now there is Prop 57 on this year's ballot that looks to let even more "non violent" convicts out. We could quadruple the police force in town and it wouldn't make much of a dent against what criminals are doing.


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