Thursday, February 9, 2017

• City Council Meeting February 2017

An unexpectedly long meeting that didn't really have any earth shaking decisions coming out of it.

PRESENTATIONS 
1.  Swearing in of new police chief Daniel Anne. A five minute video is included below, which includes some remarks from the new chief.

2. Wildomar Soccer – Wildomar U12 Champions. 
They went undefeated in the final tournament, beating their unnamed nemesis along the way.
.3. Wildomar Elementary School's Mr. Hoffman gave a detailed power point presentation about the school, its teachers and students.
4. Elsinore High School Academic Decathlon Team was recognized for taking first place in the recent event. Click this link to read Press Enterprise article about it.
Note to the mayor and staff, that microphone is great for presentations, but lousy for pictures. Allow me to suggest that you have groups larger than 3 stand in front of the dias like in the past.

5. Elsinore High School's new co principals (Robbin Hamilton and Sarah Arredondo) talked for about five minutes about what's going on at their campus. They have a new baseball field, and there will be a ribbon cutting for it March 14th. They will be one of the few schools to have night games.

6. Fire Department Update: The January report had 230 total calls with 90% of those being medical. A double wide mobile home on Paradise Lane burned, displacing one adult.

PUBLIC COMMENTS (non agenda items)
George Perez discussed problems on Beecher St (it was impossible to know what he was referring to as he wasn't specific) and Mayor Pro-Tem Ben Benoit offered to meet with him to help.
• Joanne  Pann-Kydd of the American Cancer Society invited the council and the public to join the Relay for Life event that will be April 1st and 2nd at Elsinore High School. There is also a Bingo fundraiser ($25) that will be at the Elks Lodge on Sunday, February 19th.
• Kenny Mayes spoke about government forms needing to be filled out, and how his "services were not needed" when he volunteered for the PIT count (Point In Time, which tries to count the homeless all in the same narrow window of time). 

I was in the same boat. Went to the same two hour training course he did, leaving my warm home on a stormy day no less, to learn how to interview homeless people and give them a goody bag with clean socks and granola bars, just to be told a couple of days before the count, "thanks, but no thanks," unless I wanted to travel to other parts of the county. 

Still, I don't share his conspiracy theory that suggests skullduggery was involved. 
"Because a city without a pot to piss in, or a window to throw it out of (here comes the olympian leap) somehow has a private group to count the homeless. This smells highly of a conflict of interest, as this private group and the city stand to reap additional federal benefits depending on the count. Do I mistrust this city? Absolutely."
—Kenny Mayes
Come on Kenny, this is part and parcel as to why you're not taken seriously. You come with fair points, at times, but then obfuscate them with laugh out loud foolishness like this. 

• Miss Miller, in her "Not My President" shirt, sang again! 
The tune started out like the old Enjoli perfume commercial, but then went off the rails into her usual incomprehensible caterwauling.  

She did sing about Metrolink ♪♫You can connect San Diego to Canada, San Francisco with Peru♫♪.


Sorry, but you couldn't pay me enough to sit on a train from here to Frisco, much less Frisco to Peru.

• Andy Morris, President of the Wildomar Rotary Club discussed the clubs assistance with the Water Safety Awareness 5K that will be at Marna O'Brien park on April 29th, and the yearly BBQ event they put on. They are aiming for a July date.

• Stephanie Maldonado spoke about issues (syringes in her yard) in her neighborhood, North Ranch Community, that she attributes to a nearby homeless enclave. 

1.6 and 1.7 
As a reminder, usually agenda items that start with a 1, are not discussed in the open meeting. However, if a member of the council or a member of the public wants to discuss one of the items, they can. 

Miss Miller exercised her rights, and we sat through three minutes of fingers on a chalkboard. She didn't sing to us this time, but she did look in my general direction because some of the evil developers happened to be sitting behind me. 
2.1 Nova Homes Residential Project
This passed 5-0 on all five resolutions that it entailed. The funny part (ok, more like the predictably pathetic part) was that there was another last minute letter citing the same "concerns" as before. 

To get the details on the Nova Homes project use this link to the October 2016 blog discussing it.

Nova Homes' CEQA attorney, Charity Shiller, took less than four minutes to calmly and thoroughly debunk the baseless "concerns" found in the last minute letters.

Have no fear, Miss Miller is here... she took another four minutes punishing all those with ears about something or another (she had the clock started over after someone thought they'd help her out, handing her a copy of the agenda — that didn't go well, just watch the video to see it yourself). She let us know that "so many people ask me to speak because they can't come in here."

She talked through the red light and took 15 seconds to quiet down... eventually she was shushed by the mayor.
3.1 Public Nuisances and Code Enforcement Cost Recovery 

This will give the city code enforcement some added teeth to deal with properties that are continually out of compliance. An example is Wildomar's second most famous eyesore that is easily seen from the freeway by countless thousands of people everyday.
This abandoned house on Monte Vista, next to Cornerstone Church, is constantly hit with fresh batches of graffiti. You can also see the ignored citations, many of which blew away in the recent storms, as the remaining ones dance in the breeze.

Mayor Pro-Tem Ben Benoit and Councilmember Bridgette Moore commented on this.
"This is something that I'm glad we're finally bringing forward. This is something that helps our code enforcement, it's time we really start cleaning up a lot of [areas]. There've been a lot of times where people would thumb their nose at the city, and it's time we start cleaning up. This helps that, it helps the code enforcement do their job, and I'm all for it."
—Ben Benoit 

"...and I'm hoping that number one [on the list] is the house that is adjacent to Cornerstone Church, it's such an eyesore."

— Bridgette Moore

3.2 Faith Baptist Church Memorial Day Service Event 2017
This was actually handled in the Wildomar Cemetery District portion of the meeting at the end of the evening. This is worthy of it's own blog in the near future.

3.3 Brown House Space at Baxter Village
This item took up the most time. 

For some it's been an emotional issue. 

How people can get so attached to someone else's ramshackle former home is something I'll never understand. Seriously, have we cured cancer and have nothing better to wile away our time with now?

It started with Wildomar Historical Society giving a power point presentation that lasted about four minutes and then they talked to the council for the next ten or so minutes (it's in the video). 

It's rather long, and includes everything my camera caught (it stopped moments before the vote). Including a kindly old woman from the Lake Elsinore Historical Society speaking on behalf of the WHS. 
I'm not sure what to make of what I witnessed. 

It was sad really. 

I saw a well intentioned person, tackling something that was obviously beyond her grasp, and seemingly not having put in the requisite preparation. 

Here is a recap of first exchange between WHS spokesperson Kristen Lloyd and the council.

It started with councilmember Marsha Swanson asking, "What exactly are you asking the city to do?"

Lloyd answered, "Well, it's up for discussion. There were several options and I'd like to actually —what I wanted to hear was what you thought benefits for— and how you can come alongside us."

Mayor Pro-Tem Benoit jumped in with, "But you haven't told us what it is you want us to do yet."

With a strange emphasis in her voice, Kristen Lloyd followed up with, "No, I haven't. I don't want to tell you to do anything. I want to see what kind of benefits you are[sic] and then (trailing off then talking over councilmember Swanson) If you really want to know, I want you to do the whole thing, but I know that's not an option."

"I'm throwing out a bone [to you] and I'd like to hear [your responses]. I would like pie in the sky, and then we'll go from there."

Not long after this George Cambero, president of the WHS, came to Lloyd's aid. 

He started off by thanking the council and staff for their help, something that really should have been done in the first sentence of the presentation (if only there were Mulligans for such things). Soon however, Kristen Lloyd retook the reins.

The next memorable exchange started with councilmember Dustin Nigg making the point, "I can't vote on this, or I can't give you full fledged support for the simple fact that [you haven't been clear] —that's the unknown piece right now. So what would be the conditions to deed it to the city?"

Lloyd replied, "I think this is open for discussion. This is what we're here for."


I couldn't help but think that this may be being played out right in front of me.

Coucilmember Swanson added, "I'm in complete agreement with Dustin. Until you guys have the property and have a plan, and can tell us dollar wise what you want us to contribute, or how we fit into it... the way this is written here, this is nothing I can vote on or even get my thoughts around completely... I love the idea, but we can't vote on an idea. We need the facts and the dollar amounts and all of that."
 
I was nearly expecting Kristen Lloyd to say, 
"You have to pass it to know what's in it".

Benoit added these thoughts before it was opened up for public comments, "I'm just looking at the amount of money, we're talking long term. When we have people come into council and ask for basic services, "can you help us with our roads?" that makes it hard. Especially when we have twenty-seven acres of parkland right up the street that need some basic improvements, like a trail system and a parking lot, and that is twenty-seven acres we could be using. Those are the priorities I see us having."

Public Comments
• Kenny Mayes had a lucid moment when he expounded on why the city should not be part of this deal.
• Joseph Morabito had a lucid moment too... asked how could a city, that can't even afford its own free facebook page, afford this, and that we are still renters and don't own our own city hall. I was against this entanglement.
• Kristen West was enthusiastic for the potential of a community center.
• Miss Miller put in a speaker slip at the last moment, and it was obvious that she wasn't prepared for the topic. If you haven't had your fill of her for this edition, click this link to jump to the part of the video she's in. Truth be told, maybe it was because the council members were a bit punchy by this time, but she was able to get all of them to laugh a couple of times.

Coucilmember Moore said, "I honestly feel that this is out of left field. Did the historical society meet with any of us (as she looked at her co-council members) before tonight?" 

Benoit answered, "I had a couple of phone calls from Kristen."

"When I read the staff report I [thought] where did this come from? Because we've never been told you wanted to give us this land or the property," Moore added.

You'd think that if you really wanted to do something involving parks in Wildomar (which this was about), that you'd go to the key Wildomar leader when it comes to all things parks, namely: Bridgette Moore.

In the end, the council agreed to help them store bits and pieces of the Brown House on city land, but had to direct staff to come up with a written agreement before voting on it.

The amount of professional man hours the city has put into the Brown House over the years, through meetings and consultations, is substantial. Especially considering this is a venture between two private entities and the city really doesn't have a direct interest. Let's hope this is it.

CITY MANAGER REPORT

• Bundy Canyon Update
This will be in a stand alone blog in a day or two. Interesting information. 


• Budget Season and Budget Workshops/Dates
First meeting is February 15th, 6:30pm. Follow up meeting is February 22nd at the same time.
•          •          •

"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."
– Mark Twain 1835-1910

Wildomar Rap reminds you that it's ok to talk to stupid people, just let them "win" if they get confrontational.

4 comments:

  1. I'm glad to see that Brown House hopefully will no longer be an issue, the sooner its gone the better. As for George Cambero helping Kristen Lloyd, I think not, all he did was make the issue more confusing by providing nothing of substance. Typical politician.
    One important item missing is the approximately $175,000 in storm damage that the city will eat unless Governor Brown declares the local area a disaster area. The sinkhole on Grand Ave may be around awhile, along with the mountain of sand on Lemon St. The pictures presented by Dan York were impressive.
    Another thing, I wonder if the homeless enclave at North Ranch got counted, you and I will never know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This blog was getting too long and I wanted to use parts of Dan York's reports for another blog. What we heard in his report was probably the most important things that came from the meeting.

      The PIT count still rankles me a bit. I don't mind spending time trying to help out our city/town, but I don't like having my time wasted.

      Delete
  2. Just ran the info on that house on Monte Vista that the city thinks there going to collect fines on. The address on the current tax bill is for Fannie Mae in Dallas, Texas. The taxes are also current, with the first installment paid. I guess code enforcement will just keep wasting his time littering the neighborhood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually saw Keith Ross out there earlier this year as I was driving by, now I know what he was doing. Knowing the speed of how things get done (everywhere, not just W'mar) this could be a very long road ahead trying to get that house flattened.

      Delete

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