Thursday, February 23, 2017

• Special City Council Meeting: Vision Statement

I'm going to break this blog into two parts. The first will cover the basics, the second will be opinion.

The meeting started with the flag salute and then went into public comments. 
From left to right: City Manager Gary Nordquist, City Attorney Thomas Jex, Councilmember Bridgette Moore, Mayor Tim Walker, Mayor Pro-Tem Ben Benoit, Councilmember Dustin Nigg and Councilmember Marsha Swanson.

Public Comments on non agenda items.
• Sycamore Academy came by and thanked Mayor Tim Walker for coming to their annual Science Showcase last week (link to blog covering it), they brought cookies for him too. 

• Janice Lee of Geri-Fit spoke about her business, invited the council to her ribbon cutting (Saturday, February 25th at 9:00am), and also talked about a free osteoporosis workshop and Zumba classes at her location. 
(Blog about Geri-Fit as it was about to open)

1.1 Vision Statement for the City

The nearly 2 hour meeting has been uploaded for those that would like to see it. It was hosted by WRCOG's Rick Bishop and he had a cordless mic and usually faced the council as he went through a PowerPoint presentation (which doesn't make for a great looking video).

He differentiated vision statements, mission statements, mottoes, slogans.

A vision statement shares the optimal desired future state of what the city wants to achieve and be over time.

A mission statement flows from the vision statement.

An example he shared was if Carl's Jr's vision statement is to make the greatest hamburgers in the world,  a mission statement within that is to make sure that people get served within two minutes of their order.

Rick Bishop

From Wikipedia
It was established that a vision statement shouldn't be too long, and that ideally it should be something that could be memorized. 

First, a list of attributes was made. 

Wildomar assets

Things like community, open space, rural, and hometown feel, among other things that were included.
Alfredo Garcia wrote out the list on the easel.


The vision statement took several turns before the final version was finished being coined: 
The City of Wildomar will be a safe and active community, responsibly grown, with quality infrastructure while keeping a hometown feel. 

The way the meeting had been going, and the earlier rather wordy versions looked, it was a pleasant surprise to see it all come together at the end. The vision statement is realistic, succinct, and easy to understand. Good job!

Which leads to part 2.

There was one ornery resident that seemed to think her opinions reign supreme in the land, that made the meeting far longer and more tedious than it needed to be. I had thought that I'd go off on her here, diagram all the stupid things she said, but thought better of it. She isn't worth more of my time than that, if you'd like to hear her act for yourself, cue up the video... she's all over it like rash on a kid with chicken pocks. 

My take on the process of having a vision statement is mixed. 

I get it, such things are normal for cities to have, and this meeting didn't cost any extra money. So even if at times it felt like an exercise in futility, at least it could be filed under the no harm, no foul category.

A vision statement for a city such as Wildomar is akin to a retiree enrolling into a four year university seeking a bachelors degree... because it was something they'd missed out on when they were younger. Unlike a kid fresh out of high school, going to a university, seeking to build a solid foundation as they grow and mature. 

The latter is a good first step, the former is a noble desire to back fill something they shouldn't have skipped in the first place... but let's not pretend that they are even close to the same thing; they aren't!

Wildomar may only be 8 years old in city years, but in community years, we're 135 years old. There are things that can't be undone here and will always hamper any vision statement that is settled on.

When I was sitting there, listening to the ideas for a Wildomar vision statement, I couldn't help but think to myself, "Hello McFly, have you taken a look around lately?"

Such grandiose visioning statements make complete sense if you're looking to carve a city out from an orange grove, and calling it Irvine. Same would go with any other vacant area that was about to be developed, but I don't see how it's applied to a place that's long been established. 

The brutal facts are that the die was cast long ago and it didn't land very favorably for 21st century Wildomar (and beyond).

While other areas like Temecula, Murrieta, Menifee and even Lake Elsinore were modernizing, the people in charge of Wildomar took another path, and that has led to us being what we are today. Pleasant, but not remarkable.

Does that mean we shouldn't have a vision statement? 

I didn't say that. 

It's a great idea to have a vision statement and the one that they came up with was quite good.

The problem is that I don't see it as anything more than a nice thought with little practical value. All the vision statements in the world won't bring us the money to fix the roads, or address many of the wants and desires of the population.

Like I learned long ago, measure twice and cut once

Obviously the oft venerated David A. Brown —along the William, Donald & Margaret trio, and any others that were in charge back in the day, failed to do that with li'l ol' Willy Mar, and we are what we are.

•          •          •

"Time cools, time clarifies, no mood can be maintained unaltered, indefinitely. Time changes us all, or it should. There are those who resist, who hold on, who refuse to let go of yesterday's truths even though they have been revealed as today's lies."
– EG Marshall (CBSRMT) 1914-1998

Wildomar Rap really, really, REALLY hopes that that self important gas bag runs for city council in 2018. Come on, put up or shut up already.

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