Monday, October 2, 2017

• City Council Meeting: Mini-Me Version

There was a special city council meeting this morning (Monday October 2nd) that only had one agenda item. 
Some of the new signage on city hall.
Including roll call and the flag salute (which no one took a knee I might add), it concluded in just over 10 minutes. Below will be a link to the video I took of the meeting.

This meeting was simply some housework dealing with adding additional wording to an existing ordinance. 

Why does such minutiae deserve your attention? 

I'd say because it facilitates the opening of the long anticipated Wildomar Square, in addition to what it can do as a catalyst for other small scale developers.

Another reason this is worthy of your attention is that the same team of self appointed legal beagles, which reportedly murmured the threat of possible legal action at the previous city council meeting, attempted to ply their trade here too.
You too can be smarterer [sic] then [sic] reel [sic] lawyers, all you have to do is say so.
Funny thing though, the only real lawyer in the room, the guy that's paid the big bucks by the city, and has real sheepskin on his office wall, disagreed. He basically said the additional wording to the ordinance wasn't necessary. His comments about the updated ordinance from today's meeting were as follows.
It's an effort to provide notification to readers and users of the municipal code that development impact fees may be deferred, in specific situations and at the discretion of the city. It's not an exemption from impact fees, and I think that's an important distinction. Development projects that choose to participate in this program still have to pay all of their development impact fees, they just pay them over time. 

— Wildomar City Attorney Thomas Jex
But I jumped the gun, that item is discussed further down in the blog.

PUBLIC COMMENTS on non agenda items
Come hell or high water, you can always count on Kenny Mayes to deliver a public comment on non agenda items. His beef this morning was about live streaming city meetings.

That's something I agree wholeheartedly with him on, to a degree that is.

I've been asking for such since 2013. Other cities have had such things for quite a long period of time, though in the past they weren't "live streamed" they were on public access cable channels. In the late '90s I watched a San Clemente city council meeting about a proposed tax to keep open a softball park.

Thing is, without money, even things like having a city youtube channel comes with many burdens. 

Who's the admin, who operates the cameras, what happens when there is a technical problem and a meeting can't be streamed?

You can bet your bottom dollar that the same cranks that whine about everything that goes on in this city would react to such a thing like it were a conspiracy on par with who shot JFK... or who shot JR.

As much fun as it is to have (most) of the last four year's worth of city meetings archived on the Wildomar Rap Youtube channel, I have no obligation to keep them up for posterity, whereas a city would. 

If all he'd opined for were streamed meetings, he could have marked a tally in the win column for a change, but no. He then went off into his typical Kafkaesque nightmare of how the world is ending, or at least Wildomar's world is ending, because of the actions of the council. 

"If this meeting were live streamed many more citizens would be able to participate in this important decision that will affect their lives for as long as they live in Wildomar."

He then ended his harangue by suggesting that the council seeks ways to keep people from participating. Watch the video, and let me know if my description isn't very far off or not.

Dealing with Wildomar's own Oracle of Misinformation is really a boring gig, but when he chews up valuable time with asinine assertions, and there isn't Miss Miller to highlight, I guess he wins.

The only item on the agenda was an ordinance regarding deferral of Payment of the Development Impact Fees (DIF).

There were two public comments.

It started off with Mayes blasting the city council for being "despicable" for holding an "important meeting" on a "weekday morning" when "virtually no one can attend."

It was so "important" that 40% of the council chose to go to their day job instead of the morning meeting, but let's not get too caught up in reality here.

Kenny, buddy, as usual I'm here to walk you through it. Like I said in my public comment, I prefer the morning meetings. 

First, everyone is fresher. 

Second, (no offense or anything but) morning meetings aren't front loaded with 45 minutes worth of attaboys for local kids (you better not be offended ).

It would be great if the meetings were streamed and archived like you mentioned earlier, I'm sure it would amount to more people seeing them, but let's cut the crap already. The only people that are going to the meetings are the ones with non standard schedules in the first place. 

Psst... no one gets their city news from bulletin boards at the library or post office, and the fine working folks are far too busy raising their families to bother coming down to city hall to watch the Miller & Mayes show during family TV hour... pass it on.

I was the second speaker. I had missed the prior city council meeting, which ended my DiMaggio-esque consecutive meeting hitting streak, and wanted information that really could have been learned at the last meeting. 

Weird how it works when a person doesn't lead with a surly manner. 

Though it wasn't on the agenda, the council members were happy to give some info on the item that was actually a part of the last meeting because I acted like a decent fellow and not a feral human that had been the lone castaway on Gilligan's Isle... or at least that's how I saw it.

I wanted to know what the deal was (between Wildomar Square and the city) and what would happen if the council had not agreed to the deferral. 

The most important aspect to remember is all of the fees that can be used today, will be paid today. The fees that are being deferred are fees that we don't have enough money to do anything with. We're going to put them in an account and leave them there. 

By deferring them, we're helping the developer get started, or the individual home builder, or the small builder that builds two or three [homes]. It would help all of those people. We haven't set up the guidelines of who will be able to use this. It's definitely not for every builder; a home tract. That's not our intention at all. 

—Council Member Marsha Swanson
To avoid a further logorrheic meltdown, let me attempt to sum it all up.

The developer of the Wildomar Square doesn't have all the money to pay his DIF fees to the city (somewhere in the half million dollar range), and wants the city to (essentially) loan him the money. (The agreement is for 2% interest over 7 years). It got a bit wonky here, something about escrow accounts with all the money in it, that holds the developer's feet to the fire while the details get hashed out. 

Why do this? 

Because if the DIF fee question hadn't been answered, there would have been no certificates of occupancy for the various businesses in that shopping center (though I believe that Taco Bell is on their own there, and have already paid their fees).

Why does the developer find himself in this position? 

Whether it was bad luck, bad timing, or even if it was a level of gamesmanship, what difference would it make to the business owners that have been trying to open their doors for a very long time, or their new employees? What about the eager customers that are looking to patronize the new businesses? 

I wish I'd been to the previous city council meeting where this was discussed so that I'd be able to play the video of what the opposition to this ordinance were really saying/asking for. 
Hey Kenny, you're right, if the videos were archived we could all just dial up the last meeting to hear the exact words of those threatening the city over this, but alas, no such luck.
Without the benefit of being there, it sure sounds like they'd be pleased as punch if Wildomar Square were to languish in limbo. I think these are part of the same group that sought to close the parks over the wording of a tax too.

If the concern was really about making sure all the ordinances were air tight, which is noble enough on the surface of things, then why come on like Margaret Hamilton in green face instead of Glenda?
  (If you don't get that easy reference, look it up by clicking here)

I further had chats with Mayor Walker and Councilmember Nigg after the meeting concluded. Way too much to go into here, but suffice to say that this is a common practice between cities and smaller developers, and there are plenty of safeguards in place to insure that the city will get ALL of the money due to us, and with interest. 

As for the complainers? 

Well, that's what complainers do, they complain, and if they can find a way to throw a monkey wrench into the works, it's worn as a badge of honor among that lot, even if it impacts the rest of us. 

My favorite part is the inevitable whining regarding the start time to this, very important meeting (tee hee/eyeroll), being held at a time as to "preclude the community" so they'd claim. 

There were reports of one agitator that acted as if it was specifically aimed at her, which is her MO. In the parlance of the white coated men, that's called paranoia. The jokes with this lot get dumber and more predictable with every passing month. 

In the meantime, Wildomar Square gets another inch closer to welcoming eager patrons.

•                •                •

Your memories are the first step to consciousness. How can you learn from your mistakes if you can't remember them?
– Bernard Lowe (fictional character: West World)

Wildomar Rap loves memory lane almost as much as Lois Lane, Lane Bryant and and Kobe Bryant. Oh shoot, I forgot what the point was.

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