Thursday, January 11, 2018

• City Council Meeting January 2018

A few interesting notes came from the January city council meeting, though nothing was all that pressing.

It started with the ceremonial handing over of the gavel from 2017 Mayor Tim Walker to 2018 Mayor Ben Benoit. 
Tim Walker's infectious smile was on full display as he handed over the Mayor's gavel to Ben Benoit.
The 2018 Wildomar City Council. 2018 Mayor Ben Benoit holds the Mayors plaque while Tim Walker displays the gavel he used during the 2017 meetings.  Above is Bridgette Moore, Dustin Nigg and Marsha Swanson.
Public Comments (on non agenda items)
Not sure if this is the way it'll be done all year or not, but had to enjoy hearing the Mayor announce who was speaking. Then reminding all others in the audience that this was the time to fill out a public comment card if they'd like to speak. 
• Ken Mayes got borrowed time and discussed the Friends of the Library. Membership is $100 for lifetime membership, $5 yearly for seniors or $10 Yearly for others. They meet on third Wednesday of the month at 2:00pm. If interested, either call the library for more info (951) 471-3855, or try their facebook page.

He then brought up several other concerns of his. Fire hydrants, RVs illegally parking all over the city, the city's website, Malaga Park, and the guardrail at Mission Trail and Palomar.

• I wholeheartedly agree with him about the RVs that are everywhere. Just tread lightly, if you point out such things on Facebook, be ready to have people call you a meanie for not wanting such things in your neighborhood.

 It was promised that the website will be up and running before February. Councilmember Nigg pressed the point and got assurances of such.

 I've never been a fan of the Malaga Park concept, there's nothing park-like about any of it to me, but to each his own. 

 As for the guardrail: yes, money... but is that thing ever going to be repaired or not? Three years seems a bit long to wait before fixing it? What about the person that hit it? Isn't that what insurance is for? 

3.2 Update Local Goals & Policies and Appraisal Standards Concerning the Use of the Community Facilities Act of 1982
Though this issue will have no impact today, and may not for a number of years, its potential still could be quite huge depending on if, and how, it were to be applied in the future.

It's definitely a heady subject and not easy to wade through. I've included the video so that you can take you're own stab at fording the minutiae of it all. 

The point of this was to update the goals and policies of such CFDs (bonds to the layman), and get input from the five city council members. 
Questions from Assistant City Manager Dan York for the council to consider:
• Is there an interest for the council to dive deeper into what a CFD means? If so, we could set up [...] a future agenda meeting where we could bring in some of the professionals who could give you the pros and cons of CFDs at a deeper level.

• [We'd like input on] the general direction to staff as to how we work with land developers. Do we work with them towards sparking a deal to present back to council on a CFD or do we tell them that the city's position, pretty much, still is that we're not interested in administering [a CFD]?

Responses of Mayor Ben Benoit

• I look at the work I've had to do in WRCOG chasing down CFDs over in Beaumont, and I can tell you that organization is looking at [...] all the misdeeds that were done in that city. WRCOG is going after those banking organizations [suggesting] "Hey, you should have known, you should have been upfront with us, it looks like you're actually hiding stuff by not releasing information." So, it's important to hire the right counsel for that. It's important to hire the right people and make sure that the five of us know what we're doing, and what's going on. 

• It's amazing what a bad city can do with a tool like this, that could be very misused, and I'll be darned if that happens here. If we're going to move forward with this I want to make sure we're taking every precaution necessary. That we're using the right counsel, that we're using the right people and that if that's the path we're going to have to go down to see some housing tracks move forward —especially the ones on Bundy Canyon— where you've got a lot of infrastructure that our city desperately needs, and if that's the last piece to that puzzle, I think we at least have to be willing to talk about it. 
City Councilmember Marsha Swanson

I too, like you (looking at the Mayor), see both sides, and it's a slippery slope. The council we have now, I have no problem, we'll pick good people. We'll vet them, and go up one side and down the other, but there are future councils. Once this is done there could be other people, other staff members that would need a keeping an eye on. I'd like to move forward, but I'd like to hear more information.
The scary part about the CFDs I've heard go through the council, generally affecting new development and public safety, has the CPI (Consumer Price Index) at 5%. 
Screen capture from the slideshow presentation.
Maybe it isn't the end of the world, but at a 5% yearly increase, that tax... I mean CFD, will be doubling every 20 years. OUCH! Makes my humble home in Windsong Valley all that much more appealing since such things aren't on my tax bill in the first place.

3.3 City Manager Pay Increase
The City Manager, Gary Nordquist, got a boost in pay as provided in his contract. Being a public servant means your salary is there for all to see. He's done a great job, and Wildomar has benefitted from his steady hand, demeanor and approach to the job.
From the online agenda packet.
Other bits of information worthy of a mention

• Continued talk about improving Bundy Canyon: inching closer to reality.

• Three seats on the Measure Z committee are needing to be filled. (Two of the seats were just filled a short time ago, but those were for the remainder of the term. Hopefully Scott Rux and Shelley Hitchcock will stay on).

• The city's 10th birthday party is already being planned out, committees are being formed.

• Santa Rosa Plateau Nature Education Foundation is still on track to host their fundraiser in the fall. A craft beer tasting event at Marna O'Brien Park.

• City Hall will be closed on Monday, January 15th, to honor Martin Luther King's birthday.

•                •                •

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.
– Yogi Berra 

Wildomar Rap avoids practice and calls it a day.


  1. CFDs are just mello roos workarounds on Prop 13. I am not a fan of them and think they are a perfect example of something that might be legal to do but isn't right to do.

    1. There are CFDs that are for capital improvements (roads, sewers, etc) when a new subdivision is developed, and I get those. The ones that are for "public safety" that never go away, and have a guaranteed increase of 5% a year are the ones that are crazy. You're right, nothing more than a thumb in the eye of Prop 13 and what it was trying to prevent.

  2. I agree 100%. If repayment of the bond fails then all of the taxpayers of Wildomar will be having special assessments levied against our property taxes.

    1. Though generally not too likely, you make a great point.


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