Friday, October 31, 2014

• Happy Halloween Holladay Style

No one was checking passports to see if you were from Windsong Valley or not at the Holladay home. So where were you?

If you didn't make it, you missed a lot of action. A constant stream of trick or treaters and parents stopping by to check out the spooky graveyard motif in the front yard. With plenty of treats... no "trick" required.

Fresh popcorn, fresh cotton candy, regular candy, a raffle and even homemade tri tip chili, pulled pork sandwiches, Holladay Halloween cookies and even some libations for some of the A-Listers... wink wink. ;)

The crowds were pretty thick at times and when we left at about 8:20 they had gone through more than 30 pounds of popcorn, and had run out of cotton candy (estimated to be more than 200 servings).

Remember to put on your calendar December 18th. It'll be a Christmas party at the Holliday house. Last year they were collecting toys for the Boys & Girls Club. This year it is Toy's For Tots and let's get behind this effort and donate some unwrapped toys. You have almost two months to schedule it, so be there... especially if you live in Windsong Valley.
The front of Casa De Holladay, all decked out for All Hallows' Eve.

• • •

One person, among the throngs out front, was heard to say in a loud voice, "Hey, you know that she is using this all as a write off." Alluding to the fact that Terri Holladay is a realtor and had her logo visible in many places... including the free shirts my wife Grace and I got.

Hello McFly, as good natured as Terri Holladay and Family are, this is still America —land of the free and home of free market capitalism.
No one better be looking to find fault in a person trying to get their name out into the community while putting on a party that took a lot of sweat, and dinaro, to put on.

If you'd like to talk real estate, then drop her a line.
Terri's FaceBook 951-775-6558 or 855-274-5898
You don't need to be buying or selling a home to donate a toy this Christmas.

• • •

Don't forget Trunk or Treat at Marna O'Brien Park, November 1, 2014. (See below for details)

It's an extra chance to dress up in Halloween costumes in 2014 and rake in some more cavity seeds... errr, I mean candy from local businesses and organizations. Wildomar Rap will be present with it's Haunted Bug, so come on out and say hello... or come and take a poke at me if you're so inclined.

•      •       

I'd rather be handsome than homely, I'd rather be youthful than old. If I can't have a bushel of silver, I'll do with a barrel of gold.  James Jeffrey Roche

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

• Special City Council Meeting October 28, 2014

I wish all meetings were this efficient. A fair amount got dealt with in a short period of time. Let's go down the agenda.

1.1 was a presentation by WRCOG (Western Riverside Council of Governments).
There are a number of things they have their hands in. They are the ones that provided the funding for the Clinton Keith overpass improvements and three more big projects were mentioned.

  1. Clinton Keith to Murrieta
  2. Palomar from Jefferson to Mission Trail
  3. Bundy Canyon

It was a good presentation and if you'd like to see it in written form, check the agenda for tonight's meeting.
WRCOG is worth a blog all in itself. Until then, if you're interested in what they do, follow the provided link above.

1.2 Riverside County Flood Control — Five Year Capital Improvement Program
A presentation by Assistant City Manager Dan York. Each time there is a measurable rain, Wildomar gets flooded out. The resolution was only about having the mayor send a letter of support to the county, but the presentation was full of info and promise to get a handle on the Wildomar's trouble spots. If you would like details, Dan York would be happy to give them to you.

Dan York, P.E., P.L.S.Public Works Director/City Engineer/Assistant City Manager
Phone: 951-677-7751 x 216

1.3 Grading Agreement with Wildomar Springs
An unfinished project off of George, that's been abandoned for quite some time, being picked up by a "reputable" builder. First of the model homes are said to be ready by Super Bowl weekend.

Kenny Mayes made an interesting point about any big rocks on the building site. He suggested that if any such rocks are unearthed there, that they be transported to a site for a future park. Dan York was nodding his head in agreement.

1.4 Grading agreement with CV Communities
This project is located on Palomar with McVicar to the North, Murrieta Creek to the West and the Shadow Ridge development to the South. There has been a lot of dirt hauling in that area and Dan York was saying, "This will probably be the last week of the dirt hauling." Afterwhich they will be cleaning the streets in the affected areas.

But, part of the grading agreement had been held up because some of the neighbors to the south had some concerns. They wanted the city to speak with the developer and do some amendments to their approved map, and change their grading plan, which they've done. The majority of the nearby homeowners are happy with the changes so it's going forward now.

City Council Member Bob Cashman had a comment on the agenda item.
"I didn't like this housing tract, development, but we have approved it. So I can't see a reason not to approve this grading [agreement]."

All four agenda items passed unanimously... and the meeting was adjourned.

It was like a visit to The Twilight Zone how it all went to smoothly. I wonder if the fact that there were NO lawsuit threats or Document Dumps had anything to do with it? The world may never know. ☺

Actually, we just found out and it was heavenly.

Then again, it could have been the absence of Miss Miller and her insistence on speaking 5 or 6 times and using all three minutes each time... even when she only repeats the same well worn anti growth mantras.

The other theory as to why this meeting went so fluidly is that it could have been retitled:
The Dan York Show... with your host, Dan York.

Seriously, he had a part in most of the agenda, and I've noticed at other meetings that he's been a key factor in... things have also stayed on schedule.

•      •       

If we begin by being certain, we shall end by being doubtful. If we begin by being doubtful, we shall end by being certain.  — Sir Francis Bacon

Sunday, October 26, 2014

• Lights On Afterschool

There is an after school program at Wildomar Elementary called THINK Together. This week there was an assembly for parents called Lights On Afterschool to share what the program has been up to and what it's about.

In attendance was Melissa Melendez of the California State Assembly, representing the 67th district. She spoke to the kids for about ten minutes about what a member of the assembly does.

She spoke about Wildomar Elementary's Lights On Afterschool event and after school program THINK Together, that she had been a latchkey kid and what that was like, and she then took some questions from the students.

"Is it fun to make laws?"
You could tell she was trying to put a good face on the typical political sausage making that goes on in Sacramento.

"What are your children's names?"
Angelo, Paulo, Sophia, Rocco, Carlo...
(looks like someone is Italian).

"Do you work a lot?"
Which was greeted by chuckles from the audience as she said, "Yes, yes I do," with a wry grin, as she then elaborated. She then asked if the parents had any questions, and there weren't any. It was my first time to hear her in person and she really made a good impression.

There is no point for more details about her in this blog.
This isn't about her, it's about THINK Together at Wildomar Elementary.
Students from Wildomar Elementary's THINK Together program performing a song.
•    •    •
I had a conversation with April Watkins, one of the coordinators of the program at Wildomar Elementary, about the after school program.

 WR:  Tell me about THINK Together.
 AW:  THINK Together is a non profit organization that provides an extended learning day to students at no cost.

 WR:  How long has THINK Together been at Wildomar Elementary?
 AW:  I've been here for three years, and I believe it started at Wildomar Elementary back in 2009.

 WR:  What about volunteer opportunities?
 AW:  We have several volunteer opportunities ranging from sitting down and reading books with the kids; to helping with homework; coaching soccer; coaching basketball. Volunteers on field trips are big need. We have to keep a 7 to 1 ratio on field trips, and I would love more parent volunteers to go on field trips with us.

 WR:  What are the requirements for volunteers?
 AW:  Volunteers go through a finger printing process through THINK Together. They fill out an application online at . The finger printing is done at no cost to the volunteer. It's a live scan fingerprint like also used at the school district. A TB Test is also required. After that, they go through a volunteer orientation

 WR:  What about non parent volunteers?
 AW:   We really haven't had any non parent volunteers, except when the Rotary Club volunteered to help us go on a field trip. Some of the other THINK Togethers [at other schools] have non parents helping coach teams. In a THINK Together situation it wouldn't be much of a concern because a volunteer is never allowed to be left alone with kids, a paid staff member always has to be there —if there is a volunteer or not.

 WR:  What is Lights On Afterschool?
 AW:  Lights On After School is the national day to raise awareness for after school programs, and the funding that's required to run them. Whether it be Boys&Girls Club, THINK Together or any other organization that provides after school programs. 

 WR:  Who do potential volunteers contact to help out?
 AW:  Volunteers go to and fill in the application. Once that's done, our volunteer coordinator contacts them and helps them through the rest of the steps. It's pretty easy. 

 WR:  How many students are in THINK Together at Wildomar Elementary?
 AW:  We have 110 students, and the grant only funds us for 84. The school district has given us extra funding for an extra staff member so we can accommodate a full extra class. There are 40 students on a waiting list, and we don't have much turnover during the year.

•      •       

Another bit of entertainment by the students of  Wildomar Elementary's THINK Together program was a drum and jump rope demonstration. Seeing such things almost allows me to remember what it was like to be in elementary school.

•      •       

We don't always have the answers to all our problems but we should know from right and wrong.

Friday, October 24, 2014

• Windsong Park: The Fence Is Down

The saga of the Windsong Park Fence appears to be over with its removal today.

The mesh is down and with the poles to follow.

I can't tell you what happened the first time that plot of land was called a park, or the first time the fence went up or came down. I can only tell you about what's happened since I moved here in 2001. The fence was up and the park was closed.

In the mid '00s, before Wildomar's incorporation, Riverside County reopened the parks. They were closed in the '90s because the locals couldn't figure out how to keep them open. If you want the stultifying details, I'm sure you can find someone out there willing to help your eyes glaze over as they ply you with details that have no bearing on today.

Problem being, the tax levied to pay for them was deemed to be an illegal tax, as one lone jackwad pushed his case up the ladder in the courts. Lo and behold, the tax was thrown out, and the city couldn't pay to keep them opened. Hence the fence 2.0.

I'm a rules & regs kind of guy, but I'm also a pragmatist.

So, though I can appreciate the inner push to make sure taxes comply with the statutes, there needed to be a compromise. Something that would have allowed the wording of the tax to be altered so that it conformed. Notice that we are paying the same amount as we were before the court decision, only we had to pay to rehabilitate the parks and go without them for a couple of years in the meantime. Oh the joys of intentional shortsightedness... commonly referred to as pigheadedness.

Nothing worse than a person pedantically insisting that the whole community suffer due to poor wording in a piece of legislation. C'est la vie.

Instead, the funding was yanked, the parks closed and Wildomar's Cantankerotti class popped champagne corks.

Yes, yes other cities could have found enough money from other parts of the budget to compensate for the sudden hole caused by the decision of the judges. Thing is, we aren't other cities. Many didn't think we should have become a city because of a lack of commercial taxes needed to make it a go.

As it happens, I voted against cityhood and when I had heard that Murrieta was looking to swoop down and gobble up my portion of Wildomar, I was for it. No offense, nothing personal, just the facts as they were.

But that was then, this is now and there is no realistic way of going backward at this point. So, back to the fence coming down.

We had our Parks Grand Reopening back in April, but Windsong's fence was going to stay up until a few safety measures got installed. On the list were additional lighting, and some cameras. Depending on who you talk to, even motion censor lights get tossed in there too.

When I first heard about the fence finally coming down two weeks ago, it was mentioned by long time No Fence at the Park trumpeter Jon Laskin, as I happened to be at the park, chewing the fat with Monty Goddard and Kenny Mayes.

That must have been a sight, a trio of old guys at a park discussing drainage... Laskin was walking his dog to the park, trying to avoid our gaze. Being the trouble maker that I am, when he was trying to leave incognito, I shouted out, "Hey Jon, how's it going."

He came over, started in on the park fence and told us about it coming down in two weeks. That was news. There goes the theory that I'm a City Insider, since I never would have known had I not been at that spot on that day. Still, there is nothing quite like watching a kitten (Jon) get into the face of a ol' hound dog (Monty).
Yikes, they didn't coin the phrase Let Sleeping Dogs Lie for nothing.

I asked City Manager Gary Nordquist about the fence coming down, because I wanted to take a video of it, and he told me it was to happen by the end of the week. I got a text from Bridgette Moore telling me it was happening today (uh oh, proof that I am a city insider after all) so I got my camera ready and went down there. Watch the 22 second video and watch the fence come down in super fast time.

As I was out there video taping a neighbor from across the street asked me if the fence was coming down. I told her yes, it's coming down for good. She wasn't happy about it. Her worry is about the fact that Prairie Rd is used as a collector road and people frequently speed right past the park, and that kids could be in danger due to it.

I asked her if she knew about the new speed humps on Catt Rd (All that live in Windsong know about those by now) and told her she might want to write to the city council suggesting some speed humps in front of the park. Hey city council members, I told you that once that door got opened, expect a line up around the block. Just doing my part to make that happen. ☺

Last on the list is: that the conditions discussed by the council back in February hadn't been implemented yet.  Here's a video link to that meeting  Namely, the cameras and lights. While I was setting up my camera, Monty was there, and wasn't too happy. He would have liked to have been told what was up, even if the info wasn't to his liking.

He goes to most city meetings and is on the Measure Z oversight committee, which just happened to meet last night. Everyone and their brother knows about Monty's concerns with the park, the fence and the lack of policing.

Seems it would have been easier to go up to him and say, "I've got some bad news for you... the fence is coming down before the safety measures are going in."

He wouldn't have liked it, and he would have given everyone an earful, but he would have felt respected and would have dealt with it. Now you're going to be inundated with emails, which could have been avoided.

Now let me get a day pass to Team Cantankerotti
Jus' Sayin'... I don't want to jeopardize my coveted City Insider status by making waves now...

•      •       

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

• Parks Master Plan II

Setting records in reverse. Tonight we went from a dozen eager Wildomar residents attending the Parks Master Plan meeting to half a dozen. Next time lets make it three. If you want the details, they can be found at the link below. They really didn't change much from last week.

If I were Grandpa Willy'Mar, I know about 14,000 registered voters that would be going to bed without supper. 

I didn't expect all 14,000 voters to show up... we all know that two thirds of you won't even be voting in 2014.

I didn't really expect 1,000 people to show up, or 500, or even 100... but we couldn't get 50 people? Fine, that's a ridiculous expectation too I see.

Well, how about 20 people... would that be too much to ask?

Parks aren't just about kids. Adults and seniors use parks too. 

Where were the various churches or their reps? Or those from the various sports leagues, both adults and youth? How about the PTA... where were your representatives? How about the UVAC (United Vegans Against Chocolate)? 

Funny thing is, on the local facebook pages you will get hundreds and hundreds of comments on topics such as "What happened to the KFC" or "Woe is me, Walmart wants to kill us".

I guess something like the Parks Master Plan for the next ten years just isn't sexy enough for the facebook crowd to get interested in.

Perhaps this is what it looks like when an area has such a checkered past when it comes to parks. 

Hey Willy'Mar, I won't close your parks again... I swear it.

Or is it that the people in Wildomar simply do not care? It would be hard to blame them when you consider the constant threats to this city. Imagine if we actually started progress on a new park. The same old group of lunk heads would be there trying to block it.

Enough of my whining. If you (I'm speaking to you Mr&Mrs Wildomartini) are cool with a handful of people, all pushing 50 or more, making the parks plan for the next ten years, so am I. 

Next chance for you to skip a city meeting on the Parks Master Plan will be in two weeks. Wednesday November 5th, at the planning commission meeting.

If I had known my son was going to be the president of Bolivia, I would have taught him to read and write.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

• Concert in the Park

What a fun evening listening to local band Cougrzz Rock at Marna O'Brien Park. They played a great mixture of music. Mostly 80's with pieces from the '60s, '70s, '90s and the '00s. It was fun for the whole family. If you missed it, you may want to join the city's Stay Connected email service.

The crowd wasn't large, in total just under 100 people had attended, but the band played as if there were a packed house just the same. Even doing a special birthday song for Kristan Lloyd.

Concert goers dancing to Walk It By Yourself.
The concert went from 6:30 to almost 9:30pm and kids were really enjoying the evening. Footballs were being tossed about adjacent to the crowd and a line up of girls were doing cartwheels in front of the stage.

Cougrzz Rock put on a terrific show and it would be great to get them again next year... hopefully with a possible Summer date, the crowd will be maxed out. Visit the band's facebook page and let them know what a good time you had.

•      •            

Now for those that might want to know less about the good time had by all, and the money this shindig cost to put on, here are the facts. It was sponsored by Wal-Mart, and the city's part of the tab came up to fifty bucks.

•      •       

I'd pass the bottle when he got dry, and brush away that blue tail fly...

Friday, October 17, 2014

• Q&A With EVMWD Board of Directors Member Judy Gugliemana

Here is a blog based on the conversation I had with EVMWD Board Member Judy G who is running for reelection this November 4th for District 3.

This is the 2014 EVMWD boundaries and the various board members.

WR: I've seen signs for two different water board races, What is the Western Municipal Water District?
 JG:  Western Municipal Water District is our wholesale agency. They are a member of Met (Metropolitan Water District). They get water from Met, and they sell to us. 

WR: The key issue for homeowners is rate increases, what's your stance on rate increases?
 JG:  I can't say "we're not going to have a rate increase" because it's supply and demand. We are trying to create more water resources of our own so we don't have to buy as much water. When we have to increase water rates it's when we have to buy more water. We have to pay what Met charges. I'm not for rate increases—ever, but [sometimes] it's absolutely necessary. We have to pay the going rate, which is based on the scarcity of water.

WR: Tell me what prop 218 means in reference to rate increases.
 JG:  Prop 218 was passed about nine years ago, and that's where you have to go out and notify the public about a rate increase. There is a public hearing, so that the public can voice their opinions. If you have more than 2/3 of the people come back with an objection that can stop the increase. It's basically a notification to all ratepayers that rates are about to be raised.

 brief commentary on the above
WR: Based on what I've seen, when it comes to public involvement, there isn't a snowball's chance in Hades that even 50% of such a large group would ever get together, much less 67%. Still, it isn't as if Judy G authored that provision in Prop 218.

WR: With our draught conditions, tell me about rationing and fines.
 JG:  We're in stage 2 of a draught.There is a possibility of fines in stage 2 if you're found to be very wasteful. If they [inspectors] go by and you've got your sprinklers going and running down the street. There is a warning period that you get, then there's a second warning, then there's a notice that goes out. 

We have a lot of conservation measures that we've tried to take... we have low flow shower heads, we also have low flow sprinkler heads and nozzles. Such things have helped. We have cut back tremendously on our water consumption, but there's more that we need to do.

WR: What about the $500 fines that Sacramento has passed?
 JG:  Each individual agency has their own policy. The state gives the latitude to impose those fines, but we (EVMWD) have our own policies. I don't know that we've sent a fine out to anybody. We've sent letters out, last count was maybe 50. We have people calling us now reporting on their neighbors, if someone is washing down a driveway, or broken sprinklers. When that happens, we take down the address and send someone out that will leave a notice asking them to correct the issue. If it's not corrected, then we repeat the process... but I don't think we've fined anyone yet.

WR: Tell me about your experience?
 JG:  First, experience is probably the biggest issue. Water is no longer a local issue. We have to deal with this most precious resource (water), on a State and Federal level. I have spent years developing relationships with leaders at all levels of government. With all due respect to my opponents, I don't believe they have sat down with an Assemblyman or a Senator, and or their staff, to work out details for pending legislation on water and wastewater issues, I have.

Secondly, I'm not a past employee of EVMWD. I don't have any axes to grind or skeletons in my closet to worry about. The ratepayers of EVMWD deserve a director that thinks of them first. I have always put the ratepayers first and I always will.

Click this link to see Judy G's Bio at EVMWD

WR: Tell me what a director on the water board does.
 JG:  Directors have three primary responsibilities. 

A) Promote the best interests of the District's customers by establishing policies that support the vision and mission statement of the District, and to ensure the implementation of those policies. 
B) Assure fiscal health of the District. Adopts a budget to manage revenue and expenditures;  develops cash reserves and investment policies. 
C) Hire staff to manage the day-to-day operations of the District. The board holds the General Manager accountable for effective management of the District. The Board is responsible for evaluating the General Manager's performance on an annual basis.

I don't believe in micromanaging. You hire qualified staff, and let them do their jobs.

WR: You mentioned cash reserves. I've read one person's assertion that there are many millions of dollars sitting there, nearly $200 Million is the claim. What's the truth here?
 JG:  There is no surplus. We have about a $50 Million dollar budget per year. I also had heard that someone said we had a 100 plus million dollar reserve —Not True (said emphatically). Absolutely not true.

If anybody would like to look at our CAFR (caffer) it's available. 

WR: What does CAFR mean?
 JG:  Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, It is our financial statement we do every year for the State. It's available to any ratepayer that would like to see it. All they have to do is call the office and get a copy of it.

WR: How accessible are you to the ratepayers?
 JG:  I have my cell phone, my home phone, my email are all on my business card. I'm accessible 24 hours a day. I have people call me, email me... talk to me all the time. I go to community meetings and people approach me there. I belong to the Rotary [Club], the Women's Club, American Legion, Elks... I belong to a lot of organizations and believe me, I do get approached at all those and I do get questions.

WR: What makes you the best candidate on the ballot?
 JG:  Years worth of experience. I don't have any axes to grind. I'm there for the rate payer. I've worked hard to restructure the water district to make us one of the top ten agencies in the state. Something I'm very proud of, the fact that we are one of the top ten agencies in AQUA, this includes the whole state of California.  

We have come up with things that are innovative. Ideas that have been copied [by other districts]. People come to us and ask us to do workshops. One of the things that have been copied is tiered rates. We're one of the very first to use tiered rates. 

It's taken a lot of years of hard work. I try to keep very active, I try to keep within the community, I try to keep my ear to the ground to hear what the people, the ratepayers, are looking for. Can't make any promises. All I can do is represent them the best way I can, and listen [to them]. Get their ideas conveyed to the powers that be, to the rest of the board, to the General Manager.

If somebody asks me a question, I find the answer. It may not be the answer they wanted, but I get back to them with the answer.

WR: You mentioned that you never were an employee of the water district, does that matter when it comes to being on the Board of Directors?
 JG:  My opponent is saying that he's a Water Resource Specialist. Well that's not what he did for the district. That was not his job for those years. He was an employee for the district for all of those years, but I don't think that gave him anymore knowledge than what I have on the everyday workings of the District.  

We need to find new water. We need to find new resources. As a board we're doing that. I'm on the groundwater committee, I know all about where the groundwater—all the basins are. He, working for the district, probably wouldn't have that same knowledge, only because that wasn't his area of expertise. 

I have a background in finance, and I've been a negotiator all my life. I don't know how to go out and dig a hole, and I don't know the inner workings of a meter, I'm not a technician. But I do know the workings of the Water District; what we need and how we need it. I don't think he's at an advantage [in board related duties] because he worked for us for 32 years. 

Here's is Judy's contact info:
Cell: (951) 318-6820

•     •     •
I'm not here to endorse any candidate, and I'm assuming that the candidates are giving it to me straightIf a reader thinks some of the above needs correcting, then please use the comment section to do it. 

Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

• Parks Master Plan Workshop

I always expect a bigger turn out for such things. The only people that came were basically the same people that I've seen at the regular city meetings for the past year.

The meeting was very short. Assistant City Manager Dan York gave the presentation. Included was a display with nine proposed parks classified as "tot lots". Just to give you an idea how big that would be, Windsong Park is classified as a tot lot park.

There were also five proposed neighborhood parks (the purple asterisks).

After the short presentation, the public, all eleven of us, were invited to place green dots next to amenities that we'd like to see in a park.

I didn't get this part, because some of the things were as basic as restrooms, parking lots and picnic tables or as complex as a community center, a swimming pool or a skate park. I think the three dot idea would have worked better if 1,000 Wildomartinis had participated.

Like Dan said, some people aren't comfortable speaking up in public forums, so he'd like you to email any suggestions for the parks that you may have. Click here for his email address.

Though costs were not discussed tonight, my wife did get her hands on one of the price sheets that were set out for the public. If you haven't shopped for park amenities in awhile, you'll probably have a stroke if you look too closely at the list.

A Community Center is estimated to cost $1.6M, a pool comes in a $700k and the concrete skate park came in at $1.7M.

As much as I think our area could use a skate park, I'm thinking it is going to have to be put on the back burner... or more likely put into a cryogenic hold until money starts raining from the sky—as if it were September 16th all over again.

Hey, a bocce ball court costs only $20K. Let's just build a bunch of those and tell the skaters that playing an old Italian man's game is way cooler.

Assistant City Manager, Dan York, discussing the details.

If you missed tonight's meeting—and we know that you did miss it—there will be a repeat performance next week at the same time as part of the Parks Subcommittee meeting. Tuesday, October 21st, 6:30PM, Council Chambers.

The group looking at the various displays, placing green dots alongside the amenities they thought were best.

In the end, I was saying to another person there, "I wonder if this is the 100 year plan," due to the huge costs that would be incurred in building those plans out.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see Wildomar become more of a jewel than it currently is, with as many parks as other cities have, but it took a lot of sweat just to get our three small parks opened.

There's no way even 20% of the master plan will be put into place during my lifetime... unless the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation were to confuse Wildomar with a third world country and dump all kinds of generosity on us.

My foothold is tenoned and mortised in granite, I laugh at what you call dissolution, And I know the amplitude of time.

Walt Whitman

Sunday, October 12, 2014

• Bridges endorses Cambero UPDATED

UPDATE below

Sometimes I don't know enough about a candidate and waiver about which way to vote. So I dig a bit deeper and I look for other things that might tip the balance.

EVMWD Board of Directors District 3's seat is up for grabs. I had a good conversation with George Cambero a couple of weeks back, and thought he made some strong points for his election. (You can read that blog here).

The incumbent, Judy Gugliemana, is supposed to get back to me this week for a Q&A session. I've chatted with both candidates, and like both of them. (You can read that blog here)

My wife likes to post Wildomar Rap over on the Patch website. Why, I can't imagine since it is a shell of what it used to be. It's basically in the MySpace phase of its existence, but she likes to post it, so it's cool by me. While over there, I noticed that my blog on George Cambero had a comment... so I went over to go see what it was.

Well, ok... looks like the kiss of death to me. Seriously, George, if you're good with Ms. Bridges' endorsement, then I'm thinking that many people will be reconsidering their vote on this. Just as I almost always vote against a bond, after her silly argument against Measure AA I'm no longer voting against it. I doubt that I'll vote for it, but I know I won't be opposing it.

Someone told me my approach is shortsighted. I then compared it to other things on the ballot that I might have been wavering on, and that a good deciding factor is who is for and who is against a proposition/measure/candidate.

If I see that the ACLU is for it, I know it isn't worth my vote. Same if it's being backed by public employee unions... in such a case, it'll be getting a NO vote from me (or at least an abstention). If I see that something is being backed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, I give it serious consideration. If I see it's from PETA, I know it needs to be voted down... and so the story goes.

I had been given a small little tidbit about a form that George filled out when registering his campaign with the county. He said he was running for district 5, but he actually meant district 3.

When I got the info, I thought it was funny, but along the same line that a former Wildomar Planning Commissioner didn't know something in his own neighborhood had already been built... two years earlier no less. And, more recently an end of the meeting misspeak by the mayor when she said she'd like to see street signs that pointed to the library.

Those signs were already there.

I don't find that kind of brain-fart reason to discount a candidate... same thing with the faux pas about George Cambero writing "district 5" when he meant "3". so I didn't think it was really worth a mention.

Until I saw the endorsement from The Wildomar Timex (if you don't know who that is, check out her act earlier in the year when she made this infamous statement about the Girl Scouts cookie program "...mulit-tiered marketing of poor quality products using aggression, intimidation and overly emotional tactics to do fundraising.").

So, my question to George is: I'm not of the old guard in Wildomar politics, so I don't know, or care, why certain people act the way they do... I just know that many people are true snot pockets when it comes to anything involving this city. Do you accept or reject Ms. Bridges' endorsement?

Oh, as an aside are you shocked to learn that self stylized Community Advocate is endorsing Gary Andre for city council? Birds of a feather...

I asked George his opinion on this, and like a responsible candidate he responded right away. Here is what he sent me.

I would have prefered something like, "I completely disavow anything from Martha Bridges because she has proven to be nothing more than a pox on Wildomar"... but I understand such a move would be difficult for a person running for office in this town. It's way too easy to anger voters one way or the other.

Thank you George for your response.

End of Update

 Just grist for the mill. Take it or leave it.

Chance makes our parents, but choice makes our friends.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

• Free City Council Campaign Commercials

One good thing about not having TV is that I don't see any political ads. The same old commercials, with the same old cheesy music, with the same old catch phrases, the same old BS.

Well, I had a charitable impulse and decided to produce a free commercial for each of the five candidates running for city council.

I poke fun at ALL the candidates, though I poke a bit harder at one in particular. Those are the breaks when you mention my blog and your lawyer in the same breath. That's also why I've rescinded my offer to do a "Meet the Candidate" blog about him.

Without further ado, here are the videos. Each runs about 30 seconds.

Tim Walker Marsha Swanson Ben Benoit Israel Leija Gary Andre

To get some background on why I upgraded Gary Andre's name to Gary Adee follow this link to a blog discussing it (it's about half way down). Miss Miller, in her haste to filibuster at a city council meeting, forgot to endorse him during her allotted time. So when the little red light came on, signifying that her time was up, she hastily blurted out Vote for Gary Adee as she marched out the door.

Let me know which video you enjoyed most, or which one you hated the most —same difference to me.

There's still time to participate in the poll.
You can only vote once per IP address, so don't try and cheat.

And if you haven't already had enough of my hastily thrown together animations, here's one I did earlier in the year when I had a run in with Out of Town Blogger... when he tried to school me on what is out of bounds/bad taste when blogging. The audacity of it all is so delicious it would rate 3000 calories if it were a meal.

What other Local Blog gives you this much info and entertainment at once? Dare I say, "None"?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

• City Council Meeting 10-8-2014

The basic notes first.
Much of the public comments, about non-agenda items, dealt with the flood we had. I'm very sorry for those that are in areas that are prone to flooding, but much like I tell my friend that lives near a park when he discusses the noise at night... you're the one that signed on the dotted line. 

The rains we had were something that we all will talk about for decades to come, because they were that far out of the ordinary. No matter what level of drainage that could have reasonably been installed, flooding was simply going to occur when that much water falls from the sky in that short amount of time. 

The other things of note were when Miss Miller wanted it made clear that she still is Gary Andre's number one supporter for city council, but she regrets having changed his name to Gary Adee the last time she tried to endorse him. A move that lead to a parody commercial for candidate Gary Adee... a la the old plumbing commercial with the catchphrase "Adee-do".

Now I want to ask all you stalwart Gary Andre voters out there. Are you sure you like the camp you're in? Do the Santa routine and check the list twice... the list of his most ardent supporters... You really want that stink on you?
•     •     •

1.6 on the consent calender was something that was supposed to be discussed at the planning commission meeting of the week before, and it was. Thing is, due to the last minute document dump, the focus was only about the drainage issue and not revising the boundary line for Phases 1 and 2 to move Pad A from Phase 2 to Phase 1. Which actually triggers more than just the drainage issue when it comes to public safety.

To refresh your memory of that debacle, click the link for the blog.

Glad that Mayor Pro-Tem Ben Benoit asked to have the issue pulled from the consent calendar and put onto the November meeting. To see the council's discussion on it, view the video below.

2.1 on the Agenda was a little bit of house cleaning the way I saw it... Basically making certain decisions take the action of the Planning Commission and not just the Planning Director (approval authority). The best part was that Miss Miller didn't know what she was talking about, but decided to chime in just the same. Then before the vote on the matter, Ben Benoit assured her that this was strengthening, not weakening the safeguards. 

I sure would love to have her endorsement, that would bring in ones of new votes.

3.1 Measure AA Regional Bond Overview.
This was NOT about bonds, it was simply... as it said in the agenda: Staff recommends that City Council receive and file the report.

That's it.

Still, there was discussion on/about the proposed MSJC campus. In the video you'll hear from all the council members, all are in favor of the campus and... though not emphatic, it appeared that Tim Walker was in favor of the bond measure too... especially after he heard about the slate of cranks that wrote the argument against Measure AA in the voter pamphlet.

If you look at the argument against [measure AA] it's the same people that have been against Wildomar from day one. 
—Mayor Marsha Swanson

If you'd like to get right to the mayor's quote, hit the 5:30 mark on the vid.

I've heard people say they don't want to antagonize the APEs (which I think stands for Amoral Pompous Egotists, those that always sue Wildomar no matter how idiotic it makes them look). That they'd rather not discuss the things that have happened to Wildomar at the hands of these people. Hoping that by appeasing them, they'll all of a sudden start playing nice.

Sorry, Homey Don't Play That...I don't make room for evil. I'll reproduce their ballot statement, and you judge for yourself if it is reasonable or about the stupidest thing you've read in months... or since the last thing they issued forth.

Looks like they're banking on voters being emotional basket cases.
How do they not know that those names in yellow are RADIOACTIVE to a huge number of Wildomar voters? They will easily lose 2-3% points by boastfully insisting their names be prominent.

Anyone remember Bush 43?

Anyone ever wonder why he wasn't asked to campaign for McCain and Palin back in 2008?

Same thing with Obama in 2014... they were (and he is) RADIOACTIVE and they were at least smart enough to grasp it and try and fly under the radar.

Then look at the actual wording they opted for... do they think they are speaking to kindergartners? Well, if you've ever chatted with any of them the answer is a most redounding YES, they think everyone outside of their circle is a dimwitted child that can't blow their nose without assistance from them.

They actually thought going with "Wall Street types are salivating over stuffing their pockets full of your cash" was a good idea? Guys, you need a new writer... here, let me try my hand at some hysteria that you might like to use next time.

If I were head writer of Team APE...

The Wall Street One Percenters are looking to enslave you as they confiscate your social security, foreclose on your house, sell your first born off to an Ebola test farm as they only allow you to eat potato peels and all the grubs you can find under that old log down the street —to pay for their country clubs, yachts and send their own kids to Harvard and Yale simultaneously.

Stop the Cash Grab NOW, before you end up in a Dickensian debtors prison.

Now wasn't that a lot more fun, and just as believable as what they put in the ballot statement too.

 ◄ I've always said, "If you're going to abuse hyperbole, then abuse it with some panache." ► 

I usually vote against bond measures... but, then again, most bond measures don't actually have such a profound impact on the local level like this.

This is going to cost Wildomar residents $13 per year per $100K assessed value of their home. I'm guessing this is going to cost me about $26 a year. Sure, I'd love to save half a tank of gas worth of money a year... it's not like having a college in town is going to increase my property values or anything like that... errr.... Wait a sec... just like having parks in a city increases the home values, so would having a college campus.

But try explaining that to a bitterman and they'll flash that classic face of theirs.

•     •     •

3.2 is the last item of note.

Speed Humps are coming to Catt Rd.
You people that race through the southside of Windsong Valley know who you are. The stop signs haven't gotten through to some of you —this is a neighborhood. Perhaps the speed humps will.

I actually got up and spoke about this issue. First I told the council that I'm in favor of these, but then told them I could think of at least three more places in Windsong Valley alone that could use them, and about 100 other places throughout town.

•     •     •

Hey, how 'bout them Dodgers and Angels? 
Arrrgghhh! Don't get me started.

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