Wildomar has become the recipient of two new bus shelters in town. One is located in front of the Wildomar Library.
The next one is at Central and Palomar a stop for the clockwise southbound Route 8 bus.
That make 5 covered bus stops (out of approximately 67 stops) in Wildomar all on the southbound side of road.
My bad. The last time I went by the Wildomar Assisted Living Facility in August of 2016 they didn’t have a covered bus stop and they now have one in April of 2017.
There is also ONE at Inland Valley Hospital, at the south end by the Surgery Center. (Done know many people who would take the bus to have a surgical procedure done.
The miracle was dashed by the announcement there would be a ribbon cutting for the new stop at the library. The cost of this dog and pony show would be better spent on additional stops across from 4 of the newest covered stops, much like they have in Lake Elsinore at Malaga.
While chasing down information about bus stops, which was difficult because no one wants to talk, it became apparent the biggest delay in getting new covered bus stops has to do with the American Disabilities Act which requires any upgrades to existing bus stops be made ADA compliant. That means curbs and wheelchair accessibility, can’t put a covered stop in the dirt.
This is a proposed park that will use precious Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to construct. These monies have been handed out with the following intent :
“The program allocates annual grants to larger cities and counties to develop viable communities by providing decent housing, a suitable living environment, and opportunities to expand economic opportunities,principally for low- and moderate-income persons. To achieve these goals, program-funded projects must satisfy one of three U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) national program objectives required in 24 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 570.208: provide a benefit to low- and moderate-income persons, prevent or eliminate slums or blight, or meet other urgent community development needs due to disasters or other emergencies.”
This project, Malaga Park or Gateway Park, first came to light in December of 2013 when the city set aside $100,000 of CDBG money to fund the proposed project which will consist of landscape architecture, planting,irrigation and aesthetic improvements and the installation of walkways, paths and monument sign.
Because this project meets none of the above, except maybe providing refuge for those leaving a neighboring facility (not the doctors office) it proves once again that a Federal Program is being abused by local officials. These abuses have resulted in now 2 administrations trying to eliminate it (CDBG).
Barack Obama’s FY 2012 Budget to Congress stated:
While flexibility may be one strong characteristic of the CDBG program, the use of funds and how states and communities distribute their funds lead to resources spread across many activities, diverse constituencies, and geographies without clear or focused impact. This makes the demonstration of outcomes difficult to measure and evaluate.
President Trump’s upcoming budget proposal calls for slashing funding for a block grant program primarily because it was difficult to determine whether it was getting the desired results. “The federal government has spent over $150 billion on this block grant since its inception in 1974, but the program is not well-targeted to the poorest populations and has not demonstrated results,”
Also, ostensibly to better the lives of low-income residents, the city proposed to “pave and repair sidewalks along Wildomar Rd. and Secdo Blvd. at a cost of $91,867 for FY 2015-16.
The city set aside another $75,533 to purchase a property to be used as a community garden in FY 2016-17
Lastly, and the only project designed to really help a depressed area, the city set aside for FY 2017-18 $110,067 in funding for a Fire Hydrant project that will decrease the risk of loss due to a fire and increase the fire protection system currently in place in the target area, primarily the Sedco area of Wildomar. (After a local eating establishment had perished in a fire)
It has been said “The CDBG is a $3 billion program that ostensibly goes to developing poor communities but mostly goes to Graft, Corruption and Waste. It blows massive amounts of money on wasteful projects, while seeing huge chunks disappear into administrative costs.
The Heritage Foundation, called the Community Development Block Grant program a “slush fund for urban mayors.”
The CDBG program is chock full of cronyism and corruption and should be eliminated. Much like the corrupt city redevelopment agencies, what actually ends up happening is that this money gets funneled by politicians to friends with connections for various projects that aren’t really about helping the poor at all. http://reason.com/blog/2017/03/16/the-community-development-block-grant-pr
I wrote an article back in September of 2015 concerning the practice of government workers, being they City Manager’s, City Council Member’s, Planning Director’s, etc, conducting City Business on personal devices. These devices such as cell phones, computer’s, tablets, email accounts when used for city business are now subject the to the California Public Records Act so sayeth the California Supreme Court who on this day Thurday, March 2, 2017 at 10:00am release their opinion
Here, we hold that when a city employee uses a personal account to communicate about the conduct of public business, the writings may be subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act (CPRA or Act).1 We overturn the contrary judgment of the Court of Appeal.
The entire opinion can be read in the following PDF
On February 11, 2017 I wrote an article about the poor condition of the City’s ball fields.
In that article was a video of a gentleman pumping out water from the first and third base area.
Early last week the city attempted a poor fix for this flooding by bringing in material of unknown origin (the origin will be known and reported when the city pays the invoice). This material was used to fill-in what was deemed the low spots, therefore the problem, around 1st and 3rd base.
Today after approximately 0.50 (one-half inch) of rain in a 12 hour period the flooding is back only worse as it has spread further into the infield.
The problem is a result of no maintenance on these infields since the city took over the parks from the county. These fields need to be laser-screed to ensure the water flows away from the infield. This process will require that the drainage swales are not higher than the ball fields.
This poor state of maintenance extends to all three fields currently in the one city park.
This city also needs to eliminate the gophers before someone breaks their leg.
Pieter Brueghel the Younger, ‘Paying the Tax (The Tax Collector)’
The property owners of Wildomar need to check their property tax bill to ensure they paid the proper amount for Measure Z Parks Tax. Notice the Measure Z Tax which is $14.00 per installment or $28.00 Annually
Unbeknownst to the Measure Z Oversight Committee which has never questioned whether the proper amounts have been billed and collected, some properties are being bill and improper amount.
Notice the improper amount of tax on this property tax bill, it totals $33.00 Annually
A responsibility of the Measure Z Oversight Advisory Committee can be found in the City of Wildomar Municipal Code Section 3.18.060 Oversight committee. By no later than March 1, 2013, the City Council shall establish a Wildomar Community Parks Funding Measure Citizen’s Oversight Advisory Committee to advise the City Council regarding the collection and expenditure of tax revenues collected under the authority of this chapter. The Committee shall consist of at least five members, who shall be residents of the City. The terms of the Committee members and their specific duties shall be established by resolution of the City Council. (Ord. 71 § 1, 2012)
The question asked when the voters approved the Measure Z Parcel Tax can be found in Resolution 2012-38:
These responsibilities are further expounded upon in Resolution 2013-37 Exhibit A
Role, Responsibilities and Duties
The responsibilities and duties of the committee shall be limited to:
3. Understand municipal revenue collection and distribution from local, state and federal sources
Per City of Wildomar Municipal Code 3.18.080 Special tax. Commencing as of July 1, 2013 and continuing annually thereafter, there is imposed a tax on all parcels in the City for the privilege of using community park and community park related facilities, programs and services and the availability of such facilities, programs and services. The maximum tax rate imposed hereby shall not exceed $28.00 per parcel per year. For purposes of this chapter, “parcel” means a unit of real estate in the City as shown on the most current official assessment roll of the Riverside County Assessor. (Ord. 71 § 1, 2012)
In the haste to satisfy their financial obligation many people just pay their taxes without looking closely at the detail. Now is the time before the next installment is due to look at the details and make sure you are paying only what you should be paying.
If the amount on your tax bill is incorrect please e-mail your councilperson and ask why? With the Measure Z Oversight Committee in place to protect your interest how can this happen.
Santa’s Dough has disappeared like Santa up the chimney right along with the Measure Z Annual Report.
It appears that the Measure Z Oversight Committee’s reviewing of the the funds collected during the Breakfast with Santa starting in 2013 has come to an end, this along with preparing the Measure Z Annual Report.
During the February 2016 Oversight Committees meeting Agenda Item #2.2 Special Events several events will no longer be funded with funds from the Measure Z Parcel Tax, amongst them is Breakfast with Santa (a co-event with the Rotary Club)
Wildomar Night at Storm Stadium (a co-event with the Chamber of Commerce) and Drive-in-Movie (a co-event with Wildomar Little League). These events will now be funded through the Wildomar General Fund. Good luck keeping track of that money.
This still leaves the question of what happened to the original $4.000 budgeted for the 2016-17 as shown in the 1st Quarter Report.
In the Mid-Year Report this $4,000 has disappeared from the Revenue Summary: Breakfast with Santa (a category that no longer exist) and has been switch to the Revenue Summary: Special Event Revenue which had no budget listed.
Finally, the Measure Z Annual Report is usually reviewed, approved and forwarded to the City Council during the January February meeting. This year the last mention of this report was during September 8, 2016 meeting item #2.2 Annual Report Writing Process wherein “It was the consensus of the Committee to prepare the Annual Report from the Committee to the City Council.”
While inspecting the city parks on a recent Thursday I came across a gentleman trying to make the ballfields usable at the city’s premier park, Marna O’Brien. He was out at the third base area and then the first base area with a barrel pump sucking up water, into a bucket, out of the depressions that fill up with water whenever it rains. When he filled up the 5 gallon bucket he would lug it over the the drainage swale in the grass area and dump it then trudge on back and do it again, over and over. This was on the most heavily used field in the park.
View a short U-Tube Video
These depressions have existed since the day the parks were re-opened in 2014 and have gotten worse due to a lack of proper maintenance on the part of city staff. The person in the video was a volunteer not a city employee.
The above photo was taken on April 17, 2014, just days after the parks were re-opened using Measure Z Parcel Tax money.
This picture, of the 3rd baseline on the same field as the video, was taken September 17, 2014 just 5 months after the parks re-opened.
These fields have been in need of added engineered material that has migrated away due to use and should be laser graded annually, the last time these fields had material added was when the parks were rebuilt by the County of Riverside in 2008.
The citizens of this City were billed $354,577.00 according to the Measure Z Parcel Tax Report for FY 2016-17 of which 2/3rd was spent on Marna O’Brien Park. Where did it all go.
Your privacy and the privacy of your children may be violated at Windsong Park, when some unsuspecting person stops by to use the facilities, as the lock on the portable restroom is missing (like gone)
Your health may also be in jeopardy as the hand sanitizer dispenser is also broken and laying about.
So much for daily maintenance that is costing $4,500.00 a month ($150 a day) we had better service when we paid $850.00 a month ($28.33 a day) to a small company