Monthly Archives: September 2015


That city council members may conceal their communications on public issues by sending and receiving them on their private devices from private accounts.

Cloak of Secrecy

This issue is currently under review by the Supreme Court of California in City of San Jose v. Superior Court, S218066, this is as a result of a petition filed with the court on May 7, 2014.
(Download Pending Issues: Civil)

Despite this review of several earlier court decisions, one pro and one con for making communications from personal devices and accounts public records.

Cities do have an option.

A key section of Public Records Act itself, which explicitly provides (Government Code section 6253 (e)): “Except as otherwise prohibited by law, a state or local agency may adopt requirements for itself that allow for faster, more efficient, or greater access to records than prescribed by the minimum standards set forth in this chapter.”

City Councils could enable digital transparency locally regardless of what the Supreme Court or Sacramento lawmakers do or don’t do.

California’s get a D- in public access to government finances and information, or government transparency, this reflects the difficulty citizens, journalists, and watchdog organizations have holding their officials accountable. The cost of gaining access to public documents, including often lengthy delays, presents roadblocks to independent oversight of government activities.

Access Denied

It is time to ask that city leaders update and strengthen public records systems to make them more accessible. Public records requests in some instances reveal corruption.
Two reporters demanded by threat of a lawsuit that the officials hand over accurate financial records. With these records in-hand, the reporters soon brought the corruption to light. The city officials were stopped, indicted, and convicted.
The corruption could have emerged sooner had the public demanded accurate records earlier. If the city’s financials were more transparent, then the problem may have never occurred in the first place. Transparency deters officials from committing corruption because the public will hold them accountable.

The City of Bell, California in 2010


The First Amendment Coalition has prepared a simple model policy to address this issue.

1. All agency staff, when communicating by email on agency business, must use the agency’s email system and server OR copy such emails to an address on the agency server.

2. All email on the agency’s email server will be preserved for a minimum of TWO years.

3. The storage of emails on an agency server does not affect their status under the California Public Records Act (CPRA). When responding to a CPRA request for emails, the agency may consider the applicability of any relevant CPRA exemption.

Please e-mail you City Council person, using there official city e-mail account and implore them to adopt the three recommendations above.
The official e-mail addresses for the Wildomar City Council can be found at:


The bids are in and it doesn’t look pretty. They range from a low of $30,696.00 to a high of ?, doesn’t matter what the high was we always go with the cheapest.
Is this bid sufficient to provide the citizens of Wildomar with a quality apparatus in our parks. Think about this, the cities “Engineers Estimate is shown as $25,000 total with no breakdown of the nine items required to be broken down by the bidders. (It was also added as part of an addendum, not in the original packet)
Another thing to consider, as part of the bid packet the bidder agrees to commence work within 15 days of being notified their bid was accepted. As this project is less than $50,000.00 the city manager can sign off without city council approval.

The last attempt to install this backyard device resulted in its removal 22 days after it was installed. At that time “safety chains” were missing, some had broken clasp.


A device for self propulsion was spinning about freely (it’s chain missing) set screws had fallen out along with several bolts having been omitted during installation.

Set Screw fell out and was given to parks maintenance

The shaft protruding from the cross bar should be parallel to the ground. This is 5 days after installation

Numerous bolts from day one had been protruding unsafely creating a hazard, some even had sharp edges having been hacksawed during installation.
The last installation was done supposedly to the “Manufactures Installation Instructions”, the same process that is called for this time.

This swing was removed after a inspection was done by a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) on a Sunday morning no less. All of the reasons for removal do not appear to have been considered during this re-installation process. See for yourself, attached is that inspection.

wheelchair playground summary 10-19-2014 Draft
Look closely at the “use zones” and the inspectors notes.

The cities current solution to misuse of this device is to erect a 4 foot tall fence, with top-rail, around the perimeter of this apparatus with a sign proclaiming
“This swing is for use by disabled persons in wheelchairs. All users must be accompanied by a least one adult. When not in use this swing shall be locked in place.”
Included will be U-Bolts to secure the swing in place during the loading process and when the swing is not in use. (Problem – who is going to be responsible for the key to this lock if there is one as the bid document also states “secure the platform to the U-Bolts with a chain or cable and appropriate locks”)

The last time this apparatus was installed multiple children at a time would swing not “to and fro” as designed but side to side and cattywampus
translation = on the diagonal).
If anyone thinks this will change because of an additional sign or a short fence, think again.
Without a proper “Parks Department” and parks personnel to monitor this apparatus ensuring it is locked when not in use and being present to unlock it on the rare occasion it will be used it, will be abused, primarily because it is fun and children go to the park to have fun.