Category Archives: Parks

Anything related to the Parks in the City of Wildomar.

Freedom Swing at Marna O’Brien Park One Year Later

 

 

 

Towards the end of the video it appears someone has gotten tired of waiting for the city to unchain this swing in the park. This is the second time I have noticed the latch having been bent so the citizens that paid more than $31,000 could use this apparatus that has been installed twice in the same park. (The first time it was installed it was removed less than a month later, after having failed a safety inspection.)

Some still Photos show the swing has a broken catch that hold the ramp in upward position

Upper Right side of swing has broken clip. The swing is also leaning to one side for some strange reason.

Is Wildomar About to Get Trump’d

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

 

The Embarrassment Continues in Wildomar

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.

The embarrassment continues well into the evening

Citizens of Wildomar Check Your Tax Bill


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.

Especially after the infamous quote found in http://www.pe.com/articles/committee-661787-tax-measure.html  “Officials have said the committee was key to the Measure’s success, citing nationwide distrust of how tax dollars are spent.”

Councilmembers e-mails can be found at the following links:

District 1
Ben Benoit, Mayor Pro Tem

District 2
Dustin Nigg, Council Member

District 3
Timothy Walker, Mayor

District 4
Bridgette Moore, Council Member

District 5
Marsha Swanson, Council Member

 

Santa’s Dough and the Annual Report Go “Poof” in a Puff of Smoke

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.”

Beware your Privacy at Windsong Park

CITIZENS OF WILDOMAR BEWARE YOUR PRIVACY!

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

QUEEN’S LAKE at REGENCY HERITAGE

New water feature in Wildomar dubbed the Queen’s Lake is located in the Tot-Lot at Regency Heritage Park, 20171 Autumn Oaks Place Wildomar, CA 92595 near Wildomar’s only dog park.
So grab the dog and your water wings

And take your children to visit this vernal swamp before it evaporates, which could take some time as this is turning out to be a “normal rainy season” unlike the past 3 years which were extremely dry.


Ramp Provided for ADA access

While visiting Queen’s Lake bring your water dog to play in the mud at Wildoslavia’s premier dog park,

Future home of a drinking fountain for your pooch.

Or maybe you would like to play hangman on one of two half-court basketball courts, as long as you don’t mind a bent rim or a little mud.

In order to prevent a traffic jam on entry there really needs to be a no-fishing sign on the bridge into this city facility.

For your $28.00 a year you should be proud of this wonderful features brought to you by the city of wildomar.

Good Idea, Bad Plan

There is a move about town to install a “Drinking Fountain”, for dogs and humans, at the infamous Regency-Heritage Park located in the northwest side of Wildoslavia. While the idea has been batted about for a number of years the city has apparently located a willing child and sold them on doing a “Scout Project” to cause this fountain project to spring to life.

The idea is a good one and has been long sought after by dog owners, the few that use the DG covered dog park, as the summer months are rather warm in this part of the world where there is little grass to play on.

Above Picture taken in July

Even in Winter there is little grass in this neglected park

The above picture taken in December, the green outside dog park is weeds

The plan is bad plan because this park is a part of the, poorly maintained, drainage system that directs waters from several areas of Wildoslavia, namely to the south as far as Marna O’Brien Park and the hills to the Southwest of the park above the Woodmoor Tract of homes.

The red lines are the existing storm drain infrastructure, the blue line is the proposed additon. The following pictures show the areas where these enter the park

The above picture is looking southwest towards the hills above the Woodmoor Tract

The above picture is looking south towards Marna O’Brien Park, notice the wire has been lifted to facilitate the flow of water, presumably by city staff.

Above picture is looking east towards Palomar St.

The above picture is looking into the park from the Palomar pipe, notice the debris that has been there for years and still is.

In the past it has resulted in much damage being done to this park.

 

The above pictures were taken in September of 2014

This damage still happens today

Notice the engineered material that cost thousands of dollars is saturated from a December 2016 storm. The damage is so severe the swings have been removed.

Taken the day after Christmas 2016 near the drain for this Tot-Lot in Regency-Heritage Park

This poorly maintained drainage system for this park is slated for an upgrade somewhere in the future, brought to you by Riverside County Flood Control and Water  Conservation (RCFC&WCD), the upgrade is a part of the recently (January 2014) adopted Lakeland Village Master Drainage Plan

This Lakeland Village Master Drainage Plan (Lakeland Village MDP) calls for the current 10 foot wide X 18 inch deep channel through Regency-Heritage Park to be widened to 42 feet in width X 6 feet in depth. This new channel, referred to as “Open Channel A” will be capable of handling a 100-year event consisting of 1,115 cubic feet of water a second.
The city has known about this concept since they were notified by a concerned citizen more than 2 ½  years ago. Refer to

REGENCY HERITAGE PARK MORPHING INTO OPEN CHANNEL A

 

The above article was written in February of 2014

What does the city lose when this “Open Channel A” is constructed. Nobody really knows at the present time. The RCFC&WCD has a concept but no engineering has been done.

It is possible that 30 feet of the enclosed area currently called the dog park will disappear making the existing dog park smaller while at the same time making it more likely to survive as future flooding will be eliminated. It also means that whatever “Drinking Fountain” installed will lose its water source as the metered water is located on the east entrance nearest Autumn Oak Place.

That is unless the city plans for the new water pipe feeding the “Drinking Fountain” to be installed below the 6 foot depth of the future channel. Does that sound like a “Scout Project”, not many are qualified to operate a backhoe.

 

 

One Million Dollars Gets You What ?

The amount of revenue collected through the Measure Z Parcel Tax since it was passed in November of 2012 is $994,624.00 just shy of one million dollars.

Since the Measure Z Oversight Committee is unable to explain where almost $300,000 goes every year I figured I would give the public a little insight.
First off, when Measure Z was enacted and the parks re-opened on April 12, 2014 the city was paying $870.00 plus supplies per month for Janitorial Services at Wildoslavias three parks.
In June of 2014 the cost went up to about $1400.00 per month.(There appears to have been no contract)
November 12, 2014 a new contract with a new company was approved, on consent calendar Item #1.7, by the City Council which brought the cost up to $23,620 annually ($1968.00 per month) per the staff report.
This contract was relatively short-lived as in June of 2015 another company was doing the work by way of an emergency purchase order for $4,500 per month, this went on until April of 2016.
At this time a contract was again approved on the Consent Calendar, Item #1.5, with another company increasing the monthly cost from the previous contract to 15/16: $3,824.53, 16/17: $3,974.09, 17/18: $4,123.65 these charges do not include supplies as the vouchers show separate invoices for supplies.
What have we gotten for this 357 percent increase (357%)

Let’s take a look through pictures.

On Monday, December 12, 2016 at 10:52am we find this at one of our parks.

Notice the trash

We know the cleaning crew had been around because there was a new liner in the nearest trashcan

This is 10:00 in the AM

Then we take a trip over to the city’s premier park, in the afternoon of another day, and find these conditions:
Picture take December 16, 2016

Picture taken December 16, 2016

 

We also find this character (gray object leaning up against the concrete pillar next to the tree) sucking up the city’s power with his cell phone out of view of the parks cameras, while hiding behind one of the little league container.

This individual was present at this park again on Friday, December 23 at approximately 1:00pm

This is another of the parking lot electrical receptacles put in for the failed Farmers Market, now used by various individuals to power there phone chargers, vans, boom boxes, etc.

It seems the city hasn’t figured out what a circuit breaker breaker is for.

Picture take December 19, 2016

A return trip on Monday afternoon shows the conditions of the previous Friday still exist
Picture taken December 19, 2016

OK so the first time was a Friday afternoon, December 16, 2016, the second time was a few days later on Monday morning, December 19, 2016.

The above picture was taken a week after the first one, Friday, December 23, 2016 and the following picture a full eleven days, on December 27, 2016

The grounds drying out and someone is back in business.

These problems show a lack of caring on the part of the city.
A couple of new problems also show a lack of attention by city staff where-in some has turned the ball fields into an off road course.
Taken December 19, 2016

Twice since re-opening the parks the city manager has gotten quotes for gates to lock-up the parking lot at night, still no gates.

Some will say, well this is all during a week where it has rained some.
I say what are we the citizens paying over 325,000 dollars a year for.

Salaries paid to city employees to operate and maintain our parks totals $37,100 last year, this should be sufficient to monitor the contractors hired and take of the little things.

These contracted expenses of $126,800 last fiscal year are not being wisely spent.
It appears that the expenditure of $184,900 on Marna O’Brien Park alone is a total waste as no one is walking these parks daily to ensure that are clean and safe for city residents, this includes the city employee assigned to this task, the company contracted to provide “Facilities Maintenance and Janitorial Services” at a cost of $3,824.53 per month or the landscape company that is paid $34,003 annually (just for Marna O’Brien Park) to be responsible to maintain the lawn and shrubs where the campsite was located.

Further evidence of the sloppy work being performed by those employed to provide safe clean parks is found in the boy’s/men’s restroom.

Picture Taken on July 11, 2016


Picture Taken 5 months later December 23, 2016


Now we can add the other sink, $300,000 annually and we get duct tape.

The drinking fountain nearest the basketball courts has been missing its decorative buttons since day one of the parks opening.

Picture Taken April 17, 2014

Picture Taken November 16, 2016
The city can’t even spend a couple of bucks to make it look presentable.

The mayor of this berg insist on using scout projects to enhance the parks, they do the jobs the citizens are paying good money to be done professionally, money that is not being spent as the current reserves of the Measure Z Fund is in excess of $100,000.00.


These were replaced earlier in the year but a lack of proper supervision has resulted in numerous pieces of hardware coming off.

Ever wondered what happened to the bucket so prominently displayed in the first Annual Report FY 2013/14


It found a new home on the other side of the park

Back to scout projects


This fence should be straight and taut

A month later, Zip ties should not have been used

Here is another scout project gone awry in less than a year

These containers were for the collection of recyclables, they were installed just over a year ago.

Ever wonder how much this project has netted the city ?, or any charitable group ? The answer is zero

Now there is talk of another scout project, the installation of a drinking fountain for dogs at Regency-Heritage Park aka The Dog Park aka Open Channel A of the Lakeland Village Master Drainage Plan

A drinking fountain is a good idea for a dog park, but, only if the dog park is in proper location and can actually be used.
Here is a picture of the entrance to “The Dog Park” on Christmas Eve 2016. Ho Ho Ho!

Welcome to the locked gate that goes up after every rain event in Wildoslavia
This is a flood control channel after all, soon to be widened by County Flood Control. This widening will increase the width of the current channel which is 10 feet wide by 18 inches deep to 40 feet in width by 6 feet in depth, taking away an approximately 30 foot wide strip of the dog park.

 

This flood control channel that is home to the dog park also has a Tot-Lot as a part of its amenities. This is what it looked like most recently.

Look Ma, no swings. The two bucket swings have had no safety belts since the parks re-opened.
Notice the water logged “engineered surface” the cost several thousand dollars.

Back to the scout projects, these bulletin boards were placed in the parks in June of 2015

ViviLnk

By the middle of July they looked like this

ViviLnk

They were repaired by the city and now look like this, a year later.

As for a lack of safety of all citizens one only has to look at the Rabbit Hole.

The protective wire has been folded back, I guess water couldn’t flow fast enough with it covering the hole.

 

Merry Christmas Wildomar

Mother Nature doesn’t take a day off

Mother Nature, on Christmas Eve, did what the city has failed to do. She has started dismantling one of the dead trees found in its smallest park.
A number of these dead trees were highlighted in a previous blog.


This picture taken on Christmas Day after being notified the tree was missing a portion of its top.


The fallen debris


Picture of the same tree, the middle tree, taken in June of 2016 about the time the Measure Z Oversight Advisory Committee was doing it’s annual assessment, wherein not a single member made mention of the condition of the trees. All of the Fremont Cottonwood Trees, except one in what is referred to as the Creek Garden, appear to be suffering from some sort of malady