Category Archives: Shenaigans

In Wildomar Where Anything Goes

In Wildomar anything goes, we currently have a planning commissioner that is delinquent in paying property taxes on 15 of 16 properties owned in Riverside County. Some of these properties have delinquencies dating back to 2007. (Information currently available from the Riverside County Tax Assessors Office without a title report)

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN UPDATED COMPLETELY AS OF TUESDAY JULY 18, 2017. It is now time for the citizens of Rural Wildomar to ask for this persons removal from such an important position

This situation was first discovered while reviewing the parcel tax reports included in the CITY OF WILDOMAR MEASURE Z OVERSIGHT ADVISORY COMMITTEE AGENDA Packet for the May 25, 2017 meeting. Wherein delinquency information current as of February 22, 2016 shows this planning commissioner currently has 6 parcels that were delinquent as of the report date. (This shows that property taxes were not paid as of December 10, 2015).
I have provided the relevant pages as photos showing the properties. All one has to do is look at the who is on the planning commission to figure who is being talked about.

This issue rested in the back of my mind while I looked a little deeper into this situation. Especially after remembering that one of the delinquent properties showed up in a City Council Agenda Packet for a Special Meeting on March 29, 2017 under the Closed Session for which public comments are allowed. This closed session claims the council will Confer (have discussions; exchange opinions) with legal council and conference (a formal meeting for discussion) with real property negotiators.

The property in question showed up on the Measure Z delinquency report as being owned by this planning commissioner.

This was verified by requesting a copy of that person’s Statement of Economic Interest Form 700 (a form required to be filled out by all elected and appointed officials listed in California Government Code Section 87200) of which planning commission is one listed.
Link to pamphlet showing positions required to file Form 700, see page 3
http://www.fppc.ca.gov/content/dam/fppc/NS-Documents/TAD/Form%20700/2016-17/Ref_Pamphlet_2016_2017.pdf


So now you really know who the questionable character is

Something to notice about this form.
The Filed Date is April 20, 2017:
FPPC requires notification by March 1st that this form is to be submitted no later than Monday April 3, 2017 of each year. (This planning commissioner has been in this position since 2010 so he knows the drill) Also have to wonder if a fine was levied as permitted by the FPPC, the fine is $10.00 per day up to $100.00 (This form was 17 days late and as such was subject to the maximum fine of $100.00)
http://www.fppc.ca.gov/content/dam/fppc/NS-Documents/TAD/FilingOfficer/700FO-Folder/Late%20Fine%20Guidelines.pdf

On April 24, 2017 this property was withdrawn from the County of Riverside Auction List, three days before the auction was to open, when the property was redeemed by the owner when they paid the property taxes for Fiscal Year 2007-2008.

Tax records pulled on June 22, 2017 show that the taxes have not been paid for Fiscal Year 2016-17.

It was discovered through further research that this person owns 16 total parcels in Riverside County. After reviewing the tax bills for these properties it was discovered that this was not a new situation for this person as several properties owe back taxes as far back as 2007 and all but one is delinquent for this past tax year.
I will not bore you with a lot tax bills. I will show the ones with prior years taxes due.
One such property is in Wildomar

Upon further inspection this property is incorrectly listed on the Form 700. The address list on the Form 700 is 32381 Christopher Ln, this address does not exist according to the County of Riverside Tax Assessor and Map My County. But a tax bill is sent to the Planning Commissioner P.O Box 1229 Wildomar, Ca 92595 for a parcel with the address of 33891 Christopher Ln, Wildomar, CA.
A complaint will be filed with the FPPC for this error and the wildomar city clerk will also be notified.

Prior Years Taxes are due on this property.

The saga continues with and additional 8 properties with past years taxes due. All of the tax records shown are also currently FY 2016-17 delinquent.

Other than some information about a defunct Domestic Non-Profit Corporation that is currently SUSPENDED by the California Secretary of State and the Franchise Tax Board my job is done. I have provide the evidence that this planning commission who cannot manage his own life should have never been on the Wildomar Planning Commission nor should he continue to be on a planning commission where he is indirectly managing the lives of the almost 36,000 residents of Wildomar.
It is now time for the residents of this RURAL Community to stand up and ask for this persons to be removed from this important position.

Unethical – At What Point?

Ethics is particularly important in public service. As a Planning Commissioner, you have been given significant authority and you are expected to use that authority with integrity. If the Planning Commission is to do its job properly and address the challenges confronting most communities, public trust and confidence is vital. High ethical standards are required to secure and maintain public trust that is essential to the planning process and to good government.
https://txplanningguide-ojs-utexas.tdl.org/txplanningguide/index.php/tpg/index

In Texas: Owing delinquent property taxes disqualifies a person from serving on the County Appraisal District (CAD) board of directors.

Few voluntary non-elected appointments have the kind of authority granted a planning commissioner. Fewer still have the ability to affect the future of a community to such a great extent

In doing so a Planning Commissioner needs to be above reproach
(1. such that no criticism can be made; perfect.)
https://www.mml.org/pdf/pcebook.pdf

In California maybe things are different as there is a small town where a Planning Commissioner is delinquent on the property taxes for every parcel they own in town and numerous others in the County they live in. The delinquencies also affects a parcel tax which is used to support the town’s few parks which councilmembers fawn over.

When recently brought to the attention of this towns city council members, they were quick to make excuse about why this is happening. The planning commissioner in question has a serious medical issue.

The question then becomes are these delinquencies a recent event due to this medical issue or is there a history of this type of behavior.
The answer is, there is a history. Property tax records show delinquencies on the books dating back to 2007.

This person also has a history of not completing legally required task like properly dissolving a domestic nonprofit corporation, for which this person is listed as the Agent of Service, this corporation has languished for more than two and a half decades and is currently listed as Franchise Tax Board/Secretary of State Suspended on the Secretary of State’s website.

The final question to be asked is should this person with a history of ignoring property tax law and not owning up to other legal responsibilities be allowed to continue as a planning commissioner setting the direction of growth for that city.

WHAT HAVE THEY SAID IN THE PAST

We will start with the seats up for re-election in November of 2018.

Anyone wishing to verify the statements can click on the links for the full article.

Today July 3, 2017 we add Councilman Ben Benoit District 1

You will find the word RURAL in only one place of all the articles that could be located. You will also find “ I am opposed to any new taxes for our citizens “. The most interesting article contains his thoughts about those that oppose the direction of the city and chose the route of a lawsuit to affect change.

Once again I have highlighted, what I consider important comments.

Personal Bio on City Website

Growing up in the Coachella Valley and starting his own computer networking business in 2001, Council Member Benoit moved to the City of Wildomar in 2004. After personally going though(sic) the development process of building a house off of an unmaintained dirt road in Wildomar, he became a strong supporter of the effort to incorporate Wildomar as a City in order to bring local control to the community.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-wildomar-ben-benoit-politicians-son-runs-for-city-2010sep30-story.html

September 30, 2010

WILDOMAR: Ben Benoit, politician’s son, runs for city council

“Once you find out there’s going to be an opening, it’s much more inviting,” Benoit said. “Without that open seat, I probably would not be running.”

“I walked a lot of streets and knocked on a lot of doors,” Ben Benoit said about participating in his father’s campaigns. “I’ve learned from watching different races that you can’t go into this halfway. You have to understand what you’re going to do and what you’re going to say.”

This campaign is Ben Benoit’s first stab at running for elected office. The owner and operator of a computer technology service, he became a planning commissioner last May, after being nominated by Farnam to fill a vacancy. The council voted 4-1 to

Benoit said the potential of a city that has just passed its second birthday was what inspired him to get involved.

“What really fed my interest in looking at the city is there is so much room for growth,” he said. “There is much potential. I wanted to get involved with that.”

“One of my biggest pet peeves is you can’t go anywhere in Wildomar to buy a TV or a vacuum cleaner,” he said. “We need to be looking for a big box-type sales generator. … Along with that comes the responsibility of keeping our rural feel. I feel we can do that while ensuring that commercial growth can happen.”

http://thevalleybusinessjournal.com/community-news/item/599-city-council-candidates-faceoff/

October 1, 2010

Ben Benoit

In running for city council I have talked to a lot of Wildomar residents, and there are plenty of ideas out there about what people want to see done in our young city.   We have people that want dedicated trails, better code enforcement, speed enforcement, improved roads, historical downtown district, street sweeping (or in some cases a street to start with), and many other ideas.  

 

All of these proposed projects have their supporters and detractors, but all of them have one thing in common… a need for Wildomar to grow its tax base.  I am opposed to any new taxes for our citizens, but we have the opportunity through improved commercial growth that will allow the citizens of Wildomar to start spending their money at home and supporting their own city.  

 

http://brightstarswildomar.blogspot.com/2010/10/candidates-for-wildomar-city-council-on.html

October 10, 2010

Ben Benoit (my summary based on a telephone conversation):
I learned that Ben and I both own the same type of telescope. His scope and that he complimented me on the recent astronomy night in the park suggested a genuine interest in astronomy, and therefore, an appreciation for protecting the night sky. He doesn’t see dark skies protection as an impediment to commercial growth, but it may not be reasonable to correct via punitive measures lighting that, though in violation, was given an approval by the appropriate agency, such as County before incorporation, and City, after. As I relayed examples of newly constructed facilities that are in violation of our lighting ordinance, he offered to examine whether these new projects were given approval by the County or City Planning Department.

 

http://www.aqmd.gov/home/governing-board/board-members/board-member?name=ben-benoit

Mayor Pro Tem Benoit’s community involvement is motivated by his family. “My daughter (     ) is the primary reason I decided to become politically involved. Wanting to ensure a better quality of life for her is the primary reason I spend so much time focused on improving our community.”

 

https://patch.com/california/lakeelsinore-wildomar/meet-mayor-pro-tem-ben-benoit

October 6, 2014

Meet Mayor Pro-Tem Ben Benoit

WR: There is a very vocal minority that appears to dislike everything that goes on in Wildomar. I’ve actually read repeated assertions from them that City Staff and the City Council are both INEPT and CORRUPT. When you get wind of such comments circulating around, what are your reactions and thoughts on it?
BB: That they are a very small minority. They’re a very disingenuous group that’s in it for the wrong reasons. If you had to pick out who’s corrupt… I’m sorry, they’re the ones getting the checks from the developers at the end of the day when they are extorting the money from them. That’s probably the biggest part of CEQA I’d love to see changed is —where does the money go?

WR: I know that city services, such as police protection are important to you. What are some realistic options to increase the level of patrols in Wildomar?
BB: Open a Walmart. The tax revenue from Walmart can support one more officer on another shift. We’ll slowly move forward on that. It’s very upsetting how long it can potentially take to get back to where we even were… let alone more. Because even when we had what we had it was not enough.

WR: Can you name some projects that are in the works, even just the early stages, that you’re excited about seeing come to fruition in Wildomar?
BB: Besides Walmart? I think one of the ones I’m most excited about is our potential development of the park near Ronald Reagan Elementary School. Of all the things that could come forward on this side of the city, in the near future, that’s the one I’d love to see happen. The next one would be the college. I’m really hopeful that the college can move forward, we’ll have to see how their bond measure does.

Marsha Swanson, District 5

If she runs this will be her 4th time. In 5 separate articles she has used the word Rural 1 time. I have hi-lighted certain, what I feel are important, statements made by her.

She was elected the first time on February 5, 2008. She received 2,209 votes placing her third place behind Bob Cashman and Bridgette Moore. In that election 6,517 people voted on the measure to incorporate.

She ran the second time on November 2, 2010 for a full four year term. She garnered 2,889 votes placing her once again in 3rd place behind Ben Benoit and Timothy Walker.

The third time was a charm, nope, third place again behind Timothy Walker and Ben Benoit.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-candidate-marsha-swanson-wants-to-hit-the-ground-2007dec23-story.html 

AARON CLAVERIE – The Californian December 23, 2007

“We moved here because of the rural atmosphere and we wanted a safe and clean place to raise our children,” she said.

“You’re not going to be able to bend the rules,” she said. “The ethics have to be there, because this is a job that can easily be swayed by some people.”

“I have so much pride in my community and I want to see it move forward effectively,” she said. “That doesn’t mean you can please every person every time, but you can’t sit on the sidelines and complain if you’re not willing to act.

She supports cityhood because it would give residents local control of their tax dollars and allow a council to tailor new developments based on what Wildomar wants, not what Riverside County leaders think it should have.

The top issue facing the area is traffic and the condition of roads, she said.

Another important issue for Swanson is the law enforcement presence in Wildomar

At some point, maybe three or five years after incorporation, the city could even start thinking about forming its own police department, she said.

Another issue Swanson would like to tackle as a council member is the dearth of community gathering spots.

Seniors need a place to meet. Children need a place to meet. And there needs to be more park areas, she said.

To pay for construction of the community centers and the establishment of new park land, Swanson said, developers will be asked to chip in their fair share.

http://articles.latimes.com/2008/feb/07/local/me-ievote7

“Wildomar has wanted its own identity and to be a city for a long, long time,” said Marsha Swanson, one of the council winners. “The first thing we need to do is find a city manager.”

Swanson said the start-up should go smoothly because “we all get along.”

http://thevalleybusinessjournal.com/community-news/item/599-city-council-candidates-faceoff/

October 1, 2010

I WILL….keep a balanced budget, be a strong voice for the people, listen to your concerns.

Wildomar is a City in progress; we need to improve our roads, keep our parks open and have strong police and fire departments – and one day our own community center.

Marsha Swanson

https://patch.com/california/lakeelsinore-wildomar/meet-mayor-marsha-swanson

At that time, local government didn’t exist. If we wanted to touch government, we had to drive to Riverside. That was before the freeway was in, so it took awhile to get there. So it was nice to have some input [with the MAC]. In the three years that I was on there, the library went in. We didn’t get to pick the name, but we did get to pick many of the things… what the building was going to look like, the colors. That kind of got me started.

Ms. Swanson’s memory is a bit fuzzy, the Mission Trail Library was opened on July 28, 2001. The library was named the Mission Trail Library because it served more than just the people of wildomar (per http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2001/Jul/27/library-to-open-in-wildomar/ )

The 15 freeway was opened in 1985 per

http://myvalleynews.com/local/election-responsible-growth-key-in-wildomar-council-election/

By Kim Harris on October 31, 2014

Swanson said if re-elected she will work to do what is best for the city of Wildomar and its residents.

“I am asking to be re-elected because I do not see myself as a politician, but as a community member,” she said. “I will work for the good of Wildomar residents. Wildomar has been my home for 40 years. I am a wife, mother, grandmother and businesswoman. I care where we are now and about the future of Wildomar.”

Her Person Goal statement on the city website says:

To have local control and balanced growth within our City.

DOES IT FIT

The consensus of the wildomar city council on February 22, 2017 was expressed the following vision statement:

 

The City of Wildomar will be a safe and active community, responsibly grown, with quality infrastructure while keeping a hometown feel.

 

Does Camelia Townhomes fit the bill.

Safe

First off this is going to be a gated community, therefore off by themselves and isolated from the city. There will be a no-man’s zone of at least 20 ft in width between one block wall and another, that borders single family homes in Murrieta, that will be heavily planted with tall shrubs, (Rhus Lancea, African Sumac is a dense shade tree, rather graceful with its arching branches and weeping foliage.) This no-man’s zone is an invitation for mischievousness or tomfoolery.

IS THIS SAFE ?

Per Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) for this project, page 96, The nearest sheriff’s station is located at 333 Limited Street in Lake Elsinore, approximately 9.9 miles northwest of the project site (at 60 mph that is ten minutes away). Traffic enforcement is provided for Riverside County in this area by the California Highway Patrol, with additional support from local Riverside County Sheriff’s Department personnel. The highway patrol stopped handling all traffic related events when wildomar became a city in 2008. Our current level of service is 0.4 officers per 1,000 population.

Per the MND page 97 the project will not induce substantial population growth and therefore would not be expected to substantially increase the demand for police protection services.

Is this safe, NO

There is talk of 2 million dollars being returned to the city, but, until it gets here it’s not a sure thing

Currently the city of wildomar has one fire station located 2.8 mile away. There is mutual aid provided by Station 75 which is 2.7 miles away.  There is also Station #5 in Murrieta which is 1.9 miles away.

The population is projected to be 538 new citizens at the calculated rate of 3.3 per single family unit used by the city.

Using the State of California’s Occupancy Standard of 2 persons per bedroom plus one additional person per dwelling unit, with 436 bdrms occupancy would be 163 +872 for a total of 1035 possible new residents. (Almost double what developer projects using the city’s formula.

Furthermore, the project is not expected to result in activities that create unusual police protection needs. (city must have a crystal ball)

Again is this safe ?

 

Active Community

As an active community the city council adopted a Multi-Use Trails map in 2011. Many housing developments throughout the city have Multi-Use Trails along their borders, some along Palomar St., others along Grand Ave.

The city is prepared to spend millions on such a multi-use trail and bicycle lane project the entire length of Grand Ave.

This site has no such trail even though one appears on the City of Wildomar Multi-Use Trail Map as W-E-02A. The developer claims the trail (Southern Immigrant Trail) is on the other side of the roadway. 

Question have you ever seen two way bicycle traffic on a roadway

(See Cross Sections of Washington and Jefferson)

This is what the developer is required to finish before they sell any homes. Notice the asphalt extends 1/2 of the roadway plus one lane only. The rest is to be provided by whomever builds across the street. (Except for that portion  that is part of this development on Jefferson Ave. in wildomar

Responsible Growth

Our neighbors to the south have asked that their quality of life not be destroyed by this project which will hover over their backyards invading their privacy. The developers response is we will plant more shrubs. We will not lower the height of the development nor will they move the structures back to simulate the feel of single family homes with backyards.

Is it responsible growth when a planning commissioner chastises these longtime homeowners for not planting enough vegetation in their yards.

NO

 

Quality Infrastructure

Wildomar Parks will receive

There are 20 parcels of which 16 will pay the Measure Z Tax. At $28.00 per parcel this amounts to $448.00 annually to pay for maintenance, operations and programs for the 538 new citizens (.83 cents a head per year) (Current residents pay approximately $10 a head).

The city will claim additional money will be collect through the Mello Roos fees extracted from this project, problem being there is no accountability for that money like Measure Z funds which haS an Oversight Committee.

The city will also collect a one time parks land fee of  $96,087.33

And a one time parks infrastructure fee of between $452,033.22 – $636,956.73

If these were 163 single family homes the same park land and infrastructure fees would be collected along with $4,564.00 annually for maintenance operations and programs ($8.48 per head instead of 83 cents)

The Wildomar Library will receive no money for expansion of the library. The Wildomar Library will receive no money for new books. The only money the library will receive will be for maintenance and operation of the existing facility which is currently undersized per county standards

Per a study done by the American Library Association:  Funding levels for Riverside County libraries remain at desperately low levels, barely more than a third of the national average on a per capita basis.

In 2014, to correct this underfunding, Riverside County adopted a Developer Impact Fee of $115 per single family dwelling and $80.00 per multi-family dwelling. Wildomar in the same year adopted nothing for libraries, no books no building.

The County of Riverside General Plan Standard is 0.50 sq.ft. per per resident. Looking at Wildomar:

The Wildomar Library on Mission Trail is 5,384 sq.ft.. With a population of 35,168 (January 2016) the square footage should be 17,584 sq.ft..We are currently at 30 ½%. Even below the county deficit with no money for expansion.

Keeping the Hometown Feel

 

This is going to be difficult when you look past the immediate connection of Jefferson Ave. in Murrieta to Palomar St. in Wildomar.

Looking past means looking at what other cities connected to this corridor the stretches from Rancho California Rd. in Temecula  to Main St. in Lake Elsinore a stretch of 17.2 miles

Temecula in March of 2005 in their Circulation Roadway plan discussed key roadway improvements with included expanding Jefferson Ave from Winchester to the city line from a 4 lane arterial to a 6 lane urban arterial highway.

When looking at the HIGHWAY 395 CORRIDOR STUDY FOR SOUTHWEST RIVERSIDE COUNTY compiled in 2012 after 2 community workshops were held. 20 members of the community attended the workshop in wildomar, similar to the previous workshop in Temecula which also had 20 community members.

The Murrieta City Council approved a plan to widen Jefferson Avenue north of Kalmia Street to 6 lanes due to increased traffic volumes. In certain locations, portions of the roadway are already built to this ultimate width and would only need to be restriped to achieve the 6-lane configuration.

Caltrans noted that it will be important to analyze the effects the Corridor improvements will have on the adjacent I-15 interchanges. Highway 395 serves as the primary alternate route for the freeway.

The 395 study states the current condition in wildomar as Two-lane facilities which are common in purely residential and rural land uses where volumes are typically lower.

 

Keeping the Hometown Feel is Going to be Kind of Hard with traffic whizzing by at 50 miles an hour.

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

 

A Win for Transparency in Government

The cloak of secrecy has been pierce

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

 

http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S218066.PDF

 

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.”