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.”

How Embarrassing for the Citizens of Wildomar

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.

A Fun Night Out

Went to the Riverside Art Museum to see some Chicano Art from the collection owned by Cheech Marin.
Papel Chicano Dos: Works on Paper. (65 pieces by 24 artist)

Got a pamphlet signed as they ran out of exhibit catalogs two people in front of us.

Even got our picture with Cheech Marin

Brought back a lot of fuzzy memories, to much smoke in the eyes.

Has Wildoslavia failed again

Is this pothole the result of wildoslavia not cleaning out another storm drain

Evidence of a Storm Drain below this hole is provided by the Lakeland Village Master Drainage Plan

In the black circle is where this pothole is

This is so reminiscent of the Prairie Street Storm Drain of a couple of years ago.

This was the second time this occurred within weeks.


The outflow end of the above drain. This was taken 2 years ago and nothing has been done since.

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.