Into the Nuts and Bolts of Wildomar Parks

With the official passing of Measure Z, what is the next step for the community of Wildomar and the Wildomar City Council?

The Riverside Registrar of Voters has certified the election results and Measure Z has passed. While that marks the end of a very long road to creating a funding source for our parks, it also marks the beginning of a new road toward developing and maintaining a park system that fits the needs of the community.

It’s not going to be easy to identify exactly how to achieve that goal. Part of the City Council’s job will be to review each of the parks and identify what physical improvements each of the existing parks could benefit from and then set priorities to match the budget.

The most important “To-do”, to most people in the community, is to define the “When”. Our new Parks Tax will not be collected until 2014. That’s quite a ways into the future. We have already seen how hard the non-profit “Friends for Wildomar Parks” has struggled to keep Marna O’Brien open, and has found only a limited success. Even with their hard work and good intentions they are currently thousands of dollars in debt to the utility companies. Leaving the park, solely in the hands of this non-profit doesn’t appear practical.

The City Council does have the option of temporarily funding parks until the park tax funding is available. A question that has come up in the community is, “Can the City Council borrow from their back-up fund to re-open the parks and pay that back over time from the Parks Tax”? While this sounds interesting and possibly a positive move, there is little doubt that the City Council will have their legal staff review this, in detail, and identify exactly what the state law says on the issue.

These issues will need to be addressed over the next couple of months and an initial set of goals identified to get the parks moving in the right direction, but don’t expect this to be a slam dunk. We will have Parks, We will have Events, We will have Activities, but we can’t expect City Council to rush this. The community has decided it does want parks, but we also understand the community wants to see this done correctly, even if it takes a little longer to get the plan just right.

Yes, Wildomar will have Parks, but that’s just the answer to the first question.  I believe it’s important for the City Council to hear from the community on this issue.  Please take the time to come to the next City Council meeting or send in your comments prior to the meeting.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ken Mayes November 30, 2012 at 06:27 PM
According to statements you have made the city has already found a way to fund the park system by picking up the tab for utilities owed by the almost a non-profit organization known as Wildomar Friends For Parks (WFFP), almost because they failed to receive their 501(c)3 status, they failed to have books available for the city council to inspect in order to complete a contract with, they failed to garner enough community support to keep one park open. It will be most interesting to see when the decision was made to pick up the tab for utilities since it has been a couple of months since WFFP whined about being over $15,000.00 dollars in the hole on utilities and yet they continued to burn up the trons almost every night since. With no mention of the city paying for the utilities in any city council agenda's or minutes one can only assume this to be a back door deal which if made before the election could lead to some serious repercussions. The park system in Wildomar has once again picked up the stench left by Ortega Trails.
John Lloyd November 30, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Um Ken, On each point you mention you are wrong. Please contact the City to get correct information. Once you have some actual data, then print your statement. It works better that way.
WHAT?? December 01, 2012 at 12:08 AM
To Ken Mayes and anyone else who may be interested. I did speak with Gary Nordquist, Finance Director, City of Wildomar this morning. On Monday, The Wildomar Friends for Parks (WFFP) closed their utility account(s) associated with Marna O'Brien Park. On Tuesday, the City of Wildomar opened utility accounts to address health and safety issues at the park. At this point in time, the City is only going to keep the safety lighting on in the parking lot and on the building. They are also keeping the water on in the restrooms. They are not paying for any debts of WFFP. Sheryl Ade
Constant Comment December 01, 2012 at 12:15 AM
I like your FICTION Ken....... but you should really stick to writing about HISTORY instead. You're better suited for that. }~)
Ken Mayes December 01, 2012 at 12:29 AM
"Lloyd said that although the city has taken over paying the utilities at Marna O’Brien Park" your comment quoted by the Patch last evening. WFFP as of today has not received its 501(c)3 status per the IRS website. In a February city council meeting the people representing WFFP were asked for their books so the city could review them before completing a contract with them and these people asked to go into closed door session with the city council at which time they were told no, their response was we really don't have any books when we get a bill in we just pay it. http://www.cityofwildomar.org/uploads/files/minutes/02-08-12-cm.pdf (Item 3.2) You yourself were quoted in June or July stating that WFFP could not reach an agreement with the city primarily because the city wanted the lawn mowed more often than WFFP was prepared to do. WFFP's website has not changed since June of this year and their facebook page sat dormant since the city decided to put Measure Z on the Ballot in September As for the stench, its getting worse by the minute.
Ken Mayes December 01, 2012 at 01:18 AM
If that is the case then why were the field lights on Wednesday Night November 28, 2012 if the city took control of the service on Tuesday November 27, 2012.
One Voice December 03, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Never known of anyone that hates parks as much as Ken does, maybe he wasn't allowed to go there when he was just a child.
Ken Mayes December 03, 2012 at 06:42 AM
Never claimed to hate parks, just the method the city has chosen to pay for them and the amount of money they feel they have to spend for the minority of people that actually use them.
Ken Mayes December 03, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Peanut lets take your examples one at at time. 1. Special Ed teachers are provided because of Constitutional Mandates both state and federal and are paid for from the general fund. 2. Motorized carts in the grocery store are provided by a private business, not all stores have them. 3. Disabled parking is in the building codes both state and federal, a developer cannot build without providing them. 4. Policing the city and how they spend tax money is what a citizen needs to do in order to prevent situations like the city of Bell, CA, Stockton, CA., Providence, RI. and on and on. Wildomar currently spends just over 6.5 million in General Funds and about the same amount in special funds totaling $12,690,000.00. Of that $430K is spent on animal control which has a fee and fine schedule that should collect enough money to pay for this service but because of poor oversight by city officials only about $80K is collected from the minority of citizens that bother to license their animal. The balance of $350K comes from the general fund which should have gone to parks. (Funny thing is this is the same amount collected by measure Z)
One Voice December 03, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Ken i'm sure you met to say majority, not minority in your above comment right?
Ken Mayes December 03, 2012 at 07:25 PM
With less than 30% of dog owners in Riverside County bothering to license their dogs I did mean minority.
Ken Mayes December 03, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Peanut I am one vote in a little over 18,000,000 on a state level and one vote in just over 14,000 on a local level. Which do you think I have the most chance of influencing? One of the reasons people vote the way they do is because of misinformation such as the statement that "Jerry Brown set up the pension fund". The California State Employee Pension fund was established by the voters in 1931 by Constitutional Amendment and Jerry Brown wasn't born until 1938.
One Voice December 03, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Well, the way I see it is measure Z won, and so it is what it is, sometimes it happens and as much as we hate it we have to accept it, heck I didn't want Obama for another four years either, now that is something to really whine about. I suppose there just isn't no pleasing some people including myself. LOL
Markus December 04, 2012 at 10:28 AM
Since this fell into our laps we should take advantage of it... The real hard fact is Oviedo is furthering his carrer at the expense of the city of Wildomar. Terminate him today,promote Gary Nordquist, do not hire a replacement until April reassign the funds of Oviedo's (which would be nearly 100k) salary to help the parks. He will help the city more by leaving then he did in the past 3 yrs.
Ken Mayes December 04, 2012 at 05:08 PM
We need to take the money and pay off what we borrowed for animal control the last two years 100K and what we borrowed from the county almost 5 years ago 1.3 Million that is due by the end of June.
Ken Mayes December 04, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Peanut To answer your question about the number of dogs licensed in California you can go to http://saveourdogs.net/category/legislation/track-record/. The same information is available from the California Department of Public Health, Riverside County Department of Public Health as well as L.A, Orange County, San Diego, etc. People just don't license their dogs. Currently there are 2,239,620 people living in Riverside County using the federal census calculator this would give Riverside County 484,000 dogs. Riverside County as of June 2011 has 130,874 dogs licensed right around 27%.
One Voice December 05, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Rumor has it the Martha has filed a lawsuit regarding the passing of Measure Z, she also has posted a quite lengthy statement of facts under Local Voices, but closed it to anyone being able to comment on her statement?
The Teller of Truth December 05, 2012 at 07:13 PM
No one actually reads whatever Marfas 'rants of the day' are. She closes her rants to comments because she thinks that some of us are paid by the city council to monitor her & put her in her place. She is delusional as well as chicken. ANYONE can contest the passage of any measure if they file their challenge in a timely manner. That doesn't mean anything more than a cynical old biddy trying desperately to remain relevant again. Hope that clears it up for ya.
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