Wildomar Parks: What's The Cost?

What do we have for $18,686,992? Three parks (two of which have no parking) and one more that will cost somewhere north of $10,000,000 to develop.

In the early 1990s, Wildomar had the misfortune of being invaded by an organization known as "Ortega Trails Recreation and Park District" because a few citizens insisted they had a right to parks.

Ortega Trails proceeded to spend $157,600 in Quimby Fees collected from developers and an additional $596,000 in improvements for parks in Wildomar.

This organization passed a parcel tax of $20 per parcel, which increased by $39 for a total of $59. And then they tried to pass a consolidated tax because of Proposition 218 of $71, a full three years after they were required to by law.

Thanks to citizen opposition, this tax measure was defeated and a measure placed on the ballot after the gathering of enough signatures led to a defunding of this organization.

A state audit concluded that the money spent by Ortega Trails was legally spent to the extent that the state could piece together: In the last few years of its existence, Ortega Trails failed to maintain a proper set of books.

This sounds pretty bad but then the county took over and in order to clear up the mess created it was necessary to spend an additional $6,633,992 to pay off debts incurred.

But we're not finished. The county then spent $6,000,000 more to rehabilitate some of the original parks. This happened after the citizens of Wildomar were coerced into passing a parcel tax for maintanence that barely squeeked through. This tax measure written by the county was later ruled unconstitutional.

To top it all off, the county -- just months before Wildomar became a city -- negotiated a deal with a developer for an eastside park that, if the city accepts this land, will result in our giving up $3,400,000 in future Quimby Fees plus $1,900,000 in fees already collected.

So what do we have for $18,686,992? Three parks (two of which have no parking) and one more that will cost somewhere north of $10,000,000 to develop.

Come November, "Just say No."

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.

Roberto August 23, 2012 at 03:41 PM
It's for the children. Pennies a day etc. etc. typical liberal cyberbabble. If you want sport parks near you move to an area that has them. If you want someone to pay for your childrens entertainment sign up for hardship funding. Quit whining and sniveling as no one owes you anyting. Passive parks on the other hand are used by all and need to be funded by HOA's or other nearrby funding mechanism's. No one is ashamed for not wanting their taxes raised to satify someone else's agenda.
Teller of Truth August 23, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Gil, thank you so much for displaying so much sage advice. Your wisdom truly knows no bounds. I agree that humor is an effective way to make a point. Sadly you won't find any humor when it comes to any Martha comments because I am neither trying to be funny nor effective. I'm sorry that it takes "courage for you to tell the truth" but for the rest of us, it does not. The truth comes rather easily & requires none. Yes we ALL do make the same comments to her face as we do here on the comments section. You obviously don't know her "in person" and have not read all of the vicious & vile crap that she has written on here. Heres another hint for ya Gil, people that use their real first & last name on here are only inviting unnecessary trouble to they're front door step. "Normal" people just aren't that stupid.
Ken Mayes August 23, 2012 at 05:59 PM
The citizens of Wildomar have three parks that have been bought and paid for at least twice to the tune of $13,386,992.00 and the people that really care about them have had a whole year to show that they really want them by supporting "Wildomar Friends for Parks". So far what they have gotten is an organization that still does not have 501(c) status per the irs website which prevents them from getting grants, they have an organization that when asked by the city council for their books attempted to go into a closed door meeting which was rebuffed by the council at which time the organization hemmed and hawed and in the end did not present any books, their comment was we get a bill in and we pay it. They have an organization that uses the plural of park (parks) but chose to maintain one park therefore ostracizing all the dog walkers that used Heritage Park, all the people within walking distance of Windsong Park, and they attempted to charge the sports leagues more than the local school district for field use causing these groups to stay where they were rather than doubling their cost. As for property values the Wharton School study shows a clean lot in a neighborhood increases values by 30% where as values within 1/4 mile of a park only increase by 10%. The people that scream the loudest about the children only do so if they can throw someone elses money at something, if they have to give up time forget about it.
Constant Comment August 23, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Whoa Gil! Do my insults account for nothing here? Guess I better try a bit harder then! By the way....I think that you would make an excellent politician; going off with no facts or a clue & accomplishing the very opposite of what you were trying to do! Good job buddy! }~)
Constant Comment August 23, 2012 at 10:32 PM
RAY A... "You so called activists have done more to ruin our little town than you have to help it! ...personal vendetta! ...you should be ashamed!" I agree ! Ray, you're my new hero! MARFA & Ken; take notice! People are not interested in taking up your 'personal agenda' in a fight against city hall . }~)
Constant Comment August 23, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Gil ought to do his homework a little better before he takes "sides" with the wrong one. Just a political suggestion. }~)
Gil Rasmussen August 24, 2012 at 12:27 AM
CC; You can read all of my homework at Wildomar Magazine. I have covered and commented on Wildomar for the past four years. You may not agree with my opinions but I do know Wildomar. I have offered a reasonable solution for taking care of Marna O'Brien Park by moving City Hall onto land already owned by Wildomar (thus no land payments) and re-allocating most of the $120,0000 in annual savings of lease payments to the care and maintenance of the parks. I guess I'm the one on the side of the park, after all. Others continue to pursue losing ballot measures. This last one may be the third one to fail.
Gil Rasmussen August 24, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Ray; I wish you could consider the proposal to move City Hall to Marna O'Brien Park. Why can't we consider alternatives. Even without any public opposition, tax measures tend to fail in Wildomar. People vote "no" for their own reasons.
Teller of Truth August 24, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Gil, don't think he was talkin about taking sides of an 'issue' but rather taking sides with the unsavory 'people' on here that are just trying to take the city down for their own particular vendettas. Thats the homework you should study on here. Just sayin.
Constant Comment August 24, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Precisely Watson! }~)
Gil Rasmussen August 24, 2012 at 05:27 AM
He can respond for himself, if he wishes. Being critical of city council decisions does not mean people want to "take the city down" or have a vendetta. It's called democracy.
Constant Comment August 24, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Silly Gil! IF you indeed did your homework as you say, you would realize that sometimes we comment to or for each other. I have already given my permission for some folks to speak on my behalf when I am away myself. What do you think my reply of "precisely" meant anyway? Heres another heads up for ya, Marfa IS critical of ANYTHING the city council says or does. She was shot down twice when she foolishly ran on the RANTS ticket! She is shot down everytime she sets foot at a meeting or even opens her mouth. You obviously need to do a little bit more homework to get all of the behind the scenes info. You need to know the difference between "vendetta" & "democracy". You probably would make a good politician; going off 1/2 baked & being pompASS! }~)
Constant Comment August 24, 2012 at 04:20 PM
@LER, thanks for the heads up about Gil! }~)
Gil Rasmussen August 25, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Teller; If you think your anonymous username is some form of protection of your identity, you should know that if anyone does foolishly bring "unnecessary trouble" and show up on my doorstep, your identity as a "person of interest" is quite accessible to law enforcement. You should be more careful about what you write.
Teller of Truth August 25, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Gil, would that be the same law enforcement that encourages people to "not use their real names to invite trouble to their front door step?" I am very careful about what I write, I guess thats why you think I have an upper hand? You just don't do your homework about anything do you? Don't threaten me, you reveal yourself to be nothing more than a paranoid idiot!
jill smith August 25, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Gill teller Of Truth has said nothing threatening , she is simply telling the truth. Martha has been extremely rude to people, especially when they make truthful statements regarding Barak Obama, that she disagrees with. Gill go back and read Martha's responses, she attempts to bully people repeatedly. I am surprised your defending Martha. Martha will never win a council seat for obvious reasons, you might, why did you decide not to run?
Constant Comment August 25, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Jill, because he's laughable just like Marfa! (BTW, Teller is a dude!) }~)
Constant Comment August 25, 2012 at 04:33 AM
@ Gil, "Person of interest"! HAHAHA! Looks like someone is watching way too much TV! I guess anyone that owns a telephone book is going to be your potential P.O.I. ! }~)
Gil Rasmussen August 25, 2012 at 05:53 AM
Jill; Having written about Lake Elsinore's corrupt politics for years under Elsinore Magazine, and now, Wildomar Magazine for the past four years, I know what it is to be stalked by some local politician's thugs, so I don't take threats about showing up at my doorstep lightly. I doubt that Martha Bridges has any further ambitions with regard to running for Wildomar City Council. That she tried twice, garnering 2000 votes the last time means that she represents a significant portion of Wildomar voters. I was pretty tough on her during the last campaign, through the pages of Wildomar Magazine. Although some may not agree with her opinions, she is thoughtful and has successfully fought a bad land-use decision approved by the Wildomar City Council. In my case, although I pulled papers to run for the Wildomar City Council, when it came down to the cost and effort to do so, I decided I didn't care enough about people like Teller of Truth and Constant Comment (there are many more like them "out there"). These are the same low caliber of persons that will vote for Bridgette Moore, no matter how inept she may be. At my age and with my health history, I have no desire to provide four years of public service to Wildomar. Life is, after all, far too short for that. But thanks for your "civil" inquiry, which is why I responded.
jill smith August 25, 2012 at 10:44 AM
I would describe a low caliber person as being demeaning, hypocritical, controlling, and aggressive, with a self destructive personality pattern. Martha is the only person on the patch I have come across that consistently displays this type of behaviour. Polititions with big fat egos suck! They dish it out but can't take it.
jill smith August 25, 2012 at 10:48 AM
Sorry spelled politicion wrong, got to get back to work.
Gil Rasmussen August 25, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Jill; Martha is not a politician, she's a concerned citizen who capably speaks her mind, often through Patch blogs and comments.The fact that she engenders such vicious responses is evidence of her influence on local issues.
jill smith August 25, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Ok Gill spin it what ever way you want, the woman is a wanna be politician that is rude geez.
Constant Comment August 25, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Gil, are you trying to get sued for slander? Everyone here can see that he answered your original question of why people on here should be anonymous. You're the one that keeps pressing everyone for their REAL names! Why is that? Why do you need them? What are YOUR plans? Then you have the nerve to make vailed threats to others? No one threatened to show up @ your house. Are you paranoid? Why did that happen to you before? it apears that you are nothing but an all around, long term azz, just trying to be significant. Stick to writing your rag & leave the big politician crap to the professionals. Although that is not a threat, feel free to call the "internet cops" on me! Glad you revealed yourself for the true idiot you are.}~)
Constant Comment August 25, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Jill its lookin like you can add good ole Gil to that list too1 }~)
Constant Comment August 25, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Blind ole Gil, all of the vicious responses that I've read are only about Marfa & not so much about the topics at hand. She has no influence other than to attack people like the little 6 year old with the lemonaide stand. We, as truly concerned citizens , have banned together to put an end to her viciousness by throwing IT RIGHT BACK AT HER! Sorry you won't do your homework to see that for yourself. You don't seem to be all that bright. }~)
Constant Comment August 25, 2012 at 05:31 PM
@Jill, for reasons of his own, Gil chooses to grandstand to be relevant. Thats ok.}~)
JoAnn August 25, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Let's be sure to get out the voter's on this issue so we can put this to rest and get us some nice parks that we can all enjoy and use to bring our community together! I for one look forward to next summer and enjoying some music in the park!
Constant Comment August 25, 2012 at 08:03 PM
I do too JoAnn! Also MOVIES in the park. There's no better memory than when a kid says ...."Remember when we saw that movie on a spread out blanket on the grass in the park? Mom made us a picnic dinner and a squirrel ran by?" Why shouldn't every kid get a chance to remember & say something nice like that? Thats what a childhood is for! (Not hey look at that graffitti on that fenced up wall over there.) I think happier kids & parents make for a better society, don't you? }~)
KevWild October 15, 2012 at 01:50 AM
I'm voting YES on Measure Z.


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