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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."

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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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