Wildomar continues to seek solutions to the council’s unpopular closing of one of their smaller parks, and some of the methods they are considering to finance the reopening of Windsong Park carry the same unfortunate earmarks of previously suggested solutions, which failed to garner the voters’ support. Some of them are overly complex, unnecessarily expensive, and out of scale with the park itself.
The solutions under study need to be considered with the perspective of understanding that Windsong was always planned as a small neighborhood park. In fact, while it is definitely an asset to the immediate neighborhood, it isn’t much more than an oversized “tot lot”. It lacks off street parking real restrooms, and has no baseball or soccer fields.
This doesn’t mean it isn’t important. If reopened it would serve the neighborhood's children, families who would like a place for “open-air” gatherings, and teens and adults who want to shoot hoops.
However, this small park needs a simple but well organized way to oversee its reopening and basic maintenance. The last thing Wildomar needs is another costly, politically charged solution like some of the ones that will be under consideration at tonight’s council meeting.
Forming a small non-profit organization to support the BASIC UPKEEP of Windsong Park is the intelligent, practical thing to do. I expect that many people would support this idea.
That effort should involve volunteers who want the park reopened without a bunch of governmental or legal red tape, which would only serve to confuse things and drive up the costs. Lots of concerned, civic minded people might support a non-profit effort as long as it sticks to the basic maintenance.
However, I can assure you that there would be a considerable resistance to creating an unwelcomed HOA in our long established neighborhood or to voting for a special new tax assessment. Few people want the added indirect expenses that come along with either of these overly structured solutions, and even fewer people would want to deal with the complications that are usually inherent with them.
HOAs and new taxes would NOT be welcomed by enough of the local community to support their establishment. They carry too much baggage and expense with them, and are subject to being used like political footballs rather than being utilized to address the need to reopen the park and keep it available to the public.
Certainly Wildomar's drastically reduced budget would be further impacted by the costs of another wasteful special election that might be defeated. By the city’s own accounting, the last one, Measure D, cost Wildomar taxpayers over $102,000 in direct expenditures. We can’t afford to repeat that mistake.
The best thing that could be done to support the idea of a non-profit organization to oversee Windsong Park is to have a clear line of demarcation between it and Wildomar's messy city politics.
Windsong and the neighborhood don't need any city sponsored recreational programs supported by either city budget or city staff. During these challenging economic times, we just need to have the park reopened and maintained. We can forego extra services and programs for the present.
The answer to reopening Windsong Park is to use volunteer labor and volunteer donations that would be coordinated by a small, neighborhood based non-profit organization. That can and should be done, and would cost the city little beyond a water bill and the insurance expenses that are, I believe, already bundled with the current PARSAC policy.
Please consider these points when deciding on what path is taken with regard to Windsong Park. We need to keep in mind that Windsong was always intended to be a small, neighborhood park, and scale the city’s plans for it accordingly.