Wildomar Parks: What Are You Telling The Pollsters?

Are you willing to pay a tax in order to fund Wildomar parks?

Most know the parks are in dire straits:  

Since then, many community members have been trying to find ways to raise money for the city’s three parks. Fundraisers have taken place, – even DeJong’s Dairy on Corydon has donation cups set out for patrons who want to give to the cause.

City officials aren’t taking the upcoming vote lightly, which is why polling is being done.

“This polling will help us formulate our message for the voters -- not just whether or not the voters want parks,” Wildomar Mayor Ben Benoit said. 

This will be a make-or-break moment for Wildomar parks if the tax isn’t passed. 

“With the city's current financial situation and the loss of our I strongly feel our city's first priority is restoring our public safety funding. That being the case, I feel it will be a long time before the city can afford to put ongoing money into open space, trails, or parks unless we have a detected form of ongoing funding,” the mayor added.

This tax will only affect the residents who own parcels in the city of Wildomar, so renters will not have to pay the tax.

Poll results are expected to be announced shortly. What are you telling the pollsters when they call? Are you willing to pay the tax in order to fund Wildomar parks?

Ken Mayes July 22, 2012 at 06:36 AM
There are several points of this article that are total bull. Many Wildomarian, the phone poll will only be to 300 people. Renters will not pay, tell them that when the rent goes up. The city lost VLF funding and this is a reason for not paying for parks, they didn't fund parks from the general fund even when they had these funds.
Stephen July 22, 2012 at 05:39 PM
I will gladly pay the tax. I can't fathom why someone wouldn't pay the tax. The residents voted to be there own city and now DON'T want to pay the cost of being it's own city. I live in Wildomar and moved here after it became a city. There are people that say they do not use the parks. With parks and recreation facilty's the property value's go up. Why would you not pay the tax should be the question...
Ken Mayes July 23, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Wildomar barely became a city to start with. The people of this city expect the council members to prioritize the services that are provided and so far they, the city council, have not made parks a priority. The city council has chosen to let the people pay more taxes if they wish to have a park and to date they have chosen not to. As for your claim that parks increase property values that statement in nothing more than real estate agent hype, studies show a clean dirt lot in a neighborhood increase property values by the same percentage. I for one moved to the community of Wildomar when their were no parks, minimum sheriff service, a single convenience store/ gas station and a volunteer fire department. I knew this before I bought and I was fine with that and did not whine about it afterwards therefore I will not be voting for any additional tax.
Stephen July 23, 2012 at 03:58 AM
You sir must not have kids or grandchildren that can benefit from a park. I am sure @ one point you visited the park or parks once. I do agree if there is a way to keep parks open instead of more taxes than yes do that. Instead the city council decides to spend money on a poll. I am for the tax for my kids and possible grand kids in the future. I am not for wasteful spending.
Kristy July 23, 2012 at 04:48 AM
Yes !! I will pay!
superboymom July 23, 2012 at 04:54 AM
No. I did not vote for Wildomar to become a city. It was too soon. We weren't ready. But yes! I would pay the park tax without hesitation. Pretty parks only add to the desirability of our neighborhoods.
Gene Lepper July 23, 2012 at 02:59 PM
The voting isn't fair. If you own one (1) piece of property you get one (1) vote, if you own two (2) pieces of property you get one (1) vote, if you own four (4) piece of property you still only get one (1) vote, but you will have to pay for all four (4) pieces of property. I have never used the Wildomar Parks, I do not have children or grand children, nieces' or nephews who use the parks. It will not increasse the property value and therefore I do not support the Wildomar Parks department tax
Gene Lepper July 23, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Let the people who use the parks pay a daily fee, whether they are Wildomar property owners or not. I have never used the Wildomar Parks and have been in the valley for more than 50 years. I do live and own property in Wildomar and agree the voting has not been fair. One vote! for more than one piece of propetry, but have to pay on all of them, not fair. Yes, the rent will have to go up for the increase in property taxes, so yes the renters will have to pay also.
David Pereira July 23, 2012 at 03:53 PM
right, it's ok for you to enjoy Wildomar but nobody else right? As long as you're making your rental property money you're happy, right? Screw everyone else huh? I hear ya, that's the Wildomar way. Elderly people like you have Ken Mayes have no heart for other, younger families that might like to have a complete city to live in, parks included. You're a selfish curmudgeon and just so you know, with your outlook on things, you probably don't have any real friends either. Isn't it saddening knowing that nobody is going to care about you when you're really old? It's not too late, become a nice man and stop trying to prove how hard you are.
T July 23, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Gene - the reason someone with multipule pieces of property only gets one vote instead of one for eace piece of property is so the rich who own more property can't control an election. And if my landlord wants to increase my rent by the $2 and change per month for this then so what.
andy July 23, 2012 at 04:18 PM
David, you've voiced your conservative opinions on here too. A community park is socialism or worse communist. It would also be a place for illegals to gather and gang members to meet as well as tag or vandalized. Open green space is over rated and a waste of resources, when that open space could be sold to a mining company. No more taxes!
Ken Mayes July 23, 2012 at 05:00 PM
David If parks were so important to you maybe you should have moved to a city that had them. I for one grew up with a city park across a dirt field from my parents house and all the kids in the neighborhood never got any further than the dirt field. When the dirt field was developed still nobody went to the park because of the gangs and other criminal elements that occupied that space, this was in the 60's when life was simpler. I will not vote for a tax increase for the wants of so few that them that want cannot even gather enough volunteers to maintain one park. Another thing, parks have been tried in Wildomar on two separate occasions and have turned into a gold mine for those that have run them. There is no end to their thirst for the taxpayers money. Ortega Trails started out at $25 went to 45$ and then they wanted $75 in just a few short years before the taxpayers said enough already and sent them packing. The last try was ruled illegal because the county manipulated the tax in order to get it passed which the courts ruled illegal. The city council finds parks so appealing that they charge developers half what every other city in the area charges in Quimby Fees and refuse to even come up with any money to maintain them but they can sign us up to pay for an air-conditioned animal adoption facility.
Cat July 23, 2012 at 05:14 PM
@David Pereira, It's "saddening" to read your personal attacks. Try sticking to 'attack' the story at hand and not 'attack' other people posting on here. People that show no respect for their elders usually have no respect for themselves. Just something to think about.......
Martha L. Bridges July 23, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Stephen, The city council and staff maintain that the parks are a general benefit for the city, and as such the cost of maintenance for the parks should come out of the General Fund budget. The council is being rather two-faced in their statements about the parks. They say they are important, but they refuse to make them a priority when it comes to the budget. They also run them for a very small percentage of Wildomar's population...mainly the organized sports leagues. It is a false assumption that parks have much if any effect on property values. Only those properties that are located close to the parks are affected, and sometimes negatively because of the lack of off street parking, increased traffic, noise and vandalism. And, we already pay enought in taxes to support the parks maintenance. Why pay again and again?
Martha L. Bridges July 23, 2012 at 07:14 PM
I'm holding off on a decision one way or another until the city council provides the revised tax proposal. I want to see the details. One thing is sure, I am wondering why they are asking for nearly twice or double what the parks' maintenance costs.
Martha L. Bridges July 23, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Mayor Benoit is certainly correct about one thing. Wildomar Residents originally expressed their clear opinion on priorities, and fighting crime and having enough public safety services such as police and fire personnel were right at the top on most people's list and still are today. Restoring our police levels should be the #1 priority. It is also high time to put a second Firestation for the east side of Wildomar into the long term plan. These are services which, when needed, should be available for every single person in Wildomar. On the other hand, I still believe that reallocation of existing revenues should be enough to reopen the parks and keep them decently maintained with minimal volunteer work. A new tax would bring in approximately $330,000 to $350,000 in additional revenues - much more than the estimated cost of $175,000 for maintaining our 3 existing parks. I can certainly understand keeping the parks open, but really we can do without an overblown parks recreation program and paying someone like a community services manager to organize and run it? This is not the time to spend this extra money on what a few people would enjoy while everyone else paid for it.
JoAnn July 24, 2012 at 04:04 AM
The tax will be based on parcels owned. Someone who owns multiple parcels still gets their one vote so as not to stack the deck. Most of these folks on here know that the city and cities across CA had money taken away last year by the State. Many don't know that the voters approved an assessment for parks prior to Wildomar becoming a city. Many don't know that there was a small group (which are represented here) who took that to court and won against the County and the assessment. The City of Wildomar and her citizen's have not been then winner here in what has occurred. The comments regarding a park only being used by a small amt. of folks are nonsense! I don't have kids who play sports but I like the park. I walk in the evening when it's cool and love that there is lighting at the park! I can't do that at home where there are no streetlight. I also went to many park events, whether it was music, movies, BBQ cook off's, farmer's markets etc..I am happy to pay my $2.50 a month (or less) to have parks up and running here and have events for adults, families, kids on a regular schedule. I have seen many other Wildomareans do the same! I have NOT received a call..still waiting....
Ken Mayes July 24, 2012 at 04:28 AM
Martha you failed to mention the 1.9 million dollars that we borrowed from the county in order to start this city. That money is due and payable next year as this was a 5 year loan. If the county does not grant an extension I guess we will have to cut in half fire and police for a year in order to pay off this note.
Ken Mayes July 24, 2012 at 04:30 AM
JoAnn unless your have inside information, until the phone poll is completed the citizens have no idea what the council will put before the voters.
JoAnn July 24, 2012 at 05:13 AM
Don't appreciate your innuendo Ken. Read the meeting notes and you can see where my inference comes from as the proposal is $28.00 annually parcel tax. The only "inside" information I have was sitting in the meeting room last month. I had to go see for myself what all the fuss was about. You too could have "inside" facts and information were you to attend and "listen" to what the council is saying and asking of the community you could have even spoken before the council. Where were you? I don't recall seeing you there speaking up before the council. As I stated I would be more than happy to pay my $2.50 a month (more or less and since my mortgage payment is impounded that is the approximation) to have beautiful parks to enjoy along with events that benefit all age groups and are open to all members of our community SHOULD they chose to partake of them.
JoAnn July 24, 2012 at 05:23 AM
Oh and before anyone can pipe up, I had to Drive over to Marna OBrien to walk, and that didn't bother me, as I said I don't have street lights in my neighborhood. The great thing about Marna was that there were many other folks out there in the evening walking/running with their dogs, friends, handicapped kids, kids playing on the sports equipment, kids, young men or adult men playing basketball, it was a friendly place where people can get to know their neighbors and build a community which is what every town needs to be successful. Based on the comments on these posts we certainly need that here.
99ARTaco July 31, 2012 at 06:26 PM
It's really a small price to pay for the foundation that it potentially provides for our youth. If you're really that worried about gangs or misled youth in the parks. I suggest you get off your butts and out of our houses every now and then and be apart of your community. If you see someone doing something wrong, simply report it!! If enough of us did that we would eventually drive out the trouble makers.
Teller of Truth July 31, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Mr. Taco, the freaks come out at night! (Thats a song) Not a lot of the respectable people here are up & out on the streets @ 2 AM to see these trouble makers at work. They do this sort of thing under the cover of darkness when no one can report it. You could corral a few of the bar flies on here that are actually out on the street during this time. They have no problem droppin dimes on each other.
99ARTaco July 31, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Well you either get busy building the community that you live in or you get busy getting out of the way. Nothing worth a damn is easy or free in life. Also, did these so called vandals stop vandalizing the parks because the city cut the budget? I think not. Regardless the parks are still there, and will remain there. So we can either lobby to have nice maintained parks. Or just leave them weed infested and brown as they are now because a few people feel they don't want to build their city up. The infrastructure that has already been put into place and paid for at these parks will only require more funds in the long run if they remain stagnant and unused. It's about doing what is right for the good of the community.


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