Legislation that would restore to Wildomar $1.7 million in revenues is now awaiting Governor Jerry Brown’s signature.
For cities incorporated after August 2004, the cash that could be returned is significant. In addition to Wildomar, the newly incorporated cities of Jurupa Valley, Eastvale and Menifee would all see millions in revenues returned to the respective coffers.
Friday morning, Wildomar City Manager Frank Oviedo and Mayor Ben Benoit were cautiously optimistic as they awaited word out of Sacramento.
“Even if this gets passed, I’m not celebrating until the governor signs it,” Oviedo said.
The city manager and the mayor said that if the governor inks the deal, putting more cops back on Wildomar streets is the absolute top priority.
budget cuts were needed to keep the city solvent. Reductions were made across the board, but the cut to police service was arguably the toughest to swallow for city leaders: An already skinny level of police service was slashed nearly in half.
“We have seen increased crime,” Benoit admitted.
If AB 1098 is signed into law, funding for Wildomar city parks is up for discussion, but Benoit said he would like to rely instead on the upcoming , which asks voters of they are willing to pay an annual $28 flat tax to fund city parks.
Currently, Windsong and Heritage parks are closed due to lack of city funds, and Marna O’Brien is currently being kept open by diminishing community donations.
“If Measure Z passes in November, we will have a dedicated funding source for parks and we won’t have this problem again,” Benoit argued.
The issue of how to utilize the restored VLF funding – if approved by the governor -- will come back to Wildomar City Council for review.