Play Bingo To Save Wildomar's Parks

Friends For Wildomar Parks is holding a Jan. 15 $25-per-person bingo event to benefit Marna O'Brien Park.

A local nonprofit is selling bingo tickets to benefit Wildomar's struggling parks.

Friends For Wildomar Parks was founded earlier this year when a for city funding of Wildomar's Marna O'Brien, and parks.

The three have remained in a middle-ground between being open and closed as city officials and local activists struggle to pay for their daily maintenance and utility costs.

to read more about the nonprofit's efforts to help out.

The nonprofit Friends group, formed as a partnership between Wildomar Pop Warner and Wildomar Little league, helped pay maintenance costs and contributed volunteers for upkeep at .

Now, Friends has announced a to benefit Marna O'Brien Park. Information about purchasing tickets for the Jan. 15 event was released on the group's website.

Winners of 15 of the bingo games will leave with $100 prizes, and an end-of-the-afternoon blackout game will yield a $250 prize, according to a Friends announcement.

The event will be held at the , 33700 Mission Trail in Wildomar. Doors open at 1 p.m. and close at 4.

Contact Friends at 951-837-4114 or wildomarparks@gmail.org for more information.

Ray A January 03, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Bingo? Really? Is this the best we can do? The Wildomar parks issue is a barometer of the failure of local leadership at so many levels. There is a grotesque fence around Windsong Park and the trash and debris is beginning to accumulate. I understand there are volunteer work crews maintaining Myrna O'brien park. I hope that among those volunteers are our duly elected city officials who have failed miserably to provide and sustain three small parks. Those responsible for this fiasco will eventually be exposed and will have a lot to answer for come election time.
WHAT?? January 03, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Ray, the youngsters of Windsong Valley being ignorant of the politics surrounding the closure of this park blithely exercise their right to practice civil disobedience; they use Windsong Park on a daily basis despite the City's attempt to to supposedly protect themselves from liability by constructing the poorly-installed black chainlink fence along the street side of Windsong Park. This weekend I observed one young man throwing a boomerang. I commented to him that I was amazed as I had never seen anyone actually make a boomerang come back. He was very excited about the whole event and replied he had received it for Christmas and done a lot of research before he begin throwing it, plus he stated he had been practicing for five days. I expect our illustrious city council members will soon put an end to any young people exercising their freedom by directing the police to patrol this area in order to "secure the grounds." Windsong Park is the only "real" park in Wildomar and I hope the young people will continue using it. . .the city council members be damned!
Bridgette Moore January 03, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Ray A. - Please give me a call 951-219-0951
Ken Mayes January 03, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Ray A. Being one of those that voted against the park tax I applaud this non-profit for their efforts in trying to keep open the park. This is exactly how it should be, those that want the park should support the park. I am sure that this is only one of many activities to raise funds and am looking forward to something I may want to participate in. As for the city council, make sure you vote.
Ray A January 04, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Ken, you make some good points. I too want to do whatever is necessary to keep the parks open. It is my intention to play BINGO, volunteer to help my neighbors clean up and maintain the remaining park, and to become a charter member of the "Friends of Wildomar Parks." My frustration with this situation is that we haven't secured the future of our parks. I apologize for my criticism our city leaders. I know they have worked hard to resolve all of this, and I'm sorry it has become such a contentious political issue. It will be an important issue in our next election. And thanks to all who have worked so hard to keep OUR parks on life support.
Bridgette Moore January 04, 2012 at 06:25 AM
Ray A - I'm frustrated too. I have volunteered for Wildomar Parks for 11 years now. Your current Wildomar City Council has supported Parks. Mayor Swanson cleaned the ladies room at Marna and donated her $300.00 a month stipend to Windsong to keep Windsong Park open as long as it could. Mayor Pro Tem Benoit cleaned the men's room at Marna. All 5 councilmembers have supported past Park fundraisers and have purchased their Bingo tickets for Jan 15th.
michael January 04, 2012 at 07:35 AM
Ray FFWP have done many other fundraisers, the BINGO fundraiser is different but can be very profitable for us! if you plan on supporting and becoming a member of ffwp why mock the events we put on? And a long standing solution is a goal that we strive for but have not found yet...
Brad January 04, 2012 at 09:58 AM
What about offering to rename these parks in exchange for corporate sponsorship? I'd rather have a Google Park or a PepsiCo Park verses no Parks at all. This is the exact reason I think Legal Marijuana Dispensaries are a good idea -- We could be using the tax revenue they would generate to fund these parks!!! People are going to smoke Marijuana regardless if it's legal or not... why would you want the potential tax revenue to go to underground dealers vs the City [Parks]?
Martha L. Bridges January 04, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Most people know I was vehemently opposed to the recent parks tax proposal, Measure D, which was defeated because it just didn’t make good sense. First, it had the taint of Mello-Roos which was entirely unnecessary, and second, I had no faith that the city council would spend the money on the parks in appropriate and equable ways. The city owes the citizens of Wildomar some exact accounting if they are going to restore any credibility with the public. I submitted a formal public information request for the costs of the failed election, and was total they didn’t know the final costs yet. That was months ago, and I still have no reply. People are entitled to know how much taxpayer money was squandered on this election fiasco. The same is true of the $20,000+ donations which were collected to keep our parks open. Was it spent on parks maintenance or was it used on campaign materials? If this group of good people want citizens to dig into their pockets for additional contributions, they would be wise to publish an honest accounting of how that money was spent. They should also provide the public with the details of any agreement with the sports organizations on the use and care of the parks, and a plan on how new donations will be spent. If this group is just seen as an extension of the misguided city council, the public can hardly be expected to give their full support. Before we can support reopening our parks, the public trust must be restored.
Martha L. Bridges January 04, 2012 at 03:43 PM
It's not enough to volunteer, clean-up and donate or to grandstand to the public about how hard council members are now working for our parks. They failed in their most fundamental responsibility to think and govern correctly when they tried to saddle the citizens of Wildomar with an unacceptable Mello-Roos tax proposal. Their greed and culpability in initially asking for a $5,000,000 bond issue and a complex and ever escalating tax, doomed the parks. The members of the city council failed to provide the voters of Wildomar with a simple, straightforward replacement parks assessment proposal that could be widely supported. And, a large part of that failure is the council’s continuing avoidance of providing the public with clear and accurate accounting of how our tax money and donations have been spent. The citizens of Wildomar are fed up with complex budget reports that that aim to confuse rather than inform the public. Srubbing the restrooms now is no substitute for the smoke and mirrors surrounding parks costs for several years. Our parks should be reopened and made available, but that does not mean that we should also have to support a bunch of lopsided parks programs that favor only a few or pay an exorbitant amount for parks and recreation administration. The people of Wildomar have every right to expect city council members to get down to the basics and forget about the frills. Open parks should be at the top of the community's priority list.
Tonto January 04, 2012 at 03:57 PM
The previous park administrator and staff are all probably retired and living like royalty on bloated government pensions and retirement benefits. Too bad they don't have to play bingo to survive. The whole State is collapsing because of this 9000 pound gorilla in the room.
Ray A January 04, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Michael, I do appreciate and have participated in fundraisers in the past. I have also spent my own time and resources trying to keep Windsong Park clean and beautiful. The fencing/closure of our local park sparked a harsh reaction at those who have failed to get all of this settled. I don't mean to mock any efforts to keep the parks open. I will do whatever I can to help the city maintain the parks. I need to hear that the city has a plan to provide funding for the parks like other towns do. In the meantime please forgive me for getting upset when I see my beautiful park locked up.
Martha L. Bridges January 04, 2012 at 04:06 PM
OMG, I guess Bridgette's 2012 re-election campaign has started. She can't wait to tell us how hard she worked to open the parks! If she thinks she can ride those tattered coattails into another council term, she should be prepared to face up to all the wrong decisions regarding the premature opening of the parks as well as the expensive city sponsored parks programs she pushed. Remember that the council knew for years that the original parks assessment was questionably legal and the courts might throw it out. What were Bridgette and the city council doing all those years to prepare for that possibility? Where was their contingence plan to save money and keep our parks open? Parks are essential for the community, but considering the failures of the council’s parks policies they should be operated by a truly independent, non-profit, non-political organization. Then people could count on their contributions being spent on the parks rather than being mixed into local politics.
michael January 04, 2012 at 09:36 PM
All I have to say to you martha is where have you been to help with the park??? NOOOO WHERE!
Jay January 04, 2012 at 10:36 PM
I remember reading the ballet measure befcore the election and in that measure description it stated that the city of wildomare was oppeating with a $5,000,000 surpluss on a yearly basis prior to the tax being implemented. My question is where did the money go. I am sure the councel members have created commities and subcommities with more subcommities to get a stipend for each commity the sleep through racking up a pretty paycheck. I also heard that the part time councel memebers are getting free full time benefits? The botome line is we all pay our taxes, the councel memebers needs to take some math classes and figure out to ballence the check book like the rest of us have to.
Bridgette Moore January 04, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Jay - the Cityof Wildomar is not operating with a "$5,000,000" surplus. Please give me a call 951-219-0951 and we can meet and go over the budget. You are incorrect to assume the council has created subcommittees where we receive additional stipends. Councilmembers receive a stipend of $300.00 per month total.
Martha L. Bridges January 05, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Wildomar's council and staff members love to tell the public they are only paid a small stipend or a base salary in an attempt to deceive the taxpayers about actual costs. Anyone with even a modicum of sense knows that a stipend or a base salary is only a portion of what these people receive. If they were honest, they would tell you the cost of their FULL COMPENSATION PACKAGES. If you add in all the benefits, perks, memberships, travel expense reimbursements etc. you would come up with a completely different picture. Council member are part timers, most have full time jobs or professions, and they cost the taxpayers approximately $30,000+ each on an annual basis...and then tell us that they can’t afford to hold a council meeting more than once a month! Go get a copy of the city budget. It will back up the cost numbers I’m quoting. Of course, some of those costs have been buried or allocated across various budget pages so it is hard to find out exactly how much compensation is coming out of which budget.
Martha L. Bridges January 05, 2012 at 05:08 PM
@ michael You don't know what you are talking about. Where does it say that any citizen is obligated to help with the parks? Especially if they feel the parks are mismanaged and run for the benefit of only a small percentage of the public! Where were you, Michael, when I was attending the Parks subcommittee meetings in passed years? Besides, I help all the time by keeping the public informed about what is going on with the parks, and by asking serious questions about what the city and the FFWP group have done with the money they have already collected. I paid my parks assessment for four years, and watched while it was spent poorly. Add to that my $120 donation for my staff’s dinners to support one of the previous parks fundraisers, only to have Bridgette Moore opening and belligerently harass the members of my staff. You should have seen her running around the firestation trying to corner them and dump a lot of misinformation on them. I wish I had video taped her attacks on my supporters. Oh, wait, I remember someone actually did. It was a sight that every voter in Wildomar should see.
Martha L. Bridges January 05, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Developing and publishing a plan would be one of the first steps in getting wide support for any fundraising efforts.
michael January 06, 2012 at 05:10 AM
bahahahahahaha "You should have seen her running around the firestation trying to corner them and dump a lot of misinformation on them. I wish I had video taped her attacks on my supporters. Oh, wait, I remember someone actually did. It was a sight that every voter in Wildomar should see" if said video does exist, please post it, or you can post it on my fb wall: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001361301211 or email it to me at michaelblake1124@gmail.com or michaelblake1124@yahoo.com. exactly thank you for proving my point that you do not care about the parks at all, the only thing you care about is calling the city council out on their so called "mistakes" you and gil are one in the same, pretending to care but everyone knows you do not! Also the group FFWP which i am apart of has out every dollar, every dime, every nickel, and every penny to maintaining and keeping Marna O'brien open.......
michael January 06, 2012 at 06:13 AM
Martha L. Bridges January 06, 2012 at 04:07 PM
@ michael I'm not providing you with anything as I do not trust you to be honest and forthright with any materials that disturb your illogical point of view, but there are plenty of people who can attest to Bridgette's behavior at the firehouse parks fundraiser including some of the same people commenting here. Where is the exact accounting for the use of the contributions FFWP has already received? Paper based, factual, clear accounting. Where is it posted or available to the public? Where is the documentation to back up this accounting? Can FFWP produce it? Will it show that much of that money was used to print campaign signs and other campaign materials distributed in an attempt to pass Measure D? And while we are on the subject, what has FFWP done to demonstrate that they are an independent non-profit rather than a quasi political extentsion of the city council?
Craig Santiago March 15, 2012 at 08:04 PM
I read your comment as I was brought to the Patch. I liked what you wrote, and we started FFWP because the city couldn't step up and make changes to keep the parks. I'm not a fan of some things that have been spread around with FFWP. My name is Craig Santiago and I am the Treasurer for FFWP. I can assure you that we are not a political extension of the city council. I would like to meet you and share all our information and what we're doing. My email address is wildomarparks@gmail.com, please email me directly and I can give my personal info so we can talk verbally.


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