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Volunteers And Money Needed For Wildomar’s Marna O’Brien Park

To keep the 9-acre city-owned park open, added volunteers – and money – are required on a regular basis.

On April 28 beginning at 8 a.m., the Rotary Club of Wildomar is hosting a clean-up for as part of the “Rotarians at Work Day.”  

Anyone interested in participating can contact Wildomar Rotary public relations chair Bridgette Moore at bridgettemoore2012@gmail.com for more information.

But April 28 isn’t the only day volunteers are needed. To keep the 9-acre city-owned park open, added volunteers – and money – are required on a regular basis.

Friends For Wildomar Parks is a non-profit working to keep Marna O’Brien from closing. The organization, largely comprised of youth sports organizations, is in negotiation with the city for a joint-use agreement, under which Friends For Wildomar Parks would formally take over Marna O’Brien’s maintenance while the city would still maintain responsibility for capital repairs.

Friends For Wildomar Parks has been maintaining the park for several months, but no signed agreement is in place.

that, if passed, would have charged Wildomar property owners a special tax to maintain the city’s three parks: Marna O’Brien, Windsong, and Heritage parks. (Heritage Park is closed; for the latest on Windsong Park.)

During the April 11 Wildomar City Council meeting, Friends For Wildomar Parks leader John Lloyd told council members that the proposed joint-use agreement required further discussion. The city’s conditions outlined in the proposed agreement are more than Friends For Wildomar Parks can afford based on current fund-raising efforts and volunteer hours, Lloyd told council members.

During the meeting, Lloyd presented a budget that estimated the annual cost to maintain Marna O’Brien would be just over $47,000 for 2012. However, based on the proposed agreement, the cost to maintain the park would be higher, according to Lloyd.

As the city and Friends For Wildomar Parks hammer out an agreement, Lloyd reminded the April 11 meeting attendees that the non-profit needs volunteers and donations to make ends meet at Marna O’Brien.

If you are interested in helping, visit www.wildomarparks.org.

Note: Wildomar Councilman Bob Cashman was absent during the April 11 meeting.

Martha L. Bridges April 16, 2012 at 03:09 PM
I have nothing but praise for Friends For Wildomar Parks and the group's leader John Lloyd. They have made a huge effort to keep Marna O'Brien park open. It's also good that the sports leagues are taking responsibility for more of the upkeep given the fact they are the dominate users of the park and its playing fields. However, the agreement under consideration should be looked at only as a temporary fix while the city gets down to the business of re-prioritizing it's budget and finding the money to support the basic maintenance of these parks. It is unrealistic to think that volunteers can sustain their efforts over a long period. With the upcoming election for two Wildomar city council seats this November, citizens have the opportunity to find two new council members who are committed to finding the funds to support our parks as part of the larger job of culling wasteful spending from the city's reduced budget funds. That will take electing people who have a fresh approach to the task, and are able to accept the fact that many non-essential items must be subtracted from the budget. If Wildomar is going to survive and prosper, we must have a council willing to face the fact that the boom days of the past are not coming back any time soon, and that they must reallocate the city's revenues and efforts to basic essentials that are important to the majority of Wildomarians.
Ken Mayes April 16, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Its no surprise that the "Fiefdom of Wildomar" would want more than what was being offered. Imagine they want the lawn mowed to a maximum of 2 1/2 inches once a week. Maybe if they didn't water to the tune of 40K a year it wouldn't grow so fast and could get by with mowing once every 2 weeks. That being said, initially I applauded Friends of Wildomar Parks the non-profit started to maintain the park. That is until I became aware that this is run by a combination of Little League and Pop Warner Football for the express purpose of keeping only the sports fields in playable condition. Maybe they should have called themselves "Friends of Wildomar Sports Fields" because Friends of Parks it is not. They appear to have had a small number of events to raise funds which almost never appear in a timely period before the event in the local media. They only way it appears you find out about these events is to be a part of the clique or go on a scavenger hunt for info about what is going on. Its a no wonder they are having a hard time finding volunteers or donations. (Facebook is not the way) As for the city re-prioritizing their spending I agree something needs to be done in the "Fiefdom of Wildomar", it seems that if you want to build something brand new their all over it with every give-away they can think of to get you to build, but the people that have lived in the community for decades and pay taxes can go jump.
Tom Bannan April 17, 2012 at 12:43 AM
I should think that those that try to stifle the economic growth of Wildomar (aka, the nay-sayers for micro-breweries, etc) should be addressed. How is it that one or two people can guide the fate of a city with petty lawsuits PAID FOR BY OUR TAXES. Without these unending lawsuits by a tiny number of malcontents, the "Fiefdom" as Mr. Mayes so in-elegantly refers to it, might have more money for many other projects that benefit all of us.
Gerald E. Hall Jr. April 17, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Here she goes again. Her phony praise for John Loyd, and comments about the upcoming election are just the old "Wolf in Sheeps Clothing" coming out again. Don't get me wrong, John and the Committee deserve the praise, but coming from Martha, is just plain crap. Bet me she will be running for one of those council seats, AGAIN.
Gerald E. Hall Jr. April 17, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Ken, did you vote yes or no on Measure D? If you voted no, you have no right to complain about anything regarding the use of the Parks. And why shouldn't these sports teams maintain only what they use. If people wanted more access to the park, they should have voted yes.
R.Ohmer April 17, 2012 at 01:37 AM
I think our council is doing a great job. If we didnt have so many people who were willing to pay a fight in court and not $26 a YEAR. Its sads that the community cant come together and help, they just want to point fingers and say whos to blame. I thonk our people on council are doing a great job. We need more people like Bridget Moore :)
Double T! April 17, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Ken, you are highly mistaken. The non profit group is not run by Little League and Pop Warner. You really need to research before making comments. No one from Little league is even on their board or any committee. Little League is paying and taking care of their own fields an has no idea, no support or influence on Friends for Wildomar Parks or any of their events. I cannot speak for Pop Warner but I can say that at one of the meetings I was at, there were more Wildomar citizens who were not on Pop Warner board or the city council participating as active members of Friends for Wildomar parks. I beg you to stop being so negitive about the sports leagues and making sound like they are the sole users of the parks. I can say that I drive by Marna daily coming home from work and there are always people having picnics, playing basketball, flying kites, soccer, or some parents teaching their kids how to play certain games for the first time. I don't know about you, but I bet if you polled the entire United States on what makes a city inviting for people to live in, it's parks schools and the overall feeling of community. Well I see that at Marna daily. How about less bashing on the leagues and come out April 28th, operate my power washer to help keep the park clean.
Tonto April 17, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Parks are a thing of the past. All money now is diverted to bloated government early retirement benefits. Give them a choice between cutting the fat or providing their grandchildren with a park.........well.....you know the rest :(
Isabel Andino April 17, 2012 at 03:43 AM
@Ken, my name is Isabel Andino & I just got home from picking up trash while walking at the park. I was also making a list of how much toilet paper I need to buy to stock up the "public" restroom, how many trash bags need to be changed out, checking for graffiti so I know how much graffiti remover I need to buy so I don't run out while removing it, & estimating how many hours I will be at the park picking up trash, washing the "public" toilets/ sinks/walls, & going with my kids wagon to empty out ALL the trash cans around the park between taking & picking up my kids from school, cooking meals, cleaning house going to my paying job, one of them, Oh & did I mention I am on the FFWP Board & I do not have a child in WPW or little league?! I am also a coach @EHS who gets the kids to come over on their time to do community service & help clean the park?! My friend Juan Coria, who is the president of WPW & FFWP asked me to join the board after seeing all the time & my own $ my family puts into our park. There are other board members who are not affiliated with any sports league who spends countless hours & $ in the efforts to keep the park in operating condition & to pay the bills. Instead of putting the leaders of the sports organizations on blast for starting an organization to maintain the fields where our kids play, try thanking them for taking it upon themselves to invest thousands of their personal $, not to mention time, to keep Marna going.
Isabel Andino April 17, 2012 at 03:59 AM
@Everyone My rant continues: I am a volunteer, i saw a need & instead of putting people on blast or sitting at home complaining or thinking golly someone should do something, I take my ipod & water 3-4x a week & just do it!! It may not be pristine or perfect, but I do my best. I'd like to mention Kristen West, John & Kristan Lloyd, Michael Blake who are also members of FFWP board who work to the bone for this park & do not have children in WPW or little league. There are many volunteers like Ray Garland, Holly Crocker, Julie Swanson, Erica Mortimer, Tyica Williams, Alejandro Ponce who come & spend hours pulling weeds, painting over graffiti, scooping poop out of toilets, picking up trash, picking up broken glass from play ground, participating in fundraisers.. i could go on & on! There are persons who do not have the time or ability to volunteer but they donate. People will drive by to drop off a package of toilet paper, a box of trash bags, a new rake, a case of water, sometimes a sandwich if they notice the volunteers, or myself, have been there a while. How many times can you say you or anyone you know personally has done that. Please feel free my neighbors, to contact me so I can give you correct info about our organization any time. Let's work as a community for our community. coachisabel.andino@gmail.com or add me as a FB friend.
John Lloyd April 17, 2012 at 05:31 AM
Hi Martha, On April 28th we are holding a park maintenance day at Marna. will you be able to come out and lend a hand for a few hours in the morning?
Ken Mayes April 17, 2012 at 06:22 AM
Friends of Wildomar Parks can claim that there are no links to the sports leagues in Wildomar but as long as the North County Times, Press Enterprise, Southwest Riverside News Network, The Patch as well as the facebook page, and the web pages for both Little League and Pop Warner claim a link between them I guess I am going to continue to believe what I do.
Martha L. Bridges April 17, 2012 at 10:06 AM
@ Gerald There is nothing insincere or phony about the praise I have expressed for John Lloyd and the volunteers supporting the parks. I do honor their efforts and appreciate how hard they are working. However, this is not a good, long term solution to Wildomar's parks maintenance. It is unsustainable and not very logical in the long run…and the city is taking advantage of them. They shouldn’t have to carry this burden. It is up to the council to resolve the problem and find the money to fund the maintenance for our parks without raising our taxes. If you are betting on my running for office again, be prepared to lose. I have had quite enough abuse and disrespect (let alone out-and-out threats) from foolish people like you and others who are caught up in the stupidity of being cheerleaders for the status quo and incompetent people who are sitting on our existing council. They are playing people such as you like a fiddle and a fool. Something you will undoubtedly wake up to somewhere down the line when you have done helped to terribly damage to the community. Speaking of crap, you certainly have done more that your share of shoveling it – and it only goes to proving your ignorance about the realities of our current city government.
Martha L. Bridges April 17, 2012 at 10:18 AM
Wake up to reality and stop all this nonsense about blaming people who were smart enough to recognize a bad tax proposal when they saw one and defeated Measure D. While you're at it stop playing the part of a blind follower and recognize that the answer to the parks funding won't come from such a poorly constructed, over blown Mello-Roos tax which would have been detrimental to the whole community. If the existing council would concentrate on what is essential for the citizens of Wildomar and stop wasting our tax money of a bunch of nonsensical stuff that only benefits themselves and a select few, there would be funding to maintain our parks.
Martha L. Bridges April 17, 2012 at 10:24 AM
Really? What planet are you living in? You must be confining your information to the propaganda that comes out of city hall. Wake up to the reality of what is really happening in Wildomar. We need to elect decent people to replace people like Bridgette Moore who can get down to businees and help solve the problems that confront our community.
Martha L. Bridges April 17, 2012 at 11:05 AM
@Tom Bannan There's a big difference between stifling economic growth and stopping projects that are illegal and damaging to our environment. Perhaps you should do some of the time consuming work other concerned citizens have done to get the real facts before criticizing others. It’s much more difficult than simply accepting the lies and half truths the city puts out. However, you would at least be operating with real facts instead of relying on propaganda and emotion. You are right to be concerned about the ridiculous amount of taxpayers’ money being wasted on legal fees by the city. The money could certainly be put to better use. However, if you are looking to place blame for this waste, I am not the right target. You should save your distain for the city council and staff who continue to knowingly break or circumvent the law. It is their illegal actions and wrong decisions that are costing the taxpayers money. What's so terrible about asking for our city to be run legally?
Dog April 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM
While everyone else here goes bah bah bah leave it to Tonto speak the truth...Tonto for city council and patch editor!!!
sheila cook April 17, 2012 at 03:05 PM
well said, Isabel!!
Ken Mayes April 17, 2012 at 06:42 PM
What it all boils down to is "Parks are not that important". Less than 15% of eligible voters voted for a tax increase, which last year would have been $28 this year would have been almost $29, the last park district, the reviled "Ortega Trails" was stripped of its funding by the voters. The non-profit is unable to get enough volunteers either because of peoples perception of them or their inability to sell themselves. When this community can garner 16,000 volunteers, which is half the population, then maybe I will change my mind on the importance of spending what little taxpayer monies their are on parks. You few people that clamour for parks need to wake up and smell the coffee, this city borrowed money to become a city and can't pay it back on time. So if you want to keep the park open then you need to do a better job of reaching the community. For Martha We need more people like Bridgette Moore, she may inexperienced at city government but she is passionette about her beliefs. When she finally learns to stick to her guns and not be swayed by the professional politicians she will do just fine. I have seen no one else at city hall spend so much time being involved in the community and asking for nothing in return neither over the table nor under.
michael blake April 17, 2012 at 07:14 PM
@ken, you really should have done a little bit of research before going on a rant. Yes we do have Wildomar Pop Warner members on our board, if it was not for pop warner we would never have been able to even get started. They are not involved for the "express purpose of keeping only the sports fields in playable condition" if this were true and we were only in business to keep the fields open why would we spend so much time and money maintaining the ENTIRE PARK? why not fence off the rest and let it go and only take care of the fields? And as for our fund-raising we have had many events and a lot of advertising for it!!! so yes we do have members from pop warner on our board, no one is denying that, but our board and decisions are not controlled by pop warner. And little league??? really? that's a laugh!!!!!!
michael April 17, 2012 at 08:46 PM
The little league thing came off diferent then I intended it to. I did not mean that to be in a bad way, just that they are so busy maintaining their own fields and running their league they don't have time for much else.
Gil Rasmussen April 17, 2012 at 10:51 PM
John; Goading a mature women into manual labor for your park clean-up, as some sort of token of her sincerity, is undignified on your part. Perhaps you are unaware of her health issues (She required the use of a cane at last week's Council meeting. Would that matter to you? If you all recall, turning the parks over to volunteers was my idea but I intended the young and strong athletes, who benefit from the taxpayer-owned parks for their sports events, to be the primary instruments of park maintenance. Otherwise, we fail to teach the young any relevant lessons in life regarding earning their way in life.

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