More than 100 people turned out Sunday evening at Marna O’Brien Park in Wildomar in support of a ballot measure that asks city voters whether they want to pay a $28 annual tax to fund their parks.
The crowd gathered Sunday answered the question with a resounding “Yes” as they formed a “human Z” at the park as a way to garner attention to the ballot measure.
Without passage of Measure Z on Nov. 6, the city has warned Marna O’Brien Park will close, and Windsong and Heritage parks will remain locked to the public.
John Lloyd, chairman of the political action committee Citizens for Wildomar Parks, said Sunday night, “This is the most important election locally,” explaining that if Measure Z fails, it will change the architecture of the city.
“Wildomar will be the only local city to have no parks. This will affect property values and will say a lot about who we are as a city. I don’t want to live in a city with no parks,” he said, arguing that nearby cities pay parks’ taxes that are all higher than Wildomar’s proposed annual $28.
Under Measure Z, the $28 annual tax would be imposed on all land parcels in the city.
Passage of Measure Z will require significant voter turnout. According to the language of the measure, a two-thirds majority of voters who cast a ballot will need to check the “Yes” box in order for Measure Z to pass.
Click here to read the full text of Measure Z, impartial analysis, arguments for and against, and rebuttals from each side of the issue.
Voter apathy was a concern the last time the parks’ issue was put to Wildomar residents. Despite a survey earlier this year that showed very high support for the $28 tax, in 2011 a similar ballot initiative was put to Wildomar voters and it failed.
Wildomar’s voter turnout was low during last year’s special election.
At press time, the Riverside County Registrar of Voters office shows 14,224 Wildomar voters are currently registered.
For those who have not yet registered to vote or who need to update their information, there is still time. This year’s voter registration deadline is Monday, October 22.
Voter registration forms can be picked up at Wildomar City Hall located at 23738 Clinton Keith Road or online at the Riverside County Registrar of Voter’s office at http://www.voteinfo.net.