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Wildomar’s Fate Among County’s Top Concerns

One of the foremost concerns is whether the state Legislature and governor will come through with a restoration of funding to preserve the city.

The budget outlook of Wildomar is among Riverside County's priorities going into 2013, the Board of Supervisors have told the county's lobbyists.

On Dec. 18, the board unanimously approved a slate of legislative priorities based on impacts to the county and its residents.

One of the foremost concerns was whether the state Legislature and governor will come through with a restoration of funding to preserve the cities of Wildomar, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley and Menifee, all of which incorporated in the last four years.

Each nascent municipality is struggling -- Jurupa Valley has already begun preparing to disincorporate -- after $130 million was taken away by the Legislature in June 2011 as part of Gov. Jerry Brown's realignment package.

The cities had formed expecting to receive adequate start-up funding from the state under legislation approved years earlier.

"If we don't get a quick resolution, it's going to create a tremendous economic challenge," Supervisor Jeff Stone told Jim Gross of the law firm Nielson, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni, which represents the county's interests in the state capital.

"The county will have to step in. I'm hoping you can come up with a strategy that compels California to keep its end of the bargain and repair this problem."

Gross said the lobbying firm would be working diligently to convince lawmakers and the governor to agree to a solution.

During the Dec. 18 meeting, other county concerns were addressed. Stone highlighted the need for more state funding in support of public safety, particularly jail construction. He noted the inadequacy of the $100 million awarded after t

As a result, the county's jail capacity has reached its limit over the last year, requiring the sheriff to periodically release so-called "low-level" offenders to make space in accordance with a federal judicial decree that mandates every inmate have a bed.

Stone lastly expressed concern over whether the state would leave counties stranded in meeting Medicaid and other obligations under the federal

"It should be the 'unaffordable health care act,"' the supervisor said. "Counties are going to end up bearing responsibility for many people who are not part of the health care system today."

Supervisor Marion Ashley urged the lobbying firm to work on repealing the by critics. Passed as part of the governor's deficit control plan in 2011, the $150 annual fee is imposed on mostly rural property owners who receive fire protection service from Cal Fire.

"Out in Lakeview and Nuevo, if they catch on fire, the county is the one responsible for putting the thing out," Ashley said, noting that property owners in those communities are nevertheless having to pay the fire tax.

Board Chairman John Tavaglione emphasized the need for better communication between the county, its lobbyists, the California State Association of Counties and other stakeholders.

"There's sometimes a disconnect," Tavaglione said. "Potential disputes arise over size and coverage. We need to avoid that. We must all try to be on the same page, communicating the same message."

CSAC's opposition led Brown to veto the legislative fix to replace lost funding for the four cities.

Gross promised the county's lobbyists would be "spending more time" working with county agencies to ensure "Sacramento does not undermine what you have done."

Teddi Curtis December 23, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Taxes are the price we pay for civil society. That's the largest disconnect in the country.
Reverend Smith December 23, 2012 at 07:52 PM
It should seem obvious. People act like they are ordained by god almighty to be the sole gardener and harvester of the money tree. Every little burg wants to "secede" then abolish taxes. There's a name for the result - feudalism. One "king" has all the wealth and provides the protection (if he feels like it) inside his mote-surrounded castle. Seems like we had some kind of revolution or something to get away from all that. Maybe they'll generate funds by having a police department that puts up stoplight cameras and pulls over motorists to shake down motorists passing through for crack windshields and dim license plate lights.
Ken December 24, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Sure hope wildomar goes bankrupt. They over charged me on my property taxes 4 years in a row and now tell me they are broke and can't pay me back they money they rip me off for/stole. I live on social security and the $200 they owe me is a lot in my book. If I owed them tax money they would be all over me like stink on shit but when they owe you money it's like gee $200 is no big thing. I hope and pray they go bust and close up.
Rob December 25, 2012 at 02:34 AM
The people that run Wildomar are clueless idiots who have no idea how to build a successful city. All they can think about are traffic light cameras and code violations as a means of revenue. Most of the people I know wish they had never voted for city hood.
Rob December 27, 2012 at 09:03 PM
I am not the Rob above but wanted to chime in here. A State cannot declare BK, but counties and cities sure can. Brown's budget was a gimmick to get fools to pass a tax increase. We already know he has an $840 million shortfall from his projections. LA has already placed another tax increas on the March ballot and you must be smoking the chronic is you believe a dollar of these funds will be restored. The liberals will push these are area into other cities, counties and BK as they look to unload State debt to piece meal bankruptcy. You see the State can't declare, but cities and counties sure can. Vallejo, Stockton, San Bernardino and Mammoth Lakes to name a few. As tax revenue decreases, because business and people who earn are fleeing this shinking ship, the liberals have no choice but to increase the rate per person and... finally to default on debts to those they paid off for votes. Cops, teachers, prison guars, etc. etc. ALL public unions have DESTROYED the economic solvency of the State. Throw in the liberal safety net for illegal aliens and amnesty and you have a fiscal death spiral on your hands. This is just the beginning.

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