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Wildomar Says Yes To $28 Parks Tax, Survey Shows

According to the survey, 77 percent of Wildomar voters would say yes to a $28 annual tax to fund city parks if the measure were put on the November ballot.

Wildomar residents are willing to pay $28 a year to fund city parks.

That’s what the experts told city council members Tuesday night during a special meeting at City Hall.

The research company of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates -- otherwise known as FM3 – presented its findings to city council members and the public during the meeting. The firm was

According to the survey, 77 percent of Wildomar voters would say yes to a $28 annual tax to fund city parks if the measure were put on the November ballot.

The percentage was “unusually” high, said FM3’s John Fairbanks. As far as community willingness to back a potential ballot measure, he said “[it’s] the highest level of support I’ve seen in the last 10 years.”

Wildomar City Council members were encouraged by the numbers.

“Yes, yes. We knew it!” said Councilwoman Bridgette Moore, an avid proponent of city parks.

After hearing the presentation by FM3 and the consulting firm The Lew Edwards Group, council members voted unanimously to direct staff to move forward on putting the $28 tax on the November ballot. The issue is scheduled to come back to city council Aug. 8 during the next regularly scheduled meeting. At that time, it’s expected that staff will have a ballot measure drafted for council consideration.

Mayor Ben Benoit said data gleaned from the July telephone survey will help the city craft a sound initiative, noting that last time around Wildomar probably didn’t get the wording quite right.

Tuesday night, The Lew Edwards Group and FM3 provided the city with a rough draft of how a parks ballot measure might read. The draft language stressed that tax dollars collected from Wildomar property owners would not go to Sacramento and that annual independent audits would be conducted.

Survey results showed Wildomar voters feel “accountability is almost as important as [park] safety,” Fairbanks said. When it comes to government, “voters are very distrustful,” he added.

An overview of the survey results presented by Fairbanks and Dave Mason of The Lew Edwards Group showed that support for the parks was nearly the same across all demographics, including political parties, gender, and family-versus-childless households.

The telephone survey interviews were conducted July 17-22 with 300 registered voters who were “likely to cast ballots in November 2012.” The margin of error for the full sample was plus or minus 5.7 percent, according to Tuesday’s presenters.

Wildomar Assistant City Manager Gary Nordquist said the city has spent $22,500 to date on this current parks initiative. In order to get the measure on the November ballot, the city will be required to spend more money, he said, adding that a final cost estimate will be provided during the Aug. 8 meeting.

WHAT?? August 01, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Re this quote from the article: "This is probably one of the highest levels of support I've seen for a tax measure of this type in a long time ---- I would say in the last 10 years," said consultant Jack Fairbank, whose firm performed the survey. For further consideration, I submit the following: Apparently then from the comment above, the purported 77% support is thus an anomaly (a deviation from the common rule, type or form). Mr. Fairbank did not, however, discuss or provide an explanation for this anomaly. When asked what percent of the 17% who probably would vote for the measure and the 4% who are undecided and leaning toward a yes would actually vote yes, his answer was 75%. Again, he provided no explanation for that percentage. Council Members question none of this. . .no big surprise. It appears they are pinning their hopes on the Consultant's skill in pursuasive writing when it comes to the language on the ballot. Reading the consultant's comments, however, I'm not so sure he's totally on target. Time will tell. Sheryl Ade
Ken Mayes August 01, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Answer me this, if the city council of the "Fiefdom of Wildomar" cares so much about parks why is it that the Quimby Fees collected from developers is 1/2 what most every other city in California charges. The city collects $2,250 per unit while other cities collect anywhere from $4,200 to $4,900 per unit.
Martha L. Bridges August 01, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Oh Christi, they do think they can get all the wasted money back, because they are asking for a new DOUBLE TAX. They have just about doubled the number of parcels to be taxes compared to the original, illegal assessment, which means they expect to get DOUBLE the revenue. In fact, the city estimates that they will get DOUBLE the amount of revenue necessary to maintain the existing parks. And, you're right, stats can be made to say anything they want. They must think the people of Wildomar are pretty dumb.
Martha L. Bridges August 01, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Good question Ken. Hopefully the voters will give it some thought.
Maggie August 01, 2012 at 08:01 PM
What happened to our refunds? The city wants to move foreward on a new tax when they have ignored paying what they already owe. I got my refund from Riverside County a long time ago. When I call city hall I am told to call back. Get real Wildomar we are being treated like dummies. Enough is enough. Pay what you owe before trying to get more to waste. The poll is a joke I have not talked to anyone who got a call. All they have to do is get on Patch for peoples opionions and save a bundle of money they claim not to have
Paul Leja August 01, 2012 at 08:20 PM
How many Wildomar parks are there and what are there addresses?
JD August 01, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Has anyone received their share of the lawsuit money from the City of Wildomar? I got mine from the county.
Teller of Truth August 01, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Maggie,The PATCH is not exactly representative of the ENTIRE area. The smart people get run off by the idiots with soapboxes & the illiterate name callers. You can read how "peoples opinions" on here are treated! Joke!
Maggie August 01, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Teller of truth That may be true but 300 people in a phone survey does not represent the entire community of Wildomar either. I have seen people attacked for their opionions and think that everyone has a voice. Whether you agree with them or not they have the right to speak which apperantly Wildomar city council does not think so by not allowing public comments at a council meeting
Ken Mayes August 01, 2012 at 09:56 PM
There are three parks. 1 Marna O'Brien at 20495 Palomar Rd. 2. Windsong Park at 35457 Prairie Rd. and 3. Regency Heritage Park at 20188 Autumn Oak Place.
Christi August 01, 2012 at 10:01 PM
The refund is held up because wildomar doesn't think they should pay it, even though that money was given to the city. Guess they think the money from the new tax will cover it. As to where the parks are, one is in windsong track. Another on Palamar between mission trail and corydon. The other is on Union and is hard to get too, but it was a short cut to the school.
Ken Mayes August 01, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Depending on how the new tax proposal is written they may not be able to spend the money they collect on the refund. The city is more than likely going to spend more than what they would pay out on suing the county to try and make them pay it back. I am hoping the county pays the city back by not extending the 1.9 million loan that is due and payable in 2013 it would serve these egomaniacs right.
michael August 02, 2012 at 02:53 AM
@martha- yes I'm aware more voters means a higher potential of "no" votes. And what do you mean by double tax? Its still 28$ a year, or do you mean the number of parcels?
Martha L. Bridges August 02, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Michael, The city plans to ask for a new DOUBLE TAX. They have just about doubled the number of parcels to be taxed compared to the original, illegal assessment, which means they expect to get DOUBLE the revenue. In fact, the city estimates that they will get DOUBLE the amount of revenue necessary to maintain the existing parks. The city will use very reassuring language in their ballot argument to tell the public that there will be an independent audit (meaning the council and staff will select the audit firm and direct their efforts) and establish a citizens oversight committee (probably made up of council cronies like the lue Ribbon Committee). Wake up to the fact that this is an honest to god DOUBLE new tax that is absolutely unnecessary to reopen and maintain our parks. The council simply wants more taxpayers' money to use as they please...and that means waste as they please.
Ken Mayes August 02, 2012 at 05:13 AM
Martha If indeed the city proposes a parcel tax, to call this a double tax is incorrect and misleading. This is a parcel tax that will tax all the residential parcels in Wildomar. Unlike the tax that was struck down by the courts which allowed certain members of the then community of Wildomar to avoid the tax, like the residents of the Farm. That being said, this tax will collect about twice what the city claims is needed to pay for maintenance of the parks and it will be interesting to see what they waste the excess on as you know they will not bank it for a rainy day.
Constant Comment August 02, 2012 at 05:19 AM
But Marfa is always incorrect & misleading. Don't take her purpose in life away! }~)
Ken Mayes August 02, 2012 at 06:24 AM
CC stick it in your ear.
michael August 02, 2012 at 06:26 AM
With the parcel tax less money will be generated.
Ken Mayes August 02, 2012 at 06:45 AM
Less than what?
michael August 02, 2012 at 09:53 AM
Then with the cfd, with the parcel tax everyone will be taxed according to how many parcels, it will strictly limit the tax's application to land parcels, while a community facilities district could asses property owners for multiple dwellings on a parcel.
Martha L. Bridges August 02, 2012 at 10:48 AM
Ken, I'd say we are both correct here whether you say that a new parcel tax will include twice the number of parcel as the old tax assessment or I say double the number of parcels and revenue etc. The fact is that the city is proposing a new tax that will net twice or double the revenue needed to maintain the parks, so it is not correct to say it is just a "replacement" for what was overturned or lost. Personally I don't put much stock in the survey results, and feel there is a good chance that the people of Wildomar will be smart enough not to pass the proposal. It's not the $28 or the desire to have the parks maintained that are the sticky points, it is the fact that people are waking up to the fact that they cannot trust the current city council or the staff they direct. They paid for the survey, they told the contractor what results they wanted, and they got what they ordered up and paid for...
Martha L. Bridges August 02, 2012 at 11:16 AM
Michael, the result of having a CFD or Mello-Roos tax is that there would be a yearly increase in the tax - estimated at about 2 percent. However, there is also a great deal of administrative expense for a CFD that the city would have to pay an independent contractor to do (possibly Webb and Associates) whereas the parcel tax could simply be added to the tax bill. Bottom line is that no new tax is needed. The city's General Fund budget should pay for the maintenance of the parks. It is a matter of people insisting the council reallocate existing revenues to the parks rather than demanding more money. The sitting city council has failed to listen to the desires of the people to have the parks kept open. They have failed to be good fiscal managers of the tax revenues they already get and work within those limitations. The people want public safety services and parks, but the council has chosen to give themselves perks and benefits instead.
Ken Mayes August 02, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Michael Right now we don't no squat. Until the council submits the initiative to the county we have no idea what type of tax is on the table.
Wildomar Resident August 02, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Martha is right. Before this Council starts dipping into my pocket for money to fund the parks, let take a look at alternate ways to fund the parks through the General Fund. Here's a couple of beauties that I personally have trouble swallowing (taken right from the City Budget): * Pension Plan for City staff +$115,000/Year * Medical and Insurance benefits for Council and City staff +$80,000/Year * Lease for City Hall $128,000/Year (does not include utilities) * Consulting fees paid to InterWest +$750,000/Year For a complete list of expenditures, here is the link to the City budget.... http://www.cityofwildomar.org/uploads/files/finance/FY%202011-12%20Budget.pdf
Anon August 02, 2012 at 03:11 PM
It's not about the $28, it's about, how are you spending the money I already gave you!
Constant Comment August 03, 2012 at 02:03 AM
But Ken you know that's not where it goes! }~)
Ken Mayes August 03, 2012 at 03:38 AM
Martha I know politics is all about the spin and personally I feel its time to get away from that type of BS. If you insist this is a double tax its my feeling that it will bite you in the rear end. So I for one will stick to the facts as I know them and let the city council spin like a top. Just a little more factual information the company that did the polling FM3 and the "educators" the Lew Edwards Group make most of their money polling for democratic candidates.
Christi August 08, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Did anyone read today about Meniffee doing a poll about water lines? They are paying $5,000 to do what Wildomar did for close to $28,000 or so. We need an investigation on this. There are many more residents in Mennifee than Wildomar. Everyone needs to wake up and see what is in front of their eyes!
Teller of Truth August 08, 2012 at 06:15 AM
...would that be graft?
Martha L. Bridges August 08, 2012 at 06:29 AM
Ken, The parcel tax will include both residential and commercial parcels. So it will effect almost all parcels across the board. There are a few exceptions like the schools, but not too many. And, no this council will not put aside any of the extra money if the tax is passed. If you reader the matreials in the agenda packet you will see that the use of the money has been expanded way beyond the original definition of parks maintenance.

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