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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.

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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