Country Transition Meeting - Details

I attended the county transition meeting this evening. Much of what was stated was stuff that I thi...

I attended the county transition meeting this evening.

Much of what was stated was stuff that I think many of us already know, that the county will continue providing services to us up until October 1, when we incorporate officially.

From October 1 thereafter, the county will continue to provide services for free, but only up until June 30, 2009. After that point, any services the county provides will be billed to the city.

Beginning October 1, the city must adopt all existing county ordinances as its own. From there, it can modify those laws, eliminate them, or create new ones. Based on that, the city may wean itself away from county services and provide its own.

Jeff Stone Speaks

Supervisor spent some considerable time speaking, much of it was congratulating the new city council, and talking about how much of a good thing cityhood is. He also handed out certificates of appreciation to Menifee MAC members and Quail Valley MAC members. Menifee MAC officially dissolves today, while Quail Valley MAC will continue up until September 30.

Stone also mentioned that the county is right now filling positions for some 1,500 new Sheriff's deputies. The county is also building several new prisons. Being that inadequate police presence is one reason why we incorporated, it's nice to know the county is now beefing this up. It makes me wonder if contracting out its deputies is a big revenue source for the county.

He also said that they're building a new animal shelter facility in San Jacinto, costing $12 million, and should be open by the end of this year.

Lastly, he said that on October 1, just as Menifee incorporates, the county will be holding an "Autumn Festival", where clubs, groups, non-profits, businesses, and everyone is invited to celebrate. He invited the Menifee city council to establish a committee to decide how it plans to participate.

Supervisor Jeff Stone
Public Comments

One person asked about will the new city pay for county services. Gary Thompson, who is acting as our city's financial advisor, and was the guy who performed the Menifee's fiscal analysis, talked in detail about where Menifee will gets its funds from. While he named several types of fees and taxes, he said some of those fees will come into the city's funds immediately as of October 1, but others will take several months to trickle in.

Another person asked about how the county and city will coordinate on what to do with Audie Murphy Ranch and the Newport Road realignment. Juan Perez, who represents the county transportation department, said it's a very difficult question to answer. But that he'll be speaking specifically about this topic at a city council meeting on July 23, which I presume is the next council meeting on Wednesday.

Someone asked how many people could possibly live in Menifee. Jeff Stone spoke up and said this city has a potential for 250,000 residents. However, that's only if the county were to continue building at its pace. He went on to explain that now that we've become a city, we can decide how many homes to build. Had we not incorporated, then that quarter-of-a-million people would likely happen.

George Wentz

Interim City Manager, George Wentz, spoke up a bit. He mostly said that he's hard at work putting the pieces together, and urged everyone to attend the city council meetings, where he gives a status report on what he's accomplished.

He went on to add that he's now working on getting a website created that will provide information for us all. He also said that each city council member will have e-mail addresses. All this info to come out later.

Scott Mann, who is acting as Menifee's city clerk, gave out his e-mail address (menifeecityclerk@mchsi.com) again, and mentioned that he has received a "plethora" of e-mail from folks wanting to volunteer, what they want done in the new city, and their comments.

Jeff Stone also spoke up and said that he'll create a special section on his website just for Menifee cityhood info.

Summary

While it was nice listening to Jeff Stone talk about some of things their working on doing, I found that much of this meeting was congratulatory in nature. I think much of what the county spoke about in terms of transitioning its services was stuff most of us knew.

I am, however, looking forward to hearing Juan Perez speak about the Newport Road realignment next week.

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