Menifee City Council Meeting - July 9, 2008

Just a reminder, tonight is the Menifee City Council meeting. It starts at 6:00pm, and is held at Paloma Valley High School, in the theater...

Just a reminder, tonight is the Menifee City Council meeting.

It starts at 6:00pm, and is held at Paloma Valley High School, in the theater.

George Wentz, our interim City Manager will give an oral presentation on the tasks and schedules towards building a city government.

There will also be discussion on the Ad Hoc City Inauguration Committee.

A copy of the full agenda can be found here...

http://www.menifee247.com/menifee-city-council-agenda-2008-07-09.pdf

Commenters Wanted!

And as such, I'll be out of town today so I'll miss what sounds to be a featured-packed city council meeting.

If you can attend this meeting, please do and post a comment on this article detailing what took place, such as the ad hoc inauguration committee, what George Wentz has to say about building a city, what the folks said in their addresses to the council, and whatever else you find "fit for print".

I appreciate everyone's help in keeping Menifee 24/7 a must-read on everyone's list of favorites.

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  1. Comments in this meeting synopsis are keyed to the meeting agenda.

    NOTE: In the text below, individual last names are used for simplicity.
    Those names refer to:

    Edgerton – Wallace W. Edgerton, Mayor-elect
    Kuenzi – Darcy Kuenzi, Mayor Pro Tem-elect
    Denver – John Denver, Councilmember-elect
    Mann – Scott Mann, Councilmember-elect
    Twyman – Fred Twyman, Councilmember-elect
    Wentz – George Wentz, Interim City Manager
    Martyn – Elizabeth Martyn, Interim City Attorney

    For additional simplicity, the term “Council” means “Council-elect”

    AGENDA ITEMS ARE IN CAPITAL LETTERS (some items are abbreviated)

    1 – CONVENE THE MEETING
    2 – WORDS OF INSPIRATION
    3 – FLAG SALUTE
    4 – ROLL CALL AND INTRODUCTIONS
    5 - APPROVAL OF AGENDA
    6 - APPROVAL OF MEETING MINUTES

    Edgerton called the meeting to order, approved the agenda and approved the minutes of the two meetings (public and private) for the July 2 meeting.

    7 - PUBLIC COMMENTS:

    Earl McGee of Quail Valley expressed concern that the focus on developing a commercial tax base should be balanced by residential construction activity. He noted that a building moratorium exists in Quail Valley due to lack of sewers, severely limiting owner options for their properties. Kuenzi responded that future workshops will consider this and similar issues when Menifee develops its own general plan.

    Lynn Rowe of Sun City expressed hope that those who voted for cityhood would offer their services to make the community a success. She also reminded the Council to consider the citizens’ interests and solicit their input prior to making decisions. Edgerton assured Rowe that the interest of all citizens will be considered.

    8 - BUSINESS ITEMS:

    8A – APPROVE AGREEMENT WITH WINZLER-KELLY FOR INTERIM CITY MANAGER AND MANAGEMENT SERVICES

    Kuenzi and Twyman described in general the terms of the interim City Manager arrangement with the firm Winzler-Kelly. The contract was unanimously approved by a roll-call vote.

    8B – ORAL PRESENTATION BY GEORGE WENTZ, INTERIM CITY MANAGER…

    Wentz discussed the action his organization would take between now and the October 1st inauguration date.

    - find a place to meet as staff and start delivering services
    - acquire furniture, fixtures and office equipment
    - review, update and verify the Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis
    - coordinate transition actions with Riverside County offices
    - develop a Strategic Action Plan (what will happen and when)
    - workshop plans (describe how things happen and solicit input)
    - communication with community via phone, mail, e-mail and web site
    - contact state Equalization Board re: sales tax revenue

    Denver asked if a web site name has been selected. Wentz explained that options are being explored to acquire existing web site names from their current owners.

    Denver asked how the Council can communicate with the Interim Manager to answer citizen questions. Wentz explained that he has provided the Council with several telephone and e-mail options for questions and that he would respond to the Council in response to issues.

    Kuenzi requested that the staff invite the Riverside County Transportation Department to give an update on projects. Wentz said he would speak with the Department and pursue the suggestion.


    8C – DISCUSSION OF JULY 16, 2008 TRANSITION MEETING …

    The Council discussed the July 16th transition meeting scheduled by Riverside County. The Council agreed that the meeting would not be a formal with regards to the City of Menifee. Council members will simply attend to learn about the transition. Martyn explained that the Brown Act will not be violated as long as no substantive discussions between Council members occur regarding the transition topic.

    8C – DISCUSSION OF VARIOUS WORKSHOPS/PRESENTATIONS AND OPTIONS
    (note: item 8C appeared twice in the agenda)

    Workshops, Presentations and Options. Mann recommended that these items be addressed quickly to meet the upcoming inauguration timetable. Wentz solicited the Council’s thoughts and comments about possible topics.

    8D – DISCUSSION OF DAY/TIME/LOCATION AND AVAILABILITY OF AGENDA MATERIAL AFTER THE MEETING OF JULY 16, 2008

    Future public meetings. The Council discussed where and when the Council should meet. Mann stressed the benefit of meeting in various locations to encourage greater diversity of citizen participation. Twyman noted the benefit of having a consistent date and time for meetings. Kuenzi questioned the practicality of arranging different locations for each meeting. Wentz stated that it would be challenging to ensure the sites are available and have the necessary furniture and fixtures. Denver detailed the items necessary for a successful meeting and noted that it must be available at all sites where meetings would be held. Wentz assured the Council that he would do what is necessary to provide the needed items.

    Twyman moved that the Council establish a schedule for public meetings on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. A discussion ensued regarding various conflicts. The Council eventually voted to hold public meetings on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month at 7:00 PM at locations to be announced. Denver voted against and all others voted for the measure.

    8E – APPOINTMENT OF AD-HOC INAUGURAL SUB-COMMITTEE BY THE MAYOR-ELECT

    Edgerton named Kuenzi and Mann to the sub-committee.

    8F – DISCUSSION OF OTHER POSSIBLE AD-HOC SUB-COMMITTEES

    A discussion of the future need for such committees occurred, but no specific committees were identified. Twyman suggested that the need for specific committees will become apparent as the result of future workshops.

    9 - COUNCILMEMBER COMMENTS

    Mann requested staff to prepare individualized legal advice for each Councilmember to ensure that no conflict-of-interest issues exist that would hinder their ability to perform their duties. Mann offered several examples of potential conflict and requested the staff’s advice be provided not later than July 23th. Martyn indicated the advice could be provided by that date.

    10 - ANNOUNCEMENTS

    10A – THE NEXT MEETING…

    Since the next meeting agenda was previously discussed, this item was considered closed.

    11 - ADJOURNMENT

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks JS, I really appreciate it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. ******************
    "The Council discussed the July 16the transition meeting scheduled by Riverside County. The Council agreed that the meeting would not be a formal with regards to the City of Menifee. Council members will simply attend to learn about the transition. Martyn explained that the Brown Act will not be violated as long as no substantive discussions between Council members occur regarding the transition topic."
    ********************

    HA! Closing the transition meeting with Riverside County to the public is Not a violation of the Brown Act?????

    Have your read the Brown Act?

    "The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is
    not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created. This chapter shall be known as the Ralph M. Brown Act."


    ***** So who determines what is "substantive" - the Council Members?

    Of course at a "Transition" meeting VERY substantive issues will be addressed and discussed!

    Menifee City Council appointed City Attorney decided that this meeting with Riverside County is not for the public to attend or know about until they tell us?

    I have a few questions....

    What is on the Agenda to be covered??

    Who will attend from Menifee, Riverside County and other agencies?

    I think this is a VERY important meeting.

    Gwen Mangum

    FYI - The Brown Act.

    http://www.brownact.org/

    The opening statement of the Brown Act from the PDF file above:

    In enacting this chapter, the Legislature finds and declares
    that the public commissions, boards and councils and the
    other public agencies in this State exist to aid in the
    conduct of the people’s business. It is the intent of the law
    that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly.

    The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to
    the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is
    not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining
    informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created. This chapter shall be known as the Ralph M. Brown Act.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gwen you are so right! I think the council is starting out on the wrong foot. Who can say what is discussed is substantive or not. If this meeting is just for information gathering the puplic may not need to be there, but I don't see why they can't be there. This is not a closed door topic!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Who said the meeting was going to be closed? I thought it was a public meeting.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The July 16 meeting is not closed, it's open. I don't know what Gwen is talking about.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It is a public meeting, I have info about it in English and Spanish at http://fullvaluereview.com/2008/07/13/menifee-public-meeting-to-address-issues-relating-to-the-transfer-of-county-to-city/ and for the record I do believe that Steve who runs this site posted similar info as well.

    Bill Gould

    ReplyDelete
  8. *****Yes, I found that Press Enterprise story too. But no other details on the Agenda, etc.

    Sorry, if I flew off the handle.

    The Council has a difficult job to do with no staff, no office, etc.

    Just want our new city of Menifee to be the best! And for Menifee to be begun in a professional and thoughtful manner.

    The Brown Act was made law for a reason. To avoid backroom, closed meeting deals.

    In the first Council meeting The Brown Act seemed to be made out to be a real problem for it being brought up. It protects the people.

    I understand that the transition meeting is not being considered a 'regular' council meeting.

    My point is that the Transition Meeting is just as important as a 'regular' council meeting to the formation of our new city.

    The City Council members will be meeting with County employees (?) to discuss and learn about how the transition of power, money and privileges come to our new City.

    Am I correct? I don't know as I was not at the meeting where it was discussed.

    And I haven't seen any Council Meeting Minutes being made available. If anyone knows where to find the official Minutes, Agendas, etc. please post!

    gwen
    (20 year resident):0

    *******
    Changes to the Brown Act Effective July 1, 2008

    http://www.publiclawnews.com/public_law_news/2008/07/changes-to-the.html

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think for the most part, the Brown Act is being respected, I got that sense from Edgerton. The mayor also gives me the sense that he's seen a lot of crap that the Long Beach City Council went through, and is trying to steer the new city away from those mistakes. It might upset some of us because a lot of what he's done thus far is rely on the attorney, adhere to formalities, but I'm willing to give him benefit of the doubt at this point.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It looks like many people are standing by and waiting for the Council to make one wrong move and then pounce on them. There are approximately 30,000 voters in the City and a whole whopping 30-40, max, show up for Council meetings. This number is sure to diminish the “Older” the City becomes. Instead of sitting back and criticizing get involved, assist, ask questions, and encourage the Council to make the best choices for us.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Unless someone reads this website how would one even know about the Council meetings?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Pick up a newspaper.

    Or read them online.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Really? Because, I do not see anywhere on the PE website that gives a schedule for Menifee City Council Meetings.

    ReplyDelete
  14. ****Perhaps, Steve could create a direct link on the opening page..

    "Menifee City Council meeting schedule"

    And maybe another link...

    "Where to Volunteer to help the Menifee City Council"

    And when those Minutes and Agendas become available maybe the city could create a website like the Rancho Santa Margarita website. That would be really nice (the City Manager's previous job).

    http://www.cityofrsm.org/

    If only 30 or 40 attend the council meetings out of 30,000 could it be because the meetings are at a time when most of the residents are on the 91 FreeWay.

    Wonder what would happen if the meetings were occasionally held on a Saturday??

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'll try to find a way to display meeting times more prominently.

    The burden is on each resident to attend city council meetings. If you really care about your city, then you'll find a way to be there (maybe leave work early, get a babysitter, etc.) Either it's absolutely impossible for someone to attend, or they feel it's not important enough to try.

    As for how to get involved in the new city, the only thing the Council has said thus far, is to contact Scott Mann (MenifeeCityClerk@mchsi.com), and tell him you want to involved.

    I'm still waiting for details on how the public can get involved on this city inauguration committee.

    ReplyDelete
  16. That's the problem with today's politics, somehow it has been mis-construed that the burden has to be on the people.

    I think politicians need to realize that they work for the people and that they serve us and the burden should be on them to accomodate us.

    Especially here in Menifee where many people commute to other counties. I'm one of them. I commute to Orange County using public transportation and it takes me FIVE hours a day to get to the City of Orange and back.

    These politicians who are our servants need to realize this and take this into consideration.

    Maybe that's why there is low attendance at the meetings. It's not that people don't care. The meetings need to be at a time and place that maximizes people's ability to attend. Even if that means a Saturday.

    These people work for us, not the other way around. People are tired of politics as usual. Get back to serving the people and not yourselves.

    ReplyDelete
  17. How can the Council accommodate everyone? Many people work on Saturdays. Many people work nights. In fact those on the Council actually have jobs and families as well.

    Should we pay them full-time salaries and benefits so they can be at our beckon call? The meetings that have been held so far have been at a reasonable time and day. There is never going to be a “perfect” time for the Council to meet.

    ReplyDelete
  18. No one is saying everyone needs to be accomodated. That would be impossible. Just make it as accomdating as possible. Which is not the case now or you would have more in attendance.

    These people are public servants. They knew what they were getting into and a Saturday Town Hall meeting to update citizens would be beneficial for all.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I don’t believe that low turnout is related to when the meetings are held. Granted, some may not be able to come at the scheduled times, but I doubt that 29,970 are in that situation (our 30,000 voters minus the 30 or so who attend).

    ReplyDelete
  20. Make sure you send an e-mail to Scott Mann, let him know that Saturday meetings are wanted.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I think my point about how do people know about the meetings was lost. The low turn out is probably a combination of scheduling and lack of knowledge by the citizens.Until cityhood is official and there is a city hall or a more permanent meeting place with a phone number, etc. for information the turnout may remain low no matter what time it is. I am glad I found this website !!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. In today's Press Enterprise there is an article about Wednesday's meeting with the County.

    ReplyDelete

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