I attended the city council meeting this evening.
There were three sessions. The first was actually a public workshop, starting at 5:00pm, where the City Attorney taught a course on the Brown Act. I didn't attend this.
The second was closed session, where the council met with real estate agents on acquiring property for city buildings.
The third session, was the "main" city council meeting, starting at 7:00pm. This session was moderately attended, not as heavily as the previous meeting of July 23.
Race for Humanity 2009
The first part of the agenda was to modify the agenda to allow Lori Stone, Jeff Stone's sister, some lengthy time in promoting her event, Race for Humanity, which takes place on April 25, 2009. It's goal is to raise money for some of the local charities. She passed out fliers detailing the event, and urged people to participate. She also wanted to ask the City Council for its participation in granting permits to close off some city streets, to accomodate the 5k & 10K run.
Because the run goes around Menifee Lakes, streets in and out of the Lakes will have to closed to protect the runners. This will be the third year for Race for Humanity.
Future City Council Meeting Location
The Council discussed where the next meeting would take place. They all agreed that the next meeting should take place at the same location, at Mt San Jacinto College. The date will be August 27, Wednesday. However, Darci Kuenzi appealed to have to the meeting after that, Sept 3, at Quail Valley Elementary School. She cited the good gesture it would create on behalf of the Council to bring the meeting to Quail Valley, and give the residents of Menifee and Sun City an opportunity to see what a great community Quail Valley has going.
Lesa Sobek, Director of Public Affairs for the Menifee stake of The Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke to welcome the City Council and the public to partake in the church's free pancake breakfast in celebration of their new church on La Piedra Rd. She cited some statistics on how big the LDS religion is, saying that it's the 4th largest Christian faith in the USA, with 800,000 members just in California alone, and with 6,000 in Menifee. Considering one city council member won his seat by less than 100 votes, it might be a good idea to attend.
Teddy Hamui, who works for Menifee Partners, a locally-based commercial development company, addressed the Council by extending a handshake. His company is building an 88,000 sq. ft. commercial retail center on the south-east corner of Scott & Haun roads, containing mostly small shops, like fast-food, haircutters, sandwiches, etc. Since the city is incorporating, his company now needs to establish a friendly relationship with the city council in order to get permits.
Ron Ulibarri, a candidate for Menifee School Board, capitalized on the opportunity for some free publicity, by introducing his candidacy to the audience. Ron is a former teacher, and currently runs a real estate business, Infinite Realty & Loans. I asked him to send me to a description of himself and his background, which I'll publish. And by the way, any candidate for school board that serves Menifee is welcome to send me a description, as lengthy as they want to write it, and I'll publish it.
Rob Hagenour (sp?), who is with Helix Environmental Consulting, addressed the Council by reminding them that as a government body charged with approving development projects, they'll need to obtain environmental impact studies, and that his company just so happens to specialize in conducting those studies. He left the council with some brochures.
Chuck Ruetter, a past board member with the Sun City Civic Association, and who described himself as being at one time an active member of the cityhood drive, asked the Council when they planned to define the city council districts. Mayor Edgerton deferred to the City Attorney, who said that it was something they would begin addressing sometime after October 1, 2008 (which could be anywhere between October 1, 2008 and the next 100 years). Ruetter replied back that he became opposed to the cityhood effort after he learned that so many people wanted to elect councilmembers at large. But since the voters approved districts instead, he's now gung-ho with cityhood.
Louis Mazei, a previous candidate for city council, addressed the Council by saying that he supports John Denver's statements from the previous meeting, and that he supports Jason Reeves' opinion piece published in The Californian. I'm not exactly sure what statement from Denver he's referring to, particularly since he left the meeting immediately after finishing his address. But I'm guessing it had to do with Denver's opinions over his election to city council and his continuing leadership role with the Chamber of Commerce. Louis went on to ask the Council to instruct the local Post Office to issue a directive advising Sun City, Quail Valley, and Romoland residents that they can now use "Menifee" as their mailing address.
Super Senior Program
Organizers of the Super Senior Program, a program run by the Kay Ceniceros Center, that pairs seniors with high school kids willing to help them out with stuff, asked the City Council for an official endorsement of their program. Darci Kuenzi made a motion to give the Program the city's stamp of approval, and the rest of the councilmembers followed through. The Super Senior Program is now officially endorsed by the City Council.
If you have a charity that needs an endorsement, it sounds like the city is handing them out.
The City Needs a Bank
City Manager George Wentz addressed the council asking if they have any comments or concerns about selecting the city's official bank. His financial assistant, Gary Thompson, put together an RFP (request for proposal), which he will be sending out to local banks. The council didn't have any, and so it sounds like Thompson will be looking for a bank.
Interim City Clerk
George Wentz also asked the Council to relieve Scott Mann from his duties as the Interim City Clerk. Wentz will assume the task of hiring a permanent city clerk. Mann reported eariler this afternoon that the previous e-mail addresses he set up (MenifeeCityClerk@mchsi.com) and (firstname.lastname@example.org) are no longer working, since he now has a new one (email@example.com).
Interim City Treasurer
Wentz also said that he now needs to hire an Interim City Treasurer, which will take on more duties on financial matters. He wants to appoint Gary Thompson, who currently consults for him. Thompson is the guy who prepared the fiscal analysis for the Menifee Valley Incorporation Committee.
City Manager's Report
Wentz continued on to say that he's working on building the city's new website. It should be online by this Monday.
He'll also be attending the California League of Cities meeting on Sept 23-24.
The issue with the County Code violations, that the County levied on a bunch of Menifee-area businesses off of Zeiders Rd has been resolved. Basically, the matter has been dropped, to sum it up.
Wentz also met with the Sheriff to discuss law enforcement in the new city. This is probably mostly about law enforcement in the interim until after the city decides whether to contract permanently, or build their own department.
He also mentioned working on getting liability insurance for the new city, and meeting with folks from the State Board of Equalization (sales tax revenue).
City Councilmember Comments
Scott Mann gave his thanks to the city staff for their hard work.
Darci Kuenzi asked that the Council begin looking for the permanent meeting location after October 1, assuming the city doesn't have a permanent building secured by then.
Fred Twyman asked that the Council develop a timeline on creating more community advisory groups.
John Denver asked that the Council host a contest to create the City's official logo, perhaps inviting local students to submit artwork, and offering a prize for the winner.
Wallace Edgerton expressed his gratitude to everyone who attended for showing their interest in the new city.
I attended the city council meeting this evening.