Menifee City Council Meeting - Aug 13, 2008

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.

Public Comments

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 (mannformenifee@mchsi.com) are no longer working, since he now has a new one (smann@cityofmenifee.us).

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.




6 Comments:

  1. Steve,
    I want to take this time to thank you for all of the information you are posting on this website. The City Council meeting minutes are great. I really appreciate your humor as well. How do I contact you directly for suggestions, comments, etc?

    ReplyDelete
  2. My contact info is on the "About Us" page.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Steve, I wish to clarify my statements regarding John Denver and my comments about the U.S. Postal Service assigning Menifee as a name for zip codes at the City Council meeting on 8.13.08. One of the reasons that I spoke before the City Council was to publicly support John Denver’s decision to follow advice of his attorney that he didn’t have a conflict of interest and didn’t need to consider resigning from a committee position with the Chamber of Commerce in order to serve as a City Council member of the City of Menifee. I also felt that his tone of voice sounded somewhat strained but not at a shouting level as stated in a letter to the editor written by Ann Pica. This letter appeared in the Californian on August 1, 2008. A copy of it can be found at the end of my comments.

    I also supported for the record another letter to the editor of the Californian that was written by Jason Reeves on 8/7/08. A copy of this letter is found at the end of my remarks. He rebutted many of the comments by Anne Pica. He also stated the following: “let’s leave petty politics where it belongs and let our council do what the people elected them to do.” I strongly support the Mr. Reeves’ statement. In addition, I am not aware of any jurisdiction in the United States that one’s affiliation with a local chamber of commerce, with a non- profit organization or with a union kept anyone from serving on a city council. Should there be a conflict of interest; the council member would simply recluse himself/herself from voting.

    In reply to Steve’s comment about my leaving early. I had to pick up my wife from work. We made arrangements earlier that I attend the City Council meeting from 7:00-8:00 p.m. and she would wait a half an hour for me. Additionally, I waited to leave until the public comment section was over. I stayed so that any city council member could ask me any question.

    Since there is a conflict of time that the public comment section of the city council meeting is scheduled and the time that my wife gets off work, I may again need to leave early, Because of my time conflict, will I be expected not to make any comments or not attend a portion of the meeting? If my leaving early doesn’t allow the opportunity to answer questions from anyone, I will be happy to respond to inquiries by telephone or e-mail. I can be reached at my home phone number: 951. 672.7684 or my home e-mail address: lgmazei@aol.com.

    I also mentioned in my three minute statement the request for the City of Menifee Council-Elect to begin considering the name of Menifee for the different zip codes. I also wanted them to take into consideration the desires of the Sun Core residents to retain the name of Sun City. I also wish to clarify my position by wanting the City Council-Elect to meet with the U.S. Postal authorities and discuss any solution that will please the Sun City Core and those residents in Zip Code 92586 that lives in family developments and wanting the name of Menifee.

    I hope that the above statements and the accompanying letters will help Steve to understand my viewpoints.

    Louis G. Mazei,
    Resident of Sun City/Menifee


    Two letters are included from the Californian. The first one is from Anne Pica and the second one is from Jason Reeves.

    Councilman's hostility shows his true colors

    At the July 23 Menifee City Council-elect meeting, I was shocked at the hostile attitude of Councilman-elect John Denver. Now that Mr. Denver has been elected, he seems to feel he is above responding to the public's questions.

    The question asked: Was any council member who belonged to the chamber of commerce or any other special interest group to state a date when they would resign so there would be no conflict with serving the public's best interest as elected council members? Denver became angry at the question. He made remarks to the mayor and the public to the effect that he did not have to disclose that.

    The mayor explained that the public has a right to ask questions of the person they elected. Denver shouted that he was on the chamber of commerce and had no intention of resigning. He continued to argue with the mayor another two or three minutes. Two reporters were in the audience, but I saw no write-up on this hostility displayed by Denver. Why not?

    If Denver is this hostile and unresponsive to the public before he's even sworn in, what is he going to be like later? A person with this much anger is going to cause great discord within the council. The city attorney needs to sit Denver down and explain he is working for the residents of Menifee. If he cannot work with the public, then he needs to resign before angry residents ask for a recall.

    Anne E. Pica

    Sun City

    Petty politics disrupting council-elect

    When hypocrisy rears its ugly head, you can usually count on seeing a repeat offender behind its mask.

    Anne Pica's Aug. 1 letter to the editor, "Councilman's hostility shows his true colors," smacks of petty politics and bitter animosity. Her comments made at the July 23 council meeting were the second attempt to derail and disrupt a council-elect that has much more to worry about than "who's involved with what nonprofit group" and who's going to resign over nonexisting conflicts of interest dreamed up by overimaginary delusions of grandeur.

    The only hostility at our council-elect meetings are those who have nothing better to do than think of ways to derail our new City Council from its forward progress, which received the nod from a resounding 61 percent of the voters wanting to better our community, not to see it torn apart by personal grudges.

    Let's leave petty politics where it belongs and let our council do what the people elected them to do.

    Jason Reeves

    Former candidate, City Council Menifee

    Menifee

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for your continued posts on Menifee meetings and minutes. Those of us living in the area are many times wanting to get involved but don't know quite where to go or who to contact. This keeps us up on things and gives us a concept as to what lies ahead. I appreciate your website so much!

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  5. In response to the letter to The Californian by Anne Pica that was posted by Louis Mazei:

    Her question to the council elect (more specifically to Darci Kuenzi and John Denver) was phrased more along the lines of "When are you going to resign your positions with the Chamber of Commerce" rather than the version she wrote in her letter.

    Anne Pica needs to stop trying to make herself out to be the innocent victim and she needs to stop stirring the pot. As Jason Reeves said in his letter, leave the petty politics out of the council meetings and let the council try to do their job.

    Like them, hate them or have no feelings for them - they are the people the citizens elected. At least give them the opportunity to prove why they should or should not have been elected.

    ReplyDelete
  6. In regards to the city needs a bank:

    I would be more than happy to sit with the council and discuss banking. I work for Wells Fargo and we could schedule a meeting. Please let me know.

    Amber Callahan
    Wells Fargo Personal Banker
    (Soon to be at Menifee Countryside Marketplace)
    951-600-1139

    ReplyDelete

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