Menifee City Council - Oct 7, 2008 Recap

The Menifee City Council met tonight, effectively the first official city council meeting, not counting the inauguration ceremony. And if t...

The Menifee City Council met tonight, effectively the first official city council meeting, not counting the inauguration ceremony.

And if the first official city council meeting was any different than the unofficial ones, it was that we saw city council members showing their political differences with each other.

Director of Finance

The evening opened with up the City Manager introducing a new member of the staff, Misty Cheng, our new director of finance. She's not a city employee, but a contractor the City Manager procured through a CPA Firm.

Public Comments

Matthew Gilmore, a city resident, took the podium to outline several matters, mostly in regards to road conditions. He called on the city to seek compensation from the county for providing poor roads. He noted that the concrete barriers along Newport Rd, new Haun Rd, needs to be removed as they cause traffic back ups. He also complained that the City Manager has failed to return his e-mail communication on this matter. The City Manager responded with apologies for not returning his e-mail. He said that the barriers are there to prevent drivers from making "double turns", and that he's already scheduled to meet with Juan Perez from the County transportation department on road improvements. The Mayor chimed in to say that we're still a new city.

Barbara Spencer, president of the Menifee Valley Historical Society, spoke to congratulate the city council members on behalf of the society, and described the society's goals and recent accomplishments. She went on to say that the society is thrilled to see that the city received a sapling from the Pechangas, and offered the city its assistance in locating a permanent place to plant it.

William Zeidlik, a Menifee resident, complained that back on October 1, when the city council adopted a series of ordinances for the new city, it adopted ordinance 2008-03 in haste. That was the ordinance that creates the city's interim planning commission, and creates protocol for administering planning decisions. Zeidlik insisted that there should have been a 30-day public comment period on this matter, and that there was none to his knowledge. He therefore called on the council to allow for a public discussion with the City Manager and his financial consultant, Gary Thompson. He also asked why there haven't been any discussion on creating council member districts. He demanded the city to create focus groups, and he cited that lawsuits have been filed in Wildomar, regarding similar matters.

Todd Parmenter, a radiology technician at Menifee Valley Medical Center, called on the city council to communicate with the board members of Valley Health System, and urge them to invest more of its money into its employees. Todd explained that VHS is gutting patient care at MVMC by laying off 41 caregivers and now planning to shut down its skilled nursing facility. In the mean time, he said VHS has spent millions of dollars in aesthetics, such as new carpet and paint. He said the employees at MVMC are going on a one-day strike on Monday, October 13. The Mayor responded by saying that Valley Health System is not connected with the city, and that there's nothing they can do about it.

Sandy Taylor, a resident of Menifee, claims that the intersection of Scott and Leon roads have become too dangerous due to increased traffic and speeders. She asked for a traffic light at that intersection. She also called for speed limits to be reduced to 35mph along Leon Rd, between Keller and Scott Rd. Councilman Twyman, who lives along Scott Rd, agreed that the traffic has become a big issue there.

Selection of Representatives to Regional Boards and Commissions

The city council talked about what boards and commissions they should apply to join, and who to nominate as their representatives. For a while, they started naming off various groups they might want to join. The cou