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 council agreed that the Mayor would have the role of nominating representatives to these groups with confirmation by the council.

Public Utilities Ordinances

The city council passed an ordinance granting permission to Southern California Edison to do any kind of construction work it needed to do with respect to erecting power poles and running wires, and whatever it needed to do make sure Menifee has electricity. Edison obviously had this permission with the county, but needed the green light with the new city.

Ray Hicks, a represenative with Southern California Edison to explain something called "Rule 20A", which is a rule of the California Public Utilities Commission. It allocate state funds to cities for the purpose of taking down unsightly power poles and moving the lines underground. Hicks basically talked about what kind of money was available to the city for this purpose.

The city council also passed a similar ordinance granting The Gas Company similar priviledges.

Credit Cards and Employee Reimbursement Policies

The council passed an ordinance that creates policies on how the city would reimburse its employees, staff, and officials for purchases.

The policy included a passage on credit cards, which stated that council members were NOT allowed to have credit cards. Councilmember Mann spoke to have this passage removed from the policy and then rewritten allowing them to have them. He cited his experience with having to travel as part of his job noting that business credit cards make the reimbursement process so much more streamlined.

Councilmember Tywman responded that he was against revising this, opting to deny credit cards to city council members. Mayor Edgerton also lent his opposition to credit cards, bringing up a campaign process he had made during a public forum of candidates, concerning the use of public monies in this regards. Mann then replied back that he would recommend city council members not keep these cards on their persons, but only have them during official trips. Councilmember Denver also voiced his opposition to issuing credit cards, noting that every councilmember is well-to-do and doesn't need the city to buy everything for them. Edgerton finished off by saying, "It's a lot cleaner if we don't give credit cards to council members".

In the end, the council voted to adopt the policy on employee reimbursements, but carve out the part on credit cards, and discuss that matter at a later date.

Newport Road Realignment

City Manager Wentz talked about a meeting he had with Juan Perez, from the county transporation department, concerning the realignment of Newport Road, and what they had agreed upon to get it opened up.

It works like this...

  • Normandy Rd (which is what existing Newport Rd will be renamed to), will continue as a two-way road, but will be officially considered a detour. This supposedly opens up some advantages in terms of procuring funds.

  • The realigned Newport Rd will be one-way only, moving eastbound.

  • The Goetz Road bridge will remain open for now

  • Goetz Road will become one-way, southbound, from the Canyon Lake gate to Railroad Canyon Rd.

  • Goetz Road, from Normandy Road on north, will continue to operate as it is, two-way.
So, if you're coming from the I-15, you'll take Railroad Canyon Rd east, and continue through on the realigned Newport Rd into the city. If you live in Menifee Hills or Quail Valley, you'll have to take Newport Rd to Berea Rd, and circle back along Normandy Road, to get to Goetz Rd.

If you're coming from Menifee, and you want to get to the I-15, you'll take Newport Rd to Berea Rd, and jump on Normandy Rd. Then turn on Goetz Rd, and go to Railroad Canyon Rd.

Make sense?

All this will be temporary until enough money comes into the city's coffers to expand the Goetz Rd bridge, and make all roads bi-directional.

Branding Menifee

The meeting then moved into comments from the city council members, and Mann brought up the subject of "branding Menifee". Basically, there are not many signs that noting that Menifee actually exists. For example, there are no freeway signs announcing the border of Menifee. There are no "Welcome to Menifee" signs. He noted that on Google Maps, it shows "Sun City", it shows "Quail Valley", but there's nothing with the word "Menifee" on it.

He also brought up a touchy subject, though I think he might have been misunderstood. He used the example of renaming the Sun City post office to "Menifee Post Office", as part of his branding idea. Mayor Edgerton jumped on that one saying that there's quite a few people in Sun City who would take great opposition to that. He called on his past experience as a city councilman in Long Beach, noting that it had its communities, such as Belmont Shore and Naples, and that residents there loved being called by those names.

I sat in the audience behind a couple of Sun City core residents, and when they heard Mann suggest renaming the Sun City post office to Menifee, their necks and backs straightened up at attention. And when Edgerton said his piece about leaving it alone, their heads nodded with approval.

Mann responded back that he didn't mean to suggest actually doing this, but only cited them as examples to illustrate his point of "branding Menifee". He went on to say that they could instead rename the postal annex to Menifee. Councilmember Kuenzi noted that she's looking at requesting another post office specifically for Menifee, and that could be named "Menifee".

Denver spoke out as a Realtor about using the name "Menifee" in the MLS. He said that there are certain rules about using the MLS that prevents real estate agents from identifying a piece of propoerty as "Menifee". He went on to say that in Sun City, they are prevented from listing a property as "Menifee", even though technically it is now correct to call it Menifee. But because they have to list it as "Sun City", it tends to carry a lower resale value.

In the end, the Mayor created a new "Branding Ad Hoc Committee", and appointed Twyman and Denver to it.

Countryside Marketplace

Denver noted that he had lunch at Red Robin a week ago, and learned that on opening day, our Red Robin had highest volume of sales of all Red Robins in the country.

City Manager Wentz added to that by saying that when Kohl's opened up on grand opening, it had the 5th highest sales of all Kohl's in the country.


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Post a Comment

  1. Thanks for the meeting notes!

    Your recaps actually make the City Council meetings seem interesting!

    I'm glad our new stores did so well. Shows everyone that it was a good decision to build here. Maybe the stores that backed out will be remorseful.

  2. Thanks for the full rundown on the meeting! I live in Menifee Hills and with the Newport re-alignment project it seems really confusing if you are going to have people come to your house and visit who are not at all familiar with the area. I'm worried we will have people wandering around lost in Menifee with this one way idea!

  3. I agree on the revised Newport Rd realignment idea. I think it will create more traffic backups and inconveniences because of the one-way routing. I think it'll be better to keep the status quo. I'm all for the Newport Rd realignment if they can keep all the roads bidirectional.

  4. It terms of the Mayor's past experience in L.B., he is correct that amongst the people, they refer to those upper class enclaves as Naples and Belmont Shore, but they are still identified as as Long Beach. Sun City may have an emotional attachment to some resodents, but if we are going to move forward, we should move forward. We shouldn't have sections refered to Sun City, Quail Valley, Romoland, etc... It is all Menifee and should be identified as such. The sooner we start acting like the community of Menifee, the sooner we will actually feel like a community.

  5. To show unity we should only be known as Menifee. It's too confusing for visitors and new residents. We wanted a "CITY" we should be known by one name!

  6. Changing the name of the Sun City post office is not the way to create unity, I can tell you that much.

    Let's instead work on building respect between the communities, and perhaps that way we'll create unity.

  7. Menifee was voted for by the residents of Romoland, Quail Valley, Menifee and SUN City. The name was voted for to be Menifee. All four of these communities are now known as Menifee. EVERYTHING should be renamed Menifee - Period.

  8. I agree, all areas and addresses should be Menifee. Moving forward is always hard but needs to be done for the good of the community.

  9. Yes I too agree, we all voted for Menifee so all the communities should be know as Menifee.

  10. I dont think its such a big dea to leave the area names there. I came from Riverside and there are several "areas" of Riverside - Orangecrest, Arlington, Pedley, Mission Grove, etc. It just designates an area within a city. Its harmless. Let the Sun City Natives keep their poor post office!! LOL

  11. I live in a family subdivision in the Zip Code 92586. This zip code also includes Sun City Core. However, the population from family subdivisions constitutes nearly 50% of the population in this zip code. Please add my family desires to those living in Zip Code 92586 to change the name of Sun City to Menifee. Remember, There was a 62% vote for the area to become the City of Menifee. The City Council needs to submit a petition to the U.S. Postal Service to change the names of all zip codes in the city to the name of Menifee.

  12. Thanks for the summary. Has anyone suggested revisting the name of "Menifee"? I think Menifee Valley sounds so much nicer. I know the vote was very close.

  13. Sorry but lets not go there either, I like Menifee way better than Menifee Valley. I voted for it so let that go too.

  14. Change it to Roqua Sunifee so we do not hurt anybody's feelings.

  15. Hi Steve, you did a great job letting people know what took place at the Menifee City Council and I appreciate the work you performed for us. Chuck R.

  16. Countryside Marketplace AccidentsOctober 10, 2008 7:45 PM

    Whomever approved the design for the traffic flow throughout this center should be fired.
    I just went to this center and entered at the light between Kohl's and Target. Just after entering the marketplace I encountered a rotary/roundabout. I was almost hit twice because people do not know how to drive in a rotary. Besides the fact that it is far too small in the first place for a rotary and it should have just been a 4 way stop sign. I pulled over and watched the rotary traffic for about 5 minutes and witnessed at least 20 close calls and almost saw a kid on a bicycle get hit.
    This needs to be addressed ASAP before someone gets seriously injured or killed!

  17. As far as traffic goes at the light at Newport and Haun, yes it is bad and will only get worse when more stores open. They should make a double left turn lane going in. As far as the rotary goes, it was covered in everyone's drivers ed book at one time. Too bad no one reads it.

  18. Round-abouts are the new "in" get over it. Not going to change. It is asthetically pleasing.

  19. Roundabouts are absolutely stupid in a small area. I don't have a problem with them in large, very large interchanges. Seriously, this was a stupid idea for this location and needs to be removed and replaced with a normal 4 way stop sign. If not, mark my words and note this date and time because someone is going to be seriously injured or killed at this location. I was almost hit again today because people do not YIELD as they are supposed too. Most people do not know how to Yield to oncoming traffic and that is the problem. Maybe for safety sake they could replace the yield signs with stop signs. Anything to help.

  20. "If not, mark my words and note this date and time because someone is going to be seriously injured or killed at this location."

    People have been hit at four-way stop signs too.

  21. I completely agree about the entrance to the shopping center. It is much to small for the traffic that was expected to be there. Infact the layout alone is a little bothersome to me because I dread at the thought of going there for a good time of shopping when parking to get from one store to te next is inconvenient. It has actually kept me from going by to Target as much as I used to because I dread the intersection delay at Haun and Newport and then the mess in the center.
    I guess we just have to wait and see. But in the mean time I much rather go to the Ralphs center because theres much less traffic and I can get in and out.

  22. Why would you want the valley in the name? Its not a valley. Maybe it could be called Meniffe desert? I think most just want to be called something other than Sun city becuase you are embarresed to live there. I like the name Sun City. Lets keep it.



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