Well, it all seemed to go without a hitch.
The ceremony part, held at Bell Mountain Middle School, was packed solid with people. All seats were filled, and many more were left standing. The local boy scout troop 444 was on hand to lead the audience in the pledge of allegiance. Eric Handy a Paloma Valley High School student belted out an impressive rendition of the National Anthem. His voice was so powerful and clear, the sound system couldn't handle his cantor and crackled with static.
Pastor Gary Galbraith from Revival Christian Fellowship gave an invocation.
Immediately following, the city council was sworn into office by 3rd District Supervisor Jeff Stone. That was followed by the city council doing its series of motions and votes to adopt county ordinances and the county's general plan. All council members voted to adopt everything without comment, except where councilman Twyman commented that the County's general plan was never fully explained to the council, and that he has reservations about adopting something that we don't have full knowledge of. But he voted to adopt it anyways with the understanding that we have the right change it as we see fit.
With all the formalities out the way, the council members gave speeches to the audience. For the most part, they were congratulatory speeches. Kuenzi named off several long time residents and advocates of cityhood and thanked them. Denver spoke about his involvement with the cityhood effort. Mann recounted his family history and his desire to serve. Twyman talked about why he ran for office.
Joe Daugherty, the guy who chaired the cityhood incorporation committee, named off the other members of the committee, all of whom received applause.
But what turned out to be the highlight of the evening was Mayor Edgerton's speech. The guy electrified the audience. He spoke with such great conviction, you could see the words drawing up from his chest. If the Mayor personifies Teddy Roosevelt's mantra of "speak softly and carry a big stick", then tonight we saw the big stick.
"Come Hell or Highwater we promise this city will maintain a surplus in its budget!!", were words he hammered out with authority to the roar of the audience. When he promised not to raise taxes and fees on the people, his intensity put George Bush Sr's "read my lips" speech to shame. He had total confidence when he reminded the audience that we have a conservative council who promised to not blow our money the way state and federal governments have done. Then he took on a more comforting tone with news that our police force had been boosted overnight, and threw credit to councilmen Mann and Denver for making it happen. But his fervent tone picked back up when he credited councilman Twyman for making sure the council listens to the people. I even saw Jeff Stone's head nodding with approval when the Mayor promised to build more parks and preserve the rural nature of Menifee so that "children will not have to grow up in a sea of asphalt!" All of which received rounds of applause. And finally he finished his speech with an interesting set of words, "I am proud to say that my name is Wallace Edgerton, and I am the mayor of Menifee!"
Then he called for the audience to congratulate itself on becoming a new city, and subsequently called for the meeting to adjourn.
But I didn't stick around for the aftermath. I exited right away, and found Mieke Jacobs from Menifee Live doing the same thing. We both wanted to check out the inauguration ballgame gathering nearby. I chatted with Dave Fokken, coach of the Menifee Mustangs. Mieke and I got ourselves a couple of In-N-Out burger combos (compliments of Jeff Stone) and watched a couple innings of the game.
I don't know who won the game, but I did witness one of the Mustangs belt a monster triple into center field.
Then we headed off for the inauguration party at Menifee Lakes Country Club. I got there around 8:15pm.
For the record, no one was checking for RSVPs, despite the instructions we were given of having to RSVP. I just walked right in, didn't check in with anyone, nobody said anything. I asked other people there if they were checked for RSVPs, and they weren't either. I later learned they were keeping a head count instead. I was told about 600-620 people were there.
The area around the food was congested, and the food was going about as fast as the staff could replenish. That In-N-Out burger looked like a good idea.
I met Rose Watkins, a friend of mine with Century 21. We talked. I met Cynthia Aina, who runs Menifee4Rent.com. We talked. I met Armand Blais, who had a trio of musicians playing. We talked. I saw Jim Semanek from the Computer Club of Menifee Valley. We talked.
The only city councilmembner I got to talk to was the mayor himself. We both ended up at the food table, trying to get some chow, but having to wait until they brought more over. I congratulated him as the new mayor, and complimented him on his speech. Otherwise, the other councilmembers were constantly being pulled left and right by every other attendee.
By 9:00pm, the event was starting to run its course, and I finished up by taking a few more photos for this blog, took my complimentary bottle of "City of Menifee Champagne", and headed home.
Here's some photos...
Our first official police car; if you get to sit in the back of this thing, let us know what it's like.
Getting sworn in
The sapling from the Pechangas - Note that councilman Twyman was the only guy in the room with a pink tie.
Lake Elsinore Storm mascot at the cityhood inauguration baseball game
Menifee Mustangs up to bat
The scene inside Menifee Lakes Country Club
Here's a better shot of that ice sculpture
A champagne toast led by Supervisor Marion Ashley
Armand Blais with a trio belting out tunes