City Council Meeting - December 4, 2008

The Menifee City Council met this evening with a workshop at 6:00pm, and the regular meeting at 7:00pm.

Workshop

The first part of the workshop dealt with scheduling future workshops. Gary Thompson, the acting City Manager, handed out a schedule of workshop topics...

  1. Planning Approval Matrix - January

  2. Visioning & Goal Setting - January - Extended Session

  3. Employee Benefits/Credit Card Policy - January

  4. General Plan Process - February

  5. Planning Commission - February

  6. Signage Policy - March

  7. Council Districts - Survey Results - March

  8. Community Support Policy - April

  9. Budget Updates/Workshops - February Update/April & May Workshops
Bill Zeidlik stood up to comment asking the council offer townhall meetings. I'm guessing he's referring to some kind of format where the audience can provide a greater degree of interaction, instead of the three-minute comment that he finds himself so limited by.

The second part of the workshop dealt with the issue of illegal sign posting. A slideshow presentation was given discussing the existing laws and ordinances that the city can use to remove these signs.

The signs specifically in concern are those posted on public property, and those that create some kind of public danger. A danger might include signs that block the view of drivers, or where someone posting a sign could be in danger of hurting themselves and thereby setting up a liability for the city.

Fred Twyman noted that while liability is always concern, the real issue here is that these signs are ugly. Acting city manager Thompson agreed, but seemed to suggest that countering ugly signs is tough to enforce, and that using public safety gives the city a reason to remove signs.

Scott Mann and John Denver commented that there are already laws on the books that allow the city to remove these signs, and asked why the City Manager isn't already enforcing them. Thompson replied that he intends to enforce the laws, but that since our community is so used to putting up signs without retribution, it might create a shock to the people. Therefore, he recommended the city publish a warning to all sign posters that they're about to lose their signs if they don't take them down right now.

In fact, twice he referred to using the press to issue this notice, and everytime he said "press" he looked over at me. So, I'm making it my civic duty to put all sign posters in Menifee on notice that you have been officially warned.

The presentation also included photo examples of illegal signs posted in Menifee (I assume these are the ones that create a public danger)...


Diana's Dance Co.


Jeff's Electric


P&T Auto

John Denver also went on to say that there's a need for these signs, and expressed his desire that the city set aside an area or two where commercial signs can be posted. He said that Hemet has something like this right now.

In my opinion, since we're talking about public property here, I wonder if the city can charge a fee to post signs. Then it becomes a revenue generator, and if someone didn't pay their fee, the city automatically has reason to remove the sign, danger or no danger.

Regular Meeting

Lt Ruffcorn Awarded

Lt. Ruffcorn of the Menifee Police Department was given an award of recognition from the city for his services. Ruffcorn is leaving the city to provide service to the Northern California town of Auburn. Here's a photo of him receiving the award...



Public Comments

Ann Weston - As in the city council meeting two weeks ago, Ann expressed her disdain for Procinctu, the private military training facility just north of Menifee's borders. She this time added that there are laws against companies like Procinctu, and that there is no wall surrounding the company to prevent stray bullets. She also said there are indian artifact's on Procinctu's property that the nearby tribes don't know about. Mayor Edgerton responded by saying that any matters beyond Menifee's borders are beyond the city's control.

Gary Reller - President of the Board of Trustees at the Romoland School District, stepped up to congratulate the City of Menifee, and described his district, and mentioned topics very dear to him like public safety and economic development. He shared the podium with Bobbie Plough, the district superintendent who said she's looking forward to working with the council, and then invited them all over for a tour of the district.

Terry Friedman - Asked the council to create a future agenda item to discuss neighborhood watch programs. He said he wanted to get some special time to speak when that subject comes up. Mayor Edgerton went ahead and asked the City Manager to pencil it in for December 16th.

Victoria Woods

Victoria Woods is the name of a new apartment complex going in along Antelope Rd, just in front of the Oasis community. The land that it's going to sit on is currently designated as "single family dwelling", which is what the Oasis is designated as. The developer wanted the council to approve a zoning change to "general residential", allowing them to build the apartments. Today, the council was asked to give its final blessing, which they did.

Two weeks ago, a full presentation was given by Carmen Cave, the city's planning director, who recommended the council approve the zoning change. One member of the public, the Oasis association president, stepped forward to give their support for the zoning change, saying the developer held several meetings with Oasis homeowners, and made a number of concessions, which basically hinged on lowering the complexes from 3-stories to 2-stories. There will, however, still be at least a couple of complexes with 3-stories.

There was also at least one Oasis homeowner who spoke out against the zoning change two weeks ago, saying that he bought his home at Oasis under the idea that the surrounding community was zoned for single family homes, and felt it's wrong for the city to let him down on his piece of Heaven. He went on to say there are many other homeowners who are also against this, but they were not present to voice their opposition.

The council's response to this homeowner had the tone that because he was the only dissenter present, they would go ahead and approve the zoning change. I'm not sure that was truly their intent, but it sure came off sounding like it was. That lead the homeowner to argue that the city provided no advance warning to Oasis homeowners of this discussion. But the city staff provided argument that it did notify certain homeowners within a certain radius from the apartment complex, which apparently amounted to only a fraction of the total Oasis homeowners.

Okuma Parcel Map

This involves a property owner with 2.5 acres of land on Okuma Rd, not too far from Murrieta Rd and Scott Rd. He wants to subdivide his property in half, and needed council approval. Carmen Cave, the city's planning director, recommended the council to approve it.

The existing zoning currently calls for parcels at a minimum of 1 acre in size, so subdividing it wouldn't be an issue.

Bill Zeidlik, spoke up saying that if the council approves this, they'll open up a can of worms causing everyone to want to subdivide too, which is probably likely due to the state of the economy. He noted the infrastructure problems it would create in that area with increased demand for water, sewage, and traffic. But he also went on to say that he's in favor of this request.

Ken Gulley RV Barn

Ken Gulley owns property in the J-Bar Ranch area, by Scott Rd and I-215. He wants to build a barn to house his RV. Existing law requires him to keep the barn 75 ft away from the property line. But based on the existing structures on his property, and the way his property is configured, he can't meet that 75 ft requirement. So, he's asking the council to consider a "variance", which is planning-speak for breaking the rules. Instead, his barn will be 45 ft from the property line.

Carmen Cave, the city's planning director recommended the council approve the request, and the council did so, but with Edgerton voting no. His no vote was actually a commentary that he was trying to avoid setting a precedence.

That discussion came up due to Carmen Cave asking the council for some guidelines on how to proceed with these "variance" requests. That is, she wanted the council to provide its vision to her, so that she can process these requests with some working knowledge. Her request brought up further dicussion that approving these requests could set a precedence, encouraging other property owners to demand special consideration for their building projects. Edgerton already knew that three other council members would vote "yes" on this request, so he opted to vote "no" as a way of sending a message to other property owners that such requests are not automatic.

Whether his strategy will work remains to be seen. But there's an old saying that laws are meant to be broken. Submit your variance requests to Carmen Cave.

The Shops at Scott

The Shops at Scott is a proposed shopping center targeted to go in at the corner of Scott Rd and Zeiders Rd. The developers were here to get a zoning change request so that they could move forward with building it. But because Darcy Kuenzi was not present this evening, and that she really wanted to hear their presentation, the council agreed to move this for the next meeting.

Cable and Video Franchising Fees

The council voted to adopt an ordinance that would collect a 5% franchise fee from cable and satellite television providers. Mayor Edgerton was careful to remind the audience that the council is not levying a new tax, but that we're all currently paying this fee on our bills. It's just that the county is collecting it, not the city. The ordinance authorizes the city to start collecting it.

Extending County Ordinances for One Year

The council approved an ordinance that would call for extending the county ordinances for an additional one year. When the city officially formed, it adopted all of the county ordinances as its own ordinances. This new ordinance simply extends that adoption for another year. Scott Mann explained to the audience that this gives them more time to do "due diligence" in forming new ordinances that "Menifee-ize" the county ones.

He actually coined that term.

Invest Monies into the Local Agency Investment Fund

The council adopted a resolution to invest its extra cash into an interest-earning account. The City Manager says that we currently have money sitting in our checking account doing nothing.

Gallery Development

The council was asked to approve the final map for a new housing development called "Gallery". I'm not sure where it's located.

The City Attorney advised the council that because the developer has satisfied all the requirements of the tentative map, it is required by law to approve the final map.

Nonetheless, the council entertained arguments from the audience against the final map. Bill Zeidlik commented that the slopes separating each house are so tall and steep that it presents a flood danger. A representative from the developer rebutted that they've installed drains that will eliminate that problem. However, Debbie Manion, who says she lives a couple houses away from this development, commented that she's already seeing her property flooded from the runoff created by this development.

The city council voted to approve the final map, with Fred Twyman giving a rather hesitant "yes" vote. Seems like he could have voted "no" to avoid setting a precedent, since the others voted "yes".

Newport Road Realignment

The City Manager reported that he's met with a developer to begin building the temporary realignment plan for Newport Rd as early as this January. This is the plan that will have the realigned Newport Rd running one-way only (see details). However, he conditioned that by saying the developer might delay that by another 3 months due to issues with contracting issues.

In my opinion, this one-way temporary plan will not create a significant net improvement. There may be a small improvement, but not significant enough to warrant this expense and effort. The city may as well leave it alone if it can't make the realigned Newport Rd two-way, and just wait for Audie Murphy Ranch to get back on track.

Council Comments

John Denver asked the City Manager to keep the pressure on the developer to finish the Newport Road realignment because all of the council members ran on a platform to make road improvements.

He also asked the City Manager road getting freeway signs in place denoting the boundaries of Menifee. The manager responded that he's been in touch with Cal-Trans, but that it takes them about 2 years to get these signs in place.

Denver also asked the manager about getting booklets that provide council members with some facts on what the city's budget is, and where the money is coming from.

Finally, he reported that he's been working with the Police Chief with respect to the "Explorer Post", a way to get kids involved with local law enforcement. He said this program is being implemented as he spoke.

Scott Mann responded to Denver's request for city budget booklets that he doesn't need too many details, just an overview, perhaps quarterly.

He also congratulated Phoeba Irey, who was in attendance, on her service with the Menifee Union School District.

Fred Twyman commented that he's been working with Darcy Kuenzi in ironing out details on the Subcommittee Subcommittee. This is the subcommitee to figure out what subcommitees we need. He says the public will soon be given a chance to involve themselves in civic duty.




34 Comments:

  1. A workshop to discuss future workshops and a subcommittee for subcommittees. Good to see the bureaucracy is well on it's way to full implementation. In the meantime, the roads are torn up and signs are littered on every street corner. When will we start seeing results?

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  2. RE: City Council. Are "Words of Wisdom" used as a "variance" for "Prayer. I'll listen more closely next time. If it's the same, then 'separation of Church and State" is not happening at this Council of Menifee.

    There is something else I question, and it's regarding the free speech issue. On the Council website and on the cover page of their agenda, it states that during public comments, one may speak "on any matter within the jurisdiction of the City.

    I went to the Lake Elsinore and Temecula web page, and I see no limitation on what you can speak about during Public Comment.

    Now if I have this right, I spoke on Procinctu and afterwards they said it was an issue not within the jurisdiction of the City" of Menifee. Did that mean they were just stating a fact, or that I cannot speak on that issue anymore?
    The Brown Act states 54950 2nd paragraph: "The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created."
    That was sent to the City Council, so they can respond to it.

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  3. Public comments are open to anything you wish to talk about. However, the Council does not have to respond to anything that is not on the agenda.
    If you want them to respond, get it on the agenda.

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  4. Ann,

    I think the reason why you saw that message on the first page of the agenda, is because several months ago, we had a school board candidate use his 3 minutes of public comment to advertise his candidacy. The council would prefer that public comments be used for matters that require their attention. And since Procinctu is beyond the city's jurisdiction, the Mayor responded that way.

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  5. Anyone know where the approved Gallery Development is and who the developer is? Thanks..

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  6. Steve are they realy going to waste the 3 to 4 million to do the "oneway" realignment? How do we stop this...it's such a big waste of money!?

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  7. With all the shenanigans going on @ MSJC involving the Chief of Police Kevin Segawa, I am very shocked and dismayed at the lack of interest by the City Council. Here we have a public official who was appointed by Scott Mann to serve as the chair of the public safety committee for the City of Menifee and nary has a councilmember (or mayor) have a problem with the serious allegations of what appears to be a possible robbery of an illegal alien by the chief for ice cream; not to mention the alleged cover-up by the chief regarding "on - duty" sex on the campus by his second in command (a corporal).

    I know there are several Menifee residents who are as disappointed in the Menifee city government for not taking more interest in this.

    There have been several news articles on these allegations (My Valley News.com / PE). Not to mention a tort claim filed against the college. Ann Motte a Board Member for the college) has voiced her displeasure of the chief on her Blog as well. She has called for an independent investigation into the actions of the MSJC PD.

    Steve, why haven’t you (of all people) posted this info on your blog? You have always been a reliable source of info for the city.

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  8. Okay, we've lived here just five years; but in those few years we've heard NOTHING positive about the MSJC Police. Hearing them described as Barney-fifes or Peyton Place forces over there is a shame to the community. THEN to have one from there that is in a position to change the public image of their force and yet does NOTHING to change it..APPOINTED TO OUR NEW CITY management team?? SURELY there is ONE in the area that's qualified to do what he's risked with!! Is it because he's one of Mann's good-ole-boys or what? We don't need serious allegations carried over to our new city management!

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  9. OMG!!

    Now that the disgruntled ex-officers from MSJCPD have caused the "discussion forum" closed on Menifee Live.com,, they now are attempting to air their dirty laundry on this fine forum.

    I and many others support the MSJCPD and it's Chief.

    Leave your allegations to your predicted frivilious lawsuit and leave this forum alone!

    Thanks!

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  10. I was wondering who I would e-mail about getting a signal put on Newport road coming out of Rustler's Ranch. It is very dangerous trying to get out of there not to mention how long it takes to get out of there. Is there a signal being planned at all for Newport? Does anybody have any info?

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  11. Aren't the MSJCPD officers contracted through the Riv Co sheriffs?

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  12. Pat write Jeff Stone about the light.

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  13. To "OMG": Your all-too-familiar writing style is coming thru as body language - do I see you astride a great white horse riding as crowd control for the MSJC Police? WE did not earn their tarnished reputation - THEY did... and continue to do so. Its strange that their chief, if he was not part of the tarnish, would not want to clean it up. Yes, this is the right forum since its mentioned that Mann saw (un)fit to put him to work for the council. May want to review the article in www.myvalleynews.com/story.php?story_id=34207 instead of shooting at all the 'messengers'.

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  14. As far as signs being posted just about everywhere:
    I think that any sign that is a safety hazard should be removed.
    As for various advertising signs go, I feel they are helpful to the individuals that post them. However, the person posting the signs should receive written permission from either the property owner or city or both, prior to posting any signs.
    In addition, the signs should be maintained and cleaned up(removed) after a certain period of time.

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  15. Pat, contact the City Manager (George Wentz) about the light, not Jeff Stone. Jeff only deals with unincorporated areas.

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  16. Dear terminated fool:

    You cite the Valley News?! Give me a break! That paper is a joke and a total rag. It's purpose is gossip.

    The only joke bigger than the Valley News is you and the other two disgruntled cowards who continue to libel the Chief and the MSJCPD under the veil of anomynity; or so you think.

    Ever wonder why the forum at MenifeeLive.com is non-existent?

    Haven't figured it out yet?

    Obviously you are clueless. Good thing you were terminated.

    OMG

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  17. Dear Anonymous Poster of December 4th, 2008 @ 8:45 am -

    Your facts are inaccurate with your posted statement as follows... "Here we have a public official who was appointed by Scott Mann to serve as the chair of the public safety committee for the City of Menifee..."

    What public safety committee are you speaking of?

    Mayor Edgerton and I are currently the only members on the Public Safety Committee for the City of Menifee and we have yet to appoint anyone from the community to serve with us on the committee. We intend to explore those appointments in early 2009.

    I would be happy to speak with you and bring clarity to your inaccurate public statements. Please call City Hall at 672-6777 and leave a message for me with the City Clerk and I'll gladly call you back. You may also e-mail me at smann@cityofmenifee.us.

    In the meantime, I would appreciate it if you temper your comments and stick to the pertinent facts.

    Sincerely,

    Scott A. Mann
    Councilman, City of Menifee

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  18. Ok im already sick of hearing about the PD at the college (at least in this format of such hate). Every post is basically just an attack pointing fingers back and fourth and full of a lot of rage. If you have a problem with the PD please take it up with the STATE agency that employees them. They are NOT contracted through Riverside Sheriffs they are STATE Police.Call the state and quit ruining the blogs for Menifee. Plaese and Thank you in advance.
    OK On to my questions.....again before this post went sideways...
    Can anyone PLEASE tell me where the Gallery Development is located????

    Thanks.

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  19. Bill Zeidlik...........Every City has at least one at their council meetings.

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  20. Dear OMG(Kevin), look up libel in the dictionary. it will tell you that stating facts, no matter how damaging they may be, does not meet the criteria of "libel". libel is when you make inaccurate or false statments..

    these people are doing just fine with their comments.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/libel

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  21. MSJCPD ex-employee:

    If you are so confident that you have not libeled the Chief and the MSJCPD, put your name to your allegations.

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  22. I don't know where to post this, so I'll just post it here.

    Does anyone know what is going on with the Sagemore neighborhood on Scott & Menifee Rd's? They took the fencing off of the models, so I called the builder and they said a "new project" is coming and it will be "smaller homes". What does that mean? Apartments? OMG I'm freaking out. I'm right near the vacant area and we just bought here. I'm so worried I'm going to have Apartments in my backyard. The builder wouldn't say anything else.

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  23. Dear OMG (AKA Kevin), why dont you hold a press conference denying all the allegations made against you and call for a full and complete investigation from an outside source?

    This would show leadership, which we know you do not possess, and would assure citizens a thorough and complete investigation is being completed by an independent third party.

    Additionally, why not publicly respond to the claims made against you regarding your firing from the LAPD, your lack of any legitimate college education and the fact you never interviewed and did not meet the minimum standards for Police Chief at MSJC. If NONE of these are true then please SAY so and we can move on. The silence from you is causing more and more people to believe they are true.

    If I was being accused of ANY of the allegations against you I would be standing on the highest mountain proclaiming my innocence and DEMANDING someone independant investigate the allegations so I could prroudly proclaim my innocence!

    So here is what I am proposing and this seems very fair. Set up a press conference for anytime next week, publicly deny these allegations and request the Riverside County Sheriff to conduct a full and complete investigation. At that point I think all posts will cease and you can stop hiding from all the allegations.

    I can be emailed at sunny92584@gmail.com with the time and date of the press conference.

    I am anxiously waiting.

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  24. sunny92584: The above is so weak! Why don't YOU just make the allegations?

    Are you suggesting that you really are interersted in a stranger's allegations? If so, go buy a tabloid, or a recent copy of the Valley News, both are full of gossip.

    Seems to me that you are aware of defamation and the liability, as you have so slickly worded your bogus comments.

    On to you sunnyboy!

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  25. An innocent man wants nothing more than to have the truth be told.......So lets here the truth Kevin, we are all waiting.

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  26. Has anyone seen this new story that just came out today? Another, non police employee complaining about this Chief? You are a real tough guy Kevin Segawa picking on the Ice Cream Man and now a women with a disability. You are a piece of work.

    http://www.myvalleynews.com/story.php?story_id=34522

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  27. Are you suggesting that we support an embezzler who makes terrorist threats?

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  28. I am advocating having the truth come out. So lets hear it. That is all the people want is the truth. Once again, a real leader would be demanding he be proven innocent. Even if the accussations are baseless and false, a true leader would demand that his name be publicly cleared. If they are baseless and false this person would have NOTHING to fear. The lack of public denial speaks for itself. Oh and yes, you are a public servant Kevin so you do have to publicly answer these accussations. Besides that fact you should WANT to clear your name. So lets start that process and schedule the press conference. You can tell all of us in attendance how wrong we are and tell us all about the years and years you spent with LAPD, how you have a legitimate education and how you beat out several other qualified candidates in an open and competitve interview process for the Chiefs job.

    The last I heard its innocent until proven guilty and since there was no criminal case filed, according to the Riverside County Superior Court records, it would be inaccurate to call this women an embezzler. If the case was so strong against her why has no criminal case been filed? Hmmmmm....

    Atleast this women had enough belief in her story to publicly come forward and state her case! Unlike Kevin Segawa who will hide behind the supposed order form the district to not speak. What would be so wrong with stating your qualifications? Okay, dont comment on all the pending lawsuits and your police corporal having sex on duty and colluding with you to get people fired. Lets talk strictly about your qualifications.


    Still waiting for the press conference date......

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  29. Kevin must be hiding somewhere, his daddy, Dr. Jon Tyler, is out of state and cannot help him anymore.......

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  30. Hey Mr. 9:23pm,

    Are you smoking dope?

    You demand that the Chief "stand up" and challenge these allegations that have not been proven, yet you profess that the embezzler is innocent until proven guilty.

    Are you a hypocrite or just an idiot?

    I'm betting your both! Maybe that's why you are a disgruntled ex-employee.

    You're a joke.

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  31. At this point forward, plenty has been said about the MSJC Police and Kevin Segawa. I'll be deleting any further comments on this matter.

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  32. I kind of agree with John Denver about signs. Ugly and/or safety are a tough sell to me. I'm a part time realtor and I would hate to see the same intolerance as they have in temecula.

    I think temp signs not left overnight should be allowed.

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  33. about the signs also-including builder signs advertising for neighborhoods (like Christen Ranch condos) that are not even being built, political signs now that the voting is over and those horrid builder signs stuck in the dirt along Antelope-UGH! Our little area used to be so clean and nice. We need to get it straight before we side into stupidville. I love how they tagged MSJCs bifg sign already too-we need some harsh rules on tagging and parental responsiblity for fixing it-plus the tagger!

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  34. They've just announced last week...that they would start enforcing the existing signage ordinances effective Jan 2, 2009.
    According to a press release, which is also posted at the city website...

    "On January 2, 2009, the City of Menifee will begin immediate removal of illegal signs in
    the public rights of way, beginning with signs which could pose a threat to public safety."

    They are asking the public to remove the signs, prior to the start of enforcement, with a grace period of a month before citations and fines will be issued.

    "No signs will be allowed in the rights of way except
    for political signs placed within 90 days in advance of an election."

    I still think that there is valid reason for temporary signs, i.e. garage sales, open house, special events directional, as well as new business, temporary services, etc. I'm sure making an exception for "political signs" is the first of exemptions that will exclude 'friends of the city' from these signage ordinances.

    What about our 'movies in the park'; relay for life; race for humanity; chamber events? I see exemptions there..why not for some of our VERY WELCOME MENIFEE MERCHANTS and BUSINESSES?

    Don't get me wrong, we need some vision here..but let's not deem all but political signs unseemly. Our local merchants and businesses could use some compromise here.

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