Were You Informed When You Voted on Measure G?

The Californian published an editorial in last Sunday's newspaper regarding city council districts in Menifee, taking the position that...

The Californian published an editorial in last Sunday's newspaper regarding city council districts in Menifee, taking the position that the council would do well listen to the will of the people...
Yet that is precisely what the 3-month-young council is doing in asserting that the same voters who gave the go-ahead to creating a city and chose the first council did not understand what they were doing when they decided they wanted future councils elected by districts.
Now that our mayor has asserted his opinion that he doesn't believe we cast an informed vote, and that he wants us to prove it a second time, I just want to go on record and tell our Mayor that "I voted for districts, and I knew what I was doing!"

If you had cast a ballot last June on Measure G, the districting measure, whether you supported districts, or supported at large, I want to know if...
  1. You made an informed choice when casting your vote, or

  2. You didn't know what you're doing, and just picked whatever sounded good.
Click on "Post a Comment" below, and let's see if our Mayor is correct in his assertion...


City-Council-Districts 1547607612095649583

Post a Comment

  1. I knew exactly what I was doing when I voted. I think it's an insult for the mayor or anyone else to think we blindly voted for something we did not research. The council is wasting our time and money on this issue. The people have spoken!!

  2. I knew what I was voting for when I voted for Districts.

  3. I like the idea of voting again after the public sees the results of their ignorant vote in action.

    Maybe we should go to a semi-annual election for every president, senator, congressman, state and federal just them all honest? Those corrupt buffoons should have to face the public with their jobs on the line more than once every even-numbered year (2,4,6). I guess that's what they call impeachment, but it would be so much easier if it was automatic via short terms.

    We can call it the "short-term-correction-and-counter-stupidity" vote. Maybe that's too long. :) I'm just kidding anyway.

    I knew what I was voting for also, just for the record.

  4. I was aware of how I voted.

    But, I guess it doesn't matter much when the courts, or a city council, can make your opinion disappear.

  5. Jeff, you have a good point. Although, in today's microwave world where things happen so fast, and politicians create a legacy of wrong choices the public is grieved to endure until the next inauguration, perhaps we can enable a system that allows the impeachment of any government official or policy at any time, for any reason, by the gathering of a dissenting minority so long as they claim ignorance to the official or policy in question. Everything would be tied up in litigation indefinitely and our government would be able to do nothing except defend itself against suit.

    In all sincerity, the system as it is has served us (relatively) well thus far. The issue of districts v. at large is done and over. Merits and drawbacks exist for both sides of the argument. Leave it as is until the next regular election. Then, at that time attach a time clause to make it stick.

    I knew what I was voting for, and anyone who says I didn't can lick my shoe.

  6. I voted for districts and was quite aware of what I was doing. I voted this because I didn't want any one area, such as the the core area or even the family area to be more or less represented than any other area.

    I also voted for different people than those who won the election, so maybe we should vote for the city council members again just to make sure everyone made an informed vote. I am offended that those that were elected are questioning the will of the people who elected them.

  7. Enfranchisement is a very important issue. A vote on different types of district and at large needs to be throughly discussed. Let's have a civilize debate on what is best for the City of Menifee.

    Those that are trying to sway the City Council's decision through threats of recall of the City Council are trying to thwart the decision making process of the City Council.

    I value my vote and I really want to have the best system that will be fairest for myself and the greatest number of voters Let's explore all options.

    In responding to those that raise the issue of money to finance an election, I say that residents of the City of Menifee shouldn't be trapped by those that are penny wise and pound foolish who are pursuing their positions for districts.

    Those that are discouraging debate may be afraid that when light is shown on the pros and cons of districts versus At Large that possibly the At Large system may have more justification than Districts. If those that feel that Districts are more justified then the values of districts may become more apparent in further examination. What is the fear of a thorough debate?

    To shut off this debate will only encourage a political action by at least half of the community to have another consideration -- One way or another. Let's have the discussion now and be done with this issue.

  8. For the record, I was informed of the pros and cons of districts only because I researched the issue and compared other cities prior to voting.

    I voted at large and am willing to accept either one if it is the will of the people.

    However, I will say that each time I asked someone if they were voting for or against districts, they said they had no idea what that meant.

    I know that City Council is probably the last individuals you should ask the opinion of because dividing into districts will most likely out one or more council members when it is time for re-election.

    So what do you do? Perhaps the council should conduct a survey (either online or by mail) to determine, "What is the will of the people?" Then we should all suck it up and accept the results.

  9. 4Menifee:

    Scott Mann actually did conduct his own personal survey of about 60 residents throughout the city on what their preference is, either district, or at-large.

    This survey was done back in October, well after the cityhood vote, and after the district issue had been brought up several times. The idea behind the survey is that by that time, people had been exposed to more discussion on districts versus at-large.

    He presented the findings at a city council meeting, and while it was a meeting that I attended, I never got around to posting the recap here on 247.

    But here are his findings...

    60 people surveyed
    43 people responded
    34 supported at large
    6 supported by district
    3 supported from district

    60 people is hardly a representative sample, but the fact that an overwhelming number of respondents support at-large, suggests that a second vote could easily overturn Measure G.

  10. I knew what I was voting for, and I stand behind it. It is very insulting that our mayor would question the same people who elected him.

  11. I knew what I was voting for... perhaps the current city council all realize they live in the same neighborhoods and one or more of them would lose their seats in a DISTRCIT city.

  12. I knew what I was voting for...I support districts. I grew up in a city that was divided into districts, my parents and I liked it that way because our neightborhood had a voice.

    Menifee is such a diverse city (rural, tracts, "senior core", etc) that it only makes sense that the people of Menifee knew that by voting for districts that their neighborhood would still have a voice.

  13. FTR: I DID NOT REALIZE EXACTLY WHAT I WAS VOTING FOR! I voted for districts, but would now vote for at-large. For one who feels 'he' has never made a mistake to project that some voters are ignorant, unlearned, or careless is narrow-minded. Is it just because you're nervous that your vote may be overturned by newly-informed voters? To comfort your mind; I am college educated, a retired professional, and have the humility to know when I was wrong..AND secure enough to admit it. Jeff, your pompous attempt at 'kidding' is silly; grow up. How many 'new cityhood' events have you been a part of in your life...or have you not ever had to realize you made a mistake?? You must be one smart man! This is my first new-cityhood participation and I'm learning like lots of others just how critical my vote is on EVERY measure...I won't be 'uninformed' again; BUT please don't insinuate 'stupid'!

  14. I voted for DISTRICT...and I believed the majority of the people here in our great city voted the same....Please stop wasting our money and honor the will of the people and move on.

  15. I truly resent those who insult my inteligence by saying that I didn't know what I was doing when I voted for districts. Our new city is made up of diverse areas. I've lived in 2 of them -Sun City for over 20 years, and Romoland for the past year and a half. I truly feel that each area needs to have its own voice on the council. If not, then I'm concerned that the needs of some of the areas will be overlooked or even ignored in favor of the larger communities.
    Is it even legal for the council to hold another election just because they don't agree with election results, or because they don't "believe" that voters understood what they were doing when they voted?

  16. I voted for 'districts'.

    The only reason I would object to another vote would be if I thought I wouldn't get my way.

    If a new vote results in 'at-large', isn't that the people's voice?

    I think the folks that don't want another vote are those that feel threatened that 'districts' would not win.

    So your argument that the public has spoken is really no good when you are arguing against allowing the public to speak (yes, for a second time). Are you saying that nothing can ever be voted on again because it already had been?

    There could be an arguement that changing things after the first vote is a transparent attempt of council members trying to keep their posts. Maybe it is. But even so, council members only get to vote once just like the rest of us.

    I see no harm in voting again. 'District' supporters, like me, are simply afraid the results may be different. But the argument,in itself, holds no water.

    I think the reslts will turn out the same! People understand that 'Districts' are a safer bet because everyone will feel represented. 'At-large' could make us more vulnerable to a special interest group. Such a group may attempt to stack the council in their favor.

  17. While I voted for districts, I'll accept the will of the people if a second vote is made.

    However, if we're going to embrace this idea that revotes should be conducted on the basis that people have had more time to think things over, then shouldn't we also revote for city council candidates, now that voters have had a chance to see who they really are?

  18. I agree Steve, If I'm going to vote again I want to vote for new council members and the issue of "districts vs "at large".

  19. to Anonymous, at January 21, 2009 10:09 AM:

    bitter much?

  20. It sounds to me as if the coucil members realize that they won't be re-elected if they leave things as they are. The people have spoken, quit whining about it and accept the fact that you won't get to play politician any more.

    My main question though is if this is how they act for this issue are they going to react the same way for every issue that they don't like? i.e. We don't agree with the majority of the voters so we are just going to ignore the results or say that the voters were ignorant of the facts.

  21. I voted 'Yes' on Measure F, the question of Menifee incorporation, and now I realize I made a terrible mistake. Can we have a re-vote on Measure F too while we're at it for all of us who now want to go back to being unincorporated?

  22. Bottom line: whether or not voters were informed and voted responsibly, the vote has happened, and to call for a special vote for reasons of voter ignorance or whatever undermines our whole election system. Voter apathy, vote manipulation, vote fraud is a huge problem with our system, but diminishing the confidence of every vote isn't the way to fix the system.

  23. Why would you want to go back to being unincorporated?

  24. By the way, thank you to the city council members. I know that your intentions are good and you are working to make Menifee a great place.

    Try to ignore the bulk of the stuff you hear here. Not everyone in Menifee subscribes to personal agends theories or whatever it is they seem to complain about.

    Good luck and thanks for the hard work.

  25. To the person who posted at January 21, 2009 6:32 PM

    I'm a resident of Menifee and I do not have a personal agenda. I just want my vote and everyone else's to be heard.

    If your so proud of the council why don't you post your name.

  26. From the postings, one can discern that there are strong arguments for or against districts. Without too much debate or emphasis on the District system or At Large proposal during the June 3, 2008 campaign, the vote for Districts barely pass. Conversely the Yes on Cityhood wollop the No on Cityhood proposal. A good honest debate will either indicate that District system is the best way to proceed or At Large system has a better justification to be the way we elect council members.

    Because of the strong stances by residents, there will be a revote--one way or the other. Either the Council will place the measure on the ballot or a petition drive will ensue to have it place on the ballot within the next two years. Lets have the council put this measure on the ballot and be done with this concern as fast as possible.

  27. Steve, excellent point about voting again on other issues.

    If there is a need to place this on the ballot again, then it should be legal to also be allowed to vote again for council members. After all, many would probably vote for different council members now that we have seen them in action.

    We could make the same argument that we were not fully informed when voting for council as well.

  28. I agree with Steve's last post...If the council want a re-vote on the matter, we should have a re-vote too for the city council members...who knows maybe we were uneducated too when we voted for them...now we know better...bring it on.

  29. I voted for districts and made an informed decison. The Mayor and the rest of the City Council members have created this problem,by declaring there displeasure with the out come of the election and continually campaigning in public against elections by districts that was approved by the voters. Having been present at several of these engagements council members have presented fabricated information on the subject. What is wrong with these people who think we need to discuss this further. The vote is in, you lost now get on with the business of creating district. People who claim they did not understand what they were voting on should not be in the voting booth in the first place. What is with this crapp the by districts barely passed. It passed and that is all that counts and there is no reason for a debate on this issue. I personally think we need to re-vote the whole City Council members over as I was not truly informed on there position for our new city.

  30. I researched and understood the options. My vote for At Large was well-informed, but more votes were cast for “By District”. So be it.

    I believe that the council’s attempt to resurrect this issue now is a mistake. The council should get on with the challenges of organizing the city during these deteriorating economic conditions, not waste time and resources trying to overturn election results. A bad precedent will be set if the council chooses to takes actions to circumvent the will of the voters.

    I understand the problem district-based elections pose for sitting council members and why they are motivated for “At Large.” It may be impossible to draw rational districts in such a way that they can run for re-election without some being pitted against one another.

    The right way to handle this issue is to allow grass-roots politics to take its course. A petition drive could put it on the ballot if enough voters so choose.

  31. I made an informed choice when I voted for "at large" in June. Even though the vote did not go my way, I am appalled that the city council will not accept the results. Will they only accept the will of the people if it goes along with their agenda? If they re-vote on this then everything should be voted on again, including the city council members themselves!

  32. We have the right to vote on city council members in what are called elections. However, if we have districts, voters in the City of Menifee will only be able to vote on one council member. We will not have the opportunity to exercise our control of the other four council members. Quite a sacrifice to live under a city devided by districts.

  33. To January 22, 2009 8:01 PM:

    You have control over them now?

  34. I also knew what I was voting for when it came to districts versus at-large.

  35. Since the Menifee City Council wants to have another election to decide the district/at large issue, why not include the cityhood issue and candidates since we didn't know the issues when we were voted on June 3.

  36. Of Course we have control over the City Council now because we elected them at large. However, a voter will only have control of council member in his/her district. The other four council members will not members will not subject to his/her control Would an average voter really want to relinquish control or influence over four council members?

  37. To the Blogger on 1/23/09 at 11:04 am.,

    The Pro Cityhood vote was a walloping nearly 62% to 38% for the No-Cityhood This vote was won in a landslide and has a clear mandate from the residents of Menifee that includes areas identified as Sun City, Romoland and Quail Valley.

    To the victors goes the spoils. The City Council has the mandate to make the decisions on the behalf of the entire new city.

  38. I for one, am thankful the council has the mandate to make decisions...Lord help us if we were subjected to every mean, bossy spirit's decision that comes along. Some people can't wait to jump on here with critical, hateful opinions....even though its just that....just an 'opinion'... like the rest of us.

  39. We need to have representation for each district. If we vote at large and most(if not all) the council members live in one area, the rest of us will, in effect, have no representation at all. Each state of the United States has 2 senators to make sure that the people of each state have a voice. In this city each area needs to have a representative to make sure the people of each area have a voice.

  40. Steve,
    I voted for districts and was informed mostly because I had been reading this website. I think this is a good point you are trying to make but most of the people who comment on this site probably looked at the site during the election and were informed. This is not a good place to get an accurate sample of what people were thinking when they voted.

  41. To the above anonymous commenter...

    Isn't that a bit of an oxymoron? That is, if the council argues that most people didn't understand what they were voting on, how are they to educate those people if those people don't take the time learn?

  42. Informed, No. I just take a couple of shots of brown liquor and fill in the dots. YeeHaw!

  43. As many of us know, the City of Menifee is not a state or a county. It is simply a jurisdiction of approximately 45 square miles. If Menifee were the size of Los Angeles with over a million residents, then districts could be logical. However, the district concept for a much smaller city such as the City of Menifee may end up creating a non representative form of government when the other four council members could vote on measures and policies that will affect a particular district but the residents of that district will not have any recourse to control the actions of the four other council members. Therefore residents would forfeit the representation of the other 4 council members. Many residents want all five council members representing all areas of the city.




  45. A small but determined group can easily target and vote out any one in a city election. The actual number of voters is always small. I have been pleased with most of the work of this council but would really enjoy watching a good get out the vote effort vs a couple of arrogant politicos. There's really no need for recalls. In the end it will all work out, just not the way they expect.
    Rich Gardner

  46. The only way to solve this is to attend the next Council meeting and stand up and tell them how you feel on a re-vote. Let your voice be heard. The Council will not take what is written on a blog as serious because they do not know who is speaking.

  47. This is regarding Districts. To let you know, I know what district means. I read and write in English, also, receive a newspaper, etc. If I don't know enough about a candidate I don't vote. If I don't know enough about a bill,etc. being presented, I don't vote. And I definitly knew what the district issue was so I voted like Steve. I wanted districts!
    It sounds like a power play to get your way, and I certainly know thAT Ashley wantS Darci K. in office.Since she works for Ashley, she can influence the others to his way of thinking. I see that as a definite "conflict of interest." Ashley has puppets all over the county that influence how a district votes. The arms of the octopus reach far and wide.
    Now that you all have the power, it sounds like you're going to use it again. It's a two-year old pout tactic that works for children and politics. ### I do not want our money to go into a possible fixed and tainted election. thank you very much. These are tough times for some and you should be building a shelter for the homeless - think of others - and the others out there who are mentally ill. Perhaps even think of the veterans, who are living on the streets. ### Think of others instead of your own rise in the world of politics through selfish means.
    Recall sounds good to me, also.
    I WANT DISTRICTS. and the power play you're showing is WHY I WANT DISTRICTS.

  48. To Blogger on 1/24/09 at 1:20 p.m.,

    I WANT AT LARGE for the same reasons that you tried to justified for wanting districts. In addition, I feel a great lost of enfranchisement by not being able to vote on four council members and having these four members accountable to me and other voters.

  49. To January 24, 2009 5:47 PM:

    The difference is at-large lost.

  50. To the Blogger on 1/24/09 at 5:47:

    The District measure barely won by 227 votes out of approximately 10,330 votes casts. it was not a mandate and it barely passed when most of the emphases in the June 3,2008 Election were centered on the cityhood measure and the city council member election.

    Would the District measure stand up to the scrutiny of a debate in a campaign? Are the District supporters afraid that the District proposal would lose and be given the boot? It appears that the District supporters are trying very hard to shut off debate and pressure the City Council not to have any more discussion on this issue in face of threaten recall.

    Lets have that debate and if District measure is a great idea then it will stand up to scrunity and more consensus will evolve that it is a best system for the City of Menifee and conversely the District ideas could be determined not to be the answer and At Large is the best system for the City of Menifee into the immediate future. The City of Menifee voters, including those residents living in Sun City, Menifee, Romoland and Quail Valley, deserve a revote and be informed to whether At Large is better or Districts are better.

  51. In Steve's noble effort to frame the debate on the topic his passion and blog title actually MAKE THE POINT for a re-vote.

    "Were You Informed When You Voted on Measure G? by Steve
    1/20/2009 03:31:00 PM"

    The answer to this question is a resounding YES...the voters who actually voted for Measure G - the district v. at-large ballot question - did educate themselves and made a vote based upon that learned knowledge.

    There was also a "revolt vote" by the 'no' on cityhood crowd who have stated that the only reason they voted for districts is because they voted 'no' on cityhood....hence, another fantastic argument to take it back to the voters. Therefore, their 'no' on districts have skewed the result.

    However, what about the 1,231 voters who cast a vote for cityhood but did not cast a vote for district or at-large? Ladies and Gentlemen... this is the question and this is the argument and this is the compelling reason to take it back to the voters.

    The margin of victory for districts was 227 votes. With 1,231 'wasted votes', in other words they weren't cast. Would that 227 vote margin have held up to scrutiny? We don't know and I for one want to find out.

    All the "no" on cityhood folk and all the "yes" on districts folk (note they are one in the same crowd)... do not want this question to be taken back to the voting public because they know it will not come out for districts.

    What if district representation passes again? That is absolutely fantastic! Then the will of the people would have been validated and the ballot would not have been skewed like it was in June 2008. The truth of the matter is... people were indeed confused (NOT STUPID).... at least 1,231 voters were indeed confused as evidenced by them NOT VOTING ON THE ISSUE.

    It is quite obvious that the readers of this blog know what they voted for. Perhaps then, all this blab on this blog is blogger blabber!

    Ultimately, the council will likely take the issue back to the voters merely to validate. It is too important for them not to. The money issue is not a valid argument. The city will spend more money on consultants to help carve out the city in districts than it will to put the measure back on the ballot.

    If districts are upheld, they must draw district boundaries based upon the 2000 U.S. Census and then re-draw the darn things again based upon the 2010 U.S. Census. So, if districts are upheld, they'll be redrawing district maps twice in a two-year period thereby spending even more money.

    If districts are upheld, then the council has plenty of time to draw up the districts in time for the first election in November 2010 based upon the 2000 U.S. Census. District maps must be drawn up by May 2010 in order for candidates to file papers to run in June 2010.

    So, for all of you 'we must draw the maps now' crowd...relax... there is time to validate the will of the voter and time to draw the district maps if districts are upheld with another vote.

    --- Silence Dogood

  52. To the blogger on 1/24/09 at 5:47 PM (and others that are afraid of not being able to vote for more than one council member):

    Take the time to read the article Steve wrote last October about our options regarding district voting. You can find the article here.

    In a nutshell, we still have two options regarding how we vote on council members in future elections: BY district and FROM district. If the decision is made to elect council members FROM district, then you will not lose your enfranchisement, you will have the ability to vote for one board member from each district.

    To everybody else:

    What if the mayor is right in right in his presumption that the public did not make an an informed decision when they voted? Did he stop to think before he made his comments? What if the people that voted for “At large” are the ones that didn’t make an informed decision? How many people voted for “At large” simply because “At large” is self explanatory, straight forward and easy to understand? How many people abstained from voting because they don’t know how districts work, but don’t want to see a city run by 5 people that live in the same neighborhood? (And for the record, our current council members do NOT all live in the same neighborhood.)

    I’m not trying to turn things around and insinuate that everybody who voted for “At large” did so becaue they didn’t understand districting and I’m not trying to say that everybody who abstained from voting did so for the same reason. I’m merely trying to make a point. If you’re going to be presumptuous and make a bold statement like, "I guarantee you people didn't understand their choice on that ballot", as Edgerton did, you better do your homework.

    Instead of spending money to send out questionnaires to the city, and instead of forming a “Blue Ribbon Panel” to investigate whether or not future elections should be sent back to the voters, the council should start looking into forming the districts and possibly giving the voters the option of voting for “BY district” or “FROM district”.

    Oh, and by the way Mayor Edgerton, I chose to vote for districts and I understood my choice when I cast my ballot.

  53. To January 25, 2009 11:11 AM:

    What if a new vote does take place and the number of votes for districts exceeds the votes for at-large by only 50 votes this time? Do we then vote again?

  54. I knew exactly what I was voting for - that also goes for the council I researched each one before I voted.
    I guess if the majority of voters are not aware of what they were voting for - THEN maybe the wrong city council was elected also!

  55. To: "Anonymous on January 26, 2009 at 9:13 am"

    The answer to both of your question below is a RESOUNDING 'NO'. If after a special election the vote remains for Districts, then Districts it is and the council will have to draw up the maps and move on.

    "What if a new vote does take place and the number of votes for districts exceeds the votes for at-large by only 50 votes this time? Do we then vote again?"

    Answers: No and No.

  56. Why is the next vote final and not the previous vote?


  58. To the Blogger on 1/26/09 at 2:14 p.m.,

    Please read thoroughly the omments of Silence Dogood on 1/26/09 at 3:31 p.m. This individual comments hit the nail on the head and I agree with him. Furthermore, if I have to vote for only one council member and have no control over the remaining four council member, then my enfranchisement is being trifled.

    As for council members from districts, I do not believe that the ballot measure made any references to this manner of electing council members The establishment of a Blue Ribbon commission, if established, will delve into determining whether the ballot members for districts that was approved by the voters of the City of Menifee would permit council members from districts. I really do not believe so.

    The vocal supporters of districts appearing at Coucnil meetings are the same ones that spearheaded the "No Cityhood" efforts and they were on the losing end by nearly 62% to 38% margin.

    Now, they are threatening the City Council with recall if they establish a Blue Ribbon Commission or put the issue of Districts versus At Large on the ballot