Menifee City Council Meeting - March 3, 2009

The city council met yesterday. Scott Mann was not present. Here's a recap... Words of Inspiration Pastor Jim Amador from Heritage ...

The city council met yesterday. Scott Mann was not present. Here's a recap...

Words of Inspiration

Pastor Jim Amador from Heritage Christian Church gave some words of inspiration.

New Hires

City Manager George Wentz introduced Julie Woodruff as the new Executive Assistant, and Mike Butler from Winzler & Kelly's San Francisco office to help for 5-6 months with engineering stuff. Winzler & Kelly, if you remember, is the company the city hired to provide a city manager and all related staff.

Riverside County Regional Detention Center

County Supervisor Jeff Stone gave a presentation on a new detention center proposed along the I-10 freeway in Whitewater. He was on hand trying to earn the support of cities throughout the county. Menifee was the last city on his tour.

riverside county supervisor jeff stone
He gave out statistics illustrating a situation where county detention facilities are so overcrowded that the Sheriff is having to release convicts well before their sentences have been completed to make room for new convicts. In 2007, they released 6,000 convicts early, and in 2009 they expect to release 9,000 early.

The proposed facility will be large enough to house 7,200 detainees, which is double the capacity of the county's current inventory.

He said the new facility will be paid for with cash on hand that they've been saving for, and no financing will be needed. It'll create 1,500 jobs.

John Denver asked what Mary Bono-Mack thinks about this new detention facility, considering it's located just outside of her hometown. Stone said that she's not happy. He explained that they offered to put the facility elsewhere if she would offer up some BLM land to the county, but she never responded.

The Powerpoint presentation that Stone brought went on to show that they considered four other locations, including Mead Valley, Gilman Springs, San Timoteo, and West Badlands.

Fred Twyman asked how long it would take for the surrounding trees to grow up to a tall enough height to hide the new facility from view. Stone said about two years. They'll be planting mature trees, and not saplings.

Chuck Reutter stepped up during the public comment period, and asked Stone what he and the public could do to help fast track this new facility. Stone summarized his efforts to win support from all city councils.

The city council finished by adopting a resolution to support the new facility.

You can learn more this facility on the county's website:

Public Comments

Chuck Reutter, started off noting that Proposition 8 passed, yet elected officials are trying to get it thwarted through the courts. Then he related that to Menifee voters passing Measure G (districts), and the city council opting to study options through a Blue Ribbon Panel rather than honoring the outcome of the election. He went on to say that our country was founded on taking a stand to oppose government.

Ann Weston, began by acknowledging Chuck Reutter, and that she knew what she voted for (in reference to districting). She went on to describe Procinctu, the private military training facility located just outside of the city limits, but perhaps one day within the city's sphere of influence. She noted that there was no environmental impact report, no citizens oversight committee, and that it was fast tracked at the urging of Supervisor Ashley. She described some kind of license for 27 years, sniper training, and an firing range.

City Manager Wentz responded that Procinctu is outside of the city's sphere of influence.

Bill Zeidlik, asked the council if they've ever taken a look at the inventory of TUMF fees available, what they are for. He brought up issues of taking a population of the city. He noted that we're way behind on getting a Planning Commission, and wants a Planning Advisory Group. He also asked if the city knows what's going on with Bundy Canyon. There were other things he tried to cram into his 3 minutes, I just couldn't write them all down, or understand what he was saying.

Blue Ribbon Committee

Darcy Kuenzi announced they had assembled the Blue Ribbon Committee. They fielded 30 applications in all. From that field, they looked at where people lived, and also tried to create a gender balance.

The Committee comprises of Betti Cadmus, Daniel Taylor, Bill Beeman, Todd Reed, Lois MacGregor, Bekki Kroenke, Dawn Prather, Matthew Liesmeyer, and Thomas Giedroyce.

Greg August had originally applied, and was selected, but rescinded his membership, and Thomas Giedroyce was named in his place. There are also two other alternates, Ernest Rondeau, and Louis Mazei.

Greg August, was allowed to issue a public comment, offering congratulations to Scott Mann for being appointed as Mary Bono-Mack's California Republican Party Delegate, and noting that Mann declared districting would set up "taxation without representation", yet illustrated the Blue Ribbon Committee as thwarting the will of the people, and wasting money on an already decided issue.

Anne Pica, spoke as the president of the newly formed "Citizens for Fair Representation", saying that they collected 773 signatures and addresses in the last two weeks for a petition to dissolve the committee. She read the petition, which stated the formation of the Blue Ribbon Commmittee "violates our federal constitutional and statutory rights", referring to the delay of Measure G's implementation. The petition also noted that the council is ready to spend $20,000 on the Blue Ribbon Committee, and up to $45,000 on a special election, and that this is an improper expenditure of public funds for what she described as "the disenfranchisement of 3,345 voters" who voted for districts.

Bill Zeidlik, mentioned he's talked to some college students on how many people actually live in Menifee, and has seen numbers suggesting 62,000 to as much as 80,000. He also noted there was a 1% margin of difference in between districts and at-large. Then he asked the council if the Blue Ribbon Committee knows what they are instructed to do. Darcy Kuenzi answered that their instructions were printed on the application.

Sherman Road Accessory Structure

This matter concerns a homeowner who owns an acre of land and wants to build a couple of outbuildings, one of which is very huge, 8,000 square feet of storage space in a metal building, with four roll-up garage doors. The other a small 512 square foot building containing a toilet.

The city's planner noted some problems with the initial plan, which had called for a height of 24 feet, but got the applicant to accept a lower 20 foot height. And because it was a metal building, got the applicant to paint the walls to match the homes in the area. However, one bone of contention was that the building could only be used for residential uses, meaning, it had to support purposes that would coincide with what a typical homeowner would use it for. In other words, no commercial or industrial stuff.

The applicant took the stand and said when they bought this land, they forsaw a need in the future for a massive structure as this to store equipment, or perhaps vehicles, or even a nursery, so as to consolidate costs. What I got out of the discussion is that this particular piece still remains an unresolved issue, or perhaps I didn't hear what the resolution was.

However, Leroy Parsons, who lives next door to this property appeared and spoke in opposition to this project. He said the applicant's property already has water drainage problems, and is frequently having to pump water off of their property after rainfall. He said the construction of this building will likely divert water on to his property.

John Denver asked Carmen Cave, the city planner, if this building would create water drainage problems. She responded that the County Flood Control department approved this project, though not specifically addressing water runoff onto Leroy's property. John Denver tried to be more specific, asking Carmen if she can tell him specifically that this new structure would not create a water drainage problem. She couldn't answer.

And from that Denver began a discussion that the city pays a lot of money for its city staffing to figure this stuff out. The council also made the point that plans involving outbuildings and accessory structures really don't need to involve the council, except in cases where unresolved issues arise.

The council didn't approve this project, instead they directed the city planner resolve this, and issue approval/disapproval.

Fred Twyman asked Carmen Cave about public notices, in the context of this particular project, and which neighbors are notified that a public hearing is taking place. She said that they typically take a 300 foot radius from the property in question and notify neighbors in that radius. Twyman asked what happens when the property in question is 300 feet long or wide, does anyone get notified then? She said they typically extend that to 600 feet.

Prohibition of Fireworks

The city adopted a ordinance banning all fireworks in the city, except for those where the city grants a permit.

Ben Adams was allowed to make a public comment asking the council to provide for adequate enforcement, illustrating a case in Alaska, where he previously lived, that a house caught fire after a bottle rocket was launched.

This is not a new law, previously Menifee was under a similar county ordinance. The city's definition of illegal fireworks includes sparklers and firecrackers.

Ordinances for Consideration for Adoption

This is about what more laws do the council members want. City Attorney Elizabeth Martyn read off a laundry list of ordinances that other cities tend to adopt, and entertained recommendations from council members on what they felt were more urgent.

Ideas for recommended ordinances, and more urgent ordinances, include off-roading laws, tobacco sales, sludge, graffiti, smoking, roadside vending, day laborers, business licensing, and golf carts.

Regarding smoking, there's concern about smoking outdoors in parks and playgrounds and other city owned property.

Regarding day laborers they felt a good way to enforce that is to prosecute it as people trespassing on private property to seek employment, or seeking employment on public property without permits.

Regarding roadside vending they want to find a way to bust people selling cars, and people selling flowers, but not bust the people selling strawberries or lemonade.

Media Relations

The City Manager presented the council members with draft policies and/or ordinances on how city officials and staff interact with members of the media. It would eventually graduate into some kind of policy or ordinance down the road.

Public Safety Committee Report

John Denver, who along with Scott Mann, comprise the Public Safety Committee, and Denver gave a report on how things are going.

He said that because Menifee's population is increasing, the city needs more cops. He cited a figure of $323,123 in additional funds needed to boost police services, along with an additional $29,162 in traffic patrols.

For the next contract with the Sheriff, they would like to add ATV patrols, and get a gang taskforce. They'd also like to put more police vehicles on the road, but can't decide on getting more cars, or getting some motorcycles.

He also talked about homeless people in the context of public safety. He talked about homeless people hanging around the Vons in Sun City and presenting some kind of physical threat. He didn't give out any specifics, but noted that he and Mann are looking at "alternatives".

Fred Tywman asked Denver about the population increases requiring more cops, and wondered what data did he and Mann use to figure this out. Denver deferred to City Manager Wentz, who named off the State Board of Equalization (sales taxes), along with the Registrar of Voters.

Fred then mentioned that the lines drawn for voters precincts should be considered for drawing district lines, since districts are going to have to coincide with all that stuff.


City-Council-Districts 7269734705310593816

Post a Comment

  1. I think Chuck Reutter should worry less about Prop 8 and more about cleaning up your filthy city. I've never seen so much tagging.

  2. Its not Chuck Rutters job to clean up Menifee City. Its the job of the City Council to see about cleaning up our filthy City as you put it. But they are too busy with this silly blue ribbon committee to address the real problems.

  3. People with drug offenses should not be imprisioned. They are wasting precious space. Drug addiction should be treated by doctors- not prison. If the county cuts back on education- we will surely need more prison space. Illiteracy leads to imprisonment.

    In addition- we might as well revote for the city name while we are considering district or at large. Menifee vs. Menifee Valley was just as close of a race.

  4. What are you taking about, drug offenses should not be imprisoned? Is it not illegal and does an individual make a choice? They sure do. If you make an illegal choice and then become addicted, oh well. With that mentality we should label all habitual sex offenders and other violent criminals as victims and treat them medically too. Then our prison system would empty out and our medical system would shoulder the burden. Wow just imagine not getting into an ER, urgent care or other medical appointment. Wait it is hard enough now.

    I know it is your opinion and we are all entitled, but be real.

  5. Placing a person in jail for possession of Marijuana or speed does no one good. 400,000 people die each year from cigarettes and alcohol. Less than 10,000 from illegal drugs. You recommend we place illegal drug users in jail? the real burden on healthcare is the cost associated with legal drugs.

    Also- day laborers should not be targeted but the people who hire them should. If there is no demand for their services, they would not stand there looking to make a living. If a day laborer is not trying to earn an honest living, they are more likely to be breaking into a home committing a crime.

    Lastly, from what I heard if we keep Menifee by district, 3 of the council members wont be elgible for re-election as they all live in the same district. For this reason, they are pushing for Menifee at large..

  6. First let me say that I am a 44 year old male who has never used an illegal drug, smoked a cigarette and does not drink. So yes my views might be different.

    I have first hand in my career path dealt daily with drug users, alcoholics and yes criminals. I cannot tell you the number of times that I have dealt with cocaine, heroin and other recreational drug users that either have died or seriously killed off organs. And yes sometimes other not even knowing what they are doing. In some cases maybe they used a "legal" or prescription drug. Either way legal or illegal they made a choice.

    If you want to debate whether marijuana or speed are ok to society, let's take it somewhere else other than a city council meeting blog. You can email me at

  7. Imprisoning people for smoking pot is a waste of money and ruins families. Alcohol is far more destructive, yet is legal. Strange is it not? While ill admit, smoking pot might not work for every one, that does not mean everyone should be banned from using it. Supposedly, this is a free country, however we are banned by law, forbidden the right - to enjoy some pot when we feel like it in our own homes. I think that people should be able to do as they please as long as it does not harm fellow citizens. Smoke cigs if ya please, drink a beer if you like, smoke a hooter if it floats your boat - just be a good person and responsible citizen. If your smoking and blowing smoke in kids faces - stop. If your so stoned that your driving 30 MPH on the 215 and think your driving 80 - you should be busted, thats dumb - just as driving in both lanes while drunk would earn you a trip to the drunk tank and a date with the judge.

    Dont drink and drive, smoke smart and be a good person.

  8. This is for lack of a better word "STUPID". Focus on the concil and not you opinions on topics not related to the issue...

  9. Did Mr. Ruetter really compare the battle over Prop 8 to Measure G. How stupid.

  10. To Anonymous March 5,2009 9:31am.
    What is so stupid in Chuck Rutters compairing prop. 8 & measure G? Both were approved by the voters and now prop.8 is before the courts and on measure G council person Darcy Kuenzi is trying to undermine or overturn the vote of the taxpayers by setting up this committee for that purpose. Wake up and see the light on what is going on in your newly formed City before its to late. How many City Council meetings have you attended to see how they rubber stamp everything that comes across their desks???????????????

  11. Simply put, if you didn't like what the council is doing you should have run for it yourself. Quit being part of the problem and start being part of the solution.

    Get on board and be heard the right way. Stop going to meetings and being a crybaby...nobody likes to hear it...especially the foul mouth Hispanic woman who was sitting with Ann Pica the other night...SERIOUSLY, if you have something to say, fill out a damn slip and say to their face....otherwise quit being disrespectful to everyone else who has the nerve to step up.

  12. to anonymous March 5, 2003,11:15 AM the only cry baby is you. Everytime someone disagrees with the City Council and stands up for their rights you come up with the same old stupid line, Stop being part of the problem. The only problem here is people like you who stand back and let a city council stomp all over the rights of its citizens. So stop being so childish and get used to people standing up to the plate and voicing there opinion. And to set the record right the Hispani woman who sat beside Anne Pica never opened her mouth or used foul language. It just shows how you discriminate against and make up stories about people of a different race. What a cry baby BBBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

  13. The good thing is that Marijuana will soon be legalized now that we have Obama in office. If anyone has followed it lately he has barred the DEA from conducting any further raids on Medicinal Marijuana clinics. This is the first step in legalizing it.

  14. I agree with the blogger that posted on 3/5/09 at 11:15 a.m. He was able to succinctly put the feeling of myself and many others about the actions of the Negative Ladies and the Hispanic Lady. Although the Hispanic Lady didn't open her mouth at the meeting, she has been very aggresive and hostile at other meetings. All City of Menifee residents attending the meeting should conduct themselves in a respectful manner. Everyone is getting tired of threats of causing trouble from them.

  15. To Anonmous March 6, 2009, 6:58 AM It appears that you are wrong in your statement that you and many other Menifee residence are tired of hearing the ladies get up and speak at the council meetings. 773 of your fellow residence asked the lady who represents C.F.F.R. to speak on there behalf in objecting to the actions of the city council. Now I only see you and one other person objecting to the ladies who speak at city council meetings and that is on this blog not in the public forum. Strange I did not hear you mention your tired of hearing the men that get up and speak against the city council actions? Why not? I think 773 people out weight 2 cry babies who don't like strong women who stand up for what they believe. Just because other people don't believe the same as you does not mean that they are negative or should stop attending the meetings. Talk about cry babies if you don't like your fellow residence getting up and speaking out then you should not attend the meetings if it bothers you so much. Thats why its a public meeting so the public has a chance to speak to its city council. So grow up and stop acting like spoiled children and learn there are many people who do not agree with you.

  16. To the blogger on 3/6/09 at 8:47 a.m., have you read the letter to the editor entitled Transparency for some, but not all. You should! It dicusses Ann Pica's comments in the The California article "Watchdog group forms in new city," March 3.

    Sosme of the following points the writer point out were:

    1. Citizens for Fair Representation has close meetings.

    2. There are 100 members but only three can speak for the group

    3. It sounds to the writer, Travis Montgomery, that it is a committee of three.

    It sound to me that most of the signers of the petition are part of Ann Pica's political base.

    The other 75,000 residents have not mobilize or wish to do so until the Blue Ribbon Committee research information on the pros and cons of District versus At Large. To take City Council actions or their designated committees to the streets is not productive and it is disruptive. It is safe to say that most residents want to obtain information in a fair and controlled manner.

    Remember the ones who are highly critical of the City Council and the Blue Ribbon Committee are primarily the same ones who spearheaded the No Cityhood vote and lost by a landslide of nearly 62% to 38%. It is safe to assume that if a vote were to be conducted after a thorough discussion on Districts versus At Large that Districts would be voted down except for the two senior dominated voting precincts in the Senior Core.

    To negative ladies, grumpy old men and their "wannabe," younger "hangerons," get a grip and be part of the solutions instead sitting on the sidelines. Carping at the City Council and those associated with the City of Menifee is turning off people. Will these individuals participate in the many city committees. These committees will be transparent and everyone can participate.