City of Menifee Announces Local Stimulus Package

The City of Menifee has developed a "stimulus package" to help spur the development of new homes, and to provide financial incenti...

The City of Menifee has developed a "stimulus package" to help spur the development of new homes, and to provide financial incentives to get families to buy or lease into Menifee.

Here's the press release...

Menifee's City Council has decided to bring a stimulus package to the local level by directing City Staff to present recommendations for the City's own stimulus plan at the May 20th Council meeting.

The Plan: Menifee's City Manager, George Wentz created a dynamic Strike Force Team consisting of developers and builders in order to identify the most meaningful elements having positive impact on the housing industry. The areas that were specifically addressed as part of the plan include: Plan Processing, Cash Flow and Fees.

"Menifee's Stimulus Plan has both a supply side and demand side component. It improves cash flow for the builder and sets a fee structure to help them earn a profit and it gives the homeowner an incentive to not only buy the home but to buy a new refrigerator or a washer and dryer or even a ceiling fan or two in Menifee stores. In this regard, it also returns sales tax dollars to the City Treasury. So, our stimulus plan has something for the seller, the buyer, the City of Menifee and it puts local sub-contractors back to work in Menifee neighborhoods. No other city is getting this creative in stimulating their local marketplace." - Councilmember Scott Mann
One of the initiatives noted in the plan includes timely handling of application and turnaround time on projects which has been a "sore spot" for developers. Also included is a temporary reduction of 20% in hourly rates and a 50% reduction of fees which would lower the current rates from those charged by the County of Riverside.

The City is also developing and implementing a Marketing/Advertising Plan; Retailer Workshop and "Menifee Money" program that will provide a retail benefit to home buyers or those who lease a minimum square footage for a given period of time. The program would include: A gift card to be used in Menifee along with a coupon to be used in Menifee that is the equivalent of 50% of the first year's property tax, as calculated by the City. Staff will continue to work with the development and retail community to develop the mechanism to fund and provide the cash flow needed for the programs.

In addition to this incentive, on May 11, 2009, John E. Husing released a recent study titled: "Economic Impact of Residential Construction Decline & Potential Impact of Fee Reductions Riverside County". In the study, it noted, that according to MetroStudy, a Riverside based company that tracks the status of new home markets throughout Southern California, "there was a 3.8 month supply of new homes in Riverside County in March 2009. That was the lowest level in Southern California".

This is great news for our community.

"Menifee is encouraging the community to take full advantage of the unique opportunities that this stimulus plan has to offer. It allows us to do our part to enhance the economy while helping our community get through these tough times." – City Manager, George Wentz
As the program moves forward, additional information will be available on the City's website: www.cityofmenifee.us

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  1. This is all fine and dandy. However, what is the city of Menifee going to do for financial support when we lose all of the revenue from property taxes? If you haven't heard by now, the governor is going to redirect property tax income from the various counties and cities back to Sacramento. This means a huge loss of income to our city.

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  2. What about all the "used" homes that are unsold?

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  3. So the owners of homes purchased responsibly in the past are going to continue paying the larger property tax (even with new tax appeals) and Mello Roos for our infrastructure. Remember the school tax bond for a new school, and improvements? We kept adding to our annual tax and so far keep getting less.Lucky we're a new City without old debts to contend with....So far.

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  4. I would rather the builders not build anymore new homes so that the values of current homes could have a chance to reclaim part of their old value. But, governments are not interested in the welfare of the people they represent, they have to be shown the money!

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  5. how can we keep bulding homes if the EMWD keeps telling me that we are in an emergency water shortage?

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  6. What about the people who already have homes?? Do we get a break?? I say no more home building until all all the homes here are bought.

    We need business construction not home construction.

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  7. Menifee GrandmaMay 21, 2009 11:12 AM

    I wonder why there were no current homeowners on the "Srike Force", only builders and developers.

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  8. Councilmember Scott Mann, City Manager, George Wentz

    I feel the need to thank you for sticking in there and doing what you think is best for our city. To push forward with an idea that you know is going to meat with opposition is very courageous and bold. I would like to ask you just one question if I may. Please gentlemen can you pull your heads out of your butt long enough to see that if you continue to build more homes then the homes that are vacant and unsightly will remain vacant and unsightly. I beg you get the developers and the builders out of your pockets just once and put the people of this city first.

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  9. Are these guys serious? More homes when we have hundreds sitting empty? What about the water problem? I am really questioning our councilmen, esp. Mann. I think it is time for recall collection and let us start over with people that think about us instead of their own pockets.

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  10. Why more homes? Why not a movie theater?

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  11. The city is playing up to the builders $$$!! They do not care about the people of Menifee and our concerns. It's all about about them.

    More homes is not the answer. Some Menifee neighborhoods look horrible, grass dying, homes trashed and tons of for sale signs.

    Lets fix up the homes and sale the ones we have. Then we can move forward to other things.

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  12. Such a sad state of affairs. In the past if you didn't like the way things were being run or if your neighborhood was going down hill you could up and move. Now it virtually impossible unless you've got lots of cash. I bought my house 5 years ago for 379,000 put 125,000 down, thought I was in great shape. Last week a home just like mine sold for 172,000 OMG. We don't need anymore homes. We need lots more retail/restaurants to entice more people to Menifee.

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  13. I agree with the above poster, it is sad! I bought my home 4 1/2 years ago for $515,000 and now my same model down the street sold for $202,000.

    So where is the relief for the home owners who are staying and paying for there home even though our homes have lost there value?

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  14. How about an incentive to buy a foreclosed home!!

    Get the inventory of empty homes to zero before even thinking of building more.

    Seriously, is this City Counsel smoking dope?

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  15. Dear Readers,

    Dealing with foreclosures is the next phase of the city's stimulus plan. Stay tuned for details as private entities are being socialized to work with the city on this and we're still working things out. Other cities are doing this and we're just getting started. We recognize the foreclosed property issue.

    The council approved an emergency ordinance last night that requires the registration of foreclosed properties at city hall. Having a foreclosed registry will enable the city to conduct better code enforcement. Also, with the inventory documented, the city can enter into double-escrow deals with private companies to recondition the properties and get them back on the market. Getting these formerly foreclosed properties 'flipped' puts property tax $$$$ back to the city. Those properties certainly are not producing property taxes sitting vacant!

    The city is also exploring a 'down payment incentive' as part of Phase II of the stimulus plan geared toward 'first time homebuyers' and not investors. The FHA defines a first time homebuyer as someone who has not owned a home within the last three years. (Realtors weigh-in if I'm wrong here.)

    With respect to comments about being upside down in your homes bought recently (within the last 3 years), there are programs out there for you to refinance your mortgages to help out your own individual cash flow. It adds interest in the long run but, right now what you need is improved cash flow. So, refinance and wait for recovery if you can.

    The city cannot do anything about your home value going from $500K to $202K... those are market conditions. The stimulus package is designed to get things moving again. Now that inventory has been reduced, demand, in theory, will begin to increase, thereby causing your existing home values to go back up. There is not enough supply to meet demand in Riverside County and in Menifee specifically.

    E-mail me if you have more questions: smann@cityofmenifee.us or call the City Manager at 672-6777.

    Councilman Scott Mann

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  16. We don't need new housing. There's about 15 empty house's with In a two block radius of my house. My area Is only 7 years old. The people who do move In, half renters, are trash and have no respect for the rest of us. Dirt bikes racing up and down the street, cars racing and loud parties. I guess building new homes that no one can afford Is the best a new City Manager making $210,000 a year with health benefits and an $800 a month car allowance can come up with.

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  17. I agree with everyone else in saying that we need to improve the community before we build more houses. I am a current resident of Heritage Lake. I love the community but hate the fact I have to drive over two miles to reach a grocery store or gas station. To get more people in the area you need more supermarkets and gas stations and entertainment venues. Now, at the same time I am not knocking the construction of the new shopping center off of 215/ Newport Rd, but there are areas off of McCall and Menifee that could also be developed and there are plenty of residents wanting/ needing these stored to be built. So let put a halt to more homes and get more community essentials before we build more communities. Besides businesses bring in more taxes to the city that a homeowner would anyway.

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  18. Those properties certainly are not producing property taxes sitting vacant!Property taxes don’t go away just because the former owner defaults or the property is vacant. When a lender takes a property, that lender is the owner and pays the taxes.

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  19. I am curious what industry you people think sparks the economy in Riverside county? CONSTRUCTION !

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  20. I still have not hear a response to the question of "What is the city going to do when we lose the revenue from all property taxes since the governor is going to take them away"?

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  21. I am curious what you think brings down the price of a house?

    Increased Supply!

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  22. Are you serious Mann? Dealing with foreclosures will be the next phase? When will that happen, three years down the road after thousands more homes wil be built first? Don't you guys read what the people of Menifee here are saying? You and the others are to keep the home builders out of your pockets and build more business around here and let the demand for homes increase here so these empty homes haved a chance to be bought. How hard is this to understand? No more new homes!Repeat after us, No New Homes!

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  23. Most banks won't let you refinance if your loan is bigger than what your house is worth. And with the Obama plan you have to be behind in your payments to get any assistance. It's ridiculous. Again, the responsible people are being punished.

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  24. I am curious what industry you people think sparks the economy in Riverside county? CONSTRUCTION !Relying on home construction for the region’s economy has a lot to do with why the housing bubble grew so big and why the fall has been so hard. Our economy should not be so reliant on home construction, making it even more of a bedroom community for other areas that provide jobs. We should reward construction activity that results in permanent, good-paying jobs in our community.

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  25. Mr. Mann,

    Their are no companies out there that are willing to refinance me or anybody else. We have looked into it and we are unfortunately stuck paying for a home that is less than it was 4 years ago. I love my home, the area where we live and my neighbors. I don't want to move and I don't want to let it go.

    It's not fair!!!

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  26. Scott Mann,

    I know people struggling to stay in their homes and the bank will not help them unless they miss a payment. Then the bank wants you to supply them with your monthly income, your bills and so forth to determine if you need assistance. After all of that they are still not willing to work with you.

    I think it's a shame that the bank will not work with you until you miss a payment. By then it's too late!

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  27. We need good responsible commercial construction and business plan to support a stable foundation for the residence already here. That should attract more buyers for the surplus housing before adding to the problem with new vacant homes...
    Look at the possible vacancy factor at the new development by Mt. San Jacinto College. We'll need a lot of business to support the families moving there. I'm sure there not dorms for the college

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  28. Staff will continue to work with the development and retail community to develop the mechanism to fund and provide the cash flow needed for the programs.

    So you have no plan on how to pay for Menifee Money. But your gonna give it away anyway.

    Are you a bunch of idiots? Cant you see the people dont want more goverment spending of money they dont have!

    What you need to do is Fix the Corners of Scott rd Antelope rd and Little Reb pl
    its extremely irritation to see a constant stream of cars making U turns on Little Reb because they have no other way to exit the Arco station
    I live on Little Reb and have almost been hit about 10 times by people making sudden Uturns

    and remove that Power Pole Blocking the View of Scott rd at the Corner of Scott and Little Reb

    This area used to be very nice place to live until 1000s of homes were built and we dont need any more with out a Industry to support them

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  29. What you need to do is Fix the Corners of Scott rd Antelope rd and Little Reb pl
    its extremely irritation to see a constant stream of cars making U turns on Little Reb because they have no other way to exit the Arco station

    I live on Little Reb and have almost been hit about 10 times by people making sudden Uturns
    I live in that area too, but the problem isn’t one that Menifee can control. The shopping center entrance/exit onto Antelope needs to be completed to eliminate the problem, but apparently the developer has gone bankrupt. The project is in Murrieta’s jurisdiction.

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  30. Almost 3 years ago we moved her to Menifee...we bought our house at the top of the Market and now we are doing the Hope4Homeowners...my spouse lost their job last year and we qualify for this program. We are so thankful that we have this option...or we would be renting somewhere with a forcloser on our backs plus we would have been upside-down. Hope4homeowners in our situation is helping us by refinanceing into a lower morgage about 46% of what we orginaly look out a loan for. We will have 3.5% in equity (shared with the government)see the scale on the hope for home owners web site))and our payments go from $3400 a month not including taxes to $1965 including taxes 1200 for payment and 430 for taxes and the rest in insurance something or other....in a 5% 30 year fixed rate...we like it so look and check it out...

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  31. The people of Menifee are speaking, but our the Officials listening? We don't need more houses, we need businesses that not only generate revenue, but also jobs. Another factor not yet mentioned is the infrastructure of our City. The streets cannot handle anymore traffic. We need to improve the roads so traffic can move. When your sitting stopped in traffic and look out your window and the sign says "speed limit 55 mph" you have to laugh. Some of the roads have so many pot holes, you risk destroying your vehicles suspension system just by driving to the store. Where will this City be in 5 or 10 years?

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  32. No good deed goes unpunished... As a community we have elected city officials to represent our newly formed city and we must at the very least give them some room to implement new ideas. The economy is in terrible shape and not just in Menifee.
    Our city council will not be able to combat state legislature all we could do is roll with the punches and hope to come up when the smoke clears. We must align ourselves to a common goal so that mine and your properties resurrect from the holes were in. Let's unite, disagreements and backlash will only delay the developmental process of our town.

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  33. If this doesn't get your blood boiling, you don't have a pulse. And to the previous poster, the 'Just give them a chance' argument was used with the Obama administration and look what that got us: massive deficit spending, massive inflation, a future bust that's going to make this current economic downturn seem tame, and no results. If it's true that Scott Mann makes a $210,000 salary, that is a complete travesty. This is our money that is taken from us through exorbitant tax rates, money that we no longer have to spend on our family and save for our future. And Mr. Mann wants to give more money away to the suffering builders and developers. City council positions should be voluntary, if anything maybe a small stipend like $100 per council meeting. We the People of Menifee need to vote, vote, vote, and let our voices be heard. Obviously Mann and the rest of City Council are in the pockets of the developers. Did you notice there weren't any homeowners on George Wentz's "Dynamic Strike Force Team"? The City Council has already shown it doesn't care what the people say -- the first thing they wanted to do was change the will of the people from council seats by district to at large because us poor uneducated masses didn't really understand what we were voting for. Let our voices be heard, let's vote out these crooked councilmen and women and get rid of this ridiculous salary that caters to career politicians who will do anything to keep themselves in power. If you don't vote and attend City Council meetings they will continue these abuses against us.

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  34. I have not met anybody yet that has been helped by the bank...all of them have lost their homes. These are all people that have suffered from job loss, not from mismanaging money. Anyone know of someone that has actually been helped?!!...besides that one previous post.

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  35. Re: May 22, 2009 @ 9:35 PM

    Are all of your arguments as off-base as the claim of Mann’s salary?

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  36. I do not know what the Council members make, I do know other cities pay a small monthly plus allowances for trips out of town and some recieve benifits. But I believe the salary mentioned in the above comment is for the City Manager....which I'm sure is worth it if he's as good as his press release states.

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  37. Please, no new luxury apartments- Luxury has nothing to do with quality, just an excuse to raise the prices.I see not only new housing developments, but now, apartments cropping up among the weeds. When we finally became a
    city, I thought, wonderful, now maybe we'll finally have some drought resistant landscaping put in front of some of these old developments instead of weeds to make our town more eye pleasing.
    Instead I'm seeing more homes built in open fields. I've given up on a Trader Joes, but would expect to see some upscale businesses to meet our needs. We don't need more of the same drugstores and fast food places- Why so many duplicates of the same a few blocks away? I worry about the pedestrians walking along the side of (high traffic) Murietta Road. We are in dire need of a sidewalk and bike path. Start makig your checklist.

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  38. Well Mann, are you and the others reading these comments? Your plans for new homes instead of new business (which is still considered construction) is the last thing we want and need. Get back to the drawing board and come up with something better. Are you really making $210,000 and is it true that the new city manager doesn't even live in Menifee? Please, will all of you resign so we can get people in that really care about our town and its people. Please!

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  39. You guys are off base. I don't like that we are paying our city manager 200K, I think it should be more in line with average salaries of the residents, which is closer to 50K. I know you are basing it on the size of city...but really, do we have to offer incentives for someone to move to Menifee? What's it to us if he commutes? That's his burden to bear isn't it?

    City Manager will earn a $210,000 annual salary and a $800 monthly car allowance. Along with a one-time cash payment of $7,500 for the purchase or lease of a vehicle, and an annual bonus of up to 15% of his salary?

    Why would Public Employees, who are not elected, earn 4 times the average salary of the city. What exactly is the ROI on these administrative jobs. I heard also that our city clerk earns 75K. I just find this wrong. This should be a competitive position.

    Also for other posters, our city council does NOT earn a salary for their elected position.

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  40. You get what you pay for...Remember all those people who wanted Mt. San Jacinto Police to police Menifee because of cost. Well look at that cluster..You get what you pay for...Glade to have the Sheriffs. I don't agree with incentives to move into town, let him fight the traffic like everyone else so he can look for solutions to make it easier for everyone. Since Menifee is a start up, we should look for quality to get a good foundation secured for the residence.Less multi residence buildings for the time being since they can be a drain on public services if the foundation is not established.ie business, parking, street maint.,traffic etc.

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  41. Interfering in the free market to build more houses is madness. There is no community or economic need for new houses, as the posters above have pointed out quite glibly in the posts above.

    The Federal "Bailout Plan" is an absolute diasaster, wrought with fraud and waste. Always ask in any "bailout" who ends up footing the bill, and who ends up reaping the harvest. In general, it is never you and I, Mr. and Mrs. average citizen.

    Menifee needs to get its infrastructure sorted out before ANY new development happens. How about the Audie Murphy Ranch road diasaster for starters? How about improvements to our interchange freeway crossovers BEFORE any more reckless and unneeded current development.

    Bill Lussenheide -Candidate US Congress CA-49

    http://www.FaithFamilyFreedoms.blogspot.com

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  42. I'm glad to see this issue is getting so much attention. I don't see any glibness in the comments above, just people honestly speaking out against a policy they don't believe in. Here's my proposed stimulus package, and I'm dead serious: cut our city's property taxes to the lowest level in California. That would have people flocking into Menifee to buy homes, especially in today's market. Of course you'd have to cut government spending and the politicians wouldn't have as much fun spending all of our money. But our city would benefit tremendously from it, and you wouldn't need a fancy pants city manager and his Dynamic Strike Force Teams to come to our rescue.

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  43. Council members receive $500/month.

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  44. My two cents (with inflation really .5 cents). We do not need more housing (right now). We need infrastructure, more police, more fire fighters, a POOL/community center (not valley wide), stores, markets, eateries (no fast food), safe parks for our children, community out reach programs for more than Senior Citizens, and a movie theater. Mr. Mann in my opinion we need 9 other things besides housing. Move that agenda foward. Thanks

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  45. Agree with the above. Mann, are you listening?

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  46. Before the council approves anymore housing developments there are quite a few developments that have been abandoned. (Audie Murphy Ranch to start) How about we get these messes squared away before making more. I absolutly agree with the nine things the poster stated above but we also need to come up with a plan for all of the land that has already been disturbed for development. What ever happened to the Newport realingment???????

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  47. Yeah, who wants to drive into a city they are thinking about moving to and drive down Railroad Canyon to see the "Newport Rd realignment". It's awful and such an eye sore for the city, not to mention the sidewalks...er...dirt walks with all the weeds growing out of them all over the city!

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  48. I AGREE!.
    Everytime I have someone new drive out to my home I hear the same comments. "That Newport Rd. is a mess", "What's going on with all the housing projects that appear to be abandoned".
    We need our City Council to correct the existing mistakes/misfortunes within our community before we add more.

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  49. I've been out of work for 3 months now... Looking for local work so I don't have to drive the nightmare to OC. Sure would be nice to have some real businesses here in Menifee that could provide some decent jobs for those of us who are having trouble justifying staying in California... We don't need more housing, we should be trying to attract businesses. I think I'll be showing up at the next City Council meeting with the rest of you. See You There...

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  50. I am amazed! Does the city leaders wear blinders? Why entertain more housing when the housing (or half completed areas) are a mess? I love my city and the rual feel, but I did not move here to live in a trashy city. If I wanted to live in dis-repair, filth, and trash I would of moved north 10 miles up the 215. Newport road, what a failure on the counties part, now Menifee needs to step up and fix what the county could not do.

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  51. I wonder how much our city leaders know about economics. I suggest the this website which will explain how economics really works, and dispel the Keynesian fantasy of stimulus packages that's so fashionable today.

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  52. I agree with all of your comments and i suggest we all show up at the next City Council meeting. I am not blaming the Council for the economy nor the problems that we all are having for failing home prices...I am upset because the decisions they make are not for our current or future condition..more jobs not housing bring in business. 'Stop this madness..my voice will be heard at the next meeting....Because I am "Citizen against bad Government". Pass this on and show up with your voice and your community support.

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  53. If this "Lussenheide for congress" buffoon is serious he would run under a party that can do something for people. Instead of this self righteous "constitution party" joke. What are you afraid of, Lussenheide?
    That you won't be able to compete with the big boys?

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  54. Bill Lussenheide candidate for congress ca-45 IS not with the AIP as he is stating. Chairman of AIP Markham Robinson has not endorsed him and the AIP has not held its primary.
    Lussenheide belongs to the Constitution Party witch is NOT now affliated with the American Independent party. California currently does not have a Ballot qualified Constitution Party. Please don't be deceived by his lies. Email the chairman of the AIP Markham Robinsion at the American Independent Party website if you have further questions. Thank you

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  55. word correction to above *which not witch....

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  56. Bill Lussenheide candidate for congress ca 45....Has not lived at his current residency for more than a year he lived for 20 years in District 49...Darrell Issa's district. He was actually running for that district 49 then switched last year. Whats up with that??? We voters deserve answers

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  57. Riverside VOTERS remember in November a VOTE for Bill Lussenheide for congress ca-45 AIP will mean more votes for democrat Steve Pougnet...Say no to third party spoilers!!!

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