Districting Forums Scheduled

Yesterday the City of Menifee held a workshop forum on creating city council district lines. I wasn't able to attend.

But there are two more workshops scheduled...

  • Saturday, June 27, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. – Menifee City Hall, 29714 Haun Road, Menifee, CA

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 7 p.m. – Heritage High School Theater 26001 Briggs Road, Menifee, CA

I won't be able to attend tommorrow's either. But I'll shoot for the last one.

The forum will include an informational presentation by Douglas Johnson of NDC, on the process of drawing districts. It'll then shift to audience participation, where listeners will be given forms to show their possibilities for districts, and definitions of their own community's identity.

The City also plans to announce a webinar with the consultant that will allow those who wish to hear the information presentation online. The date and sign in information for that webinar will be released later in the week.


  1. For the Saturday meeting, there was good attendance. The presentation was very informative.

    The comments from the audience showed nearly all were not supportive of "At District." The support was more for "At Large."

    From my perspective, "At District" could encourage a disruptive environment for the City of Menifee from constant redistricting for decades, questions about boundaries, and voters not being able to vote on the other four council members. Another point was that "At District" was not adopted by many cities in California until a city hit a population of 175,000 to 225,000 residents.

    It was further mentioned that the residents from three Sun City, Arizona jurisdictions were very upset when efforts were made to put the three cities into one political district of 175,000. population. These residents lobbied to place each Sun City into a district. Thus, the Seniors were able to dominate politics in three districts instead of only one.

    If those Seniors pushing for a district of only Seniors in the core being shelved into one district, they could lose their influence on the other four council members. Ann Pica and her group could out smarth themeselves and be instrumental in losing significant influence for Seniors in the City of Menifee!

  2. chuck.theone.reutter@gmail.comJune 28, 2009 9:55 AM

    The voters have cast their vote. Why do you think the people in Iran were so upset about their election results?

    The Menifee City Council needs to tell the truth instead of calling the voters stupid. But, lack the courage to do this. The Thursday night presentation had most of the people who attended were in favor of districts.

    I wonder why so many are hiding behind ANONYMOUS? What happen to the home of the BRAVE? Is Menifee the home of the WIMP?

  3. I wish to make some comments. We do not live in Iran. Comparing our election to theirs is the same as comparing apples to oranges.

    It is too bad that you and your group thinks of yourself as stupid. It is your determination of yourselves and not ours or I believe the City Council.

    The more is studied on having "At District" the more problems are identified with having this system for a city that has grown 50% since 2000 and is slated to have explosive growth to at least 4.5 times its current population over the next thirty to fifty years.

    It has been noted that "At District" is more appropriate for cities that have stable growth rates (nearly built out or built out) and has a population of more than 200,000 population. The City of Menifee population is only 64,000 persons.

    As for support, it is not surprising in middle of Senior land -Webb Hall located in the Sun City Civic Association- would have more in support of "At District." The meeting on Saturday was the reversed. Nearly all in attendance that spoke up supported "At Large."

    Let's first have a debate before an election and then have a secret ballot of all residents throughout the City. To try stonewall a revote through legal action is more in the nature of Iran. To try to take away 4/5ths of my vote, deserves a thorough debate and a revote.

  4. This is in response to both Anonymous posters (who may or may not be the same person) and to Chuck. Anonymous #1 first:

    FYI - It's BY District, not AT District. If more than four people had attended the BRC meetings, they might have learned that.

    Since only an average of about four people attended the BRC meetings, I can safely say that there aren't many people that actually heard discussion from the committee members about the different forms of governance. However, anybody that has seen the BRC report or has done any research on their own should be able to see that BY District is by far the least desirable form of governance out of the three basic forms of governance. But just because Menifee does not have a population 175,000 or more does not mean we need to act like lemmings and play follow the leader.

    And do you think the possibility of three seniors dominating politics in our city wouldn't exist under an At Large system? Do you really think the seniors would lose influence if they were grouped into one district? Have you actually looked at the majority of the people that attend city council meetings? I highly doubt the seniors will lose that much influence if they somehow got lumped into one district.

    And Chuck, you are right. The voters did cast their vote. And I think those that voted "BY District" have some reason to be upset. But I also think the voters got cheated. Not by those that campaigned for "BY District", but by the California Government Code. Specifically the poorly written Government Code section(s) that limited us to "At Large" and either "BY District" or "FROM District", but not both. And before all the "that would split the district vote" people jump on the bandwagon, no, it wouldn't. It's all in how it's placed on the ballot.

    But I have never once heard any council members refer to any of the voters as "stupid". Those are your words and the words of others that choose to hear what someone is saying rather than actually listening to what they are saying. If you are referring to Mayor Edgerton's comments about people not knowing what they were voting for, I believe that was taken out of context.

    And finally, Anonymous #2.

    As it stands right now, nobody could possibly take away your right to vote for 4/5th of the council positions because you don't have that right. Currently, you have the right to vote for 1 position. That 1 position is the position that represents your district.

    And my own commentary -

    I know how I voted in last June's election. I know how I would like to see the city governed. I know what I learned as a result of the Blue Ribbon Committee. I know my own personal feelings on whether or not we should have a new election. I know I would be more than happy to debate with anybody at any time and I know I can take a position on either side of the issue in a debate.

    And I know I'll join Chuck in posting my name.

  5. Todd, you are right regarding the District System being called as "By District" instead of "At District."

    Remember, the "At Large" allows for everyone to vote for five council members. The "By District" only permits the voter in City of Menifee to vote for only one. Do simple mathematics. One loses 4/5ths enfranchisement under the "By District" system.

    Yes, many Seniors are at City Council meetings and special workshops. However, the Seniors are not lock step with Ann Pica and her group. Additionally, many younger voters are just as interested in local politics as Seniors but are too busy commuting back from theie jobs and raising children to attend many meetings. They do vote as indicated in the support for Cityhood in the June 3, 2008 election.

    Thre are many problems with the "By District" system that will be stated and restated during a campaign for a revote. Let's have that debate which is a better system--"At Large,: *By District," "From District."

  6. chuck/theone.reutter@gmail.comJune 29, 2009 6:11 AM

    Again, ANONYMOUS to me means a coward who wants to influence people without revealing his/her name. I think those who are signing off as ANONYMOUS may be members of our city council who lack the courage to tell the truth. As a result, I suggest we ignore their input and support those who are true Americans and post his/her name when writing about an issue on this blog.

  7. To above post:

    What exactly in your mind is a "true American"?
    Are you a "true American" because you put you name on a blog?
    Wow good job "true American" acting like a blogidiot.
    I don't care if you post your name or not it is the content of the posts I find interesting.
    BTW Chuck when will I see you picture on a box of Wheaties so I know what a "true American" looks like, oh wait nevermind I have a mirror and see a True American everyday.



  8. What ever happened to the citizens advisory committee?

  9. In response to the Anonymous issue - this has been debated and discussed in prior blogs.
    There is a security reason for some people using this form of address -
    I agree it is the content of the statement - not if it is signed that counts

  10. Folks, and you wonder why the rumor mill rules in our society. It has nothing to do with growing up and everything to do with the truth. Only cowards=anonymous would ignore the truth in favor of a rumor. Our city council people told us that we were misinformed when it came to the district/at large issue. In other words, stupid. The newspapers pick up on this. When are the folks who lost and are pushing for another election going to get it? Please go to >> http://www.smartvoter.org/2008/06/03/ca/rv/vote/kuenzi_d/paper1.html << and you can read all about the at large position taken by this person prior to the election.

  11. The last post came from Chuck Reutter. I do not know why my name didn't post.

  12. much better post Chuck. Instead of just attacking you provided details and support to your POV.


  13. Anonymous @ June 29, 2009 4:31 AM:

    "Remember, the "At Large" allows for everyone to vote for five council members."

    So does "From District".

    "The "By District" only permits the voter in City of Menifee to vote for only one. Do simple mathematics. One loses 4/5ths enfranchisement under the "By District" system."

    Simple mathematics tell me that we lose the ABILITY to vote for 4/5ths of the council members under a "By District" system. We do not lose 4/5ths of our enfranchisement.

    Losing 4/5ths enfranchisement implies your constitutional rights have been violated. Although disenfranchisement is possible under a By District system, a "By District" system is not disenfranchisement in and of itself.

    In order to lose your right to vote, you need to have been given the right to vote. The "By District" system does not take away 4/5ths of your right to vote because the "By District" system only grants the right to vote for one seat.

    There are problems with all three basic forms of governance. But if you are going to point out those problems, at least do so correctly.
    I'm currently working on a site to hopefully do just that - point out the similarities, differences, positives and negatives about the various forms of governance. And I'm going to try to do it in a non-biased manner. Hopefully, everybody will benefit from it and hopefully I'll have it done in the next couple of weeks.

  14. Chuck. I was shot in the chest in desert storm, recovered, requested to return to the front line. Assisted in the rescue of several other wounded troops and was discharged after I caught shrapnel in my hip. I will not put my name down because I have the right not to, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let some punk tell me that I'm not a "true American" kiss my $&& Chuck. (My apologies to anyone that might be offended.)

  15. To the poster "June 29, 2009 2:48 PM" - damn straight!

    In America we have the RIGHT to post AS WE PLEASE, be it named or anon.

    Thank you for your service to our country, even if it is to protect the rights of people who have opposing views to your own; that is what makes this the greatest country on earth.

  16. Should I feel disenfranchised since I can vote for only 2 of the 50 US Senators and 1 of the 435 Representatives? Similarly, I guess I'm disenfranchised at the state level. I can't vote for all of them, of course, because my interests aren't necessarily the same as people in Maine, Nebraska, San Francisco or the Central Valley.

    To the poster who describes heroic actions... Without a verified name, anyone can make such a claim in an attempt to win support for a position.

  17. The City of Menifee is not a state nor a Nation We are residing in a compact population area within a 47square mile geographic city limits. It was brought out by the demographer at Saturday's districting meeting that more than 90% of the cities have a "At Large" system to select their council candidates. There much be a compeling reason for nearly all of the cities in California to vote at large except for the largest cities such as Los Angeles. Yes, I will suffer 4/5th disenfranchisement along with experience other problems that have been noted in earlier blogs.

  18. To all the voices who are for at large for Menifee get over it you lost at the polls. All future elections will be by district or from district and the vote of the poeple will stand and that was districts. It does not matter if it was 1% or 20% the majority vote was by districts. I know for sure there is no need to debate or rehash an issue the people have voted for. It is time this city council excepted the will of the people who voted and get on with setting up districts. This city council continues to throw our tax dollars away $20,000 on a blue ribbon committee, $38,000 on NDC to show them how to place this on the ballot in a special election, and $35,000 - $40,000 for a speical election. Why do they do this because they know they will not get re-elected in by districts for the simple reason is they concentrate only on Menifee and have done nothing to aid the areas of Romoland, Sun City,or Quail Valley. They just spent another $70,000 on a private consulting firm at the last city council meeting. What imput have they asked from the communities? None and that is what you get with at large city council. Taxation without representation. The only people this city council is representing is developers and special interest groups.

  19. To June 30 Poster at 12:58 am -

    You are absolutely incorrect in your statements on your last post:

    1.) The council BUDGETED $20K on the Blue Ribbon Committee and only SPENT $8K.

    2.) The consultant was BUDGETED for $38K and will likely SPEND under that amount AND the consultant is helping the COMMUNITY draw district maps NOT make recommendations for a special election.

    3.) The city manager BUDGETED $35K for a special election IF that is the decision of the council. That is just smart business management.

    4.) The council approved a contract for a MARKETING FIRM for $70K for THIRTY MONTHS OF SERVICE to help develop the economy and grow business in the city of Menifee thereby bringing in more jobs and tax revenue. (Please get a clue how things work!)

    5.) Your claims that the council is wasting money are UNTRUE - How can the city be wasting money while growing the general fund reserve over the next fiscal year to $5,562,584 (see city website for budget figures).

    While I agree that you have the RIGHT to say what you want to say on this blog.... I gotta be honest.... you are absolutely way off the mark in your claims. They are simply not true.

    This is the same old sorry sad sack message from the 'No On Cityhood' crowd who all voted for "By Districts" just to skew the result.

    Before you pontificate, please educate!

  20. to above...NICE

  21. To June 30 Poster at 12:58 am
    1.) The council BUDGETED $20K on the Blue Ribbon Committee and only SPENT $8K.
    2.) The consultant was BUDGETED for $38K and will likely SPEND under that amount AND the consultant is helping the COMMUNITY draw district maps NOT make recommendations for a special election.
    3.) The city manager BUDGETED $35K for a special election IF that is the decision of the council. That is just smart business management
    4.) The council approved a contract for a MARKETING FIRM for $70K for THIRTY MONTHS OF SERVICE to help develop the economy and grow business in the city of Menifee thereby bringing in more jobs and tax revenue. (Please get a clue how things work!)
    5.) Your claims that the council is wasting money are UNTRUE - How can the city be wasting money while growing the general fund reserve over the next fiscal year to $5,562,584 (see city website for budget figures
    While I agree that you have the RIGHT to say what you want to say on this blog.... I gotta be honest.... you are absolutely way off the mark in your claims. They are simply not true
    This is the same old sorry sad sack message from the 'No On Cityhood' crowd who all voted for "By Districts" just to skew the result.

    Before you pontificate, please educate!

  22. To the anonymous poster on June 30, 2009 6:24 PM

    1.) The council BUDGETED $20K on the Blue Ribbon Committee and only SPENT $8K.

    Guess again, it is over. The Blue Ribbon Committee is no longer meeting and has submitted the final report to the city council. Of the $20,000 allocated for the Blue Ribbon Committee, between $8,000 and $9,000 was used.

    And for the record, that was NOT money spent directly by the Blue Ribbon Committee, that money was spent by the city to hire a consultant to assist the Blue Ribbon Committee.

  23. All I have to say is ... Wow !

    Red diaper doper babies who think that society owes them something. What - did Mommy and Daddy not buy you a poney when you were little?

    Most of these posts sound like the rantings of a Union Steward from back east. Should we call you Guido or Rocky or Anne or Chuck or Greg?

    My great grandfather used to run bootleg whiskey out of Chicago for Al Cappone - I am not proud of it but, it is what it is and, it paid for some things along the way.... If you've seen the movie "Road to Perdition"...well... then youse knows what am talkin' about.

    Some of you sound as if you used to run with the same crowd - east coast Anne Pica.... including baseball bats and tire irons. Workers of the world unite and look for the union label!

    A M A Z I N G !!!

  24. C'Mon, what is so hard about making districts? Just break out a map and some crayons and start making some lines. My 7 year old can knock this out in an hour and all it would cost you is a Kid's meal from McDonalds. Let me know in this forum if you need him, he is off for the summer and likes Happy Meals....

    P.S. The reason it would take an hour is he gets distracted by shiny things and the wind...

  25. I wish it were that simple to create districts but the myriad of state and federal laws makes an easy excercise into a complex one.

    To change the subject, "By Districts" and "From District" are not the best voting system in a rapidly growing city such as Menifee. Menifee grew at a 50% clip in eight years. This explosive growth is expected for at least another thirty yers. Explosive growth will require redistricting in mid decade and the upheaval in drawing district lines will doubtingly create controversies. "At Large" system will not require any districting and fights over district boundaries or depriving citizens the right to vote for all five council members in the "By District" system.

    The "From District" is not any better. The entire city will vote for a council candidate residing in each district. However, the voters at large may vote for council candidate that the citizens of a particular district would not prefer over the candidate that they favor.

    With the City of Menifee only 20 to25% build out, it would be better at this time of its development to vote for a system that can provide the most goverance stability. According to the Demographer working with the cities of Menifee and Wildomar, more than 90% of the cities in California have the "At Large" system. The "At Large" indicates the best chance to provide stability over "By District" or "From District."

  26. I attended last night's meeting at Heritage H.S. Approx. 25 people there.
    Comments from this audience showed support for "By District" as already voted on by the citizens of Menifee. And, it IS, "By District", not, "At District".
    Mr. Johnson from NDC was very affable, and stated he had no bias in the results of these meetings.
    But I did detect a little bias, as is, Mr. Johnson states, according to NDC results polls, that city's the current size of Menifee, population approx: 64,000, (his estimates), 93,000, from what I have been able to find, city's with populations of 70,000 or less use the "At large" system, city's with populations over 100,000 use "By District". So a question was posed from the audience, If we are a city that is to grow, should we not stay with the option as voted, "By District" and be better prepared for future growth.
    I have heard city council members atate they would like a population of approx: 250,000 for Menifee.
    And, my assumed bias of this meeting is, the citizens of Menifee have not proposed a revote, the Menifee city council has proposed this. And, Menifee has paid Mr. Johnson and the NDC to hold these meetings.
    Would the city council be so eager for a revote for cityhood, the results the next time could be quite different now that we see how this city council spends our money and moves the city forward with their agenda.
    All I ask is, just think.

  27. I was the person who posted that my kid has crayons at the ready. I know making districts is not that easy because of state and federal laws. It should be easy,but it's not. It's a system that is set up to fail.

  28. When I attended the meeting at the Menifee City Hall on Saturday, nearly everyone supported "At Large" The opposition to "At Large" was from two participants. Tapes of the meeting will verify the above comments. Furthermore, the true conclusion of the system- "At Large" and "By District" and "From District" - that is supported by the City of Menifee voters will be the results of a secret ballot from an election called by the City Council.

    The figure of 64,000 stated by Mr. Johnson, the Demographer, is also in line with the State of California's official 2009 extimate of the City of Menifee population of around 64,000. Until the figure of 93,000 was posted by the blogger on 7/1/09 at 5:31, it is the first time that I have read of this figure as a City of Memifee population estimate for 2009.

    It is my sincere hope that the City Council will take into consideration the Blue Ribbon Committee conclusions and the findings from the Demographer, Mr. Johnson. Hopefully, the City Council is cognizant of the more than 90% of the cities in California having "At Large" system for selecting council members. The City of Menifee needs a stable means of chosing council members as it grows from 64,000 to more than 250,000 in the next thirty to seventy years or more. Thus,built out for the City of Menifee may not occur until the second half of the 21st Century.

    When the City of Menifee achieves a population of more than 200,000 and has a stable and level growth rate, then it will make sense to consider "By District" or "From District" as systems desirable for the City of Menifee.

  29. This Council is so worried about how to get re-elected they will do anything. On another note, how is the Mayor being appointed? In most Cites it is a symbolic figure that shifts from member to member. But I thought I remember talk of the highest vote “getter” becoming Mayor in Menifee. If that is true how will the Mayor’s spot be replaced? If Mann and Denver are re-elected at the next election, then Twyman and Kuenzi are re-elected but Edgerton is not and a new member is elected with the most votes, is the newly elected then mayor? Just curious.

  30. The citizens of Menifee have already voted on this. They voted for "By district". that's it. Leave it alone.

    "By District" will keep campaign costs in line. "At Large" will increase campaign costs and will allow only deep pocket politico's to run for office.

    "By District" will allow all area's of Menifee to have a voice. "At Large" could mean council members may only represent certain areas of the city.

    Finally, populations figures that are being currently used are from the last census taken in 2000.

    I believe this area has grown quite a bit since then. Resources I have checked show populations of this area between 74,000 and 90,000

    "At Large" will only benefit current city council members, "By District" will represent all citizens of Menifee.

  31. To answer the question from Anonymous July 02, 2009 7:20 AM about how the Mayor is appointed:

    First, you are correct in that the position of mayor is largely symbolic and is rotated among the council members on a yearly basis, though there are the proverbial exceptions to that rule.

    In our case, the mayor position is not an elected four year position, it is a rotating position. In other words, it is exactly the same as most other cities. Edgerton became the first mayor based on him being the candidate with the most votes. The position will now be selected among the council members on an annual basis.

    Barring something catastrophic, we will vote for either two or three council members in even year elections starting in 2010. Thus, it would not be possible to have another "highest vote getter".

    Theoretically I suppose it is possible for Edgerton to serve as mayor for all four years of his term if he has the support from the council. But technically it is considered a rotating position.

    Hope this helps.

  32. The California Department of Finance makes population estimates for all of the cities and counties in this state. The California Department of Finance estimated the 2009 population of Menifee at 67,705people. The demoggrapher, Mr. Johnson, is estimating the population of Menifee at around 64,000. There is not much difference between the two population estimates.

    The potential is great for the City of Menifee having an explosive growth pattern over the next thirty to seventy years.

    As the city develops its committees and commissions and a cadre of leaders are developed, it is bad to have "By District" or "From District" as systems to select our council members. There would be constant upheaval in drawing new boundaries for districts. Maybe the redrawing could be two to three times in a decade. A popular council member in one district could have his residence placed in another district. The residents could be deprived of its council member and end up with another that many might not want. There are many more problems with the two district system.

  33. We get it Anonymous. You're anti-district. But you're also beginning to sound like a broken record, repeating the same thing over and over.

    Just as bad a Anne Pica and her crew sounding like a broken record. "Districts won", "It was the will of the voters", etc.

  34. Why is it that when a very pertinent and undisputable points is being made, the issue is made of posting anonymous. This discussion to post your name or not has been debated on and off over the past year and half on this blog. Overall, the good taste of the posters and the control of the hosts has kept the context primarily to issues. Thus, don't try to blow smoke or create a smoke screen when a very good point has been made.