City Council Undecided on Special Election

This evening, the city council was to adopt official council districts, and decide on holding a special election to overturn the results of ...

This evening, the city council was to adopt official council districts, and decide on holding a special election to overturn the results of Measure G.

Measure G was the ballot measure voters decided on a year ago, choosing "by district" over "at large".

In the end, the council adopted district boundaries, but a motion to hold a special election went down in defeat, with Mann, Edgerton, and Twyman voting no.

The audience cheered. However, the cheering was quickly quieted when Mann asked if he could offer an alternative motion. He said he still supported holding a special election this November, to overturn the results of Measure G, but wanted more details in the special election.

That is, the reason why he voted "no" on the special election is because he felt the details of that special election was not definitive enough. John Denver made the original motion as simply, "should we adopt at large council elections, yes or no".

Mann wanted more detail, including other options such as "from districts", and how the mayor would be elected. Mann thereby motioned that the city council hold a special council session, sometime between now and August 4, to iron out the details of what that special election would be about.

Considering that both Denver and Kuenzi at this point had been defeated in their quest to create a special election, they had no choice but to hear Mann out if they still wanted to seek that goal.

Mann said that he would not support a special election if it was simply going to be a yes/no vote on at large. That had the effect of giving Mann some power to dictate the terms of the special election. It also made Mann the swing vote, with Edgerton and Twyman voting no, and Kuenzi and Denver voting yes.

Kuenzi however, stated that there certain alternatives to governance that she would not support. But nonetheless, seconded Mann's motion to have a special council session to iron out details on this special election.

In the end, all five council members voted to hold a special council session.

However, the council could not immediately agree on the date of the special session. Edgerton stated there were certain days he could not be present. Denver stated that he too had days he could not be present. Douglas Johnson, the consultant they hired to look at all this, also has a limited schedule. It's still not known at this time when that special session will be.

Council Member Positions

When the council voted on the original motion, for a straight up yes/no vote on adopting at-large elections, the council members explained their positions...

Fred Twyman said he would be open to having an election to overturn Measure G, however he would not support having such an election this November. Having it this November would make it a "special election" because it would be held at a time when there were no other elections. That would therefore cost the city about $38,000. However, he'd support that election if held in 2010, on a date when there were other elections, which would then spare the city that expense.

Darcy Kuenzi said her support for switching to an at-large city council election has nothing to do with protecting her political career, but that she genuinely feels that is the best choice for Menifee, and pointed that she's been resident here for many years, and plans to be a resident for many more, even after retiring from elected office.

John Denver said that he learned a lot from the work Douglas Johnson performed. Johnson is the consultant from National Demographics Corporation, the company the city hired to iron out all the details of city governance structures, and came up with recommended district maps. Denver pointed out that cities the size of Menifee are typically ran at-large.

Wallace Edgerton said that while he had expressed his preference for at-large elections, he noted that the voters had already spoken through Measure G, choosing districts. He said that even though the vote was close, it was still a majority vote, and decisions should not be overturned just because they're close. He also expressed his unwillingness to spend money on a special election on something the people already decided on.

Scott Mann did not originally explain his opinions, but instead rebutted the notion that this special election was costing us unecessarily. He said that when the city created its 2009/2010 budget, they set aside money to cover this special election.

Edgerton responded back that it's still money we don't have to spend, especially at a time when the City of Menifee was just barely able to stay within budget this fiscal year.

District Boundaries Adopted

Before the council decided on the special election, they had actually adopted district boundaries.

They adopted a map called "NDC 4", which you can download and view here...

http://www.menifee247.com/menifee-city-council-districts-map.pdf

This map was originally drafted by Fred Twyman. But was modified by Douglas Johnson of NDC. Johnson made modifications to make it more "clean". That is, Twyman's original map had some neighborhoods carved out of others for the sake of making each district contain as equal number of residents as possible. Johnson smoothed out the district boundaries such that they tend to follow major roads, and keep some communities unified.

This map puts each council member alone in their own districts.

All but John Denver was happy with this map. Denver's district (District E in yellow), is perhaps the most convoluted. Johnson admitted that whenever district boundaries are drawn, there's always a district that becomes the runt of the litter, and Denver's district was it. Denver will represent the most diverse district, including a chunk of the Sun City Core, the family areas along the north-east I-215 corridor, and the rural areas along Ethanac.

This map also puts the Oasis retirement community into the same district with all the family communities (District C in blue).

Finally, this map also slices Sun City Core in half with Murrieta Rd as the dividing line. Mann would represent the western half, and Edgerton the eastern half. Denver will actually represent a small chunk of the Core too.

Public Comments

There are were some public comments made with respect to the district boundaries...

Anne Pica, argued the council should not have this discussion listed under "Continuing Items" since in fact several of the items to be discussed were never actually agendized previously. Even though they had been talked about in council meetings, all previous discussion was never under an agenda item. The council did not respond, but then again, the council was under time constraints, needing to have all these details dicussed and voted no later than August 7. Pica also noted that Kuenzi should not be allowed to include Romoland in her district since she's employed by Supervisor Marion Ashley, who represents Romoland, and argues it presents a conflict of interest.

Bill Zeidlik, spoke in support of Anne Pica's assertion that this discussion should be listed as "New Business" and not "Continued Items", since technically these topics were never agendized before. The strategy for arguing this is that it makes it more difficult for the council to have details ironed by the August 7 deadline.

Louis Mazei, asked the council to adopt such boundaries that would place his home and his neighbors into a district that does not include Sun City Core. He said he lives in Sun City, but not in the core area, and does not want to be represented by the core.

Bob Duistermars, spoke on behalf of the Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce, urging the council to approve a special election to overturn Measure G. He said the board of directors at the Chamber all want an at-large elected council, along with a mayor elected every year. Interesting, Mayor Edgerton asked Duistermars where he lives. He humbly said, "Hemet", which drew a collective groan from the audience.

Richard ?, I couldn't make out his last name. He stated he originally voted for districts, and then decided to research the matter more closely, and still supports districts. He said he wants to be represented by a council member who lives in his area. He said he doesn't want Menifee to grow to 250,000 residents, and that he doesn't want to live in an "economic engine".

Douglas Johnson Presentation

Before the city council voted on anything, Douglas Johnson had given a lengthy presentation of his findings and recommendations.

Johnson works for National Demographics Corporation, the company the city hired to research all the details and come up with recommendations on district boundaries.

He said the ideal district should have about 12,932 residents. He also pointed out the Voting Rights Act, which requires each district to have equal number of hispanic voters. His recommendation is that each district have between 19.5% to 26.5% hispanic voters.

There were about 30 maps submitted in all, including 11 from Joe Daugherty, 17 from actual Menifee residents, 2 from city council members, and 4 created by Douglas Johnson.

Johnson then ran each map into a set of requirements, and was able to eliminate several maps. There were several requirements, but those that seemed to be the most discussed was each district had to have less than 10% population deviation, the districts should be reasonably contiguous (no wild zig zag lines and loops), and that council members should each be in their own districts. In the end he had 10 maps by which the council could choose from.

A very interesting point that Johnson made is that when we had the original cityhood election in June 2008, several voters cast ballots on Measure F, the cityhood vote, but chose not to vote on Measure G, the district versus at-large vote. He said that while most voters cast ballots for or against cityhood, they simply didn't bother to choose between districts or at-large. Some 1,741 voters left Measure G blank, about 14.4% of the voters.

He surmised that many people had their minds made up about cityhood, and simply didn't think it was necessary to vote on anything else. Had all those people cast ballots on Measure G, there could have been a larger mandate for districts, and we wouldn't even be talking about this right now.

Johnson also said that cities are required by law to present ballot measures as a "yes or no" vote. Therefore, if we are to have a special election to overturn the results of Measure G, the city would have to present a new governance structure on the ballot form, and then ask voters yes or no.

He advised there be three separate ballot measures, one for at-large (yes/no), another for by-districts (yes/no), and one for from-districts (yes/no). He said the only way a ballot measure could pass is if one of those measures received greater than 50% "yes". If somehow two measures got more than 50% yes, the one with the greater votes wins. In my opinion, if that being the case, it makes it difficult to overturn Measure G. If all three are presented, it would split the vote three ways, making it very hard for one measure to get more than 50% yes.

Johnson also said that if no measure received greater than 50% yes, then the city must stick with "by district".

Denver's original motion to present a special election to adopt at-large elections, yes or no, would probably be easier to fetch a 50% or more yes vote, since it's the most simple. However, that motion has already been defeated, and Mann already put himself on record as saying that he wouldn't support that measure. So whatever the council comes up with in this upcoming special session, is going to be more complicated.

Related

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Post a Comment

  1. To Our Council Members,
    Listen to the "Will of the People", majority voted for "District" leave it be. If you as a council member cannot accept that, please by all means "RESIGN", and "We the People" will find a replacement that will listen to us.
    Put the money set aside for the "SOUR GRAPE" election to good use instead, like installing shade in our bus stops or using it on the community cupboard to restock it.

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  2. Stop the wasteful spending on elections. We need more police officers and a dedicated police department for Menifee.

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  3. The residents of Menifee, including the Sun City Core, needs to revote on whether council members are elected by using one of the following systems: "At Large," "By District" or "From District." There is an Assembly Bill 1582, if becomes law, will allow each LAFCO in the State of California to put on a ballot for future areas incorporating into cities to decide from the following choices: "At Large" "By Districts" and "From Districts.

    When the question of all voters within the City of Menifee losing the ability to vote for four council members and only permitted to vote for one, the question must be thoroughly debated in a revote. The special election is estimated to costs under $100,000, which is a minor cost item in a $21,000,000 budget. A small price to pay for protecting one's right to have an effective vote (voting for five council members) or a say in the operation of the City of Menifee.

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  4. Can we recall the members of our city council who chose to ignore the vote of the people? Yes. Interested people can send an email to chuck.theone.reutter@gmail.com. Thank you. Chuck Reutter

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  5. People let us not get too far ahead of our self’s. One thing I think we all need to think about (and I hope the council is paying attention to it) is the state just passed a budget that is going to take money away from cities and counties. I feel we should look at it as; the people have spoken and they want it to be by district. Lets except that for now and when the economy rebounds and the city has a more secure financial future then we can and should readdress the issue. But for now we need to tighten up and get ready for what is coming.

    Patience is a virtue.

    Jason M.

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  6. There will be a Federal Census taken next year. Districts will be redrawn shortly thereafter. If you don't like your new district, wait a couple years.

    If there are enough people who want at-large elections why can't they circulate petitions to get it on the ballot? Then the City Council isn't in the driver seat, we the people are. But I don't see this happening. Probably because it doesn't matter that much to most people.

    Personally, I voted for at large and still support that mechanism. However, I am a grown-up and will accept the vote and live in a "from district" city.

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  7. Dave, a great post. Yes, if the citizens of Menifee wanted a revote on "At Large, From District, or By District" I would think there would have been a grassroots effort from the citizens. I think the people do care about this issue.. The citizens voted "By District" for a reason.

    Yes, that is "By District" not "From District".

    City council is not happy with "By
    District" as voted on, they would prefer "At Large", which is why they are pushing for another expensive election.

    Menifee will be best represented by "By District", there is an equal voice for all citizens.

    Use common sense. Think!

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  8. Listen to the people council!! Use our money for more police. Crime is increasing in Menifee. Cars are being broken into, homes and so forth. We need Menifee police!!

    We need a aquatic center or water park for families. It's too hot out here not to have this. We need more trees and shade for baseball games. Our streets need to be fixed. This should be on the table instead of talking about a special elections for 6 months. Come on, get over it. All I know is that I will not be voting for any of the current council members if this continues!!! That is a promise!

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  9. I agree with the above statement. Let us remember these actions when it comes time to vote for these idiots again. Let us get them out of office asap.

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  10. The question of stable goverance is at stake. Do we really want to start the trend of street politics. One side circulates a slanted, unchallenged petition and the other side gets their faction to sign another slanted, unchallenged petition. Except for the vocal, primarily No Cityhood supports who are now pushing hard at any expense to stop a legitimate debate on how to vote for city council members, the majority of citizens want this debate to be in an orderly manner of an election campaign. It appears that this vocal group just want to stir the pot. Now, they are now returning to recall threats if the city council doesn't do their bidding. To this group of vocal seniors, were recalls of the Sun City Cive Association governing board and constant agitation, the modus of operandus in the past years visited on the Sun City Civic Association?

    I stronglly believe that a sizeable number of senior citizens and other members of the general public are able to see through the negative actions of the vocal seniors.

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  11. I can not see the reason for the money to be spent on a special election. maybe i don't understand the issue here. this is the type of reason i did not want to see cityhood. if we are a city should we not be trying to get a pool for our families in the area of this hot desert? just more politics and money and tax and rules and blaa bla bla...for gosh sake why....we are a city now should we not be trying to improve the area for our residents and not fighting over who rules what and where. lets get together and create a nice pool area for our kids and families with lots of shade.

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  12. next election lets get leaders for the city that are actually for the people of the city and not just worried about themselves. the amount of money they want to spend could do alot for the city of menifee with facilities for the people to enjoy.

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  13. Had Pica and the other 14.4% of the voters who didn't bother to vote on governance voted, it may also have been an at large. As I remember they didn't want to consider a "city". Seems they are still hell bent on seeing it fail.
    Also..FROM district was not ON the ballot. For a city our size, the right solution wasn't even an option. We may have had an election, but we are a republic first with a democratic system. Seems the council is acting in the spirit of the law when after getting into the details of by district choose to re-think it.

    Thanks to Twyman for considering the special vs regular election costs.

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  14. I find it absurd that a professional like Douglas Johnson of NDC would ensure that each council member is alone in their own districts. That can't have been part of the criteria.

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  15. Taking away the right to vote for four council candidates and new information are some of the reeasons to have a revote. Why did all of the members in the State Assembly and Senate vote on AB 1582? Imagine all Democrats and Republicans agreeing on a piece of legislation in Sacramento? Yet, the No Cityhood proponents are striving for ways to stir the pot again against the smooth operation of the City of Menifee. Having a District system to select council candidates is one means to continously to have controversy and upheaval for the next 50 to 100 years as Menifee grows from a city of 64,000 to around 250,000 to 300,000 population. Research has found that more than 95% of the cities under 70,000 have "At Large" voting for city council. There must be reasons! When the city has reached full built out, it will make sense to have District but not now.

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  16. To July 22, 2009 7:12 PM:

    "the majority of citizens want this debate to be in an orderly manner of an election campaign"

    Where are these citizens? I have not seem them at any of the meetings.

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  17. "Where are these citizens? I have not seem them at any of the meetings."

    The people who favor switching things over to at-large have not organized any kind of effort. If there's any kind of pro-at-large group, it's the Chamber of Commerce.

    That just tells you what the voters think overall.

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  18. Citizens may not be at the meetings but they voted young and old. It may not be what the council likes but its' what the citizens want.

    A lot of the young families are busy with work, kids, sports and so forth. They may not have the privilege to be at the meetings like the seniors but they read menifee 24/7. It's not all the seniors that are against this special election. It's a variety of people who live here. We are tired of this.

    I'm tired of hearing about it, reading and discussing it. I'm in my 30's and I just want the council to move forward. Fix the roads, build more parks for the kids, bring in a movie theater, skate park, better family restaurants like Dave and Busters, so kids can go their to celebrate a game. My kids are in sports and have been for 5 years. We have no place to take the kids for their final game party. So we take our money and go to Murrieta Chucky Cheese or we go to Mulligan's in Temecula. Is this where you want the money to go??? I would like it to go to Menifee.

    Make a bridge that goes from the college to the Marketplace so alleviate traffic, allow people to drive in golf carts to save gas and alleviate traffic from schools to home. A bridge that has a sidewalk so college students can walk over and eat a meal. Or families can ride in a golf cart over.
    Plant more trees for shade, finish making plans for the aquatic center. Incorporate bike trails for families to ride. Bring in more police presence to help in the crime rate in Menifee.

    I used to feel safe in Menifee but now with cars being broken into, homes, garages and now banks being robbed. What is next??

    Safety should be priority, roads, and making the city more family orientated. This special election issue should be dropped NOW..

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  19. By Anonymous, at July 23, 2009 12:11 PM

    To this poster, great post!

    City council, you listening?

    No increase in roof tops to bring in more crime, pollution, and grid lock.

    The concerns in the previous post are genuine. Good ideas.

    City council pay attention, these are some of the visions of the people of Menifee.

    Please think.

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  20. Great post and exactly how i feel. please listen and move forward on these items for us here in menifee especially the aqiatic center.

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  21. I'm glad other fellow residents like my long post. I just feel the things I expressed are what most people of Menifee want. Thanks for the support and I really hope things turn around and the council listens to us (Young and old).



    <3

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  22. In the mid 1990s, a group of people of all ages got together in Sun City for the purpose of gathering support for a skate park and we let the community know about this. Furthermore, a very wealthy family attended these meetings. But, only a handful took the time to express his/her interest. As a result, no skate park. If you need something, you need to make time to attend meetings and get behind those who are working for you. There really is no excuse for not attendind the city council meeting and one council person made the following comment: the attendence to our city council meetings will drop off. Thus, she is counting on you not to attend the meetings. Hey! It is your city. Chuck Reutter

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  23. ok how do we get a pool???

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  24. The ideas expressed are great but many of them will not become realtiy unless we have a stable form of governance. How we elect our council members is a crucible to having city council members thinking in terms of citywide benefits instead of only their district. Besides districts are a poor way of selecting council members for they will only beholden to their constituents living in their districts. Because the city is new, it is important to think city wide. We all want more parks, pools, better circulation, more quality stores and restaurants. At Large is a better system to elect coucnil members with a broad city wide vision of Menifee. This system will not have the tendency of turf battles as Districts will have in an explosive growing city. It has been reported that Menifee grew 52% in eight years and it is only one forth built out.

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  25. Is there a list of which council person lives in which district?

    I don't personally like the "A" district because I believe that my vote will never be heard since I will be up against most of the Sun City core.

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  26. Concerned in MenifeeJuly 23, 2009 11:52 PM

    The City Council needs a forum via either this website or through the city website for these very topics. I for one am unable to attend these meetings because I am unable to find good paying work within the city. Every point this person made is a valid one and the city council MUST start listening to us citizens in the community.
    I for one don't care about the politics. Actions speak louder than words and so far we have not seen any action from our city council. HELLO!

    Citizens may not be at the meetings but they voted young and old. It may not be what the council likes but its' what the citizens want.

    A lot of the young families are busy with work, kids, sports and so forth. They may not have the privilege to be at the meetings like the seniors but they read menifee 24/7. It's not all the seniors that are against this special election. It's a variety of people who live here. We are tired of this.

    I'm tired of hearing about it, reading and discussing it. I'm in my 30's and I just want the council to move forward. Fix the roads, build more parks for the kids, bring in a movie theater, skate park, better family restaurants like Dave and Busters, so kids can go their to celebrate a game. My kids are in sports and have been for 5 years. We have no place to take the kids for their final game party. So we take our money and go to Murrieta Chucky Cheese or we go to Mulligan's in Temecula. Is this where you want the money to go??? I would like it to go to Menifee.

    Make a bridge that goes from the college to the Marketplace so alleviate traffic, allow people to drive in golf carts to save gas and alleviate traffic from schools to home. A bridge that has a sidewalk so college students can walk over and eat a meal. Or families can ride in a golf cart over.
    Plant more trees for shade, finish making plans for the aquatic center. Incorporate bike trails for families to ride. Bring in more police presence to help in the crime rate in Menifee.

    I used to feel safe in Menifee but now with cars being broken into, homes, garages and now banks being robbed. What is next??

    Safety should be priority, roads, and making the city more family orientated. This special election issue should be dropped NOW..

    By Anonymous, at July 23, 2009 12:11 PM

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  27. A revote will allow for for that debate on selecting our council members whether it is at large, by districts, from districts. In the June 3, 2008 election, the voters of the City of Menifee didn't focus on how to select our council members. The major debates were about the cityhood measure and who to vote for to sit on the city council. Let's have that debate!

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  28. Chuck Reutter at July 23, 2009 7:14 PM stated, "There really is no excuse for not attending the city council meeting this is your city".

    Chuck, I would like to attend and others too. But we do not have babysitters or money to dish out to get a babysitter. Maybe the city can provide free babysitting for parents who attend the meetings. What an idea???

    We work at night, kids sports and so forth. We may not be retired and have the opportunity to be at every meeting. That is why a lot of us get the information we need from Menifee 247 as stated previously. We may not be able to attend but we are aware of the issues. When the time comes we will be voting on what is right for Menifee. At this time a special election is not right for Menifee.

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  29. Maybe Mr. Reutter has forgotten the time demands upon younger voters that he and his older group no longer have. He may not remember the time demands of commutes, the youth sports and homework requirements of children. Many younger voters do follow the city issues and will express themselves in the voting booths at election time. For this reason, the city council shouldn't be swayed by slanted, unchallenged petitions signed by primarily the political base of a pressure group. The city governance shouldn't degenerate into street politics. The federal and state governments have highly developed public participation mechanism built into the approval process to insure that everyone can be heard in a variety of ways (written or oral). To merely attend council meetings and sign slanted petitions without proper debate from the opposition, will distorts the discussion on particular issues. When street politics and recalls between political factions becomes the norm, then the city government becomes dysfunctional. Does the "No Cityhood" faction spearheading the by district system aiming to create a dysfunctional environment for the city council?

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  30. To Anonymous, at July 24, 2009 10:38 AM

    How many times have you submitted written comments to the Council?

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  31. "How many times have you submitted written comments to the Council?"

    Twice to the entire council and other occasions to individual council members.

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  32. To Anonymous, at July 24, 2009 9:07 am Regarding your reason for not attending the city council meetings because you don't have a babysitter or money for one we understand but you can always bring your children to the meetings if you truly are interested in what is happening in your city. It is only 1 night 1-2 hours twice a month. Most Seniors have had families, children in sports etc. when they were younger but still were involved in what was happening in their communities and cities and have continued to be involved in there Senior years and who are you to try and put them down because they are retired and continue to be involved in local politics? It is so easy to sit at your computer at home and not know what was said or not said at a City Council meeting and bad mouth anyone who objects to the way this City Council is running our city. Reading what is on 24/7 or the newspapers account of what happened is not the same as being at a council meeting. Although I must say Steve does a great job. I say keep your mouth shut and stop insulting Seniors for voicing there opinions they too vote more so then the young people. And if you decide to attended a council meeting maybe you could ask them to setup a babysitting area in city hall so young family members can attend the Council meetings.

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  33. So the Council should side with one person who has written two times, or side with a large number of people who have consistently voiced their concern on how the City is going. And that large number of people, represents the 52% that voted in favor of districts.

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  34. Folks,

    Only 13% of the eligible voters bothered to cast a vote on the cityhood issue. So, please do not come up with the pathetic excuses because many of our people really do not care what is going on at all levels of government.

    Our city council chose to call our people not informed when s/he cast their vote. I do not disagree with this because the people voted for them. Furthermore, I was part of the incorporation committee until I asked about discussing districts and the committee said NO WAY! Yes, I wanted to see us become a city. But, could see what kind of people we were dealing with. You see, the majority of the folks seeking a cityhood office DID NOT WANT TO DISCUSS THE ISSUE OF DISTRICTS/AT LARGE. Do you get it?

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  35. The question of stable government is not at stake! The question of the peoples vote is at stake here. This act by our City Council is so UN-AMERICAN. Thats what it is folks just that. At large lost and according to the incorporation law only elections that are legally held are other options on by or from districts because by districts won. This needs to go into the courts and see if the American peoples vote still stands in this country or have we already been taken over by a dictatorship?

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  36. To the blogger at 4:44 on 7/24/09, wow! You have an interesting post. It appears that your idea of democracy is not allowing for any type of participation from voters in a secret ballot when changes are identified. Because the orginal enfranchisement of voters in this country were only White Male Landowners and we can not change! My understanding of American History is that our sytem of democracy adapts to changes in our society throughout the centuries. There were noted efforts to stop certain groups from voting such as non land owner white males,women, immigrants (Irish, Eastern European and Hispanics to name a few groups) and African-Americans. The comparison to not allowing a secret ballot on the issue of how to select our council candidates is that once a vote is taken we can no longer consider a revote regardless of new information, change of status of enfranchisement (losing the right to vote on four other council members) and any other changes as they occur. Black and White, either or order, a straight jacket placed on the governance of the City of Menifee. I and many other voters in Menifee strongly disagree with your interpretation of democracy and ideas what constitute un-Americanism.

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  37. What if the city were to video tape the council meetings and podcast them. It can be done on iTunes for free. Then NOBODY would have an excuse for not knowing what is going on. Those who do not have access to the internet could go to the library.

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  38. I have been very impressed with the interest and turnout of residents at council meetings. I have attended council meetings of other cities locally and in another state and attendance constituted staff, developers and a few residents. However, I think the blogger at 4/24/09 on 7/24 has a good point regarding video taping and podcast of the meetings. Any way to create additional transparency of the city council meetings is great.

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  39. To the blogger at 7:27pm, July 24, 2009 It appears not only do you not comprehend what I wrote but fail to acknowledge or understand people have voted on this matter through secret ballot. Just from your response it is clear that you do not understand the subject of districting and democracy. Wake up this is 2009 we all have the right to vote and just because a minority do not like the out come does not give them the right to challenge the origial vote with false info and that is what your city council is doing. There is no new evidence that effects the Incorporation law that we already voted on. If you are calling new evidence AB1582 that adds from districts to newly Incorporated cities that does not go into effect until 2010. This is not new evidence for a re-vote for at large. This city council can put from districts and by districts on the ballot in 4 different districting methods and all is legal under the CA GOV Code section 34871. But this city council does not want districts so they are saying people did not have enough info and not enough choices on the ballot. It is clear to anyone who truly is interested in this debate to check out the facts that it is not about choices or info its about this city council refusing to respect the vote of the people and working for their own political gains.
    And it still is very UN-AMERICAN TO TRY AND OVERTHROW THE VOTE OF THE PEOPLE.

    ReplyDelete
  40. To the Blogger on 7/25/09 at 6:23 p.m., I do understand when someone or some group wishes to disenfranchise my vote. When there is new information, potential lost of voting rights and a system (districts) that is premature to adopt in a city slated to grow explosively, then there is justifications to have a vote. To adhere to rigid interpretation can create disaster for an electorate. If American Democracy were to be rigid and stuck at only allowing Land Owning Whites, women would not be able to vote in an election as well as most other Americans. Fortunately, American Democracy is adaptable and flexible from local governments to federal. Because of this trait, our democracy is a living and breathing system.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Is the Sun City Civic Association part of the City of Menifee, Or do they think that they are a City on there own, It seams that way, See the web-site suncitycoremembers.com
    to see what is going on in there City, No Free Speech.If you are a renter you don't fit in with President, There are Two Swim Pools in the Core, not used all that much, So why can't the association rent one out to the City of Menifee, No No they won't do that they don't want the Public
    in there Pools, They don't even want our grandkids in the pools

    ReplyDelete
  42. To the blogger on 7/26/09 at 12.08 p.m. Sun City is part of the City of Menifee. In fact, the seniors within Sun City voted in the majority for cityhood. However, there is a very vocal group of seniors primarily from the core that were advocates for "No Cityhood" during the incorporation election. Many of the "No Cityhood" group and their leaders are now leading the charge for the "by District" system of selecting the city council. The city council may schedule on Wednesday a vote to have the residents of the City of Menifee decide between at large, by district, from districts as systems to select the city council. This group of seniors do not want a revote and they have made many comments regarding their positions.

    ReplyDelete
  43. By Anonymous, at July 26, 2009 4:47 PM

    To this poster.
    There is NO group leading a "By District" revote. Only your CITY COUNCIL is leading a revote for "At Large". Again, this revote silliness is coming from YOUR city council members.

    Otherwise, "By District" is what the people of Menifee voted for.

    Basically the people do not want to see city council spend more of OUR money to have another election for THEIR agenda.

    Common sense. Please.

    ReplyDelete
  44. To the blogger on 7/26/09 at 6:56 p.m., there are individuals that were very active in the "No Cityhood" campaign are now very active in pushing for by districts at city council meetings (read city council minutes). Ann Pica and Ruth Grulet(sp?) are two individuals that have been involved in the by district movement. Chuck Reutter and Mr. August are other individual allied with these two ladies. If one were to attend city council meetings for the past 9 months, the above referenced individuals as well as other persons with white hair and senior appearances have been making pro comments about by districts. Again, all a person has to do is to attend and or read city council minutes.

    ReplyDelete
  45. By Anonymous, at July 26, 2009 9:03 PM

    To this poster.

    Please,the vote has already taken place, and "By District" was the result of that vote.

    Again, only YOUR city council is pushing to change this result.

    From your post I find it hard to believe you have been attending city council meetings as I have.

    If city council had not initiated this "At Large" revote there would be no push back. City council is not happy with "By District". The only reason this is being discussed here is because city council is going to push their agenda through regardless of how the people of Menifee have already voted.

    Please check your facts, yes cityhood was approved as well as "By District" at the same time.

    Think.

    ReplyDelete
  46. The many comments have boiled down to the following positions: The by districts supporters have taken the position that once there is a vote we much stand behind it regardless of new information, questions on lost of enfranchisement and questions if by districts is the best system for the City of Menifee, a city growing explosively. The opposing position (I adhere to this one) is that we have an obligation to revote because of the points listed above. The many problems identified if by districts is implemented to supersede the mere fact that a vote was casts because opportunities exists for votes to be casts after there is thorough debate. Additionally,the Blue Ribbon Commission rated by districts the least desirable between three choices (at large, by districts, from districts). Additionally research has been conducted and found nearly all of the newly incorporated cities in the past decade initially voted for by districts and their city council scheduled a revote. These revotes resulted at large winning. It is my understanding that the City of Wildomar is scheduling a revote. In addition, the California Assembly and Senate members have all voted to add from districts (AB 1582) to ballots for future incorporating cities. Wildomar and Meifee were forced to choose between at large and by districts. Imagine, all of the Democrats and Republicans voting for AB 1582 with no dissenting votes. The small senior vocal group from primarily the senior core are on the opposite side of the fence from the vast majority of Californians representing all backgrounds. Hopefully, the city council of Menifee will follow city of Wildomar and schedule a revote on 7/29/09.

    ReplyDelete
  47. To By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 24, 2009 2:53 PM You stated, "I say keep your mouth shut and stop insulting Seniors for voicing there opinions they too vote more so then the young people. And if you decide to attended a council meeting maybe you could ask them to setup a babysitting area in city hall so young family members can attend the Council meetings."

    FYI: 1# I have gone to a couple of meetings. 2# I was not insulting anyone. 3# You may vote more than some but I have voted at every election since I was 21. So don't assume you know me or anything I do. I was making a suggestion not making insults. So calm down...

    ReplyDelete
  48. From the posts, there has been two positions taken. One position is that once there is a vote we much stand behind it regardless of new information, questions on enfranchisement and whether by districts is the best system in a city such as the City of Menifee, which is growing explosively. The opposing position (I adhere to this one) is that we have an obligation to revote because of the points listed above. Additionally,the Blue Ribbon Commission rated by districts the least desirable between three choices (at large, by districts, from districts.) Additionally research has been conducted and found nearly all of the newly incorporated cities for the past decade that initially voted for by districts scheduled a revote. These revotes resulted in at large winning. It is my understanding that the City of Wildomar is scheduling a revote. In addition, the California Assembly and Senate members have all voted to add from districts (AB 1582) to ballots for future incorporating cities. Wildomar and Meifee were forced to choose between at large and by districts. Imagine, all of the Democrats and Republicans voting for AB 1582 with no dissenting votes. Voters and legislators have been thinking and concluding that by districts is not the best system for a new incorporated city, particularly one that is rapidly growing. The City Council should schedule a revote. The campaign before the election can be the time to thoroughly discuss the pros and cons as was done by the Blue Ribbon Committee.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Please remember the Blue Ribbon Committee was bought and paid for by YOUR city council.

    Hmmm..I wonder why they came to the conclusion that they did?

    City council + Blue Ribbon Committee = a revote at taxpayers expense.

    I'm sure that POLITICIANS from both sides of the party aisle, including OUR city council, would prefer "At Large". But the intelligent voters of Menifee decided that "By District" would best serve all of the people.

    We don't care how Wildomar votes in their city. The vote has been taken, and Menifee chose "By District". Sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Why would the city council read this blog and react to it? In a sea of anonymous posts that are full of misinformation, sarcasm and down-right rudeness to those we elected to do the right thing for our new city.

    There seems to be a fundamental "purest" point of view that favors BY Districts for the simple fact that the voters chose that option in the June election, therefore; City Council you must abide by it!
    How sad for our democracy if this in fact is how people believe it functions.
    Democracy allows the opportunity to ask the people again.
    I for one, hope the opportunity is given. I have read the reports, attended the Districting Workshops and have a complete understanding of how the structure of our local city government will function now.
    I want to revote on this issue and move on, the sooner, the better.
    FORMER BY DISTRICT SUPPORTER

    ReplyDelete
  51. Please read the reports on the city's website and come to your own conclusions. Of particular interest is on page 26 that shows how many people skipped the question all together and then on page 27 how many cities have formed and that Goleta and Oakley had special elections and REVERSED BY DISTRICT. Come on people, you are trying to make our council look like dictators with self-serving interests by wanting to let the people choose again? You are sadly mistaken and terribly selfish in your own pursuit to see the city fail, shame on you!
    Read the facts
    Resident in Sun City-Menifee

    ReplyDelete
  52. How do we know that voting by district is not the way to vote? We haven't even voted that way yet.

    To July 28, 2009 9:38 PM:
    "Come on people, you are trying to make our council look like dictators with self-serving interests by wanting to let the people choose again?"

    Where is the line drawn on choosing again? Is it at districts? Is it new council members? Is it re-voting for incorporation?

    Why don't we give the will of the people a chance.

    ReplyDelete
  53. WOW! Now we have a new definition of democracy. Instead of the voice of the people being heard, we now have, "I don't agree with the vote, and want a new special election". Therein lies the problem.
    A vote was taken and decided, now those who don't agree with the results want a new election.
    I wonder want the result of a new election for cityhood would be. If this is how democracy now works, maybe we should ask the people if they think cityhood is correct, having now seen how when city council disagrees with a vote, they appoint a Blue Ribbon committee, have private meetings regarding a special election, and will continue to push their agenda until they get their way.
    You might be surprised at the fact that city council members do read these posts and try to glean every bit of information they can from the public opinion.
    If "At Large or By Dictrict" needs to be revisted again, then it should not be a special election, but should be put up for the next election in 2010 or 2012. No addtional cost should be involved in this decision.

    ReplyDelete
  54. who represents which district?

    ReplyDelete
  55. There will be a revote by 2010 to decide between at large, by districts and from districts. The decision must be done in the voting booth and not on the streets or packing the city hall. Hopefully, the City Council will give the citizens that right for a revote. If not, there will be strategies devised in the near future to get that right. The City of Wildomar did give their citizens the right to vote again. From research, nearly all of the city councils gave their citzens the right to a revote. Why not the City of Menifee?

    ReplyDelete
  56. allthatmattersJuly 31, 2009 8:32 PM

    Enough of this madness..City council spend our money for relection that the majority do not want..immediate recall of them for violating our civil rights to vote and have our votes counted.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I and many others living in the City of Menifee have lost 4/5ths of our vote as result of the City Council not approving a revote. The lost of voting rights supersedes the argument that a vote was taken and thus we can not ever consider a revote. Well, the City of Wildomar is allowing their residents a revote although at large in that city lost by a much greater margin to by districts than the vote in the City of Menifee. Out of more than 10,000 votes cast in the City of Menifee, only 227 more residents voted for by districts over at large. There was very less focusing on this measure because this measure was almost an afterthought in the June 3, 2008 election. Even with the vote on July 29 by City Council to not schedule a revote for the November 2009 election, I still have great expectations that we will have a revote by November 2010. Hopefully, we can still schedule a revote either on the June 2010 election ballot or November 2010 ballot. The revote is too important not to have a revote. A disenfranchisement out weighs the spending of a very nominal cost to conduct a revote ($38,000 out of a budget of $21,000,000) and the tired out argument that we have voted and cannot ever consider the matter again. CITY COUNCIL GIVES US THAT RIGHT TO REVOTE AS THE CITY COUNCIL OF WILDOMAR HAS DONE AND ALL OTHER NEWLY INCORPORATED CITIES HAVE DONE IN THE PAST TEN YEARS!!!

    Mr. Reutter the threat of recalling duly elected members may be the norm of the Sun City Civic Association but it should not be the norm of the City of Menifee. Good Governance is done by electing members to represent us and if we do not like their performances then we can vote them out in the next election. Recall should be reserved for only drastic type of activities such as stealing money from the city. I was not in agreement with the city council's decision on not setting at this time a revote but you will not hear a peep from me regarding recall. I respect the process of decision making established for the city. You and your group should also respect the rest of the residents in the City of Menifee.

    ReplyDelete
  58. We have a at large city council seated in the city of Menifee and 2 will serve until 2010 when their district will decide if they want them re- elected or replace them with better candidates for the job. The voters picked by district and the city council decided on there own they did not like the outcome. they know they will not get re-elected in the districts they have picked come 2010

    ReplyDelete
  59. To the blogger on 8/1/09 at 1:58, the voters of the City of Menifee should be able to have a revote like the voters in the City of Wildomar and all other cities that incorporated in California over the past ten years. Why should the voters of City of Menifee lose 4/5th disenfranchisement (not being able to vote for four other council members)? Besides the report from the Blue Ribbon Commitee ( you may not have read it), indicates that by districts is the least desirable of three voting systems (at large, by districts, from districts), particularly in a rapidly growing city such as the City of Menifee. The City of Menifee grew by 52% in the past eight years and this growth will continued unabated for the next thirty to fifty years.

    The other city councils in California recognized the right of the citizens for a revote and not be cowed by a vocal, pressure group of seniors that packs the city council chambers.

    In all fairness to the City Council of Menifee, this group have constantly threaten over different issues to recall at least three of the five council members since the city council began meeting in June 2008. This group has filed legal action against the city if they dared give the citizens a revote on the selection of the city council. Hopefully, the City Council will reconsider this matter for either the June 2010 Primarly Election or the November 2010 General Election.

    If it is illegal to schedule a revote, why has the City of Wildomar scheduled a revote for November 2009 as well as other cities that incorporated have done in the past ten years? Shouldn't the voters in the City of Menifee be treated in the same manner as other voters in other cities, particularly the voters in Wildomar?

    ReplyDelete
  60. Give it a rest Louis Mazei. Your "disenfranchisement" moniker gives you away. Have the nads to sign your name in lieu of "anonymous".

    By the way... I agree with you!

    ReplyDelete
  61. In response to the blogger on 8/3/09 at 10:06 p.m., I have publicly stated and will again on this post. I am favor of at large and good governance. I have taken my stances because of the research of the Blue Ribbon Commmittee, independent reading of resources and attending council meetings. I have taken effort to become imformed and exercising independent conclusions. I wish more residents would study the pros and cons of at large, by districts and from districts.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Shouldn't the City of Menifee voters have the same right for a revote as the City of Wildomar voters have?

    ReplyDelete

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