Countryside Marketplace Grand Opening Celebration

Donahue Schriber, the owner of Countryside Marketplace, is hosting the official grand opening of, Countryside Marketplace.

It'll take place Friday June 5, 2009, and last all weekend long through Sunday.

There's going to be free food samplings and beverage tastings, live entertainment, strolling balloon artists, free face painting for kids, clowns, giveaways and live radio broadcasts.

Radio stations KATY-FM 101.3 and KCXX-FM 103.9 will be there running live remote broadcasts, and will be giving away a pair of Jonas Brothers concert tickets and tickets for the Catalina Flyer. KFROG-FM 92.9 will be also be doing a live remote, but will be giving away concert tickets to Richie McDonald, former lead singer of Lonestar, and tickets to Jack Ingram.

Shoppers who bring a $25 or more receipt from a Countryside Marketplace merchant to any of the live radio remotes on Friday, Saturday or Sunday will receive a free jumbo zip tote bag or stainless steel thermos tumbler, while supplies last.

Attendees can also enter to win $50, $100 and $250 shopping spree gift cards from various Countryside Marketplace retailers, as well as enter raffles at Lowe’s, Affordable Portable, Verizon Wireless and Starbucks.

Throughout the grand opening weekend, festivities will be taking place around the pond in the food court area with the Will Faeber Trio kicking things off Friday from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Hill Country Band will perform live on Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. and on Sunday the Kevin Cameron Band will take the stage from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. near the main entrance.

There will be a place set up for kids, a game area with free prizes and bounce house jumpers.

Whimsical Frozen Yogurt, Maui Island Grill and other food court restaurants will be offering food samplings all weekend long, while Beverages & More will feature beer and wine tastings on Friday and Saturday.

So Why a Grand Opening Several Months After the Fact?

I asked that question to Donahue Schriber's marketing folks, who explained that grand openings for large shopping centers don't usually take place until several months after they've opened. They usually wait until all of the smaller merchants get settled in, which often takes months and months to complete.

Plus, they wanted to do this celebration during the warmer months.

Independence Day Parade Seeks Participants

The Menifee Independence Day Parade for 2009 takes place on Saturday, June 27th. It runs from Mt San Jacinto College and ends at Wheatfield Park.

The Lake Menifee Womens Club, who organizes the parade, is calling for groups, clubs, businesses, and anyone else to participate in the parade.

They'd love to get classic cars, dance groups, Boy/Girl Scout Troops, sports teams, golf carts, horses, and whatever else the community can throw at them.

Parade participants are not required to complete an application, however they need to confirm with the parade chairperson Marcy Riehm by either email or by phone prior to the event for placement in the line up.

Contact Info: Marcy Riehm "Lake Menifee Women's Club" Parade Chairperson 2009
Email :
Phone : (951) 377-6089

Menifee Union Superintendent Pay Raise

A teacher at Ridgmoor Elementary writes to me directing my attention to an article in today's newspaper about superintendent Linda Callaway getting a pay raise...

Her annual salary is now $173,813, which reflects a 4 percent raise that was provided for in her original contract.


Callaway earned $147,808 when she was hired and then signed a three-year contract in July 2007, which bumped her salary to $160,700.
The teacher mentioned that the superintendent shouldn't get a pay raise if teachers don't get one in the same year.

I know that $173,813 is an awful lot of money. But just to play devil's advocate, and to get a discussion going, I pose a couple of questions to readers...

  1. If there is a better superintendent somewhere out there, how much will it cost to lure that person over to Menifee?

  2. Could Callaway get paid far more at another school district?

Menifee News and Notes - May 27, 2009

Cerulean Notes, an indie rock band, is scheduled to play at Menifee Lakes Country Club this Thursday, May 28, 2009, 8:30pm. Listen to their music online.

Sun City Model Railroad Club will meet Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 10 AM, Provident Bank Community Room located at 27010 Sun City Blvd, to discuss plans to promote model railroading at schools, fairs, churches, etc. Public is invited. Contact Chuck Reutter, 951.679.3752

Menifee resident and author Tina Walker, has scheduled a book launching for her new book, "Finding Christ Inside", on June 20th, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, at Eclectic Books located at 39520 Murrieta Hot Springs Road, Suite 218, in Murrieta, in the Margarita Ville center, next to Fresh & Easy. Tina is also a writer for local news publication, "Country Review Magazine". Book signing, refreshments, book readings, and live music will be on hand. Learn more at:

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 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:

George Wentz Hired as Permanent City Manager

The Menifee City Council on Tuesday appointed interim City Manager George Wentz as the permanent City Manager. Here's the press release...

The Menifee City Council voted Tuesday to appoint George Wentz as the City's first permanent City Manager. Mr. Wentz has served as Menifee's interim City Manager since the City's incorporation in 2008.

Mr. Wentz brings to the City three decades of experience in municipal services, including the last couple as a consultant for Winzler & Kelly, an engineering consulting firm. He has extensive experience in City government and has served as an Interim City Manager, Assistant City Manager, City Engineer and in numerous other leadership positions for several other municipalities.

Mayor Wallace Edgerton said the City of Menifee is pleased to have a City Manager of such caliber.

"We are fortunate to be able to retain the services of an experienced Manager such as Mr. Wentz who already has served the community and Council well," Mayor Edgerton said. "We look forward to his stellar management and service to the people of Menifee in the years to come as our new City grows."

Mayor Edgerton and Councilman Scott Mann negotiated the agreement with Mr. Wentz, which takes effect July 1. Mr. Wentz currently is a resident of San Clemente, but his new contract provides assistance to "stimulate" a move to Menifee.
Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone praised the City's decision to hire Mr. Wentz as its first City Manager.

"The City of Menifee has made an excellent selection of a well-respected and seasoned executive in George Wentz," Supervisor Stone said. "George has decades of business and municipal government experience that will serve the citizens of Menifee well for years to come. Menifee is poised to become an economic force in the County, and the City is off to a great start with George Wentz in the chief executive’s chair."

Mr. Wentz, 59, has worked closely with the City Council since Menifee's incorporation on October 1, 2008 and assisted with key tasks such as the creation of a planning commission and focus on stimulating development. He will work closely with the City Council to implement strategic planning goals that have been developed over the past several months and to build the City’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Mr. Wentz has a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Michigan State University and a master's degree in public administration. He and his wife of 41 years, Kristine, have two adult children and two grandchildren.

Homes are Selling in Menifee

I posted an article on the Menifee Homes blog today, based on some sales data I got from Steve Calder, an agent specializing in Menifee...

Normally, I wouldn't remind you that there's a new article there, except I haven't been posting much stuff there lately.

Anyways, it's interesting food for thought.

Swimming Pool at Paloma Valley High

Paloma Valley High School still doesn't have a swimming pool.

I know over the past few years I've heard other parents complain about this.

Recently, one local parent, Leslie Kussman has been trying to figure out what needs to be done to get a pool put in.

She wrote to officials at Perris Valley High School District, who did write back to her, but in a long, and politically correct way, they basically said there's no money to build one, and that there are bigger issues to deal with.

So the question she asked in response is...

Simply put, how and where does a community member begin to raise funds to build a pool at Paloma Valley HS?

I recall a year ago, when Donahue Schriber, the builder of Countryside Marketplace, visited Webb Hall in Sun City to give a presentation on the new shopping center, they said that an aquatic center would be put in at the south-west corner of Haun Rd and Newport Rd.

I never heard anything about this since.

But I assume that if such a public swimming pool gets put in, Paloma Valley High would contract to use that pool.

So maybe the question is "What's the status on that aquatic center?"

Menifee's Dog Park Seeks to Add Fresh Water

Menifee's Dog ParkThe flood control basin at Aldergate Park has been a popular destination for locals with dogs, with its large grassy expanse and fenced perimeter. Even though it was never designated as a dog park, Valley Wide Parks & Recreation, which owns the basin has welcomed residents and their dogs there, and has even gone so far as to provide a poop-bag dispenser.

But aside from that, problems still exist.

A committee of dog owners known as the "Dog Park Committee" wants to put in a fresh water faucet. Currently, dog owners fill up bowls at the park's restroom, and then carry the water over to the dog park.

The committee has had talks with Valley-Wide Recreation to put in a fresh water line feeding off of the existing line near the restroom.

Valley-Wide Recreation has generously agreed to pay for half of the cost of installation, if the Dog Park Committee can provide the other half, which will be approximately $2,500.

To help explore ways to raise these funds, the Dog Park Committee is holding a brainstorming meeting on Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 6:30 pm. This meeting is open to the public and all residents are invited. The meeting will be held inside the Dog Park so attendees are encouraged to bring their dogs if they like. Seating is limited, so it is recommended to bring your own chair.

The committee will also discuss other ways to improve the dog park, including adding double-gate entry, and mesh-fencing to keep small dogs from squeezing through the wrought iron fence.

Menifee Dog Park Group Meeting
Date: Thursday, May 21, 2009 @ 6:30pm
Location: Aldergate Park

See the agenda linked below...

Directions: Aldergate Park, which is located at the N/W corner of Aldergate Dr. and Menifee Rd., (Just one mile North of Newport Rd.)

You can e-mail the Dog Park Group at for more information or to be notified of future updates and events.

Menifee Mustangs Qualified for Youth Baseball World Series

Dave Fokken of the Menifee Mustangs youth baseball team sends word that the team has qualified for the Youth Baseball World Series in Steamboat Springs, CO this July and are doing a lot of fund raisers in order to get the kids there.

So, they're putting on a car wash tomorrow (Saturday, May 16)...

Our Menifee Mustangs 12U baseball team has qualified to participate in the Triple Crown World Series this July and is having a Car Wash Fund Raiser this Saturday, May 16th from 9am-2pm next to Carl's Jr.(Newport Rd.). $6 per Car and $8 per Truck/Van/SUV. Please bring your vehicles and help them earn their way to the World Series!

Dale Armstrong & Michelle Ross at Menifee Motor Madness

Don Lunday of the Rotary Club of Menifee wants to remind everyone about the upcoming 1st Annual Menifee Motor Madness tomorrow at Mt San Jacinto Community College.

The event, featuring more than 200 cars, 1974 and earlier, takes place at Mt. San Jacinto Community College, Menifee Campus, Saturday, May 16th, 9am to 4pm.

Admission is free.

Hall of Fame drag racer, Dale Armstrong will be there, and Menifee's own country artist Michelle Ross will perform live.

Proceeds from the event will go towards creating clean drinking water to villages in Guatemala.

A CARNIVAL is coming!!!

Menifee is to have it's very own celebration for our dedicated men and women of the Armed Forces. This Saturday, May 16th from 2:30-7pm there will be a Carnival, Child Safety Fair, Entertainment, Vendor Market, and much more. From Skydivers to Face Painters, it promises to be a blast for all!

GSLS is hosting this event and entrance is free. 26800 Newport Road... just look for the very big, colorful rides on the corner of Winterhawk and Newport... across from Mobil. Sponsored by a Menifee-based non-profit group, Carnival Entertainment out of San Diego will be providing a few acres of stomach bending action! I am personally looking forward to some good, old fashioned popcorn and cotton candy while I watch my kids ride the ferris wheel and bounce themselves into blissful bellyaches like only a carnival can provide! The fair closes down at 7pm, but the carnival stays open until 8pm... or a long as it takes for us parents to get kicked off the rides!!!

Everyone is welcomed to come out and honor loved ones by purchasing a flag for our much honored "field of flags" engagement. There will be a bake sale fundraiser for WIA Specialist Ryan Price and care package donations taken for the 1st Batallion 7th Marines out of Camp Pendelton.

Local Fire, EMT, Police and even McGruff will be on hand to hang out with the kids and show off their cool gear. Performances by PVHS Color Guard, Rifle Team, and Drama Club will add a variety to the performances scheduled that day.

All food is catered by Carnitas Express. There will be plenty of shade and chairs for those who want to catch a break and watch their little ones kick around on the AYSO play field. And don't forget the art contest:

Here is a lineup of vendors:

• Bake Sale Fundraiser for WIA Ryan Price •
• AYSO Registration •
• Ethnos Christian International •
• Menifee Valley Athletic Club & Day Spa • Just In Time Sky Divers • Portraits By Sarah •
• Health Plus • FS Originals• Dawn Construction • Menifee Valley Dental Group •
• The Crafting Ladies • JWH Electrical Contracting • Love To Accessorize •
• Up Your Alley-Outrageously Feminine Attire •
• Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Cookbook Fundraiser •
• Riverside County Sherrif's Department Explorer Program •
• California Fire Department • American Emergency Response•
• Trina's Stained Glass• Close to My Heart Scrapbooking•
• Unique Boutique Mom & Kids Gurrlie Girl Jewelry•
•Revelation Industries• Webby Dance Company• Dunrite Tile

If you have any questions, please call (951) 672-6675 or visit their website at

See you there Saturday... I will be the one there dragging around kids with crazy, sparkly painted faces and fistfuls of goodies!

Menifee parents apathetic?

I saw this article about Menifee parents (of Bell Mountain Middle School students) and felt immediately defensive, however it is a topic worth considering...

The 'Head in the Sand' award

A raspberry to apathetic parents in the Menifee Union School District.Educators recently organized a presentation on Internet safety for parents at Bell Mountain Middle School in Menifee.
The seminar was spurred, at least in part, by at least three recent incidents of local middle school students posting video clips on the Internet of kids fighting each other.To publicize the event, the school district sent out fliers, posted information on its Web site and sent automated phone calls to families across the city.
Despite these efforts, on the night of the big event, only three parents showed up. Among them were a school board member and a teacher. They were far outnumbered by the one lieutenant, three sheriff's deputies and nine local school district administrators who were there to host the meeting.
We all have busy lives, but parents in Menifee and elsewhere should be a little more interested in some of the pitfalls waiting for kids, in both the real world and online.
By The Californian Opinion staff Monday, May 4, 2009 12:10 AM PDT

I for one would agree that the Youtube craze and other such internet sites, popularly used for, shall we say "personal expression," are places that can be of great danger to our kids. In addition, I recently read an article while sitting in the doctors waiting room. (It was a very long article, however, my wait was even longer so I read the entire thing) It referred to the number of kids (ages 10 to 16) that are actually sending pornographic pictures of themselves via cell phones, to other kids. Mostly boyfriends or girlfriends etc...

Now, given the level of e-danger to our kids that is out there, I am curious about the determination that it was "apathy" that made parents skip this event. I would love to hear from local parents on this...

Model Railroad Demonstration Today

At the United Church of Christ in Sun City, on the corner of Sun City Blvd and McCall, today, at 7:30pm, the Sun City Model Railroad Club will be setting up their tracks and running trains for the "Young Rangers" a youth group at the church.

The public is invited to watch the demonstration.

Menifee City Council Meeting - May 5, 2009

The first part of the public meeting was a study session that started at 5:30pm. The study session was two parts, one involving land annexation for a housing development called "The Shores at Menifee", and the other involving a commercial development called, "Menifee Lakes Plaza".

The Shores at Menifee

This matter is more about the city annexing some extra land, than it is about the development itself. The development sits right on the border of Menifee and county land, as noted below...

the shores at menifee
The part that is in Menifee is the upper-left portion containing the three yellow parcels. The rest of it lies on county land. That's Briggs Road running north and south separating the two jurisdictions, and that's Salt Creek running through the middle, with Domenigoni Rd running east and west in the bottom.

The developer wants the City of Menifee to annex the county portion so that it'll be much easier for them to manage. As it stands now, they'd have to work with two different authorities, and two different plans, and two different bureacracies.

A representative of the developer stood before the council and gave a lengthy presentation on why the City should be totally excited about having this development 100% within its limits. He showed countless photos of how beautiful this thing is going to look. He also stressed the fact that right now, Menifee is really losing out because the City of Temecula has the more attractive market for housing.

However, IF the City of Menifee annexes this chunk of land, and approves this housing development, then Menifee will command the all the housing dollars that Temecula is getting right now. The developer did his best to really sell the council on this project.

He also said that because this development sits on Salt Creek, there will be green belts along both sides of Salt Creek, consisting of grass that could actually be used as park space.

John Denver responded right away that this proposed development must come with a really high HOA fee. The developer responded that it would not be anymore than Harveston, Heritage Lake, Menifee Lake, or Centex at the Lakes.

Wallace Edgerton asked if the home prices would be priced lower or higher than in competing developments. The developer said they would be priced around 17% lower than in similar lake developments.

Fred Twyman noted that the lot sizes are rather small, and the homes are pretty compact. In fact, these homes don't have streets, rather the developer used the word "alleys". Twyman went on to say that the areas on the borders of Menifee, such as this area, are typically where the 1 acre and multi-acre properties are, and that having such small cramped homes in this area is against the existing community make up.

The developer responded to Fred by saying that the existing economy, as bad it is right now, just won't support 1 acre lot sizes. He said that home builders won't even bother with it, and that the only way to sell homes these days is to build 'em small, and sell 'em cheap (he didn't actually use those words).

But the developer did use the words, "self-sustaning residential lifestyle community" to describe this place. In other words, it's going to have a shopping center, some restaurants, and a lake.

Scott Mann responded that he really liked the creation of green belts on both sides of Salt Creek, and that's he generally in support of this project. However, he was of the opinion that this presentation would discuss more about the annexation of land, and not so much the development.

Darcy Kuenzi seemed to say the same thing that Scott said, liking the green belts, and the project in general.

Note: because this was presented during a study session, the council did not make any decision on this.
My Opinion: We don't need anymore homes, we need more jobs! I recommend the council have the developer revise the plan so that the portion that's in Menifee become the shopping center, and leave the homes on county land.

And I don't understand this need to compete against Temecula. Why are we building a town for people who have yet to move here? City council members would do better to focus on those of us who are already here.
Menifee Lakes Plaza

This a shopping center on the corner of Newport Rd and Antelope Rd. It's the only empty space there is on that intersection.

The developer was simply giving a presentation on an issue that the city all too familiar with already. In that sense, he basically just flew through the details.

It'll be 16.29 acres total. 120,848 sq ft of retail space.

There will be hotel with 71 rooms, comprising of four stories. There will be a gas station with car wash, and convenience store, along with restaurants, but not certain if these are just fast-food, or what.

There will be traffic light built at Pampas & Palm Villa.

There will also be a 75 foot tall sign sitting by the I-215 freeway. This sign is apparently higher than what the law allows, however, the developer wants an exception to be made. It seems every commercial development has a sign that's taller than what law the allows, and the developer always wants an exception to be made. Makes you wonder why they have a law.

Menifee Lakes Plaza
Scott Mann asked if the developer conducted any community outreach, particularly since the hotel will be 4 stories, instead of the 3 stories that the law currently allows. The developer said they met with folks from the Palmia community, and that they were all very receptive to it, but I didn't quite hear what his definition of "receptive" was. He said they plan to meet with folks from Oasis on May 12.

Fred Twyman said his family loves to eat at restaurants with outdoor dining patios, and wondered if there would be any such restaurants here. The developer said that they have plans for restaurants to be there, but didn't go so far as to say what type, how big, or if they'll have outdoor patios.

Darcy Kuenzi said that she was concerned about the sign being "very visual". But she clarified that to say that she wants the sign, and the overall look of the development to have a very unique look. She described what drivers along the I-215 would see as they came from the north, coming over the hill, and down towards Newport Rd. She wanted this sign to cry out "Menifee", and not "Temecula". Perhaps she was referring to the "agrarian look" of Countryside Marketplace across the freeway.

It'll likely be June or July when the city council will be asked to make an tentative approval on the map.

Todd Friedman, a resident of Tierra Shores, spoke up with a public comment, asking about the traffic this would create. He noted the hotel would create more traffic, and that hotels typically attract crime. The council did not answer, with the Mayor explaining that they had run out of time on this study session, and that Fred Twyman had already expressed concerns about traffic also.

City Council Meeting

And then the actual city council meeting started at 7:10pm.

Public Comments

Terry Freeman, who lives in Tierra Shores, complained about the stench in that neighborhood. He said it's not coming from the Dairy, but from the RV Park. I presume he's talking about Wilderness Lake. He said they have their own sewage treatment plant, and that the smell comes from gases "burping" out of the treatment plant. He wants the city to get with the "water quality control board", to create more strict rules. He said the RV Park has made no changes to its sewage system since 1995. The Mayor deferred the matter to the City Planner, who promptly talked to Terry.

Chuck Ruetter, asked the city council to adopt rules that require home builders to install drought tolerant plants instead of lawns. Interestingly, I just got an announcement from Eastern Municipal Water District the other day that this Saturday, May 9, they will host a "Water-Wise Demonstration Garden Grand Opening" from 10 am to 2 pm at its Perris headquarters (2270 Trumble Road) to showcase water-efficient landscaping and irrigation methods.

I agree with Chuck, if the council is going to approve every new home development, they have to be responsible about the water implications, and force these builders to install drip irrigation, and xeriscaping.

Anne Weston, said that the county Planning Commission is going to hold a public hearing at the Eastern Municipal Water District office on May 13, 9:00am, regarding some zoning issues that may affect Procinctu, the private military training facility that's supposed to be going in just north of Menifee's boundaries. She also mentioned that the land where Procinctu is going drains into a watershed, and that lead bullets from the firing range will create lead poisoning in the water.

Abatement of Public Nuisances

This is a new ordinance the council approved at the last session, and is approving again for a second time. This time, Darcy Kuenzi asked the city attorney how this law could be enforced, eluding to some kind of vagueness in the wording.

The city attorney spoke up saying that this ordinance was created for a specific issue in a specific area of town, where off-road vehicles are making a lot of noise. This will give cops a means to bust those people, but that the law wasn't intended to be enforced regularly.

Planning Commission

The council adopted an ordinance that will create the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission will consist of city residents who will be referred to as "planning commissioners". Each city council member will be allowed to appoint one planning commissioner.

An argument discussion broke out over the process by which planning commissioners can be removed. Edgerton was of the opinion that they had agreed a commissioner could only be removed by the city council member who appointed him/her. The council members disagreed, that a planning commissioner could be removed by a 3-to-2 vote of the council members.

This apparently was a big bone of contention.

I'm not sure if there was anything to read in between the lines on this, but considering we have some city council members who are pro-development, and others who seem to scrutinize development, the potential removal of a planning commissioner could have political implications. And in fact, Edgerton stated that he did not want council members voting out a planning commissioner for political reasons.

The mayor wanted to know that the only way a planning commissioner could be voted out was for reasons of "cause". The other council members noted that this was a very difficult subject to define, and asked the city attorney to clarify. Edgerton ended up having a lengthy discussion with the attorney on what exactly "cause" could mean, and she explained that it's very unclear, and that it could create a legal nightmare for the city, should a planning commissioner decide to sue if removed for such reasons.

At one point, John Denver accused the Mayor of arguing with the city attorney.

This was probably one of the most heated debates between city council members I've seen, while everyone tried their best to keep their cool, and look professional. But the frustration was pretty well evident.

They finalized the discussion by saying that tomorrow, an application form will be on the City's website that folks can use to throw their name into the hat for consideration.

Curfew and Truancy

The city adopted an ordinance on curfews and truancy. The city had previously used the county's ordinance, and simply replaced it with their own, and it's actually the same law. Kids are supposed to be off the streets by 10:00pm.

Scott Mann asked if they should change this to 11:00pm instead, noting that his 17 year old son often drives to other schools because he's active in sports, and that many times gets back to town late, and needs to stop at a fast-food joint for some chow. There was some discussion on this, and I forget who said it, but one council member said that Scott's son wouldn't have a problem because he was such a good kid. I didn't necessarily see how that comment would help the other parents of this town.

Nonetheless, Scott shrugged it off and accepted the 10:00pm curfew.

The city attorney also chimed in and said that neighboring cities also have 10:00pm curfews, and that setting Menifee's curfew to 11:00pm would create some confusion.

City Manager's Report

The city manager presented the council with a proposal to create an ordinance against parking one's car on their front lawn. Apparently, they've been getting these complaints.

The council sounded in support of such an ordinance, but wanted some clarification on the definition of "front lawn" noting that some properties have a lots of acreage, and that parking one's car in front of the house could be construed as a "front lawn" if there wasn't enough definition to the ordinance.

Veterans Memorial

Scott Mann reported that progress is being made on the Veterans Memorial. They have designs in the works.

Also, he said if any veterans out there want to get involved in this, to contact him at his e-mail:

Menifee City Seal Chosen

The Menifee City Council this evening unveiled the city's official seal...

menifee city seal
This design is actually a combination of two design concepts, merged together.

Originally, the city had fielded designs from 44 people. A city seal committee whittled it down to 10 finalists. The city council members then reviewed the 10, and offered their comments. From that, the committee ended up with the following two final designs...

These designs were submitted by Menifee residents, Michelle Fournier, and Gayle DuRivage. These two were awarded free champagne brunches at Menifee Lakes Country Club, along with certificates of proclamation. The other 8 finalists also received certificates.

The city then hired a local business services company, R & R Business Services to combine both designs into the single design.

When I saw the final city seal, the first thing I thought of was "Sierra Nevada Pale Ale"...

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
But that's just the beer guy in me.

I whispered over to Gary Thompson, the city's finance guy, that it looks like a Sierra Nevada beer label. He didn't quite hear me. The person sitting next to me heard me, and commented that it kinda looked like an orange crate label.

I could see that.

Either way, it's our city's new seal, whether it reminds you of beer or oranges.

So here's a question to everyone: what kind of bird is that? Hawk, Raven, or Turkey Vulture? You pretty much see all three around here.

Menifee Art Contest

This was sent to me by Good Shepherd Lutheran School...

Art Contest fundraiser for WIA Specialist Ryan Price:

On Saturday, May 16, 2009 Good Shepherd Lutheran School (GSLS) will host its 2nd Annual Armed Forces Day Celebration from 2:30pm-7:00pm. The school will host a carnival, car show, over 25 local vendors, food, entertainment and most importantly, fundraising efforts for WIA Specialist Ryan Price and care packages for the 1st Battalion 7th Marines. Ryan was wounded on May 7, 2008 while serving in Afghanistan. He lost both legs as well as sustaining many other injuries.

GSLS is supporting fundraising efforts for Ryan Price by hosting an Art Contest for children in the Menifee Valley and a Bake Sale on Armed Forces Day. Children ages 2-12 are eligible to participate in the Art Contest. Children may draw, take a picture or make a diorama celebrating this year's theme, " American Heroes". With each submission, GSLS is asking a donation of $5 in support of Ryan Price.

To participate in the Art Contest vist our website at If you, your family or business would like to support Ryan Price further, please contact Sherry LeMaster at 951.672.6675 ext 227. All entries are due Monday, May 11, 2009.