Bill Zimmerman - Looking Down The Road

Bill Zimmerman MenifeeThroughout his career, Menifee Planning Commissioner Bill Zimmerman has prepared many illustrative drawings of roads, bridges, and community plans for a civil engineering company. Recently, this visionary shared his ideas of the road that he sees Menifee traveling, and the bridge he hopes to help build to the future for our community.

"My primary hope is there will be more opportunities for communication with the public. A Town Hall meeting or public visioning workshop that welcomes public input. Commissioners enjoy hearing ideas and desires from folks, especially those from communities that we don’t actually live in. You know, people in a local place are the ones who best understand that place. They are ones with its interests most at heart, and ideally should guide the decisions that affect that place. It would be irresponsible for the Commission to pretend that we know what the people in Romoland, the Core Area, or Quail Valley communities want for their neighborhoods, because we do not live there. We should have our finger on the pulse of those unique places.”

Understanding the current needs of the residents Bill represents is crucial to him, but more over is his desire to see a future for Menifee that benefits us all.

“What attracts buyers to Menifee is affordable homes. You get more for your buck than you can in surrounding communities. But, for businesses to relocate, the owners of those businesses need to convince their families, their employees and maybe even themselves that they would want to put their business here and live in Menifee. Unfortunately, we’re not a resort community with a natural lake or other existing recreational attraction. However, things we can create and promote, such as the arts or fun and interesting civic events, can help improve quality of life and make our community more attractive".

“Attracting high-end jobs in fields such as biotechnology, telecommunications, software development, and other clean industries would be ideal. As we craft our General Plan, our planners should designate appropriate locations for corporate business parks that support these businesses. Forward thinking industries, these businesses create high paying job opportunities in industries that are in a growth pattern, rather than decline. We should also designate appropriate locations for upscale residential communities. Wouldn't it be great if CEO’s of large corporations thought of Menifee as the place to relocate their families, and industries? Doctors, lawyers, high paid professionals, who want to create jobs, who have money to spend, and want to spend it in Menifee. These individuals will be attracted by things we create to support their lifestyle.”

But all of that takes work. Traffic improvements, bridges over our freeway, regional parks, performing arts and civic activity centers help to lure affluent home buyers and jobs.

"In my opinion, an established city, a city that has really arrived, is a city that is known for its arts and culture. We become a destination when folks travel to Menifee to see a performance. It may take many years to bring these goals to fruition, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. It takes a fully charged synergy, a collaboration of our service organizations, local and regional public agency funding, as well as philanthropy, but when put to work, those ideals can be accomplished in time.”

Being a member of the Arts Council Menifee, Bill looks forward to opportunities to meet many local artists, and hopes to attract many more. He also enjoys what he learns while attending the Menifee Historical Association meetings. His position as a member of the Planning Commission gives him a unique view of both sides of the fence. He understands the need to attract businesses that increase our overall socio-economic picture, while preserving Menifee's natural scenic beauty and agrarian lifestyle.

Bill started his professional career in 1984, first using his artistic skills, and later his computer, to draw master plans for local communities. An early project he worked on was the Rancho California Master Plan prior to the incorporation of the City of Temecula. In 1989, at age 25, he bought his first home, a Forecast home in Sun City, and had to camp out for three nights to be able to qualify for the next release. “Those were the days of the housing boom with lotteries and campouts. I had to go the extra mile, heck, a few extra miles to buy my first home. But camping out was actually fun, because I was only 25 years old!”

Bill Zimmerman Menifee
These days, Bill has been married for 17 years, to his wife Julie, whom he describes as “the best wife in the world”. His daughter Jennifer is 15 and a sophomore at Paloma High School. With deep adoration in his eyes, Bill speaks of his family and sighs, “Truly, I’m the luckiest guy alive”. Just a regular guy, he and his family enjoy the outdoors, camping, and riding ATV’s. “We go family camping, sometimes with 50 people, 20 RV’s, all of us circled up in the sand dunes. That’s our getaway.”

Singing in a classic rock band, playing the drums and driving an off road race car, a desert style baja bug, are all of things that bring a smile to his face. With a heart that is filled with his love of family, his hope for the future for his community, and a genuineness in his purpose, Bill is truly a visionary. “I love the city that I live in and I’m very proud of it. I’m hopeful and encouraged for a bright future, anticipating good changes for all of us in the community and proud to be part of the process. I’m humbled by the position I’ve been placed in, and I’m honored to be serving the community that I love so dearly.”




8 Comments:

  1. can you picture this..you're in your convertible on a warm late sunny afternoon, with your wife at your side, and your climbing the beautiful hills of Menifee, up and up and winding around and around until you're at the top, you stop for a minute and look out over the entire valley of Menifee beneath you and, you immediately see the mountains to the east, to the west and to the south, and they take your breath away just the beauty of them, you look again and see the valleys as far as your eyes can see, and as close as your sitting. Its quite a site and your thankful. You pull into a parking garage at the top of the hill, park your car and enter onto a electric shuttle bus that will take you into a mall with NO car's allowed. You pass by a hugh water fountain in the middle of the mall and notice the young children playing in the fountains water with the little sail boats they brought with them, and they are laughing, so you smile as well. You now pass Starbucks and see the young folks of Menifee sitting outside at the patio tables visiting with one another and enjoying the beautiful quiet mall, you now pass the new museum shared by the Pechanga Indian Tribe and the late pioneers that came to the Menifee Valley years ago, the many Indian artifacts that they have found in our very own hills that they have brought for all of us to share, and the stories that are connected to them. And, here is a old tractor the pioneers used in planting the crops and the history behind there story. The shuttle continues on and more folks are getting off, this time at the open theatre where every 3 months a new play is being presented. But, we are stopping at a open air restaurant where we can sit outside and once again see the beautiful sites of nature, the mountains, hills and valleys of Menifee and tip our glass of wine to a well planned community where the young and old can enjoy.
    This is one of my vision's of Menifee.

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  2. Actually this Zimmerman guy makes some good points. This City needs to attract professional jobs. I commute to San Diego every day and it sucks.

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  3. I commute to Newport Beach. The one thing we citizens of the Inland Empire need most is better transportation infrastructure. Not buses or trains, but roads. If there was a tunnel under the Cleveland National Forest into Orange County our homes would be worth A LOT MORE. It "only" takes me 1 hour 25 minutes to get to Fashion Island every morning, a tunnel would cut that down to 45 minutes...viola, our homes are worth 50% more. That is the only thing you can raise my taxes for!

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  4. The things that the Commissioner hopes to see in Menifee will be realized after the economy recovers. But planning for it now is smart. This City will probably be more populated than Temecula, so I hope these decision makers can still save some of our open areas.
    And yes, lets start plans for a perfoming arts center.
    Lorraine

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  5. The last thing we need government to be involved in is performing arts. Menifee citizens will receive the most benefit from transportation improvements (freeways and overpasses). If you reduce the time it takes someone to bypass Temecula each evening commute and come the extra 6 miles to Menifee from 20 minutes to 10 minutes our homes will be worth a lot more! If I could actually get over the Newport road overpass I might shop there more often! Etc...

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  6. Mom in Sun CityJune 29, 2011 9:04 AM

    Hi, I love knowing that this town will improve. My two middle-schoolers are hard to keep entertained, no movie theaters or skate parks here.
    This summer they go to Boys & Girls Club in Murrieta 2 days a week. Can we work on making things better for the kids here in Menifee?
    Does our Mayor have any ideas like these?
    thanks,
    Mom in Sun City

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  7. Heritage HS dudeJuly 09, 2011 11:48 AM

    Mr. Zimmerman is talking about the big picture for Menifee. It's obvious that we will grow to be as big, maybe even bigger than Temecula when the economy recovers.
    So planning for it now is the right thing to do. We should be thinking about ways to make the city the best place to live, with things to do at night.
    My friends and I shouldnt have to always go to Temecula for fun.

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  8. Mom in Sun City, why do we always have to wait until the 'City' does something, perhaps you could start a club yourself 2-3 days a week and charge accordingly. then when it becomes more successful you could ask the city (then) for help in arranging a place. I'll bet you could get a empty store front for cheap to have your club. Or apply for a 'grant' to help with expenses. Perhaps your church would offer a community room to get started, then have day trips around Menifee. Hikes at Santa Rosa Plateau, a day at Lake Elsinore, a day trip to Oceanside Beach, drive to Hemet to Diamond Valley Museum, pick a park and have a big picnic..see many outings could be included too.

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