Menifee Citizens Group Formed to Protest 'Lack of Action'

A school bus and other vehicles try to travel safely across a flooded stretch of Holland Road on Tuesday.
A group of concerned citizens led by a former mayoral candidate is protesting what they consider to be inefficient and dishonest conduct by Menifee city officials.

John F. Smith, who withdrew from the race for Menifee mayor prior to the election, is coordinating the formation of Menifee Citizens for Honest Government, which he says has about 100 members so far. In a press release sent to Menifee 24/7, Smith claims that city officials continue to ignore and lie to residents about promised improvements within the city.

The primary focus of the group at this time is the condition of a stretch of Holland Road west of Murrieta Road. A 1,200-foot, hilly and narrow stretch of dirt road has for years been considered a safety hazard and has become a hot topic since the opening of Herk Bouris Elementary School last August.

Many Menifee school children have been assigned to Herk Bouris, which is across the city limits in Lake Elsinore. To get there, school buses and cars must travel a bumpy, narrow road with poor sight lines and numerous potholes. During a rainstorm, the lowest sections of the road become flooded.

Such was the case on Tuesday, as cars and buses slowly maneuvered around potholes and through bodies of muddy water close to a foot deep. As a reporter took photos and watched the flow of traffic Tuesday afternoon when school let out, several impatient drivers created an even more unsafe situation by speeding around the slower vehicles.

Smith, who lives in the neighborhood and has a daughter attending Herk Bouris, is frustrated that the city's promise to pave that stretch of road has not been carried out. Nearly three months ago, the city announced in a news release that it had solved a complex legal issue concerning private portions of the road and would work with Lake Elsinore officials and developer Pardee Homes to get the road paved.

"Pardee Homes has the equipment staged right there," Smith said. "They told us the paving was slated for mid-November. We keep getting excuses."

Smith said that during a recent rainstorm, his wife's vehicle stalled in the flooded low point of the dirt road. In trying to maneuver out of the hazard, she blew a tire. Smith had to have the car towed out.

Rob Johnson, interim city manager, said the plan to work in conjunction with Lake Elsinore to get the road paved remains a priority. The work has been delayed, he said, because of changes of city staff members in both cities and recent rainstorms.

"A week and a half ago, we bladed the road in preparation for making the improvements," Johnson said, referring to a process of smoothing out the potholes. "Then it started pouring. We may have to put down some gravel to fill in the holes until we can get the weather we need to do the paving."

According to Smith, all this should've been done long ago, before the rains came.

"I'm just grateful nobody has been killed there lately, but it's bound to happen," he said. "I campaigned for changes, but even this new council is blowing smoke. We're fed up."



TEXT OF PRESS RELEASE FROM MENIFEE CITIZENS FOR HONEST GOVERNMENT:

Citizens of Menifee, this is a call to action!

The safety of our children has been compromised for far too long, as a result of the City’s failure to act on the severe hazardous conditions on Holland Road that we have had to endure for years. This chronic failure is a blatant disregard for the safety of our citizens. Our elected officials collectively and individually swore an Oath To Protect And Serve All the Citizens Of Menifee but continue to fall short on this obligation.

We have been told for over four years that Holland Road would be paved. Given interim date after date and yet, we still have no paved road. Many of us received notices in June 2012 that our child would have to attend Herk Bouris Elementary in Lake Elsinore. As we know, Holland Road is the most efficient route to access Herk Bouris and Lake Elsinore and it is not realistic to take Newport Road through Canyon Lake in order to arrive at Herk Bouris.

We began to inundate the City and school district regarding our concerns traveling this dangerous road. We were granted a public forum in order to address our grievances and were assured Holland Road would be paved prior to school opening. This too has proven to be a blatant lie.

During the 2012 Mayoral race, candidates stated this was a serious safety issue and approval to pave Holland Road had been reached and was slated for mid November. Once again, another deceitful lie by desperate, unethical politicians willing to compromise integrity in order to manipulate your vote!

Holland Road has claimed lives in the past. How many more must die before this city will act? Ask yourself:

Do you value the lives of your children?

Have you sustained damages to your vehicle over the past four years?

Are you tired of being lied to by city officials?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, We, The Menifee Citizens For Honest
Government, urge you to contact John F Smith at scosmith589@gmail.com or 951-609-5841.

UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL





40 Comments:

  1. Can I join my car just got fixed n again my engine light is on again. sick to ky stomach & fed up with this road. I have to go all the way around to take my children to school.
    Yb

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    1. Yes, you absolutely can stand with us. We are already over 100 strong and rapidly growing. Call or email your contact information to John F Smith. We can provide information on how to go about filing a claim form for your damages and even assist you in filling out the form. In the meantime, we urge everyone to begin contacting the city and voice your dissatisfaction with there consistent failure to safeguard our children. The phone number for the city is: 951-672-6777. United We Stand, Divided We Fall. Mr Smith can be reached at scosmith589@gmail.com or 951-609-5841. We are, Menifee Citizens For Honest Government...

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  2. The road didn't bother me before because I was in a lifted truck, but now in a smaller truck I see more of what some of the other parents deal with. I couldn't imagine having to drive this road in a compact car! To the drivers who seem to be too impatient to drive this road carefully, please just remember we have our children in the car and just slow down so we all make it to where we're going.
    Praying the road will be paved while our kids have 3 weeks off!

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  3. To get there, school buses and cars 'must' travel a bumpy, narrow road with poor sight lines and numerous potholes. MUST??....
    have any of you heard of NEWPORT ROAD? You have a three lane road that, in my opinion, SHOULD be taken to get to this school. Perhaps its NOT convenient enough for those who feel they just 'need' to take this tractor path and then complain. This path is a PRIVATE ROAD! How dare Mr.Smith bully any of those that actually 'own' this 'private road'to do what HE wants done. IF you and your group want safety for your children, then take Newport Road! I hope these private residents, including Tom Fuhrman shut this road down, and put up private property, stay out signs! Stop being lazy, don't use excuse its a short cut and we 'need' to take this tractor path, but YOU are putting our children at risk, when you have a beautiful new 3 lane NEWPORT ROAD to take to this school. Start being responsible!

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    1. Someone is going to possibly file a claim for damages to their car for trespassing?

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    2. If this is a private road, why are the school buses using this as a route to school? This was deccided before the school was opened as the quickist route to the school. Look at it this way the City is going to pave the dirty, muddy road making it safer for everyone. We are a City now and we need to take care of each other and our children.

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    3. I am shocked at how people are so ready to point a finger and use the word MUST. No no MUST use that road. That dirt road is private property...you should be greatful someone allows you to use it. Using it, is your choice and your risk...just sayin. Because if you felt so endangered or concerned for your car, you would drive around using the public paved roads like I do. Im not taking the risk to mess up my car. Just leave a little earlier. Its not that big of a deal. I'm just shocked at how incompeptant people are and how quickly we are to blame someone else for our own actions...take some responsibility folks.

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    4. This "Private" road is the way most parents go because to take Newport would mean taking a route that adds twice the miles. It is rude to call the parents "lazy" because they take that road, there are a lot of them who have to get other children to school on time as well. This is not just "convenient." I agree that filing a claim for damage is not right, it's your own fault for driving it and you should know whether or not you vehicle can make it. We are thankful that we have this road to take but we also realize that this school was built on this road..... the city should have thought about that before they started!!!

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    5. Hey NORMA, you clearly don't have children attending Herk Boris!This is about those of us that do and would not travel this route otherwise!The city decided to have Menifee children attend this out of city school and is therefore the city's responsibility to provide a reasonable commute, hence pave Holland Rd already!!!

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    6. this is to anonymous december 21 2012 11:44 am
      my Name is Michael Goddard Normas husband we do have a son who goes to Herk Boris so she can comment on it if she wants to at least she uses her name we are not whining about the road if you dont like it stay off it and quit complaining

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  4. I agree with this committee. The council stated this road would be paved in May and be completed before school started. What was the delay!

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  5. If this road is private then why does are school district allow are children to ride the bus on it!!! They are putting are kids at risk everyday.....

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  6. Lack of promises... I specifically remember the city council saying that Wal-Mart construction on Haun/Scott would begin in January 2013 AFTER road construction on the Scott Rd. overpass. Well, based on that promise, construction should begin in 2 1/2 weeks. Haha another broken promise courtesy of the Menifee City Government folks!

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    1. Walmart is going to put the first store on McCall and Encanto and should start late 2013. No telling when they will start on Scott. Besides we need a six land road on Scott before they built more stores.

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    2. If you remember it got put to a vote......can't complain now. The people who didn't want it didn't show up at the polls.

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  7. If Menifee doesn't get their budget priorities straight, Scott Rd. won't get finished and this article's topic won't be finished. It would be nice to have Wal-Mart so that tenants would fill the empty shopping center west of the Scott Road Exit. Here's a quote from a Press Enterprise article... Perhaps the city shouldn't have spent money on a cosmetic upgrade on the center divider across the street from the 76 station...

    "Officials estimate bridge upgrades and freeway ramps would be done by August 2013 at the earliest, if money becomes available.In gaining the Menifee Planning Commission's approval, Wal-Mart agreed to delay opening the store until January 2013." Here is the link

    http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/murrieta/murrieta-headlines-index/20110609-menifee-walmart-supercenter-vote-draws-praise-and-scorn.ece

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  8. The school buses never put your kids at risk..They are the safest ride out there and the school district has nothing to do with that road being paved...They were told the same thing all the rest of you were..Go to the city council..It's there job for this project

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    1. Go to the school district. They built the school and the road was private so whatt does that have to do with the city government. Now that the city has the road they can pave it but they don't have control over the rain and that is delaying it.

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    2. 5:23pm Don't blame the weather the road was suppose to have been paved many times before, most recently over the Thanksgiving Day break. That was a dry two week break. Enough excuses!

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    3. 5:23pm The road is no longer private it was eased over to the city quite some time back. Ask yourself why are our kids attending a school in lake elsinore? If they are not going to provide a safe route to the school, I say shut the school down and let lake elsinore have it. Those of us that have children attending Herk Boris are not going to drive through three cities in order to arrive at a school that is not located within the city limits of Menifee!

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    4. City and school do not have the same boundary.

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  9. This is the fault of the School District. They knowingly put a school where the roads leading to it were inadequate for the amount of cars that would be traveling on it. They flat out lied and said there was a plan to have the road paved and it would be completed soon after the school opened. Don’t blame the City, blame the MUSD.

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    1. School districts don't built roads, Cities and Counties do. It is up to the City.

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    2. Then blame Elsinore.....

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    3. That section of road is in menifee not Lake Elsinore.

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    4. Blame the school district and Lake Elsinore for being short sighted when the plans were designed...since the portion thats in Menifee is private.

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  10. Its not that simple John.
    Why should the citixens pay for it?
    Too many people already pay taxes towards schools and they have no children in them.
    Why does the school get a free pass in all of this, and get to avoid paying for and hanlding traffic issues created by them?
    Seems to me that someone should be contacting the district for some funding.
    You think the road is a problem now, wait till there's some nice new pavement and a driver is speeding down the road, loses control to avoid a horse in the "Rural" area.
    Patchwork paving the road now is only going to put the city in more liability than it is now. Its needs to be designed right, built right and maintained, and quite frankly, as a taxpayer in this city, I'm not willing to pay more taxes right now. Its a PRIVATE road, where portions of the road are owned by the property owners abutting those sections. They are liable, not the city.
    Thank god you dropped out of the elections, because if you had one, who knows what crap we'd be spending money on, and legal exposure your bad judgement would be getting us into.

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    1. 12:23pm The citizens are not paying for it! Pardee homes is paying for it. Do a little homework before you make unsubstantiated comments!

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  11. Seems that truth in government along with public safety have taken a back seat. Bradley road flooding remains an extreme safety issue.I remember the article attributed to the previous City Manager that the culvert project was out to bid and should have been completed by this past July, was a bkatet falsification.

    Nonsense projects like lanscaping the center divider on Newport road was given a priority. That was a project better left to the Chamber of Commerce, to attract business.

    The sooner the Council is void of all traces of past officers of the Chamber of Commerce, the better the odds of our city becoming a better place for the residents and their children. Hope the public bickering is put to bed!

    Phil Hogan

    Phil Hogan

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    1. I agree, when I ran for District 1 this year both Bradley and Murrieta were my top prorities. The last I hear was both roads were in the designing mode. what is so hard to design. Of course those projects don't fill the war chest for elections. Wonder what Greg will do, abstain again as he doesn't know enough about the problem, We need to stay on top of these issues. RED

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    2. Easy Red, is this even in Greg August district. Let's give this new group a chance to turn things around here in Menifee. Good grief, you gave the last batch at city hall up to 4 years to screw things up. This new council has been in force for two whole weeks, lighten up!!

      If you don't like things, then run for office...oh wait, you already tried that, sorry.

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    3. My sentiments exactly, the new city council members only started two weeks ago??? All this blaming the new council memeber's for not having a road done and built in the two weeks they've been in office....WOW.

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    4. I don't know about everyone else but the Newport improvements are still way in the future. I personally am happy they put some type of bandage on the turning lanes...it's better than nothing for now. I avoid the overpass due to the traffic but now it's a little better heading West. Too bad the original design that was approved by the County didn't take the traffic into consideration...

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  12. One of our Councilmen, he's been in there for 4 years, has done nothing. No ideas, no effort, nothing. Those District 3 voters elected him again.

    I say we assign this project, Holland road, to Mr. Edgerton. Maybe Greg August can assist him.
    Bob

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  13. This sounds like a promise for endorsing that was never fulfilled.I wonder who would do such a thing?

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  14. The only thing that anyone knows about John F Smith, is that he "does not take contributions, and is not beholden to developers".
    Nothing else.

    He kissed up to Scott Mann, after bailing out early. Now Scott doesn't need him any more, and will treat him rudely like he does everyone else.

    He is right about one thing, the politicians we elected (Mann, Edgerton, August) deceived the voters to manipulate their vote.

    Get ready for a wild ride in 2013. Greg August will insert himself into this mix of nuts. It will be a comedy of errors watching Scott Mann try to keep it all together.

    J.J. in Menifee Lakes

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    1. Your observation is right on!

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  15. I think we should email our school district with this article , my three kids go to paloma high school and they took our busing away because we have to be 5 miles from the school. I live in canyon hills and they route my home to paloma high school 3 miles mapping this road. I talk to the transportion director and told him my children can not walk thought this because of the high traffic and no sidewalk on the road and the driver that dont have a care in the world and speed . If they map it going around though canyon lake they would still have the buses picking up our kids and dropping them off. I told him if has has ever been down the road and he said no but that they can see from the computer that the road is wide enough. He also told me that I should just try to find someone they can carpool with. But me and my wife both work and it makes it very difficult for us to pick them up. I say forward this article to them and maybe they
    bring back the busing and we wouldn't have to worry about our car breaking down.

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  16. to 5:54, the school wasn't built on 'that road'! That road dead ends!
    Then you start driving on a tractor path (look it up), its a private path that those living in that area started- to get to their fields, the tractor path obviously grew and outsider started using it, other words, trespassing! This is where those that actually own this tractor path made a hugh mistake. they should have put up signs immediately, and kept trespassers out! What Tom and others should still do is put up a sign that reads something like, travel at your own risk, we are not responsible for accidents, break downs or damage to your car's on 'our' private property.

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