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 Tu...

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