Menifee City Council Postpones Appointments to Task Forces

Members of the Menifee City Council Tuesday delayed action on requests to join two task forces desig...

Members of the Menifee City Council Tuesday delayed action on requests to join two task forces designed to address important issues being faced by local families: Autism and youth health and safety.

The Southwest Riverside Autism Task Force – a regional agency joint task force created by the cities of Temecula and Murrieta – seeks to educate residents about the disorder, as well as address the special needs of families with autistic children. It is comprised of officials from the cities of Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Hemet, Perris, Wildomar and Canyon Lake, as well as from Riverside County and the County Board of Supervisors

Past representation from Menifee was made by former council member Sue Kristjansson, but the position has not been filled since she lost her seat in the 2012 election to Greg August.

August said he did not feel qualified to fill Kristjansson’s role on the task force, suggesting instead that the council appoint a citizen with more experience on the subject. His view was echoed by the other council members, though some leaned toward appointing a qualified member of the city staff. Councilman Tom Fuhrman asserted that the volunteer position should be opened up to all interested citizens of Menifee.

“We want to be sensitive to these matters” and not make a hasty decision, said Councilman John Denver, before recommending that the decision be postponed to a later date.

A similar conversation was held in response to an invitation to join the newly-created Youth, Family and Health Regional Task Force. According to the invitation letter, this joint task force seeks to “discuss and raise awareness of concerns that face many households, seek solutions, and help to provide youth, parents and families with resources so that they are better able to cope with modern-day influences, including social media, virtual gaming, mental health, and drugs and alcohol.”

These goals are to be achieved by gathering members of city and county government and their respective school districts, with additional input by law enforcement, educators, doctors and county professionals. At this time, the task force is requesting representation by two council members each from the cities of Temecula, Murrieta, Wildomar, Perris, Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Hemet and Menifee, as well as a representative from each city’s school district and two Riverside County Supervisors.

The council is also still weighing who will provide representation from Menifee for this particular task force; a decision on the matter has been postponed to a later date.