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When Elected Officials Fail There Is Always The Oversight Committee, Maybe

With no codes, laws, regulations or rules governing local oversight committees, the city council will determine the composition and duties of the Wildomar parks oversight committee.

With the passage of Measure Z -- “Save Wildomar Community Parks Funding Measure” -- by 68.59 percent of the vote, Wildomar will once again try to have parks. Included in this measure was the inclusion of an oversight committee found in Title 3 “Revenue and Finance” of the Wildomar Municipal Code Chapter 3.18.

Section 3.18.060 Oversight Committee: By no later than March 1, 2013, the City Council shall establish a Wildomar Community Parks Funding Measure Citizens’s Oversight Advisory Committee to advise the City Council regarding the collection and expenditure of tax revenues collected under the authority of this chapter. The Committee shall consist of at least five members, who shall be residents of the City. The terms of the Committee members and their specific duties shall be established by resolution of the City Council

Therein lies the problem. With no codes, laws, regulations or rules governing local oversight committees, the city council will determine the composition and duties of this committee. The same elected representatives whose failure led to the need for an oversight committee will select who will be on this committee and what their oversight duties will be.

One can only hope the city council will follow the guidelines established by the State of California when the voters required “Citizens Oversight” in regards to education bonds.

EDUCATION CODE SECTION 15278 (b) The purpose of the citizens' oversight committee shall be to inform the public concerning the expenditure of bond revenues. The citizens' oversight committee shall actively review and report on the proper expenditure of taxpayers' money.

While reading several newspaper articles about Measure Z’s passage, one cannot help but notice the comments. (Example: Southwest Riverside News Network 11-29-12 -- “City officials are preparing to organize a parks committee that will start working on future events and plans for the cities three parks.")

This is putting the cart before the horse so to speak because without the oversight committee in place all the work of the parks committee could be ruled invalid by the Citizens Oversight Committee, unless of course the two committees are one in the same.

With the city council’s decision that the Oversight Committee shall consist of only five members, and the likelihood that two of those will be council members (the same people that decided to spend $58,500 polling and educating the voter) and at least one by a pro-park person, there is little chance that the community at large will be fairly represented as this leaves only two seats to be filled by the senior community, families not involved in organized sports, single homeowners, teenagers, dog owners, etc. This Oversight Committee has every chance of becoming a rubber stamp committee.

Oversight Committee’s are necessary to overcome some of the functional problems of conventional representative democracy, which is widely subject to manipulation by special interests and a division between professional policymakers (politicians and lobbyists) vs. a largely passive, uninvolved and often uninformed electorate.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Constant Comment December 14, 2012 at 07:53 AM
....you've been watching WAY TOO MANY cartoons there bucky boy! If the people that you keep writing about, don't deserve anyones time as you say, then why do you keep writing about them? Hypocritical. And too much info on your handcuff bondage issues! No one wants to hear about that. Your time is best spent trying to be the resident tattle tale. No wonder you have no friends or responses other than bad ones. Marfa is the most disliked person in Wildomar but you two seem perfectly made for each other! }~)
michael December 14, 2012 at 12:19 PM
.......... Some people.... holy hell, although some of this stuff is funny stop adding fuel to the fire!!! As much as it kills me to say it, I do agree that the committee should be made up of pro parks people as well as anti parks people for a number of reasons. Does that mean that I would want ken, martha, or gil on the committee hell no, sorry not trying to attack you, but I think ya'lls judgment may be clouded due to your obvious and very colorful "opinions" of the city council
Gil Rasmussen December 14, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Michael; Since the Wildomar City Council finally took my sage advice (publicly offered to the City Council since October 2010) and opted for a parcel tax, rather than another Mello Roos/Communities Facilities District, which ultimately made the success of Measure Z possible, should I make application to the Citizens Oversight Committee, your "pre-disqualification" of my potential volunteer service to the community is "pre-disappointing." Fortunately, you (nor anyone else outside the city's elected officials) won't be making the final selection.
Ken Mayes December 14, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Michael As I have stated the only place a code exist for the establishment of an oversight committee is in the California Education Code. EDUCATION CODE SECTION 15278 (b) The purpose of the citizens' oversight committee shall be to inform the public concerning the expenditure of bond revenues. The citizens' oversight committee shall actively review and report on the proper expenditure of taxpayers' money. If the city council should happen to follow the example set forth in the education code then it will not matter whether a person is pro parks or, I guess against parks, I have never stated that I am against parks only against the way the city has chosen to fund them. The only thing that will matter in the selection process is a willingness to serve. Therefore after establishing the duties of the oversight committee the city council needs to put out the word that volunteers are needed to serve on this committee and applications are being taken. If more than the five seats are applied for then the selection should be by lottery. Oversight Committee’s are necessary to overcome some of the functional problems of conventional representative democracy, which is widely subject to manipulation by special interests and a division between professional policymakers (politicians and lobbyists) vs. a largely passive, uninvolved and often uninformed electorate
michael December 14, 2012 at 06:03 PM
As I said, would I want you to serve on the oversight committee? Hell No. Did I say you you couldn't? NO!! Didnt mean to attack you, you need to chill. Your pre-assumptive typing has made you look like a jerk again

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