Lake Elsinore City Council declares the importance of organ donation

City Council members present a proclamation to OneLegacy Ambassador Erika Heranic that declares April as DMV/Donate Life Month in the City of Lake Elsinore. From left, Robert “Bob” Magee, Heranic with the proclamation, Timothy “Tim” Sheridan, Natasha Johnson holding a photo of Heranic’s heart donor Dylan Stump, Brian Tisdale and Steve Manos. Valley News/Johnathan O. Skinner photo

The regular meeting of the Lake Elsinore City Council and Successor Agency on March 28 began with a proclamation presented by Mayor Natasha Johnson declaring April to be DMV/Donate Life Month. It was received by OneLegacy Ambassador Erika Heranic who is a donor recipient and advocates for others to become donors.

Heranic, a resident of Lake Elsinore and former teacher at Terra Cotta Middle School, was given several minutes to share her personal story to encourage others to consider designating themselves as donors by getting a pink dot added to their driver license through the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Receiving a heart transplant from donor Dylan Stump on April 16, 2017, Heranic said the young man’s organ and tissue donations saved four other lives as well.

The proclamation states that more than 100,000 individuals nationwide and more than 24,000 in Southern California are currently on the national organ transplant wait list and, on average, 17 people die each day while waiting. The need for donated organs is especially urgent in Hispanic, Latino and African American communities. A single individual’s donation of the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas and small intestine can save up to eight lives and the donation of tissue can save and heal the lives of more than 75 others.

Further, any person can register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor regardless of age or medical conditions. California residents can sign up with Donate Life California online by visiting or when applying for or renewing their driver’s license or ID cards at the DMV. Interested potential donors can also visit for more information.

City Council Consent Calendar items 2-12 were passed unanimously, as were Successor Agency Consent Calendar items 13-16. Two public hearings seeking resolutions were passed 5-0. An ongoing business item regarding the language of a proposed Good Neighbor Policy for Warehousing, Logistics, and Distribution Uses was discussed and continued once again.

Mayor Pro Tem Steve Manos said a request was received from the business community to continue the item to a future meeting. He explained that the City Council will not be voting on whether to allow mega warehouses to be built there but rather to put in place a policy the builders would need to abide by that includes many of the protections and buffers that homeowners are concerned with. City Council Member Robert “Bob” Magee said the goal of the policy is to keep mega warehouses from being built near single family homes. “There are 10 different points of contention in the revised policy and the document is getting better through conversations,” he said. “We are looking at a policy that would be citywide and we want your voices to be heard so we will continue to take in comments.” He pointed out that the homebuilder community has yet to provide any input. A motion was made by Magee to continue the item to the April 25 meeting and seconded by Manos. It was approved unanimously.

A second business item to “Add Chapter 9.56 (Trespass on Designated Conservation Areas) and Chapter 9.58 (Trespass on City Property) to Title 9 (public Peace, Morals and Welfare) of the Lake Elsinore Municipal Code Relating to Trespassing on Designated Conservation Areas and City Property” was explained by City Attorney Barbara Leibold before being approved unanimously.

During City Council member comments, Timothy “Tim” Sheridan, who sits on the RTA Board of Directors, shared that bus rides will be free on Earth Day, April 22, and RTA bus stops now have a reflective spinner that can be used at night by riders to alert bus drivers there is someone at the stop. He also applauded the members of the Community Services department who were responsible for a video on the City’s Presidents Day event about the Nixon Library that was nominated for a Radio Television News Association 73rd annual Golden Mike award, presented in March.

Mayor Natasha Johnson shared a short video of John Rudolph, biologist with WSP Environmental & Infrastructure, explaining the current condition of the lake and what to expect in the near future. She reported that as a member of the Inland Empire Coalition of Mayors, she was pleased the group was putting its support behind Senate Bill 44, authored by Sen. Tom Umberg and supported by many others. The bipartisan bill is one of about 65 bills that address the ongoing crisis of fentanyl but she said it is the only one with a law enforcement approach.

The next regular meeting of the Lake Elsinore City Council and Successor Agency is scheduled for Tuesday, April 11 at 7 p.m. For more information,