For those who regularly attend – in person or virtually – Wildomar city council meetings, the two candidates vying to fill the District 4 city council seat after the consolidated general municipal election Tuesday, Nov. 3, are well known.
Incumbent Bridgette Moore has served on the city council since 2008, and perhaps nearly as long, her challenger Kenneth “Kenny” Mayes has made consistent appearances during public comments at council meetings.
Moore is a 22-year resident of the city, former mayor and currently serves as the chairwoman of the Riverside Transit Agency, is on a subcommittee with Lake Elsinore Unified School District and is part of the financing authority for Animal Friends of the Valley.
Mayes is a veteran, serving in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam era, and has lived in Wildomar for 36 years, teaching a free exercise class for older adults at the Wildomar Library.
Valley News posed the same series of questions to each candidate via email, and both candidates returned the questionnaire with their responses.
What is your motivation for wishing to serve the community of Wildomar and more specifically, the district you serve?
Mayes: The motivation for serving the community at large is the slow erosion of our rural lifestyle exacerbated by our elected officials ignoring the county general plan to moderate the growth of Wildomar. We’re well on our way to converting this rural community to high density residential apartments and condos with no plan on how we’re going to provide city services to this new population. Our elected leaders are also ignoring the needs of rural people.
Many residents of District 4 live on large parcels connected by old paved or dirt roads. They pay taxes; property tax, gas tax, sales tax, excise tax, etc. Wildomar often refuses to take responsibility for these roads, and they are decaying from neglect.
District 4 is home to two city parks. These parks have no marked soccer fields, no exercise equipment for older adults, no handball, racquetball or volleyball courts and no park programs at all, even though the people of Wildomar pay Measure Z taxes for parks and programs.
Moore: My inspiration to run is that I’m not done making a difference in our community. My passion is to serve others. I do not call myself a politician but rather a public servant. I have more ideas that I want to implement to improve our quality of life.
In the upcoming term, what are your top three goals to address or accomplish for the city and/or your district?
Mayes: My campaign platform is “Truth, Transparency and Fiscal Responsibility.”
If elected to the city council, I pledge to tell the people of Wildomar the truth about the challenges we now face and my ideas on how we can overcome these challenges.
Transparency is the principle of engaging in open discussion and debate with the people of Wildomar. Too often the city council makes decisions that affect the people without ever listening to them. We’re not asked what we need; we are told what we’re getting and that’s not transparent.
Fiscal responsibility is the principal of spending taxpayer dollars wisely on the things that Wildomar needs. Budget overruns and fiscal wastes are a rampant problem in Wildomar. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent and borrowed on city projects that the people of Wildomar didn’t ask for and don’t need in my opinion. That needs to stop.
Moore: The first goal is road maintenance. Wildomar has over 120 centerline miles of roads to maintain. Recently, we completed 11 streets under the City Pavement Management Program. As soon as these 11 streets were finished, we immediately started the process for the next batch of streets.
Next is a Citywide Beautification Program. I have been picking up litter along our roadways on a weekly basis, and this action has spurred community involvement. I would like to create a Beautification Committee and receive input from our residents and expand participation. I would love to add some “art” to our community and have the utility boxes wrapped. This new committee could plan projects and seek possible sponsorships.
The third is to increase economic development. It is vital to the health of our city. I will continue to provide support for our businesses to safely exit this terrible pandemic.
What do you bring to the council that is lacking if any? Or what do you bring to the table that makes the council better or more well-rounded?
Mayes: Attention to detail. As a private citizen I have pointed out flaws in staff reports and city policies for years that have saved the people of Wildomar tax money and time. I attend most city meetings, read staff reports, request public information, make notes and ask questions. I research issues and speak my mind on subjects that I feel are important to Wildomar without reservation.
Moore: I feel that I bring compassion and willingness to act. I am blessed to have enough energy to be very responsive and able to address the community’s questions and issues quickly.
What are the two biggest issues facing the city of Wildomar in the next four years that you hope to address?
Mayes: Civic apathy and governmental neglect of ordinary people. Open and honest discussion is often met with complete silence. Questions are raised and never answered. People of Wildomar who speak an opinion that doesn’t match the city council are ignored or shouted down by a small group of politically connected special interest groups. Years of this behavior have led many people of Wildomar to simply give up and move away or keep their mouth shut in public.
I will not be silent, and the people of Wildomar should not be silent either. I don’t expect people to agree with everything I say. To the contrary, I expect my positions and opinions to be debated and discussed by all the people of Wildomar without fear of being ignored or personally derided. Wildomar belongs to the people and all people deserve to be heard.
Moore: One of the issues facing our city is economic development. The council just approved a study to be completed by Kosmont. This study is an assessment of our community and what businesses would be a good fit here in our city and would complement the region. With this study and the addition of our first economic development director, Wildomar is positioned to attract new businesses, which in turn creates local jobs and increases the tax base.
Also, since the beginning of cityhood, we have had a development impact fee to fund the addition of another fire station on the east side of our city. We, also, have included this new station in the visioning for a new 27-acre park on the east side.
What qualifications or personality/intellectual traits do you have that make you appropriate or the right person for the job?
Mayes: I am not a politician. My campaign is completely self-funded, and I am going to spend less than $2,000. I am an independent and active citizen of Wildomar with no special interest groups or campaign donors to answer to. I will answer only to the people of Wildomar.
Moore: I am able to see all sides of an issue. I’m a team player, and I respect others. I will continue to avail myself to respond to resident’s ideas and issues and provide the support they need.
Jeff Pack can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.