Menifee City Council hears good reports on the 2019 Santa’s Workshop event


The Menifee City Council received a report on the 2019 Santa’s Workshop donations from many city businesses and the fire department, giving almost 1,500 needy children a happy Christmas.

Debbie Manion, president of Rotary Club of Menifee, made the presentation to the full council during the regular Wednesday, Feb. 6 meeting. Manion gave a short video presentation of the many children who received a scheduled visit with Santa and received at least three gifts beyond that gift.

It was the 14th annual Santa’s Workshop presented by the city and led by the Rotary Club.

Manion said the Rotary Club and other businesses, PetSmart, in particular provided almost 1,500 stuffed animals that were handed out to children during and after the Christmas holidays.

Additional stuffed animals from the giveaway were presented to Menifee’s new police chief and Cal Fire officials for their officers and firefighters to hand out to young children involved in accidents and other traumatic events to help them find some comfort.

The council honored former planning commissioner and Community Emergency Response Team member David Foust for taking the leadership in presenting city residents two emergency response fairs during the past year and his other work in the community. Foust was awarded the Menifee Citizen of the Month award.

In regular business, the council approved 14 items on the consent calendar holding out three items for further discussion. All three items brought responses from Johnathan Smith, city director of public works.

Mayor Pro Tem Matthew Liesemeyer questioned a $60,700 public works expenditure requested to pay Kimley-Horn and Associates for design services of Scott Road and Menifee Road sidewalk.

“Why does it cost so much just for a sidewalk?” Liesemeyer said, requesting more information on what caused the high costs for the design work.

Smith responded with a presentation of photos of the three-fourths mile sidewalk project that already had curbs and gutters. The presentation showed there was a well-traveled dirt path on the side of the highway, but it appeared to need repairs. Smith with a member of the staff said there is a problem with water collecting along the roadway and residents had complained they had to walk on the side of the road to traverse it with the possibility of being hit by a passing car.

The design of the project would include special engineering for the needed new drainage and to possibly move a number of utilities along the path of the new sidewalk. It might also require some street elevation changes.

The project is eligible for some special grant funding from the state and Riverside County Transportation Commission’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities program that the city has and from Measure DD funds, according to the report.

The explanation received the OK from Liesemeyer and the rest of the council. The other two items on a consultant agreement for the Menifee drainage plan and a warrantee bond release, conditional use permit 2016-078, were approved following brief comments.

There was no public hearing scheduled and after council discussion on requests for new business, the meeting was adjourned by Mayor Bill Zimmerman.

Tony Ault can be reached by email at