Murrieta Mayor Pro Tem Randon Lane leaves council for US DOT job

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Mayor Pro Tem Randon Lane, who is pictured here at a previous city council meeting, has resigned from the city council to take an appointment with the U.S. Department of Transportation. Courtesy photo

Murrieta City Council bid farewell the Mayor Pro Tem Randon Lane and approved an agreement for a joint police communications center between Murrieta and the neighboring city of Menifee at its Tuesday, Aug. 20, meeting.

Lane announced his appointment to the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington by the Trump administration and resignation from his position on the city council last month.

Lane was congratulated by Rep. Ken Calvert, state Sen. Jeff Stone, Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, Riverside County 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington, representatives from Southern California Association of Governments, Western Riverside Council of Governments, League of California Cities, neighboring city council members and many others.

Stone called Lane’s public service to Murrieta on its city council and many county and state committees a “success by a thousand slices. Our country will be in a better place with you in the Trump administration.”

Washington said Lane “with his many years of service was always done with the community’s well-being always being in his heart. He will be a good fit” in Washington.

Calvert, through his area representative, invited Lane to come to visit him in his Washington office when he first arrives at the capitol.

The other officials presented him certificates of appreciation and proclamations. Members of the Murrieta Firefighters Association presented Lane with an association T-shirt, hat and medal for his help with the department during his term.

Lane took a number of selfies with each of those congratulating him, looking pleased with the many compliments and presentations.

Lane thanked all his fellow councilmen, the city staff, its police and firefighters for their service to the city and his many other colleagues and friends attending the meeting. His family joined him at the conclusion of the presentations.

The council, with Councilman Jonathon Ingram excused, voted to appoint a new at-large council member to replace Lane for his remaining term through November 2020 rather than call for a costly special election. The council will advertise the vacancy in newspapers and online with an Oct. 30 deadline.

Lane took his place as the city’s mayor pro tem for the last time to cast his vote to approve a joint police communications center between the city and the neighboring city of Menifee that is forming its own municipal police department.

Murrieta police Chief Sean Hadden told the council it had taken several months to work out an agreement to put together the area’s first joint police communications center finding benefits to both cities in the future.

“This is a win win for both city police departments,” Hadden said.

The terms of the contract are for a period of 10 years with Menifee bringing about 12 new dispatchers for the first year and adding additional supervisors and communications manager and information technology technicians as needed.

Hadden said the city will actually save an estimated $623,290 in the first two years and have the advantage of enhanced officer deployment in critical encounters, improved interoperations between the two cities and other advantages.

Responding to a question by Councilwoman Christi White about what assurance the city has that its neighbor will pay its share of the costs in the future. She was told that if that were the case the city of Menifee would be in breach of contract and Murrieta could terminate the agreement without cause.

The two cities, in the event they choose to dissolve the partnership, have 18 months to make the necessary changes in the agreement. In addition, Hadden said the two city police department officials will meet several times a year to determine what or if any changes need to be made to meet their individual city’s public safety needs.

Tony Ault can be reached by email at tault@reedermedia.com.