Singing brings smiles at Murrieta’s city council meeting


Children in Santa, elf and reindeer hats filled the council room at the Murrieta City Council meeting Tuesday, Dec. 3.

Three of the council members were absent, so the meeting was not held officially. It proceeded with carols from the Cole Canyon Elementary School choir.

They sang two songs, one patriotic called “Land that I Love” and one for the season, “Happy Holidays.”

The music cut out briefly during “Happy Holidays,” but it didn’t stop them from singing acapella loud and clear.

“Know that we wish you, and you and you and you, a very happy, happy holidays!” they sang.

The Western Riverside Council of Governments spoke on the Streetlight Program, whose goal is to enhance public safety, save energy, save utility costs and to do this by retrofitting the streetlights in Murrieta and other surrounding areas.

For Murrieta, there have currently been 6,231 street lights retrofitted to LED. It was started Feb. 11, and the completion date is set for summer this year.

It’s been estimated that the savings from this would be $716,000 a year, or 76% reduction in annual utility costs, according to WRCOG’s report.

The city of Murrieta received a rebate of $461,271 which was presented at the meeting.

Approving the agenda, governing body announcements, consent calendar items and the public hearing were skipped until the Dec. 17 meeting since this session was not on record.

The Tenaja Fire started and caused severe damage Sept. 4, starting in the Santa Rosa Plateau. A brief update was given on the slope and erosion repairs started after the Nov. 19 council meeting.

In anticipation of the erosion and mud flows from the burn area the city hired an erosion control and sediment specialist to assess the burn area and the areas close to home, according to the report.

A plan was presented Oct. 31, where most of the areas that were identified were around Oak Bluff Lane and Mountainside Court that needed attention right away.

After hiring a consultant, they began to spray the hillside of Oak Bluff Lane with green material called Bonded Fibre Matrix to hold everything in place if and when it rained, due to the erosion that could happen off these hillsides in result of the fire.

The California Conservation Corps also came out and helped install gravel bags in all of the drainage areas.

Mountainside Court was also sprayed with Bonded Fibre Matrix as well.

The meeting was closed in memory of firefighter Dean Hale.

“Dean is a Murrieta firefighter who passed away from work-related cancer just last week,” Mayor Seyarto said. They had a memorial service for Hale Saturday, Dec. 7, at The Bridge Church.

“Dean was a really good guy and just hold his family and Dean in your thoughts and prayers, and we’d like to close the meeting in his honor,” Seyarto said.

For more information on the meeting, including the year-end report that summarizes the 2019-2020 revenues, expenditures and fund balances for the city’s major funds, visit

Lexington Howe can be reached by email at