Wildomar approves pay raise for city manager, Nigg named mayor for 2020

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Eagle Scout Chris Ramos receives a proclamation from Wildomar Mayor Marsha Swanson for his Eagle Scout project that created a Little Free Library at Marna O’Brien Park. Courtesy photo

Wildomar city manager Gary Nordquist received a boost in pay for 2020 with a 4-1 vote by the Wildomar City Council Wednesday, Dec. 11.

Nordquist will be compensated $219,000 for his work with the city in the coming year.

“Gary for many years did two jobs and didn’t receive a raise at all for many years,” Councilwoman Bridgette Moore said, in favor of the proposed raise.

“I would err on the side of paying for quality over underpaying for somebody and getting crap,” Mayor Pro Tem Dustin Nigg said. “With that in mind, I recognized the standards across the region. The alternative in my eyes is lowering our standards and not paying what some would consider a premium and seeing the effects of that.”

Resident Monty Goddard complained that Nordquist would rank third in city manager salary, behind Temecula and Murrieta.

Councilman Joseph Morabito was also not in favor of the raise and ultimately voted “no” on the proposal.

“Remember all those years of hanging on by our fingertips,” Morabito asked. “A quick drive around the city, one can see that it needs a lot of TLC just to get back up to the baseline.

“With that actuality, I can’t justify a yearly raise of $9,000, which is on top of last year’s $9,000 increase and a similar increase the year before that to our city manager,” he said.

In general business, council approved the selection of a street sign design for the city going forward, and appointed Nigg as mayor for the city for the next year and named Moore as mayor pro tem.

Council also named and changed members for committees, commissions and boards.

During the public hearing portion of the meeting, council heard the second reading of Ordinance No. 175 or the 2019 California Building Codes that will go into effect at the start of the new year and adopted the ordinance unanimously.

In other general business, council heard the first reading of an amendment dealing with an ordinance that deals with local regulation and sidewalk vending in the city.

Planning Director Matt Bassi explained that the amendment was brought about in response to Senate Bill 946 which was approved last year. The law states that if cities do not have regulations in their code there will be no way to permit or regulate sidewalk or street vending.

The amendment places those regulations in place and council approved the first reading unanimously.

Council also approved the master drainage plan designed and created to plan flood protection, inventory the city’s assets, identified needs, find solutions estimate costs and prepare the plan.

The plan, as presented by staff, called for the creation of master drainage facilities throughout the city’s four regions to provide flood protection throughout the city.

The total cost of proposed drainage facilities was estimated to be near $60 million with funding coming from county, incoming developments, impact fees and CIP Funds.

“This is another milestone,” Moore said. “This is something we’ve needed for a long time. We’ve been getting flooded out forever. So, thank you so much for your hard work.”

Council adopted the plan unanimously.

Council moved discussion of Development Impact Fees – Five-Year and Annual Report as of June 30, 2019, to a later meeting.

An emergency ordinance was approved unanimously by council that repealed a former ordinance and created two resolutions regarding travel reimbursement policies for elected officials and city employees.

During the public hearing portion of the meeting, council heard the second reading of Ordinance No. 175 or the 2019 California Building Codes that will go into effect at the start of the new year and adopted the ordinance unanimously.

Council approved the consent calendar that included an organics waste amendment, the awarding of a construction contract for the Mission Trail/Sedco sidewalk, approval of the use of city property as a staging area for the CIP contractor Mission Trail sidewalk’s phase II, the acceptance of a portion of Lot E of the Sedco Township map for public use, the awarding of a services agreement with NBS, and the rescheduling of public hearing dates for two annexation proposals.

During public comment, Goddard clarified and explained a prior comment he had made about important items that he said were buried in the consent calendars and Greg Langsworth spoke in opposition of the cannabis issue, citing the city survey results, following federal law and the culture of Wildomar as reasons for rejecting the proposal.

Before the meeting, council and regional representatives presented Eagle Scout Chris Ramos with proclamations and recognition for his Eagle Scout project that created a Little Free Library at Marna O’Brien Park.

Council also recognized David A. Bro Holiday Lights Contest Winners.

Nigg and Morabito did the judging and awarded 32784 Batson Lane the Griswold Award, 25690 Woshka Lane the Traditional Award, and 24983 Little Book Circle the Judge’s Recognition Award.

Wildomar City Council’s next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com.