Wunderlich takes oath of office for Murrieta City Council


The seats were full the night Gene Wunderlich was sworn into office at the Nov. 5 Murrieta City Council meeting.

Wunderlich was brought down in front of the council to take his oath of office.

After he was sworn in, council members thanked Wunderlich for stepping forward and for his part in helping the city.

“Thank you all for the warm welcome, I really appreciate it,” Wunderlich said. “I look forward to the next year, and working with all of you, I think the city is in good shape and I just look forward to being a part of the team to keep us on track.”

The meeting progressed with honoring the Active-Duty Military Banner Program, a program which gives the community an opportunity to honor men and women in the military by flying a banner for them for one year before giving it to them or their families, thanking them for their courage, commitment and heroism of those currently serving in the United States Armed Forces.

There were 10 men and women who were honored that night, concluding six months worth of active-duty military banners.

“If you will, I’d like all of our veterans to stand because this is veterans’ month here in Murrieta, so we can thank you appropriately,” Mayor Kelly Seyarto said, as he and the rest of the council stood and applauded.

Later, a contract was awarded for park construction regarding the Town Square Park improvement project, which would construct a state-of-the-art amphitheater that has the ability to seat over 750 people in tiered seating, with room for thousands of people, according to the staff report presented before the council. The plan is to bring in large events to provide an economic development boost to downtown businesses.

This plan would also include a fully functioning stage, with lighting, along with security cameras throughout the park. Full Wi-Fi will also be accessible. A dressing room, storage and public restrooms are part of the plan but will be brought back to the city council under a separate award at a later date. The vision for the improvement project came from city council in 2016, and the city has currently received 11 bids this year ranging from $4.6 million to over $8 million.

After staff reviewed the bids, they came to the conclusion that several of the bids had errors and asked that the council look to award the next lowest bidder from Act 1 Construction at $4.9 million.

After a walkthrough by staff, several bidder protests had been submitted and were discussed with the council. The council opened up the floor to public comments.

“Bottom line is, we had four low bidders and one of them did it right, and the other three had complications with theirs,” Seyarto addressed after the public comments section to that item was closed. “We are awarding the contract to the one who bid it right, if that’s what we do tonight.”

A move to approve the staff’s recommendation of approving the $4.9 million bid was passed with 5-0 vote.

For more information on the bid protests, or to see the full agenda, visit www.murrietaca.gov/129/Agendas-Minutes-Video.

Lexington Howe can be reached by email at valleystaff@reedermedia.com.