Friday, October 08, 2010

Family needs help

My Mom started a new job the day she found out my Dad had terminal cancer. Now this company she is working for might let her go because she is not able to focus on work and my father at the same time. If this happens on Monday, my parents could lose their house and to make matters worse none of my parents have health insurance at the moment. Many of you have asked if there is anything you can do to help, well now is your chance if you are truly serious. I am asking for you to help out my parents with your donation....5 dollars...10...20....every little bit helps. I don't know if this note will even work but I am giving it a shot. Please ask your family, friends...anyone. My father is dying from Stage 4 melanoma cancer. It started in his liver and spread to his spine.

My parents address is

33358 Twin Hills Way

Temecula, CA 92592



Thursday, October 07, 2010

Why to vote yes on C D E

The council and its supporters say we should listen to them .   They know better. But you also have to look at their motivation and built in bias. What do these Initiatives do?  They limit city council power and perks.  So  try to apply this to your life. If  an outside source came in and threatened your income and power would you be against it? More than likely yes.  However, in this case this is the people of Murrieta attempting to take more control of those they elect. Currently the tail wags the  dog. We have no control over Council perks.  We have no control over what the City Manager or staff, which  are appointed positions, make in the form of salaries and benefits.  We also have no control over the salaries that are tied to these positions.   With all the headlines of salary and pension abuse lately it  makes sense for Murrietans to make these positions a known calculation that  all residents understand. Paying 2.5 times the average Murrieta income to the City Manager still gives a compensation that is 50% higher than the salaries of state assemblymen. Currently the attitude of this council and councils in other cities is to point to other cities to justify what they pay. Murrieta looks at Temecula and says that they pay over 100k less so they're not over paying.  Temecula looks at Moreno Valley's city manager and says  that they pay 100k less so they are also not overpaying. Moreno Valley used to pay less than Bell...  The point is they are all over paid.   Murrieta needs to guarantee three things.  First that it's management positions salaries are a known calculation and not a whim of the council. Second that council perks and benefits are limited so that those who serve are there for the people and not the perks. Third: that term limits are in place so that no incumbent gains too much of an advantage and also is not in office long enough to be corrupted. In a city with so much past corruption wouldn't it be better do something to prevent the corruption than to react to it after it has already happened? Californians already pay among the highest tax rates in the country. These Initiatives will not change this at this point. But think about it. How many more police or park space will the cost savings buy?  VOTE YES  C D E IF NOT NOW WHEN?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


Home / News / Opinion / Columnists / Phil Strickland: Strictly Speaking

STRICKLAND: Thomasian outs the insiders

StoryDiscussionSTRICKLAND: Thomasian outs the insiders

By PHIL STRICKLAND North County Times - Californian
Posted: Wednesday, October 6, 2010 12:00 am
1 Comment

Font Size:Default font sizeLarger font size.Murrieta City Councilman Gary Thomasian went and did it now.

In an interview with The Californian, Thomasian outed the Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority and his own council for conspiring to ignore more than 100 property owners, known as Murrietans for Quality Life, rightfully upset by the abuse of their property rights by government.

He's a member of both bodies: an authority appointee (in fact, chairman this year) and the Murrieta City Council.

The way this violation of the people went down was, the council secretly voted unanimously not to meet with the residents, and then instructed the city manager to convey to the authority the city's desire for it to do likewise.

He did. It did.

Also on the sly.

The council justifies its cowardice, citing Calvary Chapel's pending suit that charges the two bodies with extortion. The church seeks $25 million recompense.

The church claims the council and the authority tried to hold it up for the majority of its 118 acres in return for permission to develop the remainder. The church had intended to create a 95-acre campus.

Regardless of the politics, the cliched larger problem is transparency and accountability.

It's worth noting that authority members are not elected, but according to the Joint Powers agreement, must be elected to a position on the body ---- like the LAFCOs and many of the other outfits that take away our say over our lives at our expense ---- that appoints them. All five supervisors sit on it.

Anyhow, Thomasian has done a rare thing in opening the inside game to scrutiny.

The ubiquitous "they" are cringing.

Upon Thomasian's spilling the beans, some of the "they" in this case, namely Randon Lane and Doug McAllister, the two incumbents not up for re-election, refused to endorse him and threw their weight to a challenger.

Lane reportedly because Thomasian outed them. McAllister felt "uncomfortable." Yeah, no kidding.

Certainly the council has ducked its constituents' darn good questions about this outrageous and costly (up to six figures for a landowner) scam by which their rights are usurped.

For whatever reason, Thomasian finally took exception to this seizure-by-fiat of the landed's rights and said "No."

Come to think of it, if those residents paid for a lawyer rather than fees ...


NOTING NOTES: When hundreds of anti-quarry protesters followed the music in the sweltering Temecula heat two Sundays ago to protest the proposed Liberty Quarry, included with the Great Oak High musicians were performers from Temecula Valley and Chaparral high schools, as well as professional musicians.

Thanks all.

Phil Strickland writes from Temecula. Contact him at

Sunday, October 03, 2010

More on


What are the Murrieta Measures C, D and E, and why would anyone be against them?

Measure C is term limits. It allows councilmembers to have two terms in and then a time out. If they choose to run again, they can't run as incumbents. Incumbency can be a very powerful tool to be re-elected. Menifee has the same term limit measure on its ballot, and many cities have term limits already in place. The chaos in Sacramento is not about term limits; it's about political differences.

If chaos were about term limits, we wouldn't have chaos in D.C. It was mentioned that Murrieta doesn't need term limits because Murrieta lost all five councilmen since 2003. They didn't mention that two of them were convicted of corruption. That's a great reason for term limits ---- corruption. The longer one serves, the more temptation.

Why would anyone be against Measure D? Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG) is. After all, a councilman only makes $600 per month, right? Wrong.

They get paid for other meetings they go to, even if they sit in the same chair at the same meeting, and they get benefits such as health care. Twenty thousand dollars a year is budgeted to each councilman in Murrieta. There is another $30,000 a year per councilman for memberships in WRCOG, League of Cities, as well as expensive business trips to Las Vegas and D.C., etc. WRCOG is made up of city councilmen ---- the very people who would lose money by this measure. It was mentioned that it would be against the law to change the $600/month salary that city council members makes. They still get the $600 salary but are limited in benefits. The measure allows council members to ask the voters for more money.

Measure E will solve the city of Bell problems.

According to the League of Cities' charts, Murrieta's city manager makes $241,618 a year and Temecula's city manager makes $336,288 a year. As in Measure D, Measure E ties city salaries to performance. Running the city into the ground and getting a bonus seems to be the norm these days, while the rest of us are out of work. City manager salaries keep going up without any consequences for wrong decisions.

This measure changes that. If our salaries go up, their salaries go up. This is Murrieta city-specific. A city that has a household income of a million dollars doesn't need this measure. Another concern brought up is that this could affect the fire chief and police chief's salaries due to a clause in the city manager's contract.

If the state ends up reducing the city manager salaries, the city will have to do the same thing we will have to do: renegotiate the contract.

Finally, the paper retracted that I was a self-proclaimed ultraconservative. Even if I were extreme on either end of the political spectrum and just happened to come up with something to solve a problem, should it be automatically discarded?

Vote "Yes" on Measures C, D, and E. If not now, when?

Bob Kowell is a Murrieta resident.

Friday, October 01, 2010




What are the over-arching goals of the Murrieta Initiatives? Those that oppose them are tied to both the council and government like BFF's and have a very narrow view of the Initiatives C D E  purpose.  They see limited goverment as limiting Murrieta's ability to compete. They fail to see that limited government needs to have its seed planted here and spread statewide. Those opposed say it needs to be dealt with at the state level.  We know that starting from the state level is a non starter. The state cannot fix its own budget problems,  and  the state has shown it is pro government salary growth.  It's going to take a grassroots effort to rein in out of control public salaries. First we heard of the cities of Bell and LaVerne and their raping of the public trust.  The latest city is San Marcos with over one third of city workers making over 100k. In Murrieta we also have salaries higher than the private sector average and here is a link to the list:   The Initiatives only attack a small part of this problem and are meant  to not only rein in what they list, but they are also meant to motivate other citizens in other cities to adopt similar measures that are hopefully even more broad. The public employees and their unions have been feeding at the taxpayer pig trough for too long. It is time to start a movement to halt government salaries as a growth industry. Taxes and salaries are tied together. One cannot be lowered without a drop in the other....

Ever wonder why you pay more in sales tax?  DMV fees? Income tax?  Tickets  and Court fees?  Or in general why Californians are among the heaviest taxed citizens in the United States?  Well what is most of the  tax money collected spent on?  The salaries and benefits of government employees at the state, county and city levels.  Add to this that over the last twenty years government salaries went from on par to private sector positions to now paying 45 percent more and and in many cases much more.  At what point do the citizens of California say enough? City managers should not make more than members of Congress.  City clerks should not make 50 to a 100 percent more than clerks with  similar responsibilities in the private sector.  Public servants sitting on city councils should not seek re-election because they depend on council benefits above serving their fellow citizens.  Murrieta needs to say  enough!  We need to guarantee from this point on that salaries are a known calculation and are not part of  a perception that salaries can be driven up because taxes can always be raised to cover higher and higher compensations.   Send a message Murrieta! These Initiatives are bigger than this city. California and it's cities need to be woken up and lets do the shaking right here!  Vote YES ON  C D E on November 2