Category Archives: TVMAC MEETING NEWS

Key points from MAC meeting

Here are a few key points from last week’s Temescal Valley Municipal Advisory Council meeting:

County fire has found four possible sites in the vicinity of Weirick Road for the relocation of Station 15 when it is reopened. Fire is now working with county real estate office.

The Sheriff had 407 Temescal Valley calls for service during May. Twenty-two were Part 1 crimes. There were eight larcenies, three burglaries, four aggressive assaults, one robbery and six vehicle thefts. Several of these calls were at Glen Ivy RV Park. False alarms comprised the majority of all calls.

Freeway monuments identifying Temescal Valley are behind schedule. Monuments should be approved by the Board of Supervisors at either the June 17 or July 1 meeting. Southbound monument should be constructed by the end of August; northbound monument by October. See related story HERE

Waste Management is beginning a new phase at the landfill – this only happens every two to three years. Public tours of the construction are available: call 951-277-5112. A $4,000 grant has been received from Keep America Beautiful to continue cleanup in Temescal Valley. $20,000 in grants has been received to date. The annual summer day camp program at the landfill will be held at the end of July.

The El Sobrante Oversight Committee will have a public meeting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 16 at the Lee Lake Water District office, 22646 Temescal Canyon Road. The county is expected to address the recent concerns raised by the committee. Committee minutes and agendas can be found HERE

Local Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez has three bills that passed the Assembly and have moved to the Senate. AB 2065 provides whistleblower protection for legislative employees; AB 2192 would streamline the building permit process for businesses, and AB 2217 would protect school districts and personnel from civil damages when using a defibrillator in emergency medical situations. Learn more HERE

The updated General Plan (Amendment No. 960) is available for public review. Community meetings, to be held later this year, will be announced as soon as they are scheduled. View the plan HERE. View the Temescal Canyon Area Plan HERE.

Town hall provided lots of info

Photo by Kristen Huyck

Photo by Kristen Huyck

About 120 residents turned out for the March 12 town hall meeting sponsored by  county 1st District Supervisor Kevin Jeffries and the Temescal Valley Municipal Advisory Council (MAC). The event is held each year to update residents about what’s happening in the Valley and to explain county services available to them.

Below are key points discussed at the meeting by each county department representative and how to reach that person if you have a question. We’ve also included links to the department websites.

Riverside County Supervisor, District 1
(951) 955-1010

Welcomed the audience and gave a quick review of his 15 months in office. He addressed future development in the Valley with the two questions he asks developers. 1. Is it compatible? 2. When are you going to present it to the MAC?

Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder
(951) 955-6200

This office is responsible for all property value assessments and is the keeper of all types of  vital records — marriage, birth and death certificates. It also issues fictitious business name affidavits.

You can look up property values in your neighborhood by visiting the property sales viewer on the website and typing in an address. Here’s the link to that tool:

Treasurer-Tax Collector
(951) 955-3900

This department collects all county taxes. Each year it mails 960,000 tax bills and receives 300,000 phone calls. The treasurer also is responsible for investments in the Treasurer’s Pool Investment Fund. Our fund totals $5.4 billion and has a triple-A rating. Remember the Orange County bankruptcy? Non-performing Investments in its fund eventually caused the bankruptcy.

Riverside County Sheriff
(951) 245-3300

(951) 245-3329

Capt. Kennedy-Smith announced she had been with the Lake Elsinore station for about two years and had enjoyed working with Valley residents, but is joining the executive team for Sheriff Stan Sniff and will be leaving the local station. She said her replacement will be Capt. Leonard (Lennie) Hollingsworth and that Lt. Zach Hall will continue in his role as our community liaison. She said crime statistics just released for 2013 showed a decrease in Part I crimes — homicides, robberies, assaults, etc. She also noted the department continues to hire new deputies to reach the goal of 1.2 deputies per 1,000 people.

Riverside County Fire/ CalFire
(951) 340-1816

Photo by Glen Nelson

Photo by Glen Nelson

Div. Chief Mecham apologized for County Fire Chief John Hawkins, who was ill and couldn’t attend the town hall. In the past and with his obvious love for what he does, Chief Hawkins has always been a “tough act to follow.”

Mecham explained that CalFire is the agency that serves as the Riverside County Fire Department. It employs about 2,000 people — 1,200 from state, 250 from county, 250-300 volunteers and an inmate crew of 300.

He said he is extremely concerned that the drought poses a serious threat this fire season and that 95 percent of the vegetation in our hills is dead. He also noted that the department is working on fuel modification for Sycamore Creek and Trilogy, and an evacuation plan for Dawson Canyon.

The department’s five-year plan calls for the reopening of Station 15 and moving it somewhere south of Weirick road. He said this could happen in two to five years.

Transportation Land Management Agency
(951) 955-4608

The department is responsible for building, safety, roads and code enforcement, as well as transportation and land management. Currently, the environmental impact report is being prepared for the Cajalco Expressway widening project which will run from Temescal Canyon Road to Interstate 215. According to the county website, “project approval is anticipated by early to mid-2017. Construction would be scheduled to start following project approval, subject to securing funding.”

Perez urged Temescal Valley residents to attend MAC meetings. He said it was a MAC request that brought about the barriers on the 15 freeway along Knabe Road. The barriers reduce freeway glare for motorists on Knabe and offer some protection from freeway accidents that could impact homes and drivers on Knabe.

Code Enforcement
(951) 776-3239

Starkweather said the department handles all types of enforcement issues including graffiti, illegal dumping and weed abatement. The Valley is served by the office at 17650 Cajalco Road — phone: 951-776-3233. He said once an enforcement complaint is filed, it takes the department 15 to 30 days to respond, unless it’s an emergency or public safety issue. “And we will cite,” Starkweather said. Violators will pay fines between $100 to $500 depending on how quickly the violation is remedied.

Environmental Health
(951) 358-5172

This department deals with issues such as hazardous materials, trash and sewage complaints, swimming pool inspections, vector control, standing water, and permanent year-round permitting for food trucks.

Registrar of Voters
(951) 486-7310

The registrar’s office is responsible for voter regiastration and administering public elections. It also handles maps, precincts, polling places and petition signature verification, as well as recruiting and training election officers. Tinoco said that in even years the department oversees seven to 10 elections, but in odd years there could be anywhere from four to seven elections. He said the office currently is gearing up for the June 3 primary and recruiting the 3,000 volunteers needed on election day.

Photo by Glen Nelson

Photo by Glen Nelson

Riverside County Transportation
(951) 787-7141

The commission is comprised of 34 members from each of the county’s cities and all five county supervisors, and administers the transportation funds.

Mayer said motorists should start noticing work on State Route 91 through Corona as the $1.3 billion widening project gets under way. The widening will add two lanes in each direction, plus an additional lane. She said by this summer the restriping of the westbound lane at the 91/15 interchange should be complete, easing the merging problems experienced at main street. The entire project should be finished in 2017 and will roll into the 15 freeway widening which will add two toll lanes from Cajalco road to State Route 60. She said the EIR for that project is being prepared now and people should check the public notices for the comment period.

Office of Aging
(951) 867-3800

This department is dedicated to providing an enhanced quality of life for the county’s elderly and keeping people independent. Most of the programs offered are free of charge and the department deals with an annual 40,000-call volume. Services offered include support, nutrition, transportation, case management and employment. Support is also available for care givers and family members. The information call center phone number is 1-800-510-2020.

Veteran Services
(951) 276-3060

This department was formed in 1930 and has generated $18 million for veteran services. Popular programs include VA home loans, education, rehabilitation, life insurance and burial. Gautsche said he likes to think of the department as a “one stop for veterans’ needs.”

Economic Development Agency
(951) 955-1309

This department with its 20 divisions has a huge task — improve the economy of Riverside County. A few of those divisions are workforce development, housing authority, library system, aviation, real estate service, and foreign trade.

Brandl said the Western County Bookmobile is at Deleo Park from 9 to 11 a.m. on Tuesdays. She said with a county library card people can download language courses and books, as well as check out books online.

Exhibitors at the town hall included:

Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez
(951) 894-1232
Contact: Deni Horne



California Highway Patrol
 (951) 637-8000

 El Cerrito Library
(951) 270-5012
Contact: Nancy Reiter

Lee Lake Water District
(951) 277-1414

Riverside County Flood Control
(951) 955-1200             

Riverside County Office of Emergency Services
Contact: Sandy Isom
(951) 955-5661

Riverside County Park and Open-Space District
(951) 955-4310

Riverside County Waste Management
(951) 486-3200

Southern California Edison
(800) 655-4555
Contact: Louis Davis
(951) 928-8308

Southern California Gas Company
(800) 427-2200
Contact: Lea Petersen

Waste Management Inc.
Landfill: (951) 277-1740
Contact: Miriam Cardenas
Hauling: (951) 280-5400

We are Temescal Valley

91 Project
(877) 770-9191
Contact: Eliza Echevarria

Bus service, early release were MAC topics

A crowd of about 40 people attended the June 12 meeting of the Temescal Valley Municipal Advisory Council meeting and learned about the burden the state’s prison realignment program has placed on the county. Another presentation outlined the county’s plan to improve rapid transit services.

Gordon Robinson, director of planning with the Riverside Transit Agency, told the audience the RTA currently is gathering public surveys to develop initial recommendations for its 10-year plan to improve service and increase ridership. The study began in January and has an 18-month timeline.

Robinson is aware that rapid transit is not available in Temescal Valley but urged everyone to complete a survey. Although the survey is geared to non-riders where service is offered, Temescal Valley folks have two places in the survey where they can voice opinions on wanting bus services.

We took the survey and here’s what we wrote in the comment section of question No. 4: “RTA services are not offered where I live — Temescal Valley south of Corona.”

Here’s what we noted in the comment section of question No. 27: “We do not have bus service in the Temescal Valley. There is no school busing for many of our intermediate and high school students. Our older students have trouble getting to community colleges. I had a friend who is visually disabled and she had to move because no bus service is offered here. And, many senior citizen residents who live in Trilogy cannot drive.”

You can tailor the comments to your own reasons for wanting bus service, but it’s important that Temescal Valley residents respond to the survey. Take the survey HERE

Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach told the audience that the realignment program, which took effect in October 2011, was designed to reduce the state’s prison population but instead has placed the burden of incarcerating low-level offenders on the counties.

 Zellerbach said overcrowding in county jails has forced the early release of certain inmates: those jailed for non-violent, non-sexual and non-serious offenses. He said the county in 2012 released 6,990 prisoners and this year that number will grow close to 9,000 early-released inmates. The early releases are necessary to ease overcrowding in county jails which creates lawsuits filed by the inmates for the crowded conditions and poor medical services.

While the state pays counties to assume the cost of caring for the inmates, as well as probation and parole services, Zellerbach said state funds only amount to 25-cents on the dollar. And if inmates reoffend, they are not sent back to state prison, but stay in the county’s correctional system. He said county jails are filled about 24 percent to 25 percent with offenders who used to be sent to state prison.

While state funds and grant money is available to ease the financial burden on county jails, probation officers and mental health services, it falls far short of solving the problem, Zellerbach said. He said realignment and early-release are a risk to public safety and undermine the integrity of the justice system. He also noted that the property crime rate is up 10 percent to 15 percent countywide.

The Press-Enterprise recently published a report detailing the severity of the issue. Read it HERE

Jeffries draws good crowd at MAC

More than 80 people attended the May 8 meeting of the Temescal Valley Municipal Advisory Council meeting and heard updates from Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Chief John Hawkins, Lee Lake Water District General Manager Jeff Pape and Riverside County Code Enforcement Officer Mano Molina.

But the big draw for the evening was a visit by Riverside County First District Supervisor Kevin Jeffries, who talked about his first five months in office since his election to the post last November and January swearing-in ceremony.

Jeffries said that he, too, lives in an unincorporated Riverside County area — Lakeland Village, within the city of Lake Elsinore sphere of influence. He said that as the First District supervisor and an appointed commissioner to the county’s Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo), he has to remain fair and impartial in publicly speaking about the annexation. But he again reiterated that last year while campaigning door-to-door in Temescal Valley, he found no one that favored annexation and many people who opposed it.

A termed-out, six-year state assemblyman, Jeffires said those six years were the most frustrating in his life. He said he was happy to leave Sacramento where currently there are more than 100 bills pending that would make it much harder to do business in California.

He said that while the county — the fourth largest in the state, is slowly recovering from the recent bad economy, the recovery will be slow and the county faces some tough times ahead. State programs such as prison early-release to ease over-crowding, is placing a burden on the county. He also noted that of the county’s $5 billion annual budget, only $500 million is discretionary — the remainder going to augment state- and federal-mandated programs.

He talked about the wild land fire tax paid by several people in Temescal Valley and said the state legislature might be doing away with it. He said he opposed the tax and unsuccessfully authored legislation to kill it while he served as our assemblyman. He said the tax does not buy one piece of fire equipment nor hires any additional firefighting personnel, and only can be used for fire prevention. He also said it’s questionable whether the amount of tax dollars paid by Riverside County residents will ever be used here.

Fire Chief Hawkins reviewed the brush fires experienced by Cal Fire over the weekend and asked everyone in attendance to create “defensible space” in getting rid of landscaping and overgrown weeds too close to their homes. He said this fire season is expected to be a rough one. “You bring the defense; we’ll bring the offense,” Hawkins said. (Learn more about Defensible Space HERE)

Pape told the crowd that the Lee Lake Water District board was working on budgets. He said the cost of MWD water was getting expensive — $1,000 an acre foot, and that the local district has no control over these costs. Pape said that possible, well-planned budget cuts would offset the cost of a rate increase.

He talked about the district project that would mix groundwater with nonpotable water and pipe it along Temescal Canyon Road to Sycamore Creek to be used for landscape irrigation. Pape said the district’s construction plans — there are many underground pipes and lines now along Temescal Canyon Road, and the concern about preserving the oak trees that grow along the roadway, must meet county approval. He said while awaiting approval, the district plans to begin other phases of the project by midsummer. He said the district will endeavor to keep traffic flowing with little disruption.

Molina said code enforcement calls in Temescal Valley for illegal dumping have slowed down, averaging two calls per week. He said 1,700 tires recently were removed from an illegal dump site in the Valley and it took 75 trips to clean up the area.


MAC meeting highlights

The group of about 30 residents who attended the April 10 Temescal Valley Municipal Advisory Council meeting learned that Cal Fire is “ready to roll” on wildfire fire season, the 232 apartments planned for Sycamore Creek will not be built, and Edison’s major project to run a second transmission line to the local substation will include some underground lines.

Cal Fire Chief Tony Mecham said the nine seasonal stations are being reopened and air support pilots are in place and now undergoing training. He encouraged property owners to clear overgrown vegetation around homes. (Learn how to do that HERE.)

He told Trilogy residents that Cal Fire is following up with golf course management about weed abatement concerns behind some homes.

Brian Woods, with Sycamore Creek developer Foremost Communities, told people about the second phase of Sycamore Creek construction. He said the planned 232 multi-family units will be replaced with small single-family homes geared to moderate incomes.

He noted that Foremost has set aside land for the trails system and is giving the county 13 acres to add a BMX park adjacent to Deleo Regional Sports Park .

About 1,200 homes have been constructed in Sycamore Creek; 540 homes are planned for the new phase. There should be 1,738 homes at buildout which is expected in three to four years.

Louis Davis, Southern California Edison region manager local public affairs, updated people on the Valley-Ivyglen Subtransmission Project. He said environmental concerns sent Edison back to the drawing board and the utility has submited a petition for modification to the state’s Public Utilities Commission.

The project, which he said has been 10 years in the making, would run a second transmission line over 25 miles from Menifee to Edison’s Ivyglen substation on Temescal Canyon Road.

Davis said only one transmission line serves the area now and if it goes down, residents lose power until crews can find and correct the problem. The second line will quickly reinstate power service while the problem with the first line is repaired.

While the majority of the project involves overhead transmission lines, he said they will be underground running along Campbell Ranch Road in Sycamore Creek.

Residents for Temescal Valley provided an annexation update at the meeting. (Read it HERE.)

The Temescal Valley Municipal Advisory Council meets the second Tuesday of each month at Trilogy in The Lake Center’s Sequoia Room.

Fire chief: ‘… Close Station 64’

County Fire Chief John Hawkins told Temescal Valley residents that if annexation occurs and county revenue decreases, he will recommend closing County Fire Station 64 in Sycamore Creek.

Hawkins, speaking at the March 13 Temescal Valley Municipal Advisory Council meeting, has always been adamant in praising his department and the quality of service it provides to the majority of Temescal Valley residents. The county contracts with the city of Corona to provide fire service to a small portion of northern Temescal Valley.

His recommendation to close the fire station reiterated a Feb. 22 email sent by county Battalion Chief Geoff Pemberton to a Temescal Valley resident questioning whether Station 64 would be closed if annexation happens.
Read the email HERE
Read The Press-Enterprise story HERE

Other fire announcements at the MAC meeting included:

  • Chief Tony Meachem from the Cal Fire Norco station said that Station 64 firefighter/paramedic Kevin Hansen had obtained 130 pet resuscitation masks that are being distributed to county fire stations.
  • Even though every county engine runs with a paramedic on board, the county is beginning a review of its paramedic/EMS services.
  • Cal Fire is looking to April to bring on its seasonal staff and will reopen nine state fire seasonal stations.
  • With wildfire season approaching, it’s time for residents to clear brush from around their homes and for HOAs to begin weed abatement behind homes that border forest areas.


Corona has filed; county explains process

The big news at Wednesday’s meeting of the Temescal Valley Municipal Advisory Council was that the city of Corona has filed its annexation application with LAFCo. The city filed the inches-thick application and supporting documentation on March 12 and the LAFCo public hearing is expected to be held in September.

The crowd of about 75-80 people heard Tina Grande, with the Riverside County Executive Office, explain the steps the county will take now that the application to annex Temescal Valley has been filed.

She said the county last year hired a consultant who will look over all city reports included with the application — with primary focus placed on the city’s plan of services for the area and the financial analysis, and the consultant’s review then will be sent to the various county departments. Department staff will review the documents and provide comments on the city’s plans looking at the long-term impact on the county if annexation were to happen, and the affect it would have on county services provided to unincorporated areas not included in the annexation.

She said the county, through the Board of Supervisors, could take a position on the annexation if the review shows significant operational impact on the county. Grande also noted that the county could not begin this process until the city officially filed its proposal with LAFCo. She explained, “You can’t analyze documents until you’ve seen them.”

The county’s response to the annexation, based on staff comments, is then sent to LAFCo. LAFCo staff will analyze both county and city data, and make a recommendation to the LAFCo commissioners for consideration at the September public hearing.

George Spiliotis, LAFCo executive officer who also attended the meeting, said the review process takes time. He said, under the process, the city can continue to submit changes to previous documentation included in the initial application. Spiliotis noted the public hearing could maybe happen as early as July, “But that’s a hot summer month and many people are vacationing.”

The city requested the September public hearing date, which means if the LAFCo commissioners vote to move the annexation process forward, the 21-day period to gather registered voters’ signatures on protest petitions likely will happen over the holidays.

Grande said the county welcomes comments from residents, particularly about the city’s plan of services.
Read the Plan of Services HERE
Read the Financial Impact Analysis HERE
Learn more about the LAFCo process HERE


Feb. 13 MAC meeting highlights

The crowd was on the light side at the Feb. 13 Temescal Valley Municipal Advisory Council meeting — about 25 to 30 people. Chairman Eric Werner announced that the MAC will now meet on the second Wednesday of the month, freeing up the first Wednesday for folks who want to attend Corona City Council meetings.

Additionally, the March 13, April 10 and May 8 meetings will be at Trilogy — in the Sequoia Room at The Lake Center, 24477 The Lodge Drive. The MAC board believes that rotating meeting locations will provide a better opportunity for more people to attend and become acquainted with the council and the work it does in providing us with the latest news from our county service providers.

We have a new sheriff’s liaison — he’s Lt. Dan Ybarra and works out of the Elsinore station. He can be reached at 951-245-3300. or email: Lt. Ybarra told those at the meeting that he has no idea where the city of Corona came up with the sheriff’s response times that have been flaunted at several city presentations. He said he had never seen those response times before and was working to find out where they originated.

Tony Meacham, from the Cal Fire Norco station, said the county recently renegotiated the area serviced by Corona fire in the city/county contract. Meacham said that in reviewing response times and calls, County Station 64 in Sycamore Creek is capable of being the first responder in some of the area that was being serviced by Corona fire. He said the city’s responsibility area now stops about mid-Wildrose. An interesting fact — while the city’s service area has decreased, what the county pays the city hasn’t. It’s still $619,000 a year.

Meacham also discussed the county’s response time and how those times are calculated. Instead of a “one formula fits all plan,” the county realistically looks at areas — whether urban, rural or outlying, and the population within each of those areas to determine realistic response times. Here’s another interesting fact — county fire has a faster response time than Corona fire. And, while the city doesn’t mention this in its presentations, it is included in the service plan the city will be filing with LAFCO along with the annexation application.

Becky Mitchell, from the county’s Economic Development Agency, gave an update on the Clean Money Fundraising Program available to Temescal Valley and El Cerrito youth groups. It’s a great program. Approved youth groups, and school clubs and organizations providing a minimum of 10 kids between the ages of 11 and 17 can earn up to $500 for volunteering three hours on a Saturday to clean up our rural areas that have been used for illegal dumping. To learn more, contact her at 951-830-0330 or email:

The rest of the meeting was devoted to annexation discussion. Most everyone had attended the city’s Feb. 6 public hearing and most everyone had an opinion.

If you haven’t already thanked Corona Councilman Stan Skipworth for his no vote on the annexation, please take a minute and do it now —

We won’t detail everything that was said or the updates discussed because you can find most of that elsewhere on this website. But — everyone agreed — we must keep “annexation news” in front of folks — keep talking about it and keep getting opposition letters signed.

Suggestions included posting annexation information on all the Temescal Valley community Facebook pages and send letters to the editor. Letters can be no more than 200 words, and must include your name, address and phone number. Your address and phone number will not be published. Letters can be emailed to:

New supervisor introduced at meeting

Eric Werner, president of the Temescal Valley Municipal Advisory Council, introduced newly elected Riverside County 1st District Supervisor Kevin Jeffries to a crowd of about 75 people attending Wednesday’s meeting.

Jeffries said he opposes Corona’s attempt to annex a portion of the Temescal Valley at this time and noted as he and his wife campaigned door-to-door in local neighborhoods, not one resident told him they favored the annexation. The new supervisor said he has met with Corona officials to voice his opposition to the annexation.

Jeffries was sworn in at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting and it was announced at that time that he would replace former 1st District Supervisor Bob Buster as the appointed supervisor to the Local Agency Formation Commission. Having Jeffries as a commissioner on the LAFCO board should be a plus to residents opposing the annexation. LAFCO is the county agency that will have the final say so on whether or not the annexation will occur.

It was also announced at the MAC meeting that the annexation public hearing before the Corona City Council most likely will be held Wednesday, Feb. 6. (More will be posted on this later.)