City officials and Wildomar residents came together this evening at Stadium Pizza on Clinton Keith Rd. to celebrate the official passing of Measure Z, which will keep the city’s parks open.
Measure Z was voted on multiple times in past elections finally passing this November.
On Monday evening, the final count reached 68.59 percent, well above the 66 percent required to pass.
Councilwoman Bridgette Moore said she wanted to say thank you to the voters who came out and voted.
“Close to three-fourths of our residents came out to vote this year. More people came out to vote for our parks than they did our council members,” said Moore.
Moore, who was re-elected earlier this month and championed the park initiative since 2008, said last year only approximately 2,400 registered voters came out to vote while more than 10,000 voted in this month’s elections.
“We only have 14,762 registered voters in our community and it says a lot when 10,000 people vote,” said Moore.
Wildomar resident Kailee Carroll, 9, was the first person Moore called when she heard Measure Z passed. Carroll raised $1,000 selling lemonade and hot chocolate for the effort.
“I like parks because I can walk there or jump on my bike, play sports and have birthday parties,” Kailee said.
“A city is not a city without a park,” said Wildomar resident Andy Morris.
Resident Alice Cloud added: “I think the parks are great for our property values.”
With the passage of Measure Z, residents will now pay an additional $28 per year to maintain the city’s three parks, bringing in close to $300,000 per year.
Two of the three city parks are temporarily closed due to lack of funding. Of the three parks, the Marna O’Brien Park has remained open thanks to the efforts of volunteers.
“We won’t receive the funds for Measure Z until 2014 and the Marna O’Brien Park is hanging on by a thread,” said Moore.
City officials are preparing to organize a parks committee that will start working on future events and plans for the cities three parks.
Moore said she welcomes residents to come to the council meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 12 to discuss ideas on how to keep the Marna O’Brien Park open.
Chairman for Citizens of Wildomar Parks, John Lloyd said: “This is outstanding — a long time coming. Now we are heading down a new road, the next chapter.”
Michelle Mears-Gerst is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.