Stadium Pizza in Wildomar was packed Thursday night as parks' supporters turned out to celebrate passage of Measure Z.
“It’s been a long road,” said John Lloyd, who spearheads Citizens For Wildomar Parks, the group that campaigned for Measure Z.
Since 2001, Lloyd has worked to save Wildomar Parks, serving with various committees and volunteer groups.
“I went to Supervisor Bob Buster back then and asked what could be done to get the parks open. He said, ‘Get up off your butt and do something,’ so I did,” Lloyd explained.
Wildomar City Councilwoman Bridgette Moore has traveled that same path with Lloyd.
“How do I help get parks open?” she asked in 2000.
and at Stadium Pizza Thursday night she said Measure Z’s passage “is a huge relief.”
During the recent election, Measure Z passed with 68.59 percent of the vote – more than the two-thirds needed. While a recount can still be requested by a citizen through Dec. 3, the margin of “Yes” votes on Measure Z is likely too great to change the election outcome.
“The community really pulled through,” Moore said of Wildomar voters.
But looking ahead, Lloyd and Moore remind that there is much work to be done.
Lloyd said that although the city has taken over paying the utilities at Marna O’Brien Park, it’s unclear what financial commitment it will make in the near term for the facility. Given that Measure Z just passed this month, the special tax that will be imposed on property owners won’t be assessed this year, and Measure Z was placed on the Nov. 6 ballot because the city claimed it could not afford to maintain its three parks. Lloyd said the non-profit Friends for Wildomar Parks that was formed to maintain Marna O’Brien Park is struggling financially; Heritage and Windsong parks remain closed to the public.
The next step on what to do will be determined by the city, Lloyd continued.
The parks issue is scheduled to be on the Dec. 12 Wildomar City Council agenda, when at that time it’s expected the city will discuss its options for the parks while it waits for the special tax revenue.
Moore said she hopes there will be a strong turnout by the community at the Dec. 12 meeting.
“This is not over,” she said.