You Can Lay Blame and Point Fingers, but What We All Need is a Lot of Patience


You may have heard the phrase "the patience of Job," which refers to the Biblical story of a man whose patience and faith was tested when Satan took all his worldly possessions and left him in poverty and disease. According to the scriptures, Job remained faithful despite his horrible predicament and was rewarded when God restored all that he had.

Thus we have today this popular phrase: Patience, faith, reward.

The question is, does anyone really believe it?

In a lot of ways, the patience of Menifee residents is being tested. We aren't sitting on a pile of rubble, penniless and covered from head to toe in sore boils, as Job was. Even so, many of us are downright irritated about one thing or another concerning our fair city.

More development. Less development. It's too hot. It's too crowded. We need more parks. We need better roads. Look what Temecula has. Who wants to be Temecula? When are we getting a bowling alley? A movie theater?

As I tell my grandkids, "I want a million dollars, too, but I don't think it's happening this week."

The thing is, Menifee is in that awkward growth stage, kind of like the gangly teenager whose emotions and coordination can't keep up with his body. We're growing, whether some like it or not. How much? Time will tell.

Meanwhile, the focal point of all this frustration has become the debate over the best solution to our city's traffic problems. What's the quick fix, you ask?

The answer: There is none. That's where the patience comes in.

Are you invested in the future of this community? Then you might as well make the best of what we have now, and realize it will take a while to get what we all want -- or the portion of that we can agree on.

Yes, we need more ways to get across Interstate 215. Yes, pretty much everyone agrees that the proposed Holland Road overpass is the best plan. Believe it or not, the city council members realize that, too.

In light of all the discussion of proposed road improvements recently, this was a hot topic at Tuesday night's city council meeting.

"I think it's important to at least start the Holland overpass planning," said council member Sue Kristjansson. "Not to jeopardize the Newport and Scott projects, but on a parallel path, we need to start making that funding available."

Council member Wallace Edgerton agreed.

"This would be a vital link in our city," he said. "I can't imagine anything in this city having more impact than the Holland overpass."

So don't assume the council members are putting the Holland project on the back burner, behind the Newport and Scott Road interchanges. They get stuck in the same traffic jams you do. You can blame them, city staff or anyone else, but it won't make any difference. Newport gets done first because it's the furthest along in the design and funding stages. But at least council and staff members made it clear Tuesday night they know they must get the ball rolling on the Holland overpass project.

Funding can't be taken away from the Newport project to devote to Holland. It doesn't work that way. Various state and county funds supplement city funds in various ways. Each project must be treated on its own.

"The three projects are not competing with each other," said City Manager Bill Rawlings. "To say they're 1-2-3 ... you could just easily say they are 1-1-1. They are all that important.

"Reallocating resources from Newport to Holland doesn't get the Holland overpass built any quicker. It just delays the Newport project. Newport is furthest along in the process, so it's listed No. 1. We are concurrently pursuing funding for Scott Road. On Holland, we first need to allocate design funds."

That will happen as quickly as those funds can be generated. Which brings us to the vicious circle we're all facing.

The best way to bring in additional funds is to increase the money generated from property tax and sales tax within the city. The city's general fund already relies on property tax for 42 percent of its revenue. In this economy, how much more can one expect that to increase?

According to city documents, sales tax will account for 21 percent of revenue for the general fund in the next year. To fund all these road improvements, you need more businesses selling more products. Yet when you build more businesses in town, the traffic gets even worse while you're waiting to fund the road construction.

See the problem? It's frustrating -- and there really is only one solution.


City officials need patience as they work to attract more businesses to the city. Businesses need patience as they negotiate a deal that will work well for both themselves and the city. And residents need patience enough to sit in those traffic jams when necessary during the years it will take to get all this done.

Rome wasn't built in a day. Los Angeles wasn't built in a week. Temecula wasn't built in a month. And Menifee won't be built in a year -- or even two. It's a work in progress. Measuring the rate of that progress will only lead to unnecessary headaches.

Sure, you can take your business to Murrieta, Temecula or elsewhere. Granted, there are times that is necessary. But remember, the more you shift sales tax revenue outside Menifee, the slower the process will be.

Patience, faith, reward. If you truly believe your community is worth the wait, give it a try.


  1. Since you are on the subject of traffic. What bothers me is the road construction on Murrieta Rd. It isn't the road closure south of Newport Rd. that is the problem. It is the cones and signs blocking the road NORTH of Newport Rd. It makes it very difficult to get into the shopping centers on both sides of Murrieta Rd. And there doesn't seem to be any reason for it. You can still go straight through the light because the road closure does not start until after the driveways for the shopping centers south of Newport Rd. I can't be the only person who is extremely irritated by this.

  2. I was just speaking to the wife about the cones on Murrieta Road today. Very very irritating!