Term Expires: December 2020
Office Hours: Call for an Appointment
(951) 698-9885 Fax
Personal Goal Statement
As a 30 year resident of Murrieta, I bring both history and involvement to the Council. This is my second appointment to fill an absence on the Council which provides me another opportunity to address issues I see in our community. Chief among those issues are:
- Public Safety
Housing. Our region and state are experiencing a severe housing crisis brought about by too many regulatory hurdles and too high costs to develop for too many years. As a state we are building 80,000 fewer units than we need every year to accommodate the growth in population. This shortage drives up the cost of housing both for owners and renters. The impact to our residents is undeniable and extends to teachers, public safety personnel, veterans and our own children. Our growing homeless population is, at least in part, driven by the high cost of housing and must be addressed at the local level insofar as possible given the constraints placed upon us by the state.
Jobs. While our City is home to a demographically diverse population, our residents enjoy a higher level of education and income than most of Riverside County. Unfortunately those same characteristics means that more than 60% of our residents are also forced to commute out of our region for jobs that meet their income needs and make use of their expertise. 26% of our residents have a commute longer than 90 minutes! In concert with our Economic Development Coalition and our Chambers of Commerce, our City Economic Development Office and Council need to aggressively explore every opportunity to bring the type of jobs to Murrieta that will keep our residents off the road every morning and evening. We are doing a good job. We can, and must, do even better.
Public Safety. Murrieta was prescient in keeping our police and fire department under local control at time of incorporation. It was not an easy decision but as costs in neighboring cities escalate for public safety contracts, often consuming 50% - 60% of their operating budget, Murrieta enjoys the advantage of local control, cost savings and exemplary levels of public safety, frequently qualifying as one of the nation’s safest cities. Last year’s passage of Measure T has enabled our police department to bring on additional personnel bringing us near the goal of one officer per 1,000 residents, further adding to our security. Our fire department is also benefitting from these funding increases by adding personnel, increasing training, and adding equipment that will keep our residents safe as building heights and housing density increase. We must never flag in our support of our public safety providers.
Gene Wunderlich is an advocate for private property rights, homeownership and business issues. He serves as V.P. of Government Affairs for the Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors, and Legislative Liaison/Executive Director for the Southwest California Legislative Council. An area resident for 30 years, Wunderlich also serves on numerous local, state and national boards including Vice Chair of Southwest Healthcare Board of Governors, President of the Temecula Valley Players theater group, Director of the California Association of Realtors, Land Use Committee Member of the National Association of Realtors, the Murrieta/Temecula Group, and is a past appointed member of the Murrieta City Council.
I am currently the Vice Chair of the California Association of Realtors Local Government Relations Committee and sit on both the state and national association Land Use, Property Rights and Environment Committees, giving me significant insight and experience with local, state and national land use and zoning issues and challenges. While knowledgeable on many land use and governing issues, I pride myself on keeping an open mind and listening to all sides of an argument before forming an opinion as there is no cookie-cutter or one-size-fits-all approach to address every situation. This is the problem that we encounter routinely with Sacramento decrees that seek to make the very diverse population of our state fit neatly into identical compartments to the detriment of many.
As Legislative Liaison for the Southwest California Legislative Council, an advocacy coalition of our local Chambers of Commerce, I monitor and report on bills in our state legislature that may have either a negative or positive impact on our local business community. This keeps me in regular contact with local, county, state and federal officials as we work to address measures to keep our businesses healthy and our cities under local control. In California this is not an easy task. I am a fiscal conservative and bring no agenda to the Council other than serving to the best of my ability.
Wunderlich has also served on numerous City committees over the years including Chair of the General Plan Advisory Committee in 2004-2005, the Sign Ordinance Committee and the Development Advisory Group. Wunderlich is most recognizable behind a microphone emceeing local charitable events, as an auctioneer raising funds for a cause, interviewing candidates for local races, or presenting a legislative or economic update for the region. He can occasionally be seen on stage at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater in a theatrical production and looks forward to touring Murrieta for his 15th+ season as Santa.
In his spare time, Wunderlich enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife and family. He is most proud of his children, Dane and Tara, for their own many contributions to the quality of life in the Murrieta Valley.