Thursday, May 13, 2010

Time To Put An End To Redevelopment Funds?

As was discussed at Tuesday evening's City Council meeting, Sacramento has now absconded with $542,513.00 of our Community Redevelopment Agency funds. And if various legal machinations don't work out for us, we'll have to cough up another $111,585.00 next year as well. The reason the state is taking all of this CRA boodle is for something called the State Supplemental Educational Revenue Augmentation Funds (SERAF). Which is money that will go to help fund (God forbid!) California's beleaguered public schools. Something that has the redevelopment community in something of a tizzy. While they are in favor of homeowners having to pay additional taxes to support public schools (Measure CC being an example), their generosity seems to stop there. Because when it is money they benefit from that is being taken, apparently it is the crime of the century and vast legions of lawyers must be called out to fight it.

Now the Pasadena Star News, which can occasionally get off message and publish something potentially displeasing to Bob the Builder and Randi the Realtor (though they certainly don't make a habit of it), ran an editorial on May 11 that gets downright radical on us. They use the predicament of the City of Montebello as an example of just how unfair city government life can be. Apparently Montebello had been using their redevelopment funds for the disreputable practice of paying city bills and not firing employees. And that is against California law which states that you can only spend this particular flavor of money on public buildings, exciting new retail locations, and low cost housing. Which is why it is so beloved to the BIA, CAR, and other shenanigan interests.

But after some obligatory tut-tutting about ends not justifying the means, the unnamed PSN editorial writers go deep with this following observation:

But what makes this even more maddening for cities is the State Legislature's hypocrisy. State law restricts the use of redevelopment funds, but apparently allows the taking of redevelopment funds to balance the state budget. La Mirada just announced it was forced to fork over $4,839,372 to the state as part of a $2.05 billion 'take' from redevelopment agencies across the state. Yes, for paying those inflated state salaries and pension costs. So is it OK for the state to do it, but not for the cities? Welcome to the rabbit hole that is our state government.

And then they go so far as to actually say this:

The Legislature should revisit the laws on restrictions of redevelopment funds. If it isn't OK for cities to spend them on general expenses, then it shouldn't be OK for the state.

Now technically the Starboys are not accurate on where the $2.05 billion is being spent. In this case it isn't going for pensions or bureaucrats' handsome salaries, it is being allocated for use by the state's starving public schools. But why quibble? I think they're really on to something here. Why should cities be squirreling away billions of dollars statewide just for redevelopment? Why should cities be involved in real estate and construction? Particularly when so many of them can't pay their bills or keep their schools operating properly? I mean, don't we already have enough stripmalls? Aren't there enough Starbucks and Sit 'n Sleeps and unwanted condo complexes in California now? Aren't kids more important than helping to fund even more convenient places to get grande triple lattes? We here at The Tattler believe it is time to set priorities straight.

There is no bigger waste of the taxpayers money than redevelopment. Particularly in times like these when there is just so little of the stuff to go around. Sacramento is going to be about $18 billion dollars in the red this year, and their tax revenue projections turned out to be 30% overstated. The City of Los Angeles is running a half a billion dollar deficit, and Pasadena is looking at a sea of red ink totaling nearly $100 million dollars. Obviously things are not going very well.

So here's the deal. If Sacramento can take city redevelopment funds for purposes other than those intended, cities should be allowed to do the same. After all, it is our money. It's time to break down the artificial wall between redevelopment and general funds and let that money be put to some better use than serving as a temptation to developers and duplicitous city officials to initiate even more unneeded condo complexes and car dealerships. Let's do like Sacramento and put that money into more important things. Like schools.

Besides, if cities don't find a way to change state law and get redevelopment money transferred over into their general fund accounts, Sacramento is eventually going to take it all anyway. Either way, redevelopment as a revenue allocation concept is pretty much a dead issue. Why should the state be the only one allowed to feed off the corpse?

Who owns City Hall? Turns out it was the CRA after all.

Once again it turns out the citizens were right. Or at least some of them. Funny how that happens. Our City Hall doesn't belong to the City of Sierra Madre. Rather it belongs to the Community Redevelopment Agency, who then leases it back to the city. This from Elaine Aguilar's agenda report on the matter:

A question was asked at a previous Council meeting regarding the property title to the City Hall and Public Safety facilities. According to LA County Assessors information, the City Hall and Public Safety facilities are owned by the Community Redevelopment Agency.

And apparently there are 7 downtown city government entities owned by the CRA. Which I guess could very well make our CRA the biggest property holder in town. So maybe when we drain the CRA's bank account and put all of that money to good use, we can also spring for the $5,000 it would take to get the City Hall (etc) ownership situation rectified and put the titles back into the hands of the people who pay the taxes here? I know that the general vibe at Tuesday's City Council meeting was that this is a technicality and our elected officials still call the shots on this matter. But still, given the now tenuous existence of the whole CRA shell game, it is time to put things right.

During our recent election Joe Mosca, in a debate setting, proclaimed that CRA ownership of city properties was basically a myth. Something he should now admit he was wrong about. Of course, maybe we should watch out for what we wish for. It would probably take an entire City Council meeting for Joe to cover all the things he was wrong about. Deliberately or otherwise.

75 comments:

  1. Amen, Sir Eric. When Joe Mosca starts covering his tracks the folks seated in the back row of Council Chambers will have to duck their heads to keep from being hit by Mosca's nose.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting. Maybe some good things will come out of the financial crisis after all. Economic necessity might even bring sanity to California. I know that is saying a lot, but dreams do come true, and in the end why would the voters care about CRAs more than community schools?

    ReplyDelete
  3. This was one of the main issues of the Yes on Measure V campaign.

    The CRA and how they steal our money, property and take away our sovereignty as a city.

    This is what Yorba Linda and Sierra Madre fought and other cities are fighting.

    It's sad to see Sierra Madre just elected 3 people to join John Buchanan in fighting FOR Sacramento, a giant step backwards.

    Sacramento government is a cancer. It will destroy California.

    This is what people should be aware, concerned and ready to fight. We need to fight for our independence from Sacramento.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sacramento has become a blackhole that is sucking everything of value into it. I wonder what other taxes they can go after? Property tax? Oh wait, they already did that. UUT? That could be interesting. Sure am excited that they're going to be calling the shots on development here now. I can't wait until we're regionalized, Joe! Who knows, things might get so bad Sacramento will sell us to Asia.

    BTW: Isn't this CRA take a de facto tax hike?

    ReplyDelete
  5. While we elected 3 council members who are obviously working for the development/ real estate interests of our town, hopefully they will have the personal self respect to direct their attentions to protect the interests of us locals who pay the tax bills.
    The CRA money was originally intended to remove "blite" , not a means to assist developers make money at the towns people's expense.
    If they want to build, to make a profit, they should pay for it themselves not the residents

    ReplyDelete
  6. What were we doing with $600,000 laying around anyway?
    And I agree with 8:27. That money was nothing but welfare
    for developers. Honestly I'd rather it be spent on schools.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Developers and Realtors are subsidized in Sacramento and now in Sierra Madre, thanks to the misinformed voters.

    Thanks, Sierra Madre voters. You just buried us.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Steve Tobia's THE Magazine is out showcasing the 2010 Prestige Real Estate Agents and guess which Sierra Madre locals made the list? The criteria for becoming one of the 75 Prestige Real Estate Honorees wasn't explicitly stated but looking at the list I think it's not hard to figure out...

    THE Magazine has downsized to about a hundred pages on definitely cheaper paper; the advertisers seem to be downsizing their ads as well.

    I didn't see a single mention of Mayor Mosca and the Moscateers but I'm sure it'll be in the next issue...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Tobia's "The" is just about as blatant a vanity rag as you will ever see. Those purchasing ads mysteriously also get interviews and picture spreds. With such incisive questions as "What do you see as your most important role in continuing to make our cities even more wonderful than they already are?" Besdies that it is basically a wrapper for Rusnak ads.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Boycott your Redevelopment AgencyMay 13, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    Great Story, that little monopoly guy looks just like Eugene Wong Moy, the El Monte Redevelopment person who was asked to resign, almost a year ago but choose to hang on,demoted to a lower position, although he was at The Transit center townhall meeting held a month or two ago. Henry hillside Nunez was there too, it was right after that he had his hungry give me more hillsides strike. I saw that, another 5.5 million trillion zillion dollars of bond debt was incurred to allow somebody named Arden Xebec, to develop one of the previously failed redevelopment/city owned properties, oh well.

    I say let the redevelopment agencies ride into the sunset on their pale horse.

    Inspite of their support from the chambers of commerces, they effectively destroy independent creative true planning and design, if an outside developer does want to do something, they are nixed because the cities are desperate for the money and want control of the profit and feel they have first opinion over the property, because they are getting only a trickle if they ask real nice of their own tax money increments back.

    Time to slay the dragon, redevelopment agencies have failed, all the profits, goodness, happiness, even civility they promised the state, city fathers and mothers has never manifested. Cities are now rendered like pearls before swine.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Walsh and Moran must be totally confused and befuddled, they thought be a Councilman was all about photo ops and condos.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It is definitely going to be an immense learning curve for those two. Of course, that is not why they are there. They were brought in to vote as they are told to vote. That certainly doesn't require much in the way of knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Will someone enlighten me regarding the 16% increase in water rates offered by Inman!16% WOW!Where is the outrage!Is anyone interested in this outrageous proposal!Could this increase in anyway be related to the Stone House,Carter and the postponed downtown development.Another subsidy to Builders etc.paid for by the public.This added to the proposed increased taxes should make you all shutter!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Drought Resistant PlantMay 13, 2010 at 10:15 AM

    Haven't you heard? The water rate hike is good for you. It is going to save the world from global warming and it will make you feel new levels of self-esteem and worth. Have a Coke and a smile.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Boycott your Redevelopment Agency at 9:19!

    Great post, thanks for finding the Tattler board.

    You consistently come up with good information.

    10:05:
    I too, would like more information on this.
    Crawford?

    ReplyDelete
  16. OK - it's on the list. Sometime next week probably.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Truth found in oily cups of victory ginMay 13, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    Thank you kentucky, saving the really good stuff for coffee.

    Right now I am craving a coke..

    I remember the rushing rushing white foamed water on huge boulders we used to have in El Monte, now it is a water control channel with an inch of water if we are lucky.

    Sir Eric covered the water situation in the dirty little secret story about the water drill blades breaking, remember?

    ReplyDelete
  18. I, for one, welcome our new CRA overlords.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It is so interesting that council people like Buchanan and Mosca hesitate over an estimated $5,000 to put the CRA owned city buildings into the city's name, but are eager to hire a consultant for the general plan for 300 thousand dollars.

    ReplyDelete
  20. What is the deal with the CRA & blight after all -I heard once upon a time that our town got the CRA together because it could. There never was a need. So it was a hustle from the beginning. And CRA funds built city hall. Was that patch of ground blighted?

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm not sure we've heard all there is to hear about the CRA and City Hall. If the CRA is just some sort of paper organization, why do they have all that money to give up to Sacramento?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sir Eric, great observation about what a nonchalant attitude the participants in this discussion had. No big whoop. Nothin' to see here folks.

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is confusing.
    What are you suggesting 1:36?
    Was it legal to use the CRA funds to build city hall or not?
    City attorney Levin said our situation was very common, that everybody did it.

    ReplyDelete
  24. 1:39, bet you 20 bucks that the records that would reveal CRA history are 'compromised'

    ReplyDelete
  25. The CRA is supposed to be there to solve blight problems. But the only blight problem in town is the Skilled nursing Facility, and city hall treats that place like its the taj mahal and its owner the Prince of Wales. I don't get it. Why do they have all that money?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Tattler, Mayor Mosca make an apology?
    Hah! Not gonna happen, not ever, not never.
    Lacks the capacity.

    ReplyDelete
  27. It is beginning to sound like a "Road To Serfdom".

    ReplyDelete
  28. You don't think the CRA would sell city hall because of all the money they've lost due to sacramento taking our $$$ away?

    Think we'll see a Dickson-Podley sign out front of the police station anytime soon?

    ReplyDelete
  29. I don't think I can take another shenanigan financial reveal. Is that where we are headed with this?

    ReplyDelete
  30. channel 3 watcherMay 13, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    Big thanks to Barbara Lee for asking for the information about who owns what. Maybe the Tattler can get hold of that list so we can all know just what is in the city's name & what is in CRA's name. I was surprised to hear Ms. Lee say that the parking lot next to Howies was in the CRA name because I thought it was in the city's name. Came up during the dsp days. Of course we know who owns what doesn't matter anyway. Our council, Manager & Attorney told us so.

    ReplyDelete
  31. To 10:05 A.M., To read more about the 16% water rate increase, google Proposition 218 California and READ ALL ABOUT IT!

    ReplyDelete
  32. That is a good question. What Realtor would the CRA use to sell City Hall? I wonder what a used City Hall goes for these days? And honestly, are there any amenities to speak of on the site? No skylights, no hot tubs that I know about, nor a sauna or pool in sight. Pretty generic as far as halls of government go.

    ReplyDelete
  33. If the CRA funds have been used for things they weren't supposed to be used for, what does that mean?

    ReplyDelete
  34. I think that if the CRA wants to get a lot of money for our used city hall, they will need to add some interesting features. A water fountain out front surrounded by drought resistant plants would send a very good message.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Tobia's THE is awful.
    It's a glorification of THE worst values.

    ReplyDelete
  36. It might not be such a ho-hum matter to keep things in the CRA name if the CRAs are headed for a hiatus. Look sharp council and city staff. Get a move on securing that ownership for the city. It's entirely possible that the SNF owner/s would like to buy city hall to turn it into even more of a tax loss. They could have a bonanza of dereliction on both sides of the boulevard.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Extremely suspiciousMay 13, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    One would think if the CRA was a good thing for Sierra Madre residents its meetings wouldn't be held in closed session, wouldn't one? It'll take some read digging to get the secrets of this shenanigan.

    ReplyDelete
  38. The only way to get rid of the CRA is to pay off the bonds (loans?) that the city used to build the civic buildings like the city hall and police/fire buildings. How could we do that? Well, we could investigate how much interest it would be to get a bond from another source, pay off CRA, and then pay off the new bond. We'd have to investigate rates/ advantages to having a new bond vs. staying in the CRA. It might take some time and monies to do this. But if anyone is interested that's the way to go.

    As far as the water increase is concerned, Bruce Inman had a good presentation at the City Council Meeting, I'm sorry you all missed it. Watch the meeting when it's replayed and listen to his report. It is pretty clear that they do need to raise the rates, it just depends on how much. It seems fair to me, as much as I dislike additional charges on my bill. They are not making any money, they are just keeping up with costs and the need for replacement of aging infrastructure.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Whoa 2:39, great point.
    Why is it in closed session?

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hang on there extremely suspicious. Seem to recall that it used to always happen at the end of council meetings. "We now convene the CRA, roll call, blahdyblah"

    ReplyDelete
  41. good memory skillsMay 13, 2010 at 2:47 PM

    Good luck digging for any records that involve our money.
    Remember?
    They were "misplaced" or "mismanaged" or "fraudulently destroyed" or....and nobody cared enough to get it together until Mr. Zimmerman started to take an interest.
    The John Buchanan had to explain that there had been some problems.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I think Elaine pointed out that the bonds were actually paid off in the 1980s? Anybody else hear that?

    ReplyDelete
  43. Yes, 2:49, indeed, but nobody took care of the clerical work.
    Then came more bonds?

    ReplyDelete
  44. I heard that a former employee wiped the computer hard drives clean and destroyed the financial records. No amount of hand wringing and grand standing could put Humpty Dumpty together again. And that's the real reason we couldn't have a forensic audit - because there isn't anything to audit.

    ReplyDelete
  45. 2:58, all the dancing around the 'circumstances' makes what you heard very plausible.And there's some reason why it can't be public knowledge.It was only our money.

    ReplyDelete
  46. 2:58 did you ever hear why that former employee wanted to hurt SM so bad?

    ReplyDelete
  47. Litigation went on for years between the City and the former employee. Unfair dismissal or some similar sort of accusations. It was in the time of Tammy Gates and Margy Tucker but I don't know who did what, or who sued whom. Wasn't that under Bart Doyle's watch?

    ReplyDelete
  48. really bad karmaMay 13, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    Well, whoever it was and whyever he or she did it, it was a disgusting act.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Sorry last three posters, but that's a pretty lame excuse for Buchanan et al. not completing the audits until Zimmerman appeared and made it a priority. Worse than the dog ate my homework.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Back to the subject of the CRA selling City Hall to make up for funds lost to Sacramento. I would be glad to volunteer some of my time and expertise to building and operating a wine cellar at any of the 7 affected sites. Perhaps we could set up a special site specific vintage?

    I would call it Chateau Shenanigan. Vintage years would be 2000 through 2006.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Back in the day a whole passle of City employees were up to their eyeballs in questionable employment razzle-dazzle. Remember the staffer who couldn't produce the City Council minutes? Months went by and no minutes! Tried to fire her and she went to the court of public opinion (just after Steve Pock was, and deservedly so, defended by the citizens against Bruce Inman who was trying to fire him). Didn't work for the incompetent minutes taker. Anyway, that's when the audits started to go awry and state filings were made. The former manager was trying desperately to cover her not so small behind by destroying the evidence that could have led to criminal charges. Co-mingled funds, improper payments, etc. No evidence - no charges, or so she thought. Then she had the nerve to sue the City for improper dismissal or some such drival. Legal hushed it all up or maybe it was Bart who kept it from leaking out. It was a huge black eye for the sitting Council.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Fabulous Mr. Finewine. Sites for the city wine tasting soirees.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Maybe nobody really knows who owns City Hall? Anybody got $5,000 they'd like to invest in a title search? Long shot I know, but exponential potential. Plus you'd get to help evict the current City Council.

    ReplyDelete
  54. 2:40 I know where you can buy a bridge.

    ReplyDelete
  55. To paraphrase my yesterday's post. Water districts and City Water Deptarmtnets are fertile ground for manipulation and fraud. Its a verticle operation from the ground / to the tap. Lots of opportunity to disguise "where the water went" and at what cost. A lot of infrastructure construction took place as well. Channel 3 keeps us entertained with running blabber about leaky faucets, misused hoses, brushing teeth etc. Instead of a consultant we need an independent audit (from far away) to determine what goes on in those big new water tanks and at what cost to my faucet.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Sounds like the real reason the DIRTS want to eradicate MaryAnn from the face of the City Council - she's the only one who can't be implicated and can spill the beans without being culpable.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I don't need a bridge. I have ALL my teeth.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Closed Session, I don't think so, kiss kissMay 13, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    The property has a legal description all documents filed on any property in LA are kept at Norwalk on Imperial highway at the county assessors office it is public record, you can search Alpha or Situs (name or Address)sounds like a field trip is in order. There is ficticious filings also it is fun, I could do it all day, lots of computers and microfiche machines, lots of common folk do it. Lawsuits are at the hall of records in LA.

    But your city shares a community development agency, with other cities a company called community redevelopment agency. I use yahoo as a search engine, I put in community redevelopment agency you get a list of all their offices, but when I put in community redevelopment agency sierra madre, I found a purty little document filed by them, 2003-2004 Community Development Agencies Annual Report, chock full of pie charts, and info want to look into the belly of the beast?

    Then we can arrange a field trip, it won't cost 5 grand either, just gas money and pack a lunch.
    Then you can look at everybody and see who owns what assets, and who has possible joint conflicting interests, if you know what I mean Jelly beans.

    ReplyDelete
  59. 5:17

    Great work. Let's go for it~

    ReplyDelete
  60. Check out this web site and carry on with the discussion of what CRA is regarding our own city and past projects that are possibly going to backfire on us: http://www.crala.org/

    ReplyDelete
  61. Teach a man to fish.. KissMay 13, 2010 at 6:50 PM

    Editor, you choose two or three people.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Hey, "black Helicopter", give Old Kentucky a call.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Re:water Hike...Needed for aging infrastructure or an excuse for gouging the "Little Persons" to enable a free lunch to the Development interest.Have you forgotten the "much needed" new pipe line on Grandview. It was promoted as an emergency.Of course, as it turned out,it was used to provide water to the Stone House Development.Remember the UUT Tax..out of funds..guess what..The City found money they claimed they didn't have.You are suppose to learn from History and not keep repeating the same errors.Ask questions,demand straight answers and get "outside"opinions before you stick it to the Citizens!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Development agencies have busted CA, US Too?May 13, 2010 at 7:19 PM

    I see millions and trillions and zillions of dollars sitting in interest bearing accounts, I am wondering how much of this money, grant money, included has been invested or sold in tranches as secured derivatives, and I cannot ever remember any truly affordable housing build any where in CA.

    This is why I read the Tattler, Thanks good editor

    ReplyDelete
  65. Sounds like a great summer field trip!

    ReplyDelete
  66. Proposition 218...don't we need a vote of the residents to raise water rates. Sierra Madre may be in violation of this proposition. Easy to look up. Our last city attorney (Michael Colantuano ,Sandra Levin was his partner..our current city attorney) wrote an interesting article about this in 2004 in the League of Cities magazine. No vote no water hide? Yes the water will be for bringing a bigger pipeline for the development we avoided by defeating the Downtown Specific Plan. That will be back on the table now with Mosca, Moran, Buchanan and Walsh at the wheel. Keep an eye on the closed meetings on negotiating on the city parking lot below Howies. That is one of the last public properties that the city (citizens) still own.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Proposition 218 (ceres.ca.gov)
    In November 1996, voters enacted Proposition 218, a Constitutional amendment intended to close the so-called Proposition 13 loopholes relative to excise taxes, benefit assessments, and fees, and to settle arguments over the applicability of Proposition 62, the voting requirement for general taxes. Proposition 218 added Articles XIII C and XIII D to the California Constitution. Pursuant to section 1 of Proposition 218, it is to be known as the "Right to Vote on Taxes Act." Proposition 218 both controls how general taxes are levied and requires certain previously levied general taxes to be ratified by voters.

    Proposition 218 reduces all taxes to either general taxes or special taxes. It defines a general tax as "any tax imposed for general governmental purposes." A special tax is "any tax imposed for specific purposes, including a tax imposed for specific purposes, which is placed into a general fund." No special district (the definition of which includes school districts) may impose a general tax. By virtue of their specific purpose, taxes imposed by a special district are defined as special taxes. Charter cities, who had successfully argued that the statutory initiative Proposition 62 did not require them to submit general taxes to popular vote, now lose that argument to Proposition 218's constitutional amendment.

    No local general tax may be imposed, extended, or increased until it has been submitted to and approved by a majority of the voters in the jurisdiction. Tax proposals can only be considered at scheduled general elections, unless the governing body of the city, county, or special district unanimously votes to place the question on the ballot at a special election.

    ReplyDelete
  68. I am going to go out on a limb here...the ownership of various City assets, such as city hall, by the Redevelopment Agency is to allow the agency to borrow money. This system allows the redevelopment agency to borrow money against these assets for use on redevelopment projects.....what happens if the projects go upside down or the market crashes and the loans can't be paid back?

    ReplyDelete
  69. I wonder how the removal of all that CRA cash will affect their credit rating? Not as much collateral in the kitty as there used to be. You know how picky banks are these days.

    ReplyDelete
  70. gilman, I think you hit the jackpot. That might be why the shenanigan million was 'misplaced'

    ReplyDelete
  71. Prop 218 balloting will not be triggered for a water rate increase. Colontuano is considered the premier Prop 218 attorney working on behalf of cities throughout the State....he figures out ways to circumvent the spirit of Prop 218 while still be in legal compliance, or at least creating a defensible position.

    ReplyDelete
  72. We watched Colontuano create a defensible position here - for the hillside developers.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Prop 218 for a water hike all residents with a water bill must have a 45 day notice in writing (by mail) of the increase. the residents have that time period to contest the increase in writing (send to the city clerk so it gets recorded) and if a majority rejects it (again in writing) the city council can not implement it.Demand a mailer that has a return rejection form included. City of San Diego has a notice like that . Will send a link to it or copy of that. Cities will try to be sneaky and not properly inform the public they can reject it. This is the Prop 218 law does not require a vote of the people but does require the mailed notice and then the people must reject in writing. So we can still make a difference and fight their funding. The budget is balanced now. WAtch the parcel numbers on the closed meetings so they do not sell the three parking lots we still have as public property(not owned by the CRA)...Lot below Howies, East montecito (baldwin and montecito) and the Mariposa parking lot. They have to be publicly noticed for sale at a city council meeting. There are rules per the state of california (planning dept) read them and make sure they follow them.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Awesome post 11:10. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete