eastlaker

Yay! Got the cash and pills

You said it!
— April 16, 2015 3:42 p.m.

Reduce water…and continue building? Huh?

swell--New developments have for the past 30+ years been assigned to Mello-Roos districts, sometimes listed as special assessment districts. For up to 40 years, these homeowners pay into funds which are supposed to support the building of schools, roads and other infrastructure that these new communities need. Part of the fund goes to the city (whatever city that may be) and part to the school district(s). Many of these funds specify a 25 year period of payments into these funds. Occasionally, the developer pays upfront, which is why sometimes you will see "No Mello-Roos!" advertised on banners or billboards at these developments. Unfortunately, the Mello-Roos is well-funded, but there are many problems with the usage of the funds. School districts do not have Oversight Committees for Mello-Roos funds the way they do (or should have) for the various bond measures that are passed. There is little to no reporting of the status of Mello-Roos funds as they contribute to cities and school districts. Specific totals are frequently glossed over, funds are mixed, and in Sweetwater, for example, it has been said that CFD #1 has been at 180% of funding--yet the Sweetwater school district continues to increase Mello-Roos by the 2% per year allowable by law. Constituents requested an audit of Mello-Roos funds last fall, and we thought we were getting an audit. But the temporary board, filled by one permanent member, John McCann, and four appointees from the County Board of Education TOOK IT UPON THEMSELVES TO CHANGE THIS TO A REVIEW. Which was essentially meaningless. As is the County Board of Education, for the most part. But I digress. In summary: all areas that have Mello-Roos funding going to school districts and cities should demand a full accounting of all monies collected and spent, because there is way too much nonsense taking place. And by nonsense, feel free to use your collective imaginations. It is not an exaggeration to realize that millions are collected and there are no real controls on the spending. It's free money for those with no moral compass, which is why it has been such a problem in the Sweetwater school district. So sad that Susan Luzzaro is no longer reporting for the Reader. Her voice is a good one, and is greatly missed. The Reader's loss. And a great loss to all who respect community reporting.
— April 8, 2015 8:27 a.m.

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