• Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

At the Greater Golden Hill Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) meeting on May 19th, most of the members spent the entire 90 minutes in protest to the hiring of a project manager without their consent. Some members on the MAD Advisory Committee -- in charge of overseeing and implementing maintenance projects in the areas of South Park and Golden Hill -- were upset with the Greater Golden Hill Community Development Committee’s (GGHCDC) decision to hire a person for the full-time position without their knowledge, despite being given a number of applications to review.

The infighting amongst the board members started with the announcement of the new employee, “I’m happy to announce that Alia Kanani’s first day will be on May 21st,” Laura Stangel, MAD board member whom also serves on the GGHCDC, said at the meeting. “She has a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies and a Masters from SDSU and I’m sure she will make a great addition to the team.”

“Well, how much are you paying her?” MAD committee member Bill Hilsdorf asked. “You hire someone and you don’t know what you are paying her? I’ve been negotiating deals for 40 years and I’m very pissed off that I was shut out of this process.”

Hilsdorf wasn’t the only one upset. All but three members appeared frustrated about the process and confused as to their overall responsibilities as board members.

“I’m disgusted by how this whole process went on behind our backs,” said board member Lisa Vella. “And I’m totally embarrassed that other people knew that someone was hired before I did, and I sit on the board!”

The debate was so contentious that chair of the committee, David Skillman implemented the Robert’s Rule of Orders- a formal method to conducting meetings where each person speaks when called on and only have three minutes to respond.

The debate lasted so long-one member actually got up and left the meeting- that several pending items to be reviewed by the board were postponed until the next meeting. The board, however, did reach a solution. A motion was made at the end of the meeting to establish more communication between the MAD Advisory Board and the Community Development Committee, although, no specific details regarding how that would occur were given.

MAD’s next meeting will be in two weeks to discuss more possible solutions. The meetings are open to the public and are listed on the Greater Golden Hill Community Development Committee’s website- www.goldenhillcdc.org- under the Clean, Green and Safe link.

  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

More from SDReader


Fred Williams May 23, 2008 @ 10:39 a.m.

LookAway, good job of looking out for the community's interests.

These so-called public interest organizations in San Diego inevitably turn into slush funds for the well-connected. They ought to be abolished.

Look at how CCDC has betrayed the citizens of San Diego, foisting the high costs of John Moores private ballpork and a disastrous condo-bubble on us all, diverting the tax dollars into the pockets of their friends, and stripping away badly needed infrastructure investments.

Yes, they power wash the sidewalks, but underneath the sewers and water pipes are ancient. Little Italy's ArtWalk was flooded, forcing the artists to scramble to save their work but golly those sidewalks and trash cans sure are pretty. The phrase "putting lipstick on a pig" comes to mind.

Meanwhile, the homeless population continues to grow, traffic gets worse, while our public transit is expensive, slow, sometimes dangerous, and very poorly designed. Yet the poobahs in charge are well-paid and insulated from any criticism of their many self-serving mistakes.

The residents of Golden Hill should be offered a petition to abolish this organization before it wastes any more money.

If you like, feel free to use www.changesandiego.org to draft the petition and allow the citizens to comment. Then I'll be willing to help you go door to door and collect signatures.

Fred Williams


Fred Williams May 23, 2008 @ 11:50 a.m.

Come on down to the Reader launch party next Wednesday at the W downtown. We can strategize.



knownasben May 23, 2008 @ 1:08 p.m.

Three things to note about the Golden Hill MAD meeting... First, this committee has been charged with spending the voter approved funds on Golden Hill Projects. They have not spent one dime on improving Golden Hill.

Second, they have populated their meetings with procedural bather and tail chasing. This is because many of the committee member's stated goal is the removal of this newly created special benefit zone. People can critize Marco as much as they like but Little Italy is a great neighporhood as a result of has work... and Golden Hill could be that way also were it not for the efforts the NIMBYs who have side tracked the MAD committee.

Third, anyone who was at that committee meeting would have witnessed a lesson in deliberate disfunction. Visit www.fearandloathingongoldenhill.com for a better review of the meeting.


sdclimbergal May 24, 2008 @ 9:42 a.m.

"Seedy bar and restaurant owners"? There are only a handful of people who would fit into the category of bar and restaurant owner and to call them seedy would seem like an unwarranted slap in the face for making the Golden Hill area a desired San Diego attraction. Honestly, I hate politics, but had to comment because I, as a property owner, had been given an opportunity to vote. In having that opportunity to vote, I chose to have the MAD formed. If there's proof in that someone had influence of the vote, by ushering in of the votes, then please present it otherwise you minimize the effort I made and others like me to vote. Are you certain, that the CDC board members are unelected? As a member of the community and present at a number of meetings held over at the Moose Lodge, there seemed to be a somewhat democratic process in the assignment of an individual to the board. The statements made above in regards to that seem to be deceptive. It's stated that the board is comprised of realtors, investors and developers. Can you state how many on the board fit those categories? It would help to know since they are being accused of being propaganders of their own interests.

As a member of the community, I'm curious...was your name on the flyer that was placed in my mailbox, that in my opinion, seemed to riddled with scare tactics of what the MAD would be?

  • A concerned member of the Greater Golden Hill community

SouthPark May 25, 2008 @ 7:40 a.m.

sdclimbergal, You didn't read the comments by LookAway very carefully. Being familiar with the facts, I assure you that LookAway wrote nothing that isn't correct and documented. There is way too much to share with you here to inform you, but here are some of the more entertaining and amusing facts: Do you know that the owner of the Moose Lodge voted against the MAD? Do you know that Hueso's brother voted against it? Want an example of CDC propaganda? Here's one: Do you recall that multicolor pro-MAD mailer the CDC sent out, with the photo of a retaining wall at the end Ivy? CDC claimed that the graffiti on the wall had been there for months and months, because the City wouldn't respond to requests to clean it? Well, I put that to the test: I put in a request on the City's online graffiti website and within one week the City sent a cleaner. The City has been that good for many years, every time we've reported graffiti. And the City blasts the graffiti off the sidewalks instead of doing the ugly paintovers (which just provides a canvas for new graffiti). Do you recall the graffitied street sign in the same mailer? That sign is at the end of the street where some of the main longtime CDC members live: they can do what we do on our street, which is to take 3 minutes and a cloth with a little mineral spirits and wipe off the graffiti. I wash my own sidewalk, sweep my own curb, as do my neighbors. The City streetsweeper comes twice monthly and does a great job. If the sidewalks in front of the Turf Club or Luigi's (both buildings owned by CDC members) need washing, the owners should do it, not me. Not you. Not the City. Just keep repeating: No to Privatization.


SouthPark May 25, 2008 @ 8:31 a.m.

sdclimbergal, One more thing: you might be interested in a really cool article by Sara Reistad-Long that appeared in the NY Times on May 20 2008 ("Older Brain Really May Be a Wiser Brain"), based on research and studies reported in Progress in Brain Research. For those older, longtime residents of South Park who have watched the CDC scheme and try the same things over many years, the propaganda and pied-piper smiley false reality that the CDC presented to achieve their goal of controlling a private tax honey pot are all too familiar. Those older and wiser property owners are not distracted by the propaganda, but absorb it and parse it for what it means. The fresh young faces that the old CDC people install to persuade young people like you are a transparent distraction. With age, if you are bright enough, you usually get interested enough in politics to know what you are really voting for.


Love_That_Golden_Hill May 25, 2008 @ 11:31 p.m.


A year ago we voted as homeowners in support of a management assessment district for Golden Hill. I am irate over what the advisory board has been doing for Golden Hill, NOTHING. This is NOT what I voted or paid for and I'm tired of waiting for results!!

To this day we continue to walk past our schools looking at gang graffiti, we continue to see trash blowing down our streets, and we continue to wish our sidewalks in better repair.

The money that Golden Hillers have put aside is NOT city money and it sure the hell does not belong to the advisory board!!! This money is for the use of OUR community and only our community. The residents voted for this and it's time for results!! The funds that have been accumulated must be used for the common good of Golden Hill. MAD needs to start working now!!

It is unfortunate that we currently have a VERY FEW people in Golden Hill who are trying to derail and negatively influence the advisory board and MAD program. These few are playing to a special interest and are discarding the votes of the majority of homeowners in Golden Hill who support MAD.

I support Golden Hill, and I support MAD.


SouthPark May 26, 2008 @ 12:34 p.m.

Love: When the smoke in your head clears, you might check the facts: the City did not sign the legal contract with the CDC, so that they could access our tax dollars, until April 2008, a full year after the 2007/2008 tax dollars were in the coffers. You should complain to the City, if you aren't happy. The MAD Oversight Committee, elected by the community, has no responsiblility for the failure of the City and the CDC to enter into a contract. Also: Our residential streets are swept twice monthly by the City; so, what are you talking about, dirty streets? The streets are cracked and potholed, of course, but the assessment dollars can never be legally spent on that sort of infrastructure repair. So, I guess you will be thrilled when some privvate company is handed our tax dollars to clean an already clean but very broken street or sidewalk. Totally crazy, but so is the tone of your crazy comment.


Fred Williams May 26, 2008 @ 2:38 p.m.

As is typical in this city, the assessment is levied for one purpose, and then diverted to another.

Remember when CCDC was set up? It was to prevent the revitalization of downtown from taking tax revenue away from other neighborhoods.

Well, the exact opposite has happened. Projects like the ballpark come directly out of the general fund, reducing money available for police, fire, parks, or pensions. Similarly, Little Italy uses its money to benefit local businesses with various events and special cleanings, trashcans, and even chairs on the street.

Meanwhile, crucial infrastructure is ignored in Little Italy. That's why ArtWalk ended this year with a water main break that flooded the entire event.

So the Golden Hills or Grantville plan may look good on paper now, but inevitably it will be manipulated by well-paid insiders. Everyone will pay, but only the few will ever benefit.

This is why I now think ALL these special assessment districts have to be closely examined, and in many cases disbanded. What purpose they once served is no longer being served, and the money has been taken away from the public and stashed in private pockets.


Fred Williams


sdclimbergal May 26, 2008 @ 3:38 p.m.

SouthPark, thank you for the reference to the NY Times article and pointing me in the right direction. There is a lot to be said about the experiences we go through and the experiences from which we learn...or hopefully learn. I further went on to look into Shelley H. Carson's publication from June 2006, Mindfulness and Self-Acceptance in the Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, whose work was cited in that article. It makes a good read, especially on the topic of the Mindfulness of Mistakes (p. 35):"...making mistakes is an indicator that one is willing to engage with the environment and try things even when the outcome is uncertain" and "[t]he mindful approach to past mistakes is to look at them from multiple perspectives and find the perspective that provides either new knowledge, motivation for change, and/or an opportunity to teach others a valuable lesson." This leads me to the following questions: now that the MAD has come to fruition - why does the goal exist to dissolve or petition against it by opponents of the MAD who always had the idea it was wrong (in other words, a mistake)? Why can’t I, as a Golden Hill community member (who happens to be keen on the neighborhood), or my neighbors with young children, simply see the benefits of a clean, green and safe community, for which an assessment district given a budget, has the objective to provide, regardless of the political ties and what not? If the community worked hard to provide a slate of unbiased candidates for the MAD who subsequently were voted onto the MAD, shouldn’t those "unbiased" individuals represent my voice, too? Why can’t the valuable lesson be that a MAD can work even if the belief exists that they do not?


SouthPark May 26, 2008 @ 6:51 p.m.

sdclimbergal, Where are you getting your "data"? I hope not where it appears you are getting it...so, please cite hard evidence of bias in the Committee. Facts: the Committee currently consists of 12 members, 7 of whom voted "yes" on the MAD ballot in June 2007. The 5 members who voted agaist the MAD in 2007 but who are now sincerely dedicated to at least spending the money legally and wisely have had no opportunity to show bias of any kind. Nothing has been thwarted; there has been no contract between CDC and the City. Several of the "yes" voters who are also CDC board members have no shame about being biased, on the other hand, and put forward propaganda about those who will not blindly support the CDC's less than honest dealings. And their bias is not in your best interest, rest assured, though apparently you pay attention to what they tell you, instead of doing your own independent research. You were not at the April 14 meeting in which the Committee voted 8-4 against supporting the FY08/09 budget. Obviously the 8 votes against the CDC's plan include those "yes" voters who supported the MAD concept, but now they have seen clearly how improperly the CDC proceeds. Read the published minutes of that meeting and read the statements provided by those who object to the way the CDC is trying to operate. Do your research.


SouthPark May 26, 2008 @ 8:35 p.m.

Addendum for sdclimbergal: It is easy to appreciate that a key assumption underlying data assessments is that knowledge about past behavior can help us predict future behavior. Or, as Shakespeare so eloquently stated in the Tempest, "What's past is prologue." The CDC has been given opportunity after opportunity to do the right thing, to rectify past misdeeds by acting generously in the present. The behavior patterns are unmistakable, though you haven't observed long enough to appreciate it. But even the MAD enthusiasts on the Committee saw the writing on the wall: a hugely overpaid "program manager," hired in secrecy, without knowledge of and thus disenfranchising the oversight Committee, and whose past experience is with a developer devoted to "infill" projects, and who is connected to CCDC and the Urban Land Institute and all of the developer interests in the corrupt Sanders Planning Department. These are just data, irrefutable. Check them out. Cognitive philosophical niceties aside, who in their right mind would give Bush a third term, to right his wrongs!


artdog May 27, 2008 @ 9:55 a.m.

What a bunch of Whiners!!!! Especially lookaway. you guys sound like a bunch of NIMBYs! The MAD Advisory board is just that; ADVISORY! It sounds like if it doesn't happen to your satisfaction, it sucks. Keep complaining until no one wants to work with you. No wonder Golden hill is what it is...slowly moving into gentrification, but you can still get heroin. Instead of attacking the GGHCDC why don't you put some of your people together and start your own CDC? Running a nonprofit is hard work, harder than running a business. Complaining that your skill set (Hilsdale)was not tapped is dumb...did anyone know you had that skill set? Or are you just a legend that all are supposed to treat like some oracle? ? As far a advisory groups go, they are just that, ADVISORY! The CDC is a legally liable entity, and an advisory group is not. Get over it and quit trying to micro-manage. If you were thinking properly you would work the room to share your skills, contacts and INFLUENCE the outcomes. I am tired of advisory groups that think they are in charge, if you are not taking personal liability, go find some solutions that reduce liability to the CDC. Or better yet get the hell out of the way!


SouthPark May 27, 2008 @ 10:41 a.m.

It's hard work... From what quarter of sanity and reason have I heard that before...? The crazies, with all of their CAPS and !!! emerge from the tacky bars and clubs to spew out their brilliant ideas. Please note that the advisory committee consists of a majority of CDC rah-rahs and CDC Board members. You are way confused.


sdclimbergal May 27, 2008 @ 11:09 a.m.

Then shouldn't LookAway get the facts straight? "The Advisory Committee was elected in a taxpayer-funded election to oversee the very tax dollars paid over as fealty to the Corporation. For the election, members of the community worked hard to provide a slate of unbiased candidates. The Corporation worked hard to fill the elected seats with their candidates. The Corporation lost when there were community candidates running against their sycophants; the Corporation won only the uncontested slots (based on type of property owned) and thus lost control of the committee majority."

To make an argument on the source of my data is a mute point. I don't believe I presented any in my last post, other than the publication you, SouthPark, advised me to review.


Love_That_Golden_Hill May 27, 2008 @ 11:26 a.m.

Good job, you found out my email address and discovered my name and then looked on publicly available records to find my house on the Mills Act contact.

Placing my name and address on a blog is another bad form of intimidation. In fact it is very scary tactic that someone would stoop down so low and be so careless while remaining anonymous. (Privacy Policy)

My comment may not have been nice and subtle, however, it's my opinion and I have a right to share that. As you do too. I apologize if I came off to strong but I stand by my words and I've cooled off now.

I am not ashamed to say my home is on the Mills Act. I would not have been able to afford Golden Hill otherwise. Particular right now. I'm a full time student at City College working on an Ethnic Studies degree dreaming to become a teacher. As for work, I work at a self dog wash. My spouse was recently laid off from his job and no work appears to be available locally. Economic times are hard.

When I first moved to Golden Hill my house was a mess, bars on windows, security lights surrounding, and mold eating away the floors. The garage was in complete disrepair. We have seen what happens to homes like these if it was not for historic districts and the Mills Act. People get desperate and they sell their homes to gas stations (shell on Broadway) or tear them down and create "Mc Mansions" or they build undesirable condos.

Every last wednesday of every month we have a tour group. The tour group is made up of seniors who once lived and still live in Golden Hill/South Park. They love the fact that we invite them into our home religiously. Every month we show them the projects we are working on and give them the history of the home (we have a lot of wonderful information). They also share their many stories with us about growing up in Golden Hill/South Park. Never do we hide from them the fact that this house is on the Mills Act.

I'm running out of time to finish this comment. I have a fence waiting to be built in the backyard. So i must shorten this before the sun comes out. I see it peeking behind the clouds.

As you can see we are very busy people and we care very much about Golden Hill. To call the police every time we have a problem is difficult, expensive, and time consuming for the city, the police dept, and us. When we as a community could do everything ourselves.

I support Golden Hill and I support MAD.

Shawn Freeman


sdclimbergal May 28, 2008 @ 11:28 a.m.

I appreciate the spell correction (typos are a fact of life and easily happen when multi-tasking), but that does nothing to clarify what is fact and what is fiction.


SouthPark May 28, 2008 @ 11:18 a.m.

sdclimbergal, Last word: it's "moot" not "mute." Mute is what the oligarchists prefer of their minions. Moot is a legal term referring to a motion or case, as practiced in a Democracy.

Love, Love your new tone, glad you are so busy. But you aren't serious, are you? You think the assessment taxes can be spent on a private militia to protect you, because "To call the police every time we have a problem is difficult, expensive, and time consuming for the city, the police dept, and us."? Are you serious? Better buy a gun and build that fence with broken glass on top, because if you are too busy to work with the good police force we all support and admire, then you are on your own. When I first moved here in the 80s, there was a meth house nearby. I worked intensely with the police, spent huge amounts of my time collecting data and making reports, for at least a year, and the police knew just what to do to resolve the problem. And according to the rules of a Democracy. That's why we pool our tax dollars into the General Fund, so that we won't need militias and little mafias running around on behalf of private enterprises. If you want that kind of craziness, you should volunteer for duty in Baghdad, today. Might solve the unemployment problem for you and your spouse. Jeesh!


Love_That_Golden_Hill May 28, 2008 @ 5:51 p.m.

What are you talking about #25? Guns?? Who is talking about guns? Did you not read my blogs?

I like how you have nothing to say about your friend stealing my email address tracking me down and publicly outing my name and street. All the while a privacy policy sits at the end of this page.

P.S. Thanks for your work in the 80's. I really mean that.


Why_Be_Dishonest Oct. 23, 2011 @ 8:41 a.m.

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.


Why_Be_Dishonest Oct. 25, 2011 @ 1:35 p.m.

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.


Why_Be_Dishonest Oct. 27, 2011 @ 8:16 a.m.

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.


Sign in to comment

Get $5 off any Reader event

Sign up for our email list to get your promo code