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North Park property owners rejected the proposal to create the maintenance assessment overlay district that I wrote about in this week's paper. The district will not be formed.

In a ballot summary provided by the City, commercial property owners in North Park had the biggest impact on the vote. According to the summary, of the 94 property owners that voted, only 27 voted in favor of creating the overlay district. Fifteen of the nineteen industrial property owners also voted against the measure.

In contrast, the majority of single-family residential property owners voted in favor of creating the district. Of the 537 owners of single family homes and condominiums that voted, 340 wanted to pay the extra assessment. The opposite was true for owners of multi-family complexes and owners of duplexes. Their vote was 73 in favor and 126 against.

In all nearly 37 percent of property owners sent their ballots to the City. 61 percent of the weighted voted was in opposition.



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nostalgic July 12, 2011 @ 6:28 p.m.

The city usually gives itself the largest vote in forming a Maintenance Assessment District. This is as close to a sure thing as you can get. In Golden Hill, Balboa Park property got to vote, also the other city properties. The city held the single largest weighted vote, followed by one large property owner/political contributor. The weighted vote is strange. One person can vote multiple times, one property can outweigh 2000 individuals, and foreign nationals can vote. Out of state owners can vote. The weighted vote is not what we learned voting is for Americans, and was challenged in California by Ford Greene as unconstitutional. The appeals court sided with him, but the State Supreme Court overturned it. His position was not upheld.


InOmbra July 13, 2011 @ 10:33 a.m.

The City owns 12 properties in NP, which added a weight of $12,906 for the NP "yes" vote (~3%). In contrast, the City cast a "yes" vote on 97 properties in the 2007 Golden Hill MAD ballot, weighting the vote by over 7%. The GH MAD passed by a percent; if the City hadn't voted yes, the MAD would've failed. The City was sued over the formation and lost. What happened in GH, and how it happened, violates the State constitution. A lot of chicanery was involved, including Ben Hueso allocating over $10,000 in CDBG money to be used to cover formation costs.

In Golden Hill, by the time of the 2007 ballot, the former leader (Scott Kessler) of the nonprofit group that sought to obtain and control the assessments, in both 2000 and 2007, landed a City Planning job. Kessler, having tried but failed to form a GH MAD in 2000 with help of Marco Li Mandri, in 2006 found himself inside the City, and was able to introduce to the Council docket a resolution to form the GH MAD, bypassing all requirements of community outreach and petition support. With the help and glib propaganda of Ben Hueso and Toni Atkins, the GH MAD was rammed through. Only 17% of the GH property owners voted; only a few knew about it. The U-T suppressed all stories; there was no coverage in the NP News or any of the other propaganda mouthpieces for the BIDs/nonprofit Development Corporations.

This North Park "overlay" assessment, on top of an existing assessment, but redirecting the new money to Studebaker's group to control, started out with former BID executive director Liz Studebaker pushing to get control of property owner assessments for her NP BID. From City documents:

"In July 2010, North Park Main Street Association (NPMS), a non-profit corporation that administers the North Park Main Street Business Improvement District, approached the City about increasing service levels in the commercial core of North Park in addition to those services already provided by the existing North Park MAD. NPMS proposed an additional assessment [property based] within or near the commercial core to alleviate concerns of additional trash and security concerns as a result of North Park’s vibrant nightlife,..."

From the March 2011 minutes of the existing NP MAD Community Advisory Committee, with "Liz Studebaker from North Park Main Street, joined by Main Street’s consultant, Steve Russell" (Russell is a former Atkins staffer and former director of the El Cajon BID): "Main Street is requesting the MAD pay $10,000 toward the cost of reballoting plus a loan of up to $10,000 for other costs associated with the effort. Gary Weber made a motion that the MAD authorize the expenditure of the $10,000 plus the loan of up to $10,000 (forgivable if the re-ballot fails)."

NP property owners are out $20K of the current MAD assessment, for this effort in privatized taxation of property owners,... enforced support of businesses.


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