It’s been awhile…

It’s been awhile…

I was doing some “housekeeping” and in looking over the MVCI website, I realized that it has been almost THREE MONTHS since my last post! I promised to keep our community up to date on issues impacting the neighborhood and I regret that I dropped the ball. I have been contributing to my monthly “President’s Corner” in the local interest magazine, “Mesa Verde Living” which has distribution to 3,000 homes in the community, so you’ve probably seen my commentary there.

That being said, I thought it would be timely to bring you up to speed on specific MVCI issues. Let’s start with the organization’s finances. We have money! I have posted the Treasurer’s monthly reconciliation and summary reports and you can click the links at the end of this article. This does bring me to one very important issue, and that is the association’s membership.

WE NEED YOU!!

Our membership has fallen off a cliff of late, and it’s a bit of a “head scratcher” as to why. I readily acknowledge the obvious – the Coronavirus pandemic has thrown all of us sideways, physically, emotionally and, of course, financially, for many of us. We are all likely paying close attention to how our dollars are being spent – I know we are, in my household! But we have been deliberate in keeping our annual dues low and manageable, and I would simply ask you to consider renewing your support. Many of our neighbors are accustomed to renewing during our Annual Meeting, and since it wasn’t held this year, just forgot. Again, we need you! Our financial standing – which you can see in the reports – is good, but it won’t stay that way without your help. Twenty bucks is four trips to Starbucks, and that gets you a lot of effort for a very low investment. There are two ways to signup or renew your membership. First, there is a “fillable” form which you can complete and return by mail. The second is via PayPal and there is a link on the Membership Application page on the website. We are continuing to seek a solution that will allow for recurring annual billing, which we know can be of benefit to us forgetful folks – and that includes me! It’s a safe bet that since our current membership has fallen below 50 that there are a lot of you that will want to renew, so remember, we need you!

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MVCI’s immediate past president, Bob Juneman, sits on the city’s finance committee, and files this report:

Costa Mesa’s fiscal year runs from July 1-June 30. Our budgeting process begins in December and is completed prior to the following year beginning in July. This process begins with the department heads submitting requests to the finance department and city manager, and is finalized with a review and approval by the Finance and Pension Advisory Committee (FiPAC) and the City Council.

City policy requires a balanced budget, and normally this is accomplished. However, with the virus hitting hard in March, the year just ended will probably show a deficit. Fortunately we have ample reserves to cover. We won’t know the final numbers for a while.

So, what about the year we just began? Lot’s of belt tightening. Some layoffs of part time and temporary employees. Maybe some early retirements. Postponements of Capital Improvement Projects. Budget priorities will be police and fire protection, maintaining key staff positions, and the mandatory payment of employee pension obligations. Personnel related expenditures comprise 70% of our general fund budget.

And yes, we will fill the potholes!

Why is this important? Like a business, or a family, a city must have enough income to pay the expenses or it will face insolvency. Most or our revenue comes from taxes; sales tax being the largest source, followed by property tax, hotel taxes, and other taxes and fees, as well as grants, from various sources, but for specific purposes. While property taxes remain stable, sales and hotel taxes have seen a huge hit. Our Golden Goose, South Coast Plaza, is essentially shut down. Normally, up to 40% of our sales tax revenue derives from just that one source.

Our city staff, though shorthanded, is doing a wonderful job under very trying conditions. So, let’s all have patience if things get a bit rough for a while. We will persevere, and eventually prosper.

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2020 is the year for elections for city council and Mayor. This year, the district that encompasses Mesa Verde, District 1, is up for election. As of this writing, there are 3 candidates for the next two-year term: Mayor Pro Tem John Stephens, business owner Don Harper and “Organizational Change Consultant” Jason Komala.

There are also 5 candidates vying for the Mayor’s seat, including incumbent Katrina Foley, Wendy Leece, Sandy Genis, Quentin Pullen, and Al Melone. In addition, there are 3 candidates for District 2 and 4 running for the District 6 seat. If you want to learn more on any of the candidates, you can go here: https://www.costamesaca.gov/Home/ShowDocument?id=42838

Newport Mesa Unified School District is also holding elections this year for Trustee Areas 1, 3 and 6. For Trustee Area 1, candidates are Vicki Snell and Leah Ersoylu. For Trustee Area 3, we have Charles Booker and Carol Crane. Trustee Area 6 candidates are Amy Peters, Alexis Zavouris, Xeno Muller and Krista Weigand. Note that “at large” voting has been changed to “in Area” voting. Mesa Verde falls within Trustee Area 1. Here is a map of the whole district: https://bit.ly/2EMTg6S

That’s it for now…until next time, stay well and stay safe! And while you’re at it, please “subscribe” to the website to get updates sent directly to your email address!

~Terry

07 2020 Treasurer’s Monthly Reconciliation

Treasures Monthly Summary 07 2020

President’s Corner — August, 2019

Greetings Mesa Verde! As a result of the board’s unanimous vote, I have been appointed to be MVCI’s president for the next two-year term. The last two years have seen significant progress in the endeavors of the organization and can be seen in Bob Juneman’s final message to the community, the July “PC.” While I’m at it, I want to sincerely thank Bob for his marvelous stewardship, and only hope that I can be as successful in the upcoming term.

Going forward, there will be several things I’d like to see us accomplish as your board. But for the purposes of this first message to the community, I want to focus on one issue: Membership! As has been shared several times by Bob and all the members of the board, membership is our lifeblood. We are not a homeowner association in the sense most people understand. There are no mandatory CC&R-based (covenants, conditions and restrictions) HOA fees for common areas, external building surfaces, roofs, pools, etc.

Think of MVCI instead as more of a civic association. All board members are volunteers and all dues collected are also voluntary. The funds the organization takes in allow us to advocate on behalf of the residents with the City Council and the various city commissions, Police and Fire Departments, School Board, Water and Sanitation Districts, to ensure our collective voices are heard. These dollars also help to defray the costs of our Annual Meeting, the MVCI City Council Candidate Forum, newsletters, surveys, the MVCI website and projects associated with beautification, like the entry signs to the community.

I want to appeal to every homeowner in Mesa Verde to join MVCI! With roughly 3000 homes in our community, there is no reason that we can’t get twenty percent membership. If you’re a member, ask your neighbors. I have seen dozens of new homeowners move into the “Upper Bird” streets just in the last few years…ask them! Membership is only twenty bucks a year…4 or 5 visits to Starbucks!

What’s it gonna take to get you to participate?

As part of this task, I will be producing a video, with the working title, “This is Mesa Verde” to help tell the story. We will create a YouTube channel to help communicate with internet-savvy folks. We just formed a partnership with the new magazine, Mesa Verde Living, which is mailed monthly to the aforementioned 3000 homes. To simplify signing up and renewing memberships, we are looking at online methods and will have a robust solution chosen in the next 60 days.

Are you with me? According to a few of our veteran board members, our membership roster has been as high as 500, so the 20% ask (which would be around 600 members) should be “do-able.”

Let’s do this! To get to the membership application, click here.

See you again next month!

~Terry

President’s Corner — July, 2019

 

Hello Mesa Verde, welcome to the dog days of summer. Every year about this time I wonder why we haven’t installed air conditioning in our home. Then, about the time I get ready to make the call, the beautiful Fall weather arrives, and another year goes by.

On occasion I am asked, “what exactly is Mesa  Verde?”  Our Board of Directors defines Mesa Verde as bounded by the River on the west, the 405 Freeway to the north, Harbor Blvd on the east, and the north edge of Fairview Park and the public golf course on the south, including Mesa Verde Collection, 27 Seventy Five, Longwood Greens, and Azulon. More importantly, it is our home, a wonderful community in which to enjoy our lives in comfort and harmony. A treasure to be protected and cherished. We hope you agree.

As I mentioned last month, Karla Stagman, has joined us as our Beautification Chair. Karla and her husband bought their home on Alabama Circle in 2000, and love life in our beautiful community. “I believe that with neighbors working together, Mesa Verde will continue to be one of the top neighborhoods in our area.”  Karla sees her role as an opportunity to collaborate with all of our members to bring a voice to all of Mesa Verde. As a local realtor, Karla sees the “power of true community to enhance the beauty and value of our properties.“ If we raise consciousness about community appearance, it will keep Mesa Verde economically viable and “Beautification will become a fun project.”

There is a new order of things in Costa Mesa. Last November brought a “sea change” to   how our city is governed. Our City Council increased from five to seven members. We changed from an “at large” to a six-district voting system, with an “at large” Mayor. We are finding that the costs of running a growing city are increasing faster that the revenue to pay for it, exacerbated  by the exploding unfunded pension liability, now close to $300,000,000. To quote from the 2019-2020 budget message, “The past six years have marked unparalleled prosperity for Costa Mesa and the recovery from the Great Recession has continued, becoming the longest period of economic growth in history. During that time, the City has also been faced with challenges such as addressing homeless issues and defending itself in lawsuits filed by sober living facilities.”  What this all means is that we need to be prepared for tougher times ahead and be patient.

5G technology is coming, and with it some new concerns. Our Board member and Treasurer, Carri Lang, has been “Bird dogging” this issue for us…click here to see her update and to see the actual letter sent to the City Council under my signature, click here.

Finally, as my term as President expires soon, this is my final President’s Corner. At our August Board meeting we will elect a new leader. Looking back over the past several years, the first thing that comes to mind is how fast time flies! What has our Board of Directors accomplished and how has our association grown? Let’s take a look:

~ We increased our Board from 9 to 11 members.
~ Established the position of Data Manager
~ Initiated videotaping of our annual meetings, viewable on our website HERE
~ Sponsored our traditional Candidate Forum in 2018
~ Initiated our Annual Neighborhood Picnic in 2018, continued in 2019
~ Held first public information meeting jointly with the Newport Mesa School Board and local school principals.
~ Replaced or reconditioned our Mesa Verde gateway signs
~ Advocated in support of the Tanager Drive neighbors to help arrive at an equitable solution to the proposed bike trail
~ Established a Mesa Verde Bulletin Board on our website for the use of our residents
~ Established a close working relationship with our police department to reduce speeding and traffic violations in Mesa Verde.
~ Completed several neighborhood surveys and reported results
~ Enhanced our website and broadened our social media coverage to include Facebook (check here) and Nextdoor (go here).
~ Published four newsletters, mailed to over 3000 Mesa Verde residents
~ Established our “Lifetime Membership.”
~ Initiated our Mesa Verde Volunteer Group (If you have a little extra time to devote, please consider volunteering)
~ Created our first self-guided “Water Wise Garden Tour”

Alas, my biggest disappointment is that we have not significantly increased our membership. We’ve added several new members, including seven lifetimes, but quite a few old members have not renewed. Why not? That’s a question we need to address. And, we will!

As I trust you can know, most of this costs money, and your membership dues and donations are our only source of revenue. Can you guess what I’m asking you to do? Click here and go directly to the membership app.

My thanks to our Board of Directors for  granting me the honor and privilege of serving as your President these two years, and to all of you for your support and encouraging words. A special “well done” to the tremendous help from our volunteer group.

I know that you will accord our new President your continued support.

Respectfully,
Bob

President’s Corner — January, 2019

Happy New Year, Mesa Verde! Hope you all had a wonderful Holiday and are eager to tackle this new year with enthusiasm, energy, and hope for a better world ahead of us.

A preview of things to come from MVCI:  A Town Hall Forum with our school board (NMUSD) “School Days ….. what are our kids learning at school?”, to be held at the MESA VERDE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 1701 Baker Street, Tuesday Feb 5th, at 7:00 PM, in Fellowship Hall. Doors open at 6:30 for light refreshments and Meet and Greet.
Then, next up, our Annual Meeting March 26th, same time and place. Details later on our website and March newsletter. May will bring our second annual picnic, with games and activities for the kids. Watch for postings.

In February, we’re starting a MESA VERDE BULLETIN BOARD, for our members use, to post activities you wish to announce. You may post anything reasonable, subject of course, to our right of rejection. Submit your request to admin@mesaverdecommunity.org

Among the “SHOPS AT MESA VERDE”, I’ve tried both the new restaurants, “The Broken Yoke” and “Descanso”. They’re quite popular; check ‘em out. We’ll have more on the progress at “THE SHOPS…” in our next newsletter, which you will find in your mail box mid-March.

We have reported to you previously on our police departments’ efforts to cut down on the speeding and stop sign running in Mesa Verde. What I can tell you is that there have been increased arrests (hope it wasn’t you) and the effort is ongoing. We will bring you year over year comparisons as we continue to work with CMPD. Please let us know about trends you are observing, and especially specific incidents with times and locations. All this info helps pinpoint our trouble spots.

Our membership continues to grow, and we thank you for your continued interest and support. And, a special welcome to all our newest members. The membership roster is posted on our website (link) for your reference. Are you on it?

Let’s make 2019 the best year ever for our community and MVCI!

Cheers,
Bob

Newport Mesa Unified School District Board Meeting

Discussion of term limits will be on the agenda Tuesday June 16th, 2017 (http://newportmesa.agendaonline.net/public/) at the Newport Mesa Unified School District board meeting. This issue has been hotly debated for several years and was a topic of interest in this most recent school board election. We would like to encourage the public to attend this meeting and voice their opinions. The meeting will start at 6 p.m. sharp and public comments should be near the beginning of the meeting.

The agenda will be posted to the Newport Mesa Unified School District website the Friday before the meeting.

The meeting will be held at 6 PM, 2985 Bear St., Costa Mesa, CA 92626.