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!
# # # # # # # # # # # #
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.
# # # # # # # # # # # #
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!