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

The Tanager Park Tale — Updated Summary

BACKGROUND:   In  April 2017 some buzz started about possible plans for  a public swimming pool and big  parking lots at Tanager Park.  Neighbors were alarmed when a site map appeared  in the  “Updated Open Space Master Plan of Parks and Recreation”  prepared  by a consultant to the City.  The report would be reviewed by the Parks and Recreation Commission (PRC) on April 27.  City Staff  recommended  approval of the report and all the projects it contained.

Tanager Park neighbors got organized, got educated on the issue, held a neighborhood planning meeting, met with the Chairman of the Parks Commission, circulated a petition.  A  neighbor came to a Mesa Verde Community, Inc. board meeting and shared  their concern.  As a result, the MVCI Board of Directors voted to send a letter to the PRC in support of  leaving the park alone.

UPDATE:  Because of the neighbors’ organized and articulate response,  the PRC voted 5-0  to remove every reference  to an aquatic facility at Tanager Park before the report was forwarded to the City Council for final approval.

It was a good  night for the neighborhood!   The Tanager  Neighbors did a fantastic job, and Mesa Verde Inc. was privileged to help them by sending a letter .

Robin Leffler, MVCI Government Relations Chair

Great News from MVCI President, Robin Leffler!

Update on the Tanager Tale-   All mention of Tanager Park as an “opportunity site”   for an aquatic facility had already been removed from the report.  In fact all the other “opportunity sites” were removed as well.  The Parks and Recreation Commission voted  5-0 to recommend the revised report to the City Council.  As soon as that was done, the commissioners had a few things they wanted to include or change.  Commissioner Liz McNabb moved that the addition of 2 tennis courts slated for 2020 also be completely removed.  That passed 5-0 as well.

It was a good night for the neighborhood!  You guys did a fantastic job-

Robin

The Tanager Park Tale — A Summary

BACKGROUND:  A few weeks ago some buzz started about possible plans for  a public swimming pool at Tanager Park.  Neighbors were alarmed when a site map appeared in the  “Updated Open Space Master Plan of Parks and Recreation” report prepared by a consultant the City hired.  The report would be reviewed by the Parks and Recreation Commission (PRC) on April 27.  City Staff recommended approval of the report.

Tanager Park neighbors got organized, got educated on the issue, held a neighborhood planning meeting, met with the Chairman of the Parks Commission, circulated a petition.  One of the neighbors came to a Mesa Verde Community, Inc. board meeting and shared their concern.  As a result, the Board of MVCI voted to send a letter to the PRC in support of  leaving the park as is.

UPDATE: The story is not quite over.  The outlook to preserve the park as is looks very good.   Because of the neighbors’ organized and articulate response, all five PRC members indicated they want every reference to an aquatic facility at Tanager Park removed from the report before they vote to pass it on to the City Council for final approval.  The PRC directed the consultant to ensure the Commissioners’ comments and the neighbors’ concerns were included in a memorandum to the report.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Email Commissioners and staff (addresses below)  before the deadline of May 10.  Technically, all comments before and during  the Public Hearing will be included in the public record,  but practically, it will be difficult for the Commissioners and staff  to give thoughtful attention to comments after May 10.

Attend the PRC Public Hearing May 25, 6pm, at City Hall, 77 Fair Drive.

Kim Pederson, Chairman,  parkdistrict1@costamesaca.gov

Liz McNabb, parkdistrict2@costamesaca.gov

Kristina Bogner arkdistrict3@costamesaca.gov

Arlis Reynolds parkdistrict4@costamesaca.gov

Leah Ersoylu parkdistrict5@costamesaca.gov

Recreation Director Justin Martin justin.martin@costamesaca.gov

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

~Robin Leffler, President, MVCI

A Pool At Tanager Park?

ATTENTION MESA VERDE RESIDENTS!! There is a movement afoot to develop a swimming pool complex at Tanager Park. This change would alter the quality of life in the area–and the “Upper Bird” streets would incur the greatest impact. Considering the existing limited entry/exit to the neighborhood, adding a significant amount of traffic to what already comes through could have further adverse effect.

Add to that 100+ parking spaces, restrooms and shower facilities, and, again, the traffic that will accompany this plan, and our community will suffer in a manner from which there may be no recovery.

Residents should attend the monthly Parks & Recreation meeting, scheduled for Thursday, April 27, at 6:00pm and let your voices be heard. And let your city council members know how you feel, as well!

Click the link below for a copy of the entire report.

Parks-Rec ReportSummary-March15,2017

Post Script: A Board member suggested that this writer “jumped the gun” when releasing this post, so yesterday (Wednesday), I “paused” it. I am re-releasing it today with the statement that regardless of where you stand on this issue, be sure to let the MVCI Board, Parks & Rec committee and the city council know. ~TRW