The Board of MVCI wishes the best of the holidays to the wonderful community of Mesa Verde!
The Board of MVCI wishes the best of the holidays to the wonderful community of Mesa Verde!
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!
As many people know, for the last few months, the “President’s Corner” has been published in the neighborhood magazine, “Mesa Verde Living.” Because I felt it redundant to post the same article on the website, I have refrained, having not done so since the January/February edition.
That being said, there is still a lot going on that’s worthy of commentary, so for those who look forward to these posts, here we go…….
The COVID-19 debacle has left us reeling and wondering just what “normal” is going to look like. As a business owner myself, my heart goes out to all those entrepreneurs scrambling to resurrect their businesses, and their livelihoods. Some actually did fine during these last 2+ months and they are to be applauded. Some were able to “pivot” their businesses to be of support to others, and businesses designated “essential” were supremely helpful to everyone and all of our first responders deserve our most sincere gratitude.
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As I’m sure everyone knows by now, MVCI’s Annual Meeting was postponed. The board ultimately reached a decision to cancel the meeting until its regularly scheduled time in 2021. All incumbent board members who were scheduled for re-election will hold their seats until next year. Officers will remain in place, as well. One bit of sad news is that board member John Leffler resigned for personal reasons. We will miss John and his many contributions, and wish him well, going forward. The MVCI City Council Candidate Forum will likely not take place this year, either, but be aware that Districts 1, 2 and 6 have candidates up for election (four-year term), along with a two-year term for Mayor. Elections are scheduled for November 3.
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One Metro West is still out there under consideration. The City Council would prefer to enact an amendment to Measure Y that would effectively exempt developments north of the 405 Freeway, and in the process, grant Rose Equities a “green light” to proceed without going before the voters. As it stands now, the project and any amendments to “Y” have been tabled, in favor of a broader review of development in the city. There are several parcels that should be considered in earnest, including those on Harbor Boulevard, so stay engaged! All development isn’t bad, and we all have a stake in how Costa Mesa moves forward. Remember: Good development has a positive effect on the city’s income and a robust growth strategy can help minimize the need for new or increased taxes for residents.
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Restaurants are opening again, as are many other retailers, barbers, hair and nail salons! Be sure to go and patronize them and thank the ones that stayed open during the pandemic!
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Sadly, racial disharmony has crept back into our lives. We have GOT to find a way to get through this barrier…once and for all. I watched an interview with former NFL tight end Benjamin Watson and he really captured the essence of what we need to be doing: In order to make any meaningful change, “…we have to be willing to be uncomfortable, willing to be honest, a willingness to not be offended and not to offer ‘what-about-isms’ when people talk about the way they feel.” If we’re not willing to move into this kind of dialogue – family, friends, neighbors and loved ones, nothing will change. If that happens, we all lose. If you’d like to see the full Ben Watson interview, click here.
That’s it for now. Let’s all take the high road and make our community and the broader world around us a better place.
Until next time, stay well, and stay safe!
Hi Mesa Verde Neighbors! If you are concerned about the changing character of the city and have a moment, please write a comment to the city planning department — and the Mayor and City Council members — about the One Metro West project that is planned for the area adjacent to SoCo. The deadline for public comments on the One Metro West project was extended to Monday, March 30, 2020. Mesa Verde Community, Inc. recently presented a letter to the city in which we expressed our opposition to this project. A copy of the letter appears at the bottom of this post.
Development in our city is inevitable, but anything we can do to mitigate the impact will be a worthwhile endeavor.
Greetings everyone! The MVCI Annual meeting is coming soon. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend. Our featured speakers will be distinguished executives from Mesa Water District, including Director Jim Fisler, General Manager of MWD, Paul Shoenberger, and Water Use Efficiency Analyst, Justin Finch.
Come join us!
IT’S TWENTY-TWENTY!! Not only are we in a new year, we’re going into another decade here. In addition to that, it’s also a leap year! So, in February, we get an extra day for work, play, contemplation, or any other thing you want to do to take advantage of this quadrennial event.
With so much going on these days, it can be easy to fall into traps of defeat. We know people who seem to have everything going for them but somehow never manage to leverage all these advantages for good. Often, we find that one’s attitude is the culprit. Attitude has been referred to as “the lens we use to view our world,” and if our attitude falters, it can wreak havoc on our endeavors.
In order to move past these various “spins” in our behavior, it is good to think about alternative ways to improve our attitude(s). Here are three suggested attitudes, along with actions you can apply today to develop them.
This is the attitude that “I am not alone.” The attitude of belonging means that you always feel there are a few people in your life who you can turn to when you are overwhelmed, buried and stressed out, who will always have your back. People who have an attitude of belonging always know that no matter what goes down, they are not isolated, and someone has their back.
Action | Find 3-4 people of character, whom you trust and become vulnerable with them. Bring them into how overwhelmed and stressed out you have been. You will be amazed at the focus and positivity that emerges from this.
“I have power”
The attitude that “I am not helpless, and I can do something about my situation.” Successful people always look for a choice and they don’t give in to what the research calls learned helplessness, which is a feeling that no matter what you do, you will lose, so why not give up? Instead, they think, “I may have financial, strategic or cultural problems, but I also have enough power to make one great choice to change things here.”
Action | Brainstorm with a trusted friend the toughest situation you are currently facing. Literally get in front of a whiteboard and write down 10 choices you can make (they may be difficult, but it’s movement). Then pick the one that will get you the most traction on the problem and execute it. That is acting on power. Note, this is not power over another. It is power over your life.
“I’m OK even when I’m not OK”
A little bit of a word play, but this is the attitude that failure, even repeated failure, won’t get you down. You will resist the judge in your head who calls you a loser and disappointment and instead remember that every time you fail, you commit to learning something valuable. So, failure (doing something not OK) doesn’t mean you’re not OK.
Action | Tell someone you trust the 3 toughest bad choices you’ve ever made (I’m serious about the “someone you trust”, there are lots of people who can’t handle who you really are, or would judge you, so pick carefully). Don’t minimize it or blame others, just say the raw reality. Then ask them what they think of you. Success comes from knowing that we don’t have to pretend that we are someone we are not. And it comes from hearing that we are acceptable and connected even when we don’t feel so acceptable.
Attitudes matter so Just work on one of these this week. You’ve noticed that each skill involves another person to support you. Regardless of who this is, doing the work is the most important part of the exercise!
See you next month!
P.S. A new year brings a new Annual Meeting, so please save the date. We look forward to seeing you there!
This Holiday Season, on behalf of the entire board, I would like to share our genuine appreciation with the residents of Mesa Verde. As I have noted in the past, we are a volunteer organization, which includes our membership dues. Without you, we would not be where we are today, and we are sincerely grateful. We hope you have a joyous holiday and we look forward to our ongoing partnership.
The new year will bring some interesting, and challenging opportunities! 2020 will be the first time the Mesa Verde community will elect its own district-specific member to the Costa Mesa City Council. City wide, we continue to deal with a burgeoning homeless situation. Across the 405 from Mesa Verde, developers are planning a HUGE multi-use project: One Metro West, and we can expect some sort of progress to be made in the plans to implement 5G technology throughout our area. It will be important to educate ourselves about these initiatives, along with others that will come, so we can all make informed decisions.
To our board: A sincere thanks to you for all of your contributions! You give of your time and talents and our community benefits from these efforts tremendously! To our membership: Respectfully consider some form of involvement in MVCI. We can always use volunteers and from time to time, we have openings on the board, for which it is always helpful to have a list of those who may be interested in serving.
MVCI’s board does not meet in December, so please permit me to wish you and your family the happiest of Holidays! Stay healthy and safe and we’ll see you again in January! Finally, don’t forget your MVCI membership! You can join or renew by using the application right here on the website.
Please forgive me! It’s been a blur since my appointment and September had me very busy with work related projects. But we finalized our arrangement with Mesa Verde Living and you can expect to see your august board on the cover of the November issue! In the meantime, this will serve as my commentary for September and October!
For this post, I want to answer a few questions that often come up related to the organization and the board. The goal is to have an informed constituency and in so doing, validate that joining MVCI is desirable and relevant.
What does the board of directors do? The board runs the organization and ensures that it is financially stable and able to operate within MVCI’s three established pillars, “Inform, Protect, Beautify.”
What does a board director do? MVCI has a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and immediate past-president. There are also “at large” members and the board currently has a total of 11. We work together to set policies, develop budgets and execute plans consistent with our mission.
What makes a good board? A willingness to work together for the good of the community, using Roberts Rules of Order, which provides a guideline for a professional forum, policy making and forward thinking to ensure ALL of the current residents of Mesa Verde are served.
What makes a good board director? First and foremost, common sense. Directors come from varied backgrounds, educationally, culturally and professionally. All have something to contribute to the board and our community. All are volunteers. Only by being engaged can we, collectively, achieve success. Professionalism and common courtesy are vital for a board to work together for the good of the community.
Is being on the board worth it? I think so! There is great satisfaction in serving our fellow residents while helping to preserve the character of the community we all love. It is not just a once-a-month get together! There are lots of activities going on in any given month and the monthly meeting is where we get to see how we’re doing against plan, and deciding “what’s next?”
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If you have any thoughts or questions that you’d like addressed, feel to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I promise we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!
Until next month…
P.S. I would be remiss if I didn’t make the monthly pitch to join MVCI. The application can be found here:
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!
Small Cell Facilities Study Session/Open House with the City Council
On Tuesday, August 13, 2019 from 5-7:30 p.m.
To everyone interested in how the City of Costa Mesa is going to manage the small cell technology, both in the present and in the future, this meeting is for You!
Due to the high public interest on this topic, on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 from 5-7:30 p.m. at City Hall, the City Council has scheduled a study session dedicated to discussing small cell facilities and Costa Mesa’s Municipal Code. Residents are hoping the Council will adopt municipal code changes in the form of a wireless ordinance which will allow the City, and hence the residents, to have some control over how the federally mandated telecommunication system(s) are employed. This means not just how they are approved and where, but the long range management of this technology and the new technologies yet to come, including 5G and beyond.
Don’t you want to know what technology is coming into your neighborhood and around your local schools? Will there be dozens or hundreds of these Small Cell Facilities? How will they look? Will it be an improvement to the look of our city or not? Who is paying for all of this and the maintenance of it? What is the maintenance? Who is responsible? How often is the equipment checked for staying within Federal requirements? And how is it checked, in person or remotely by computer? These are just some of the questions we hope the City’s Municipal Code will clearly state. We strongly encourage interested residents to come and participate in this Study Session/Open House.