Paid too much but

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    • #1150
      Beverly Goodman

      I would like part of it be an Artist colony with classes for adults and children. and art shows. The Artist Colony would pay rent.Check out the Virgina Beach Arts Center which started extremely small with a few classes and shows.Now it is huge with lots of support. A Community Theater which would also pay rent. Different groups could rent the theater like they used to do with La Paloma. I would like to see venues like this maybe 6 so the city could get $10,000 plus a month rent from the property.

    • #1211
      Lynn Autumn

      You offer good ideas, Beverly. My husband, Russell, was born in Virginia Beach. We used to fly back every year to visit his mother, who is now on the west coast. So I appreciate your bringing up the Virginia Beach Arts Center as an excellent example of what we could accomplish in Encinitas.

      The City is paying too much, over three times more than the only appraisal using local comps, in the current time frame and current zoning. But it’s not too late for the City to negotiate terms of purchase that would be beneficial to the school children, EUSD administrators and the Board of Trustees, the City of Encinitas, taxpayers, artists, art lovers, those who would love to enjoy community gardens, and future generations.

      Superintendent Tim Baird and past Superintendents DeVore and King, had long said that they were going to exchange Pacific View, after getting Council to rezone it, for a commercial property so that EUSD would have an ongoing revenue stream. If EUSD would agree to carry the $10 Million loan for 30 years, at zero percent interest, that would accomplish this long desired revenue stream, would greatly benefit all parties of interest, and would mitigate the cost, tremendously, because the City would not have to pay for additional debt service on another lease revenue bond.

      I agree with Deputy Mayor Mark Muir’s agenda item, which is to be heard this coming Wednesday evening, at the May 14 City Council Meeting. Incidentally, that’s the night of the full moon! Because Pacific View is such an expensive purchase, and because the City is adding to debt, which is increasing, yearly, with unfunded pension liabilities, because the backlog of deferred road maintenance is increasing, the City should enact a hiring freeze as our Deputy Mayor has proposed. I would ask, additionally, that City employees making over $100,000 per year, would take a 20% decrease in their compensation, down to $100,000, so that if an employee were making less than $125,000, he or she wouldn’t see a full 20% pay cut. Council should also consider increasing City employees’ compensation to their own pension benefits, which pensions are far in excess of what the vast majority of private sector employees receive upon retirement.

      At the Community focused Strategic Planning Special City Council Meeting this past Wednesday, May 7, there was much discussion of “sustainable growth.” Our city cannot sustain growing debt without cutting back on operating expenses. The general public does support the purchase of Pacific View. But we do not want to bankrupt our city, or to force unwanted densification on the citizens who reside here, so that the City can rake in more development fees, property taxes and sales taxes. Expansion at any cost is not sustainable, with respect to taxpayer dollars, or our infrastructure, including traffic, road repair, and water resources.

      What is so wonderful about Pacific View is that it could begin producing a revenue stream without too much work, or too much more time elapsing. If the City leases out Pacific View to a non-profit foundation through the Artists Colony and the Historical Society, much of the work of rehabbing the existing classrooms could be done by community volunteers. A revenue stream could be produced without having to wait years and years, for a bureaucratic process to catch up with the desires of caring citizens, and the intention of J.S. Pitcher, who donated the land for the early settlers’ children.

      We sincerely hope that with the pressure of the upcoming election, and with strong negotiations by Council, the Board of Trustees will agree to the proposed terms of purchase. It’s rare for someone or some entity to agree to zero percent interest, but this is comparable to a loan made between family members. We are all neighbors in this community, like family. What is being proposed is public land, which was donated to Encinitas School District, 60 years before EUSD was formed, being transferred between one public agency and another, to benefit locals without incurring unnecessary additional debt service fees, which debt service would go to a bank, a for-profit institution, NOT to the general public.

      Besides “monetizing our public asset,” EUSD has the duty to uphold the public trust. We want to support EUSD school children, and are paying off two School Bonds, O and P, for 30 years, each, on our property tax bills, in order to do so. Citizens also voted for Prop 30, statewide, to support our schools.

      EUSD should not try to gouge the taxpayers, now, but should be reasonable, agreeing to carry the $10 Million loan for an ongoing revenue stream, cooperatively and compassionately offering reasonable terms of purchase. Council and City Manager Gus Vina should ask, and insist, that Superintendent Tim Baird and EUSD do the right thing: carry the loan for 30 years at zero percent interest, to benefit the children, and the taxpayers, by helping to mitigate the excessively high $10 Million purchase price agreed upon for Pacific View.

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