Those homeowners and taxpayers within the Mello-Roos District (CFD 1989-1) should be happy to know that their newly revised Mello-Roos Board has now moved their monthly meetings to a location nearer to them.
Their meetings, for over 15 years, were held in the downtown AUSD's Administration building - miles away and not within the Mello-Roos District's boundaries. This very important step was positively voted on by the board in January. We applaud those board members for their courage, vision, and their vote on this most appropriate matter.
Our organization, Citizens For Democracy, has favored and pressed for their meetings to be held within the district's boundaries for some time now. I personally tried to get this done as far back as the mid-1990s, when I was on the board, but others refused to do so. With our organization's renewed resolve, along with some Mello-Roos residents (James Morris Sr. and Don Williams at their forefront) we once again forged ahead in this matter.
A few months prior, the then Board President Terrie Price's unfortunate, very poor leadership for the board was one of contempt for the public and debasement of us in our attempts with them. She basically ran the board meetings in such a negative and verbally abusive manner against us that there were obviously mostly only her viewpoints and direction of the board that mattered to her.
It was but another one of the most shameful experiences of the public to witness and to be subjected to. With great relief, her last meeting of the board was in December and is no longer a board member.
With then Board Member Walter Ruehlig's timely intervention and request to give us more time to present our case in January, it was properly agendized for the January, 2008 meeting. Thank you specifically, Walter, and we also want to thank the "new" board makeup for the eventual opportunity we were given to present our case. The "new" board makeup, under the leadership of the new Board President Larry Ossorio, showed us respect, listened, submitted appropriate questions, and ultimately (with Board Member Reggie Moore's stated desire for it to happen) the full board unanimously voted to have its monthly meetings within the district's boundaries.
This year they will be held the first Monday evening of each month at the Carmen Dragon School, 4721 Vista Grande Drive, starting at 7 p.m. This year too the board will be exploring the possibility of having its meetings from 2009 onward at the larger Prewett Park Community Room. We encourage all of those homeowners, property owners and taxpayers to avail themselves of these meetings. After all, it is your taxes and related district affairs that this board will continue to be working on and managing for you.
Once again, we are hereby publicly thanking this new board for its recent vote. It also shows that in a number of things, we can accomplish certain things together, not in different directions!
Ralph A. Hernandez
Chair, Citizens For Democracy