MAD: Monies Available for Debauchery

Not long after the monthly meeting of the Greater Golden Hill Maintenance Assessment District began on Monday, July 6, committee member John Kroll read a prepared statement to the 40 or so residents that sat in modern white leather pews inside the Ethos Church on 25th Street in Golden Hill.

“In my view, the City is so dazzled by the pot of gold in the Golden Hill [maintenance assessment district], about $500,000 a year, that they are ignoring the policies of city and the state. The committee does not speak with one voice,” added Kroll during his three-minute speech. “Some committee members go along with the [Greater Golden Hill Community Development Corporation] and think that those of us that don’t are obnoxious obstructionists. And there are some of you that may agree. The majority think the [Greater Golden Hill Community Development Corporation] and the City are working hand-in-glove to ignore legal and policy barriers.”

Kroll’s comments are part of the ongoing debate in Golden Hill as to whether the maintenance assessment -- which residents voted to establish three years ago -- is fair, legal, and right for the community.

While many residents feel the added assessment is going toward paying basic city services, others debate what the role of the advisory committee should be and whether the Greater Golden Hill Community Development Corporation has too much power over the disbursement of funds.

Others in the community, however, feel that not enough is getting done to beautify their neighborhood.

Despite the arguments, it became clear shortly after the meeting began that finding a resolution between the two factions would be as hard as finding a sidewalk without cracks.

“Really, you are our only advocate against what I consider a crooked municipal corporation, the [Greater Golden Hill Community Development Corporation]. I don’t trust what is going on with our money,” said one resident who also stated that the name of the assessment district should be changed to “Monies Available for Debauchery” (MAD). “This is crazy. It’s a rip-off.”

A few minutes later, one resident walked to the front of the dimly lit room to voice his support for the maintenance assessment district.

“Bottom line is, everybody wants a better neighborhood. The fact is, unlike the old days, I don’t think we can rely on government to do what we need to get done. You got to give the program a chance to succeed. It’s been documented all over the country that these programs are successful. You got to give it a chance.”

The Greater Golden Hill Maintenance Assessment District meets on the first Monday of the month.

Comments

The MAD is a joke and is nothing but a crop of money extracted from taxpayers who already pay city taxes to fund special interests and administrators by the crooked GGHCDC. And by crooked I mean crooked. A lame duck advisory committee who should be representing us but who the CDC has relegated to no legal power and a deaf ear to boot. Then take a look at Steve Kessler, the former (fired) unscupulous CDC pondscum that was nailed for improprieties related to both HUD and our MAD funds. Now enter newbie Pedro to smooth that debackle over and make people think the CDC really cares and is on the up and up. What a crock!!! And what do we pay this CDC clown to basically do nothing???

The MAD was voted in by a lopsided municipal vote based on land area that gave it a majority win, not by Golden Hill citizens. The money is supposed to be used for services that are mostly redundant with services we already pay for and are already supplied by the City. Or to fund canyon beautification projects for the Friends of 32nd Street (obviously pals of the CDC) consisting of extraction of native xerophytic vegetation, replacement with more pleasing non-native vegetation, and then supplying said vegetation with precious water. Now that's an interesting application of MAD money being used so a few folks neighboring a canyon can view pretty plants. When in the meantime, I have to replace the sidewalk in front of my own house and view a near-dead tree with a few leaf clusters that the city morons just came and trimmed. I wonder who authorized that???? Guess what Friends, I'm gonna check into that and find out what is going on. Count on it.

Worse yet was the current estimated Clean Green and Safe (more smoke and mirrors) budget of 279K when there is about 670K worth of funds that still remain from the past two years of MAD assessments and that is still unaccounted for. WHERE IS THAT MONEY CDC!!!!!

All, see Hal Tyvoll's excellent letter (addressed to our friend Pedro) on the travesty of the GGHCDC, the amazing blatant illegalities that are being knowingly perpetrated by them, the pending lawsuits against them, and what's really going on, or more to the point...not going on, with our money.

You're being used as is your money. As I coined in the last advisory committee meeting, MAD equals Monies Available for Debauchery. And in terms of the GGHCDC, nothing could be closer to the truth.

How is it that a Reader reporter can clearly understand the devisiveness this MAD has brought to Golden Hill, but the City of San Diego just doesn't get it? The whole concept of taxing people by legal means and turning it over to someone else requires rigorous accountability. The CDC has a contract with the City of San Diego to fulfill the MAD mission. The City has the legal responsibility to be the watchdog over these independent non-profits. The Oversight Committee has no legal position. Once the money goes into private hands, it no longer seems to be a city issue. What purpose does it serve for the City to ignore these issues with the GHCDC, SEDC, CCDC, etc? I just don't get it.

Our family moved to Golden Hill 33-years ago. Right from the get-go there were numerous intractable problems that I had never experienced before as I was raised in El Cajon. Namely, trash and litter, loud noise, roving dogs, gangs and crime. Instead of moving out we choose toughing it out and neighors organized to combat these problems. One such committee was the Golden Hill Trash Tigers. With the concerted help of community caring adults and gung-ho neighborhood kids (sometimes numbering one hundred on a single sweep of all ethnicities funded by our own efforts with a stipend to each child) we personally picked up trash for 20-years. A sibling group was started in South Park. Yes, through blood, sweat and tears, we did make a difference predicated on the hundreds and even combined thousands of hours of totally volunteer efforts. That was then and this is now and to look at the robust, healthy, clean and mostly gleaming streets and houses, it is hard to conceive of the herculean efforts which expunged the apathetic mindset that back then equated to neighborhood blight. Of course old volunteers never die they just roll up their sleeves and never say why. M.A.D., it seemed to us who had been in the trenches of urban decay, would be like hooking the community up from the exhaused engine of volunteers to a new locomotive of permanent community upkeep that could be passed on to the future and whose burden of costs would be shared by like minded people whose hierarchy of values places community and not themselves very near the top of their list. So we have voted in M.A.D., to me another way, at a very reasonable assessment, approximately $74 per year far less than a weekly coffee and cheesecake, to efficiently keep Greater Golden Hill a better place to live, love and ruminate. To me, the best part of this assessment is not that i don't have to pick up trash anymore, but that all the money collected goes to the Greater Golden Hill area. Having jump-started my little corner of the world into a renascent Golden Hill, in my heart of hearts I firmly believe that M.A.D. is that viable transitional link from volunteer adult and children trash collectors to a professional maintenace group. A group that will guarantee to us a future that will maintain and sustain Greater Golden Hill as a golden shining ligh long after I am gone. Pat Martin

Pat Martin’s Letter to The Reader of July 25, 2009 2nd Version-

Re: The M.A.D. Assessment District

Our family moved to Golden Hill 33-years ago. Right from the get-go there were numerous intractable problems that I had never experienced before as I was raised in El Cajon. Namely, trash and litter, loud noise, roving dogs, gangs and crime. Instead of moving out we choose toughing it out and neighbors organized to combat these problems. One such committee was the Golden Hill Trash Tigers. With the concerted help of community caring adults and gung-ho neighborhood kids (sometimes numbering one hundred on a single sweep of all ethnicities funded by our own efforts with a stipend to each child) we personally picked up trash for 20-years. A sibling group was started in South Park. Yes, through blood, sweat and tears, we did make a difference predicated on the hundreds and even combined thousands of hours of totally volunteer efforts. That was then and this is now and to look at the robust, healthy, clean and mostly gleaming streets and houses, it is hard to conceive of the herculean efforts which expunged the apathetic mindset that back then equated to neighborhood blight. Of course old volunteers never die they just roll up their sleeves and never say why. M.A.D., it seemed to us who had been in the trenches of urban decay, would be like hooking the community up from the exhausted engine of volunteers to a new locomotive of permanent community upkeep that could be passed on to the future and whose burden of costs would be shared by like minded people whose hierarchy of values places community and not themselves very near the top of their list. So we have voted in M.A.D., to me another way, at a very reasonable assessment, approximately $74 per year far less than a weekly coffee and cheesecake, to efficiently keep Greater Golden Hill a better place to live, love and ruminate. To me, the best part of this assessment is not that i don't have to pick up trash anymore, but that all the money collected goes to the Greater Golden Hill area. Having jump-started my little corner of the world into a renascent Golden Hill, in my heart of hearts I firmly believe that M.A.D. is that viable transitional link from volunteer adult and children trash collectors to a professional maintenance group. A group that will guarantee to us a future that will maintain and sustain Greater Golden Hill as a golden shining light long after I am gone. Pat Martin, Golden Hill

More like a group that will guarantee themselves and thier cronies, not us the taxpayer, financial support for thier own shining light special projects. Remember, the MAD funds are really only supposed to go to the business district and common areas not to upkeep of residential neighborhoods. That kind of thing is already covered under the taxes we already pay...trash pickup, graffiti removal, etc.

Golden Hill is undergoing a renniassance based on financial necessity and urban core development moving ever closer to it. The trash is moving out and people who care are moving in and spending thier own hard-earned money to renovate thier properties as my wife and I are. I love the area as much as anybody but I don't love a pack of crooked municipal bastards who are hell bent on obsconding with duplicative funds over and above what I already pay for the same damn services.

Wake up and smell the reality.

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