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.