Re: “Del Cerro can benefit from a MAD” [Volume 25, Issue 10]
Kudos to the Del Cerro Action Council for their thorough research and recommendations for a community Maintenance Assessment District. Having been raised within the district’s proposed boundaries and now retired in Del Cerro, I have the benefit of a very long arc of residency beginning in the late 1950s continuing intermittently to the present.
As the first homes were going up in Del Cerro and the roads, parks, infrastructure, houses and reputation were consistent with an affluent, brand new, custom home community, our neighborhood was a standout in San Diego. Predictably, as Del Cerro marches toward its 70th anniversary, a disconnect has happened. While much of the housing stock retains a pride-of-ownership shine through remodels, changes of ownership and market forces driving housing values ever higher, the overall feel of the community is one of age, unaddressed maintenance issues and a definite inability to compete with other San Diego communities that are much newer or that have already formed their own MADs.
I won’t repeat the thoughtful statement of support in the last issue of the Mission Times Courier by Mark Rawlins where all the reasons in favor of the Del Cerro MAD are listed. I will add one more. As a point of reference, in the early 1990s, I was the volunteer community administrator for two MADs in Rancho Bernardo — a community about the same age as Del Cerro. One of the two MADs under my purview was one similar to the proposed Del Cerro MAD. It still exists today. For anyone on the fence about supporting an MAD for Del Cerro, I urge you to tour Rancho Bernardo and see the difference in appearance.
But perhaps the best thing about a MAD is that you and I — the property owners funding it — have direct input into how funds are spent. A successful MAD encourages input from area residents which then guides the MAD’s liaison to the city of San Diego on how best to leverage the fund in support of the community’s (not the city’s) needs.
The Del Cerro MAD is estimated to cost us $140 annually billed on our property taxes. It is not a Mello-Roos, though opponents often characterize it as such. After all these years, Del Cerro deserves a facelift and doing so will not just enhance our lives, it will enhance the individual investments in our homes. Opponents of MADs offer the same hue and cry typical of anti-tax advocates. Certainly, $140 each year is not pocket change. I can, however, guarantee based on my own direct experience that the Del Cerro MAD would be a tremendous value. The benefits will offer something for everyone and our community will stand out again as one that has taken its future in its own hands. Vote YES on the Del Cerro MAD.
—James Abbott, Del Cerro
This article makes broad assertions, based on highly subjective judgments that Del Cerro is run-down and dilapidated. However, on a personal note, my wife, two daughters, and I have lived in Del Cerro since 1971 and we all have found Del Cerro to always be a most beautiful and safe community.
The article points out the Del Cerro property owners already are paying $5,000 to $12,000 annually in property taxes and states that $140 per year to establish a MAD pales in comparison. But according to this article, these property owners are not getting very much from the city for the luxury improvements that the MAD advocates want. Why are these property taxes so high and why can’t the city pay for some of those improvements?
This $140 per year MAD additional property tax only would be the beginning and we are sure that we can look forward to an ever-increasing annual MAD assessment.
There are several proposed sales tax increases for upcoming elections. Also, depending upon the outcome of next year’s federal election, federal tax increases could be massive.
Del Cerro taxpayers presently are bearing a high tax burden, including the recently passed gasoline tax and DMV fee increases. If these new additional proposed state, local, and federal tax increases are enacted, along with the MAD assessment, this tax burden will become unbearable.
We urge all Del Cerro property owners, in their own interest, to soundly vote against a MAD and defeat this onerous idea!
—Stuart R. Josephs, CPA and Del Cerro Taxpayers Association president
I live across the canyon from Rancho Mission Canyon Park on Margerum, and I hate seeing people run their dogs off-leash every day after 5 o’clock. They don’t care that they’re exposing their dogs to rattlesnakes. They don’t care that other people have to be afraid of getting attacked or mauled if they use the park. They don’t care that there’s dog shit all over the park that these selfish dog owners don’t clean up.
These law-breaking losers have ruined the park for me. I’ve reported them many times to the police department, but all they did was put up signs, which the off-leash dog owners just ignore. They break the law and ruin everything for the rest of us because of their selfishness and criminal behavior. There’s an old saying: if you don’t like the law, change it — don’t break it.
These selfish jerks should take heed.
— Béla Dornon, San Carlos