The city manager has proposed his fiscal year 2005 budget. Part of his proposal is the taking of $840,000 of OUR money to plug budgetary holes. This is a call to arms! In tried and true Scripps Ranch fashion, we must organize and defeat the attempt to take OUR money.
As background, when Miramar Ranch North (MRN) was planned, developers contributed money to build infrastructure and facilities, such as the library, fire station, roads, and more. The monies were put into Dedicated Developer Accounts (DDAs).
It was the intention of the developers that after MRN was built out, any left over money would be used by MRN to fix problems or finish projects that the community needed but were not built. One such goal was a community recreational facility. MRN's Community Plan calls for a private developer to build a community rec center. This rec center would be private in nature, like the Scripps Ranch Swim and Racquet Club.
As you may know the community provided funds for the city to acquire the 4-acre parcel with the intent that the rec center be built at that location. The original site was taken by the school district when it became necessary to build another elementary school. Many people have been working with the YMCA to see if that entity may build a facility on the 4-acre parcel near the Vons on Scripps Poway Parkway.
Unlike other communities, MRN does not have any internal funding mechanisms, such as Facilities Benefits Accounts (FBAs). Therefore, while projects and components are identified in our Community Plan, unlike other communities, there is no internal way for MRN to build or complete them. That's where the DDAs come into play.
After the projects the developers built were completed--fire station, library, etc.--there remained some money in the accounts due to accrued interest. The community allowed this money to continue to accrue until there was more than a million dollars available to complete some of the Community Plan.
Over the last year the MRNPC has been working to identify projects and allocate money to complete them. Those projects include monies for: the YMCA studies and interim use on the 4-acre parcel; funding of a bathroom at Overlook Park; traffic calming measures around the elementary schools; money appropriated for the new middle school; a gate at the Scripps Ranch Community Park and funds to pay someone to open and close the gates; rehabbing Dingeman fields; and, other projects as well.
Presently, the YMCA is conducting its initial survey of community leaders. This is the first step towards trying to bring the recreational facility component of the Community Plan to fruition. If the city takes OUR money, the rec center may never happen and most certainly will not happen in the near future!
Let me be blunt. If the city takes OUR money, we will not get the facilities and community improvements that were not provided or properly planned. Our Community Plan will never be realized or finalized, or it may take years and years and years to get where we are today!
How can you help? Call the city manager, Lamont Ewell, at 619-236-6363 and voice your opposition. Also, email him at [[email protected]]. Call each of the council members and the mayor and tell them they should not take OUR money. Find contact information at [www.sandiego.gov]. Our council member, Brian Maienschein, is strongly opposed to the proposal to take OUR money. He has more details about the city budget on page 21.
Now is the time to take action. Do not leave it to your neighbors; enlist them, too! This issue is too important to our future. Send me an email at [[email protected]] and be prepared to come down to the City Council to fight the battle. They will hear the issue on Monday, June 14.
If you would like to help shape the community, we can use you. Please contact me at 549-0979 if you are interested in serving on the MRNPC. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month at 7 pm at the Information Center. If you wish to receive meeting agendas, also give me a call. Even if you do not want to be a member, come to the meetings. Your voice is important!
In May the Scripps Ranch Planning Group heard presentations about several different proposals. One was a possible Conditional Use Permit (CUP) request by Fitness Quest to expand from its current site at the Vons Center on Scripps Ranch Boulevard to another location within the nearby Business Park.
The San Diego Unified School District continues to work out details for the Marshall Middle School relocation. There continues to be meetings with the city, county, state, and community as to issues involving relining pipeline three, emergency evacuation preparedness, sewer trunkline replacement through Pomerado Road, and traffic circulation.
The next SRPG meeting is on Thursday, June 3, at 7 pm in the Scripps Ranch Library. Meetings are the first Thursday of each month, except January. Everyone is encouraged to attend. For more information, contact me at 243-1235 or [[email protected]].