The debate continues…

The Signal Tribune has printed several letters from a previously unknown organization called Signal Hill [Community] First on behalf of a proposed ballot measure they are calling “Know and Vote.” Signal Hill’s voters need to carefully examine statements made by this organization, as these letters are filled with half-truths.
For example, Ms. [Maria] Harris states that “Know and Vote” does not apply to the California Crown Landscape Assessment District. “Know and Vote” applies to all city assessments, and the proponents can’t wish away the impacts of their ballot measure. The petition is inconsistent with state law.
The landscape district was formed in 1992 as part of the planning for our subdivision. It covers 90 homes and five oil field parcels in our neighborhood. It is the only assessment district in the entire city. Owners bought their homes knowing that there was a landscape district and a maintenance fee.
The City Council is required by State law to hold public hearings with the property owners annually to consider fee increases. The increases have been kept to a minimum. The last increase was 2.67 percent, or $1.16 per month.
The City does a great job maintaining the landscaping and the fencing in the neighborhood. The maintenance district adds beauty to our homes and to the city. The California Crown Assessment District was established in accordance with state law. Historically, all of the assessments have been levied in accordance with state law.
I’d have to question the wisdom of the “Know and Vote” ballot measure, since the ballot measure will mandate that all of Signal Hill’s voters annually approve the landscape assessments for my neighborhood in a citywide election. The annual citywide election costs are sure to raise our fees. The proposed ballot measure makes no sense at all.
“Know and Vote” is unnecessary, expensive and inconsistent with state law. That’s the truth.

Lorraine Gilbert
Signal Hill

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