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Mayor’s budget revision includes $502K for La Jolla MAD

Mayor Kevin Faulconer
Mayor Kevin Faulconer

When San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer released his revised Fiscal Year 2020 budget on May 14, it included funding for the La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District (MAD), clearing the final hurdle to getting the MAD going in The Village.

A MAD is a legal mechanism by which property owners can vote to assess themselves to pay and receive services above-and-beyond what the City normally provides.

The MAD for La Jolla was approved by a majority (weighted by property size and type) of the commercial and residential property owners within its boundaries in November 2016.

The La Jolla MAD assessments will be approximately $87 annually for most residents within the District boundaries and fees for District businesses are based on the footprint of the building.

“The May Revision increased non-general fund expenditures by $51.3 million,” a memo from the Mayor’s office states, which includes the addition of “$502,378 in non-personnel expenditures and associated revenue to maintain service levels per the MAD Assessment Engineer’s Report.”

Should the Mayor’s budget be approved in June with the La Jolla MAD, the assessment schedule will be submitted to the County by Aug. 10, and the County will mail the assessments with the property tax bills in late September 2019.

“The assessments are due to the County in two installments — the first by Dec. 10, 2019 and second by April 10, 2020. The County then transfers the assessments to the City,” explained City spokesperson Anna Vacchi.

The La Jolla-based nonprofit, Enhance La Jolla, would manage the MAD with authority to 1) “enhance” City-provided services including landscape maintenance, street and sidewalk cleaning, litter and graffiti abatement, plus additional trash collection and 2) privately fund and complete capital improvement projects in public spaces, such as upgrade trash cans, install benches, augment signage, make park improvements, increase public art and plant tree canopies on main thoroughfares.

The first services will be funded through the assessments collected, and the second through private donations.

Enhance La Jolla president Ed Witt said he was “very excited to see La Jolla MAD funds put in the budget” and that a public Enhance La Jolla meeting was being scheduled for the month of June at the La Jolla Library to discuss how they would proceed.

“We have a lot of work to do in the next few months … but we should begin the maintenance part of this venture in September or October,” he explained.

“For everyone within the District, the contract with the City clearly defines the baseline for the services the City will perform — which are the same as what they are doing today — and on top of that, there are the responsibilities of the District will be carried out by Enhance La Jolla.

<FZ,1,0,11>“The contract clearly defines what we can and cannot do. It’s important for La Jollans to know the money collected from them will be spent on services above and beyond what the City provide.”

In addition to the assessments, Enhance La Jolla can collect private donations to execute projects to benefit the community. Early ideas for projects include new and upgraded trash cans, benches, enhanced signage, traffic calming projects, park improvements, La Jolla Recreation Center improvements, tree canopies and public art.

In the next few months, the board and its general manager John Unbewust, will oversee the hiring of sub-contractors to carry out the work, so when the funding becomes available, contractors will be ready and plans in place.

Learn more by visiting enhancelajolla.org

Other Budget Updates

The Mayor’s Budget Revision also includes $150,000 for scooter and dockless mobility device corral painting, with sites currently being identified and prioritized based on impact and need; the addition of two program managers, one program coordinator and total expenditures of $420,106 to oversee the operations and delivery of programs and services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

For the Department of Park & Recreation, the May revision adds $626,000 in non-personnel expenditures to increase the frequency of brush abatement activity in high priority open-space areas citywide from 452 acres to 509 acres annually; and to add three park rangers and expenditures of $205,086 to support the Developed Regional Parks & Open Space Divisions to meet several key performance measures such as customer satisfaction with the park system and the amount of habitat restoration areas.

To read the budget in its entirety, visit sandiego.gov/finance/proposed <end_bug_diamond>