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Thanks for the vote(s) of confidence!
Voters have apparently approved formation of the proposed Village Green Metropolitan Park District by a 10 percent margin. This vote confers a significant personal responsibility on me, as a newly-elected MPD commissioner and someone who’s worked on the MPD idea since 2004.
I recognize that many people are opposed to new taxes, but opposition to this measure also arose from the difference between the need estimated by ballot measure proponents ($50 per household annually for the average-value home, or about 15 cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation) and the ballot measure language of up to 75 cents per thousand. I was highly uncomfortable with that ballot measure language, but measure proponents had one day to accept the language, or withdraw the ballot measure. We decided to go forward.
The five MPD commissioners will meet during 2011 to craft an operating budget for the new facility while the Village Green Foundation finds grants and other sources of construction money. (The operating budget will estimate costs of maintenance as well as running facility programs.) The budget submitted to the Assessor’s office will determine the property tax rate — which will not exceed 15 cents per thousand as estimated. The MPD tax won’t appear on our bills until 2012, giving the MPD a chance to accumulate an operating reserve while the building is constructed.
My personal commitment is to do whatever is necessary to stay within the originally stated $50 limit. That means that if we have to sacrifice program or building design elements, so be it. I view it as a binding budget — that’s all the money in the account, and spending more is not an option.
Now we can have a viable community center by 2013, supported by a lean, local, ongoing source of operating funds. I offer my thanks to the voters in the new District for their confidence in the MPD commissioners’ ability to keep the taxing rate low. What a great day for the community!