I attended today's EL Cajon Council meeting and I have to say I believe they acted hastily in awarding a $40,000 loan to the CDC to keep it functioning through October. There is a transition taking place in the El Cajon Downtown development that a new body (PBID) is taking over development and revitalization responsibilities from the CDC. I don't pretend to know all the specifics involved in the transition but I do know it is a step in the right direction. The CDC was mismanaged and had questionable accounting practices.
The scenario in today's council meeting goes like this- A gentleman (did not catch his name but council knows him and he has been involved in some previous CDC activities and hopes to be involved in the new PBID committee) speaks on behalf of the CDC stating that they have  zero money to continue until the end of the year (when the transfer of responsibilities is supposed to come to fruition). Without a loan to continue ($80K to the end of the year or $40K to get through October) they will have to discontinue all the downtown events (car shows and free concerts) that are scheduled. The gentleman states that he has looked through there books and made cuts but this is the bottom line for funds needed. The Council seems to be ready to give the money without any further research but the City Attorney cautions the council that they may take years to get repaid (if it ever happens) but would be when assets (land parcels) are auctioned off. Also, the City Manager reminds the council that they only have $33K in the reserve fund. The council does not heed any warnings and allocates all $33K for the loan with another $7K to be found through making cuts else where. Although this may indeed be ultimately the right decision, In my opinion it was made in haste. I believe there should have been a bigger challenge to handing over the money and depleting the reserve funds until July of 2012. Bill Wells did voice an opinion to give $25K initially but relented and gave the green light of approval for the $40K. I would have allocated $20K initially, asked to look at the books, and suggested the remaining funds come from donations by businesses which could include monetary donations or prizes for a raffle to be held at the car show. Then reassess the situation at the first council meeting in October. In my opinion I don't feel the council is fighting hard enough to save the city funds yet they want to increase our waste-water rate ( more to come in a separate blog on that topic). The only way the residents of this fine city can make there voices heard is make a change in 2012.

Vote for Duane Swainston in 2012 to challenge spending, taxes, and rate increases.