Regarding your article "new La Mesa Village Association has big ideas for revitalizing city's historic heart"
By Peter Carzis, Owner, Peter’s Gentlemen’s Apparel
Editor's note: Aaron Dean, chair of the new LMVA, spoke with ECM and provided his responses to concerns raised by Carzis and others. You can read his remarks here.
October 14,2016 (La Mesa)--I attended the first meeting of this new group. They said they want this group to be a "fresh start" in the village, but yet they boast four Founding Members who are officers and directors of the "old" group that owes the taxpayers and the City of La Mesa $47,900.50. (Per the city clerk, this amount was turned over to collection and none of the debt has been repaid as of today.)
The website of the NEW Group says, "These business owners have given their time and money to help start this association as a Founding Members." Why didn't these for "Founding Members" give the collection agency that is trying to collect taxpayers money, the combined money they paid for dues to that collection agency? That would help offset the financial burden on the taxpayers, the city of La Mesa and the added embarrassment to the Mayor and City Council for approving such a ridiculous "loan." It seems to me true business leaders have some type of obligation to make good on an agreement to our local government.
This group appears to be just a recycle of some of the same people that were in leadership of the group showing the taxpayers and the city almost $48,000 from last year. Also this membership and "Founding Member" level, provides these four people future access to this "new" group, the money from annual dues (that they want people to pay to belong) and the possibility to run this "new" group at some point in time. This "new" group will have elections for leaders, like all 501(c)6 organizations must have, within the state of California. What stops these four people from running for an office in the future? Nothing! Here we go again!
These people were responsible, signed an agreement and made a promise to the City Of La Mesa, the mayor and city Council, and did not live up to that agreement. This agreement left the taxpayers of the city short–changed to the tune of almost $50k. What a total embarrassment to the city leadership, for the Mayor and City Council! The signed agreement could not protect our city or our money!
What have these four “Founding Members" of the old organization done to pay back the $50k? Have they held fundraisers? Have they held any public activity with in the village to raise the $50k to pay back? The answer is nothing. The final embarrassment from the old Association for the Mayor and City Council is to have to turn the $50k debt over to a collection agency. I wonder if any other city in our region has the distinction of this embarrassment? Probably not! What a waste of public funds.
I say this group with some good intentions is the same "wolf in sheep's clothing." They will talk a good game, at some point in time the same "old "people will be in power and in the end, could be another total disappointment. Also this "new" nonprofit should not expect any public money – not from the City Of La Mesa and the taxpayer. They should do what other nonprofit organizations do, raise it themselves and stand on their own two feet! I plan to keep my money in my hands and be responsible for my own business.
The opinions in this editorial reflect the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. To submit an editorial for consideration, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.