Cameron Park CSD Community Center is Unsustainable - Opinion
JIM RIORDAN, May 21, 2012Opinion: I find it amusing that Mr. McNeil finds Gerald Lillpop "intimidating." I find Mr. Lillpop about as intimidating as a squeaky punching bag. I also find it amusing that one of the, in my opinion, CSD board stooges, Alan Clarke personally and on the record threatened to physically "throw me out" when I asked a hard question for which he had no answer. Remember that?
When I stood up and offered to let him try, he ran away and tried to leave the room like the coward he is, in my opinion, until Fred Smith made him sit back down. So I guess the board thinks it is OK for a board member to threaten to physically throw someone out, but it is not OK for a citizen to “threaten” to use political pressure (not physical violence) against the board. What a joke.
I may not always agree with Mr. Lillpop's demeanor, however, the points he made in his posting in response to your article are solid. I know that, since I have watched this CSD grow since the proposal was first placed on the ballot. I told the organizers at that time that the proposal was underfunded since it did not include proper staffing, maintenance personnel, supplies, and many other costs. There were no proper surveys done to see how much community usage there might be, only weak and incomplete comparisons with communities much different than ours.
No one listened. The actual statement made to me was, "Jim, we cannot put a higher cost number on the ballot since our survey of Cameron Park voters was that they would not pay any more than we are asking for . . . if we do, it will not pass." That was the irrational foundation of the mess we are now in.
Mr. Lillpop and others are perfectly within their rights to ask hard budgetary questions. I have asked them for years. Failure to get any articulate answers supported by financials, which I am completely capable of reviewing, is why I stopped attending these nonsense yelling matches called "meetings." It is my belief that this "Taj Mahal" is totally unsustainable.
The budget proposal of nearly $5 million is preposterous for this small community . . . and the thought of discontinuing paramedic services to help balance the budget makes me as angry as Mr. Lillpop. You now have a CPA who at least has a grasp of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or GAAP.
For a moment just take $5 million and break it down. Folks that is $96,153.85 revenue needed per week. Read that again: Per week. The several paltry $100,000 cuts proposed, including obtaining $100,000 from our Fire Department who has managed to save money only to have to give it to the CSD, would barely pay for a month of that budget. Who is going to pay for the rest? And you want to hire more people?
In retrospect it does not seem too bright to have moved staff into space in the new building that could have been used for more rental space in the CSD now does it? The trailers were cheap in comparison. This CSD board needs to address this budgetary shortfall in short order before it doubles.
And do not look at funding it on the back of the fire department or I will make you a promise. I will seek to put a proposal to a vote to sell the damn building just to get rid of the debt. I can tell you, you are not going to get it from us taxpayers. If you felt intimidated by Gerald, think about having a couple thousand Geralds all wanting to rid ourselves of this millstone before it sinks our fire department or paramedics. I warned the first board about this and all subsequent boards and yet the only time you are beginning to "get it" is when we put a CPA in. It's a bitch when the board can lie but the figures can't, isn't it?