Dear Stetson Neighbors,
Those who really know me, know I am a “the cup is half full” guy, tonight was a victory. The City Manager, Alan Kapanicas and the now former Mayor, Roger Berg promised us tonight that the Stetson CFD payments will not be extended beyond our current maturity date, 2034. they assured us that would be “illegal”.
Mr. Kapanicas told us that the CFD payments for other areas were not extended but he didn’t go so far as to say that their debt hadn’t been increased, I know it has been. I have seen the resolutions passed by the City Council that associate thees new bonds with the other CFD areas. I will share them with anyone who want to see them. The Beaumont Finance Authority (your city council) has issued other Beaumont Finance Authority bonds associated with the refinancing of the Tournament Hills CFD bonds. These other bonds may not be paid directly by our Mello-Roos taxes but they have maturity dates thru 2043, ten years after the areas’ CFD payments are supposed to end.The BFA’s only source of revenue comes from our Mello-Roos taxes,
Where will the BFA get the money to continue these other bonds past the life of the Mello-Roos payments? Since the BFA’s only source of funds are from CFD Areas, new areas will need to be created and future home buyers will provide the revenue. It is clear to me that this can’t continue for very long, Beaumont needs to find another financing alternative, there are only so many homes that can be built in a bedroom community before you need to turn your focus on other tax revenue such as sales tax.
After Mr. Kapanicas and Mr. Berg assured us our payments won’t be extended, they tried to dismiss our petition by saying there was nothing more to discuss. I explained to them that we have followed the letter of the law and that there is a process described by state law that needs to be followed. We still need control over our future debt.
The Corman-Leigh agreement allows the BFA to issue more debt. The amount of our annual Mello-Roos payments was determined 10 years ago, long before the BFA knew how many bonds they would eventually issue.Our payments were calculated to cover much more debt than has been issued so far. If we can freeze the debt at the current level and we demand full accounting in our new agreement, the additional funds should build up a reserve fund. We need to be in charge of what happens with this reserve fund.
Other cities who have been good stewards of their citizen’s money have been able to use the reserve funds to retire some of the debt early or to give services and capital projects back to the communities paying the taxes. Maybe they could work on turning the lights over our mail boxes back on or improve the playground for our kids. How about some speed bumps on Morgan and North Deodar This is where our reserve funds should be used, not to pay for unchecked borrowing by the Beaumont Finance Authority.
After I told Mr. Kapanicas and the Council that they couldn’t dismiss our entire community without giving us our due process and following state law, I was told their attorneys would look into it and get back to us. The extension of our Mello-Roos payments was only one of the issues we asked the BFA to address tonight. I will keep you posted.
I want to thank those of you who were able to make it to the council tonight especially with the unusually early start. It is much easier for our public servants to dismiss one person they have labeled a detractor than more than a hundred families. Almost every one of you in Stetson has thanked me for making this effort but it is your support that will make it possible for us to take control of our agreement with the BFA.
This is only the beginning and I will be asking more of you in the future months. If you haven't already, please go to our StetsonCFD.org website and register for the newsletter and updates.