Tonight the Beaumont City Council rolls over for another developer and approves another new CFD(Mello-Roos) area this time with a twist. Also, the homeowners have renegotiated an agreement with the city regarding their CFD 2% annual agreement. The council approved the election for Four Seasons homeowners to approve the new agreement.
Last year when we complained about the 2% annual increase we all pay on our CFD fees, we were told by City Manager Alan Kapanicas that the annual increase keeps our initial payments lower and the increase was needed for administrative expenses and to retire the debt. The home owners of Four Seasons renegotiated their agreement with the city to remove the annual increase and now they will be voting to accept an additional 10 years of payments in order to eliminate the 2% increase.
The new CFD fees the Council approved tonight do not have an annual 2% increase and their payments will be constant. Council Member Castaldo focused on this and made big issue out of it and asked a lot of questions of Kapanicas. Then the council voted 5-0 to approve an election by the property owners to create the new area and the fees that come with it. Each property owner receives one vote per acre they own.
Immediately after the council approved the election, Mr. Kapanicas asked the City Clerk to report the results of the election from the mail in ballots they had already received from the property owners. Actually there was only one property owner, the home developer, and not surprisingly, the vote was 84-0 to enable the developer to avoid any capital investment in our community. The developer, with the help of our city council have shifted the burden on to our future neighbors.
Not one of the council members showed any concern that the higher interest rates the new home buyers will pay on the Mello-Roos bonds will make it more expensive in the long run. If the developer made the initial investment for the infrastructure and then passed the costs on to the home buyers with higher home prices they will be able to qualify for a higher mortgage at a lower interest cost. Not one of the council members seem to care that there move tonight will continue to suppress all of our home values.
Mr. Kapanicas has a new meme he likes to promote, everyone must pay their "fair share". He mentioned these words at least a dozen times tonight. The first time I remember seeing this meme come up was in the city's response letter to the Stetson Homeowners request to renegotiate our agreement with the city. The city manager has no legal argument for using our CFD fees on city wide improvements. These improvements should be everybody's fair share. Instead, he is trying to make those of us who want to hold them accountable to the Mello-Roos laws feel shame for not wanting to pay our "fair share". I am sure this meme will come up in the State of The City Luncheon and throughout the three incumbents' upcoming re-election campaigns.
Even though the council members always tell us how proud they are of the city they have built, not one of them showed any pride in their city tonight. When they run for re-election and start telling us how wonderful the city they and their consultants have built, ask them why they aren't proud enough to demand developers invest in our city instead of sticking it to our future neighbors? Ask them, if they are so proud of our city why the developers are the only ones who don't have to pay their fair share.? And, ask them how any of their actions will help to increase our home values?
None of them will be able to tell you because they know in their hearts they aren't doing what's in our best interest. They are continuing this punitive strategy because their staff is telling them the only way they can fund the growth of our city is by making only new residents pay their fair share. I won't be encouraging any one I know to move their family here until they stop creating new CFD areas.