RE: March 27, “Vista fills $6M gap in budget”
Your lead articles for two consecutive weeks have discussed the financial crisis in the city of Vista and the sad cutbacks in jobs and services. What you haven’t mentioned is that despite predictable declines in property tax revenues, City Council lent $5.5 million from the general fund to their pet project redevelopment program in October. The CDC used that money to buy vacant lots around the city without any plans to develop them in the foreseeable future. Terms of the loan were an outrage — no interest or principal payments for 30 years and an interest rate equivalent to the two-year Treasury, currently 0.9 percent. This kind of mismanagement of public funds has done irreparable harm to the city and is a disservice to its residents. The Sheriff’s office may be understaffed, the Fire Department may be financially pinched, the parks might be dirty and poorly kept, and maybe we don’t have enough Code Enforcement personnel to enforce the law, but we surely have a lot of vacant lots. Don’t like it? Go to a City Council meeting and you can speak for three minutes to deaf ears.