Taxpayers Should Decide Remaining Mello-Roos Funds

What will the Antioch City Council do now that it has the authority to decide what to do with the $2 million of Mello-Roos money left after construction of the combination Community Center, police substation and library on Lone Tree Way? The windfall was a result of a competitive bidding climate in the ongoing nationwide economic slowdown.

Before passing the baton to the council, the Antioch Mello-Roos Board, consisting of two Antioch Unified School District representatives, two city council representatives and three members of the community appointed by the other four board members (none required to actually live in the Mello Roos District), recently held two public meetings soliciting citizen input as to what to do with the money. Public input was also solicited via the Antioch Herald online survey.

Thirty-three percent of respondents said the money should be returned to shorten the payoff of the bond used to fund the construction, and 67 percent want the money spent on another public project, which doesn’t surprise me. It’s just another example of why our country is in debt as taxpayers continue to elect the same old tax-and-spend legislators.

I’m a long-term observer of the many games public entities play with taxpayer funds in addition to pension spiking, e.g. management spotting leftover monies in a department’s budget towards year end and, rather than crediting the funds to next year’s projected budget, spending the money on a new project, which will incur future operational costs.

It’s not the Antioch City Council that should be making the decision in regard to the unexpected windfall. It’s the 11,400 Mello -Roos homeowners who were taxed to pay for the project who should do so.

5 Comments to “Taxpayers Should Decide Remaining Mello-Roos Funds”

  1. Allen Payton says:

    I have to disagree with you on this one.

    Since the beginning, 20% of the funds from the Mello-Roos district were always planned to be used on Prewett Park, including the water park and other amenities. The other 80% were used to help build schools in Antioch.

    Just because there was a cost savings in construction, doesn’t mean those funds should be returned to the taxpayers. They should be spent on completing the park based on the adopted plan or whatever the public wants, today.

    Yes, only some of the homeowners in Antioch are paying the tax. But those of us who have or are paying it agreed to do so when we bought our homes in the Mello-Roos district. So they in effect voted at that time.

    Every group of homeowners in Antioch, from the formation of our city have helped pay for something in town that others have benefited by.

    I support using the funds on building turf fields and a BMX park, next to the skate park, now that there’s an additional $300,000 left.

    While I would have rather seen the long-promised library and the actual park – with trees and other elements in the plans for the build-out of the park, what will get the most use for our kids and adults, too, will be the turf fields.

    So, it’s the decision of the City Council with input of all Antioch residents, regardless of whether or not they pay Mello-Roos.

    Beside, even if you gave the money back, it would pay off the bonds only one month earlier and the average Mello-Roos taxpayer would receive $155. It may pay your auto insurance or electricity bill that month, but the commitment was to pay the entire assessment and finish the regional park for the benefit of all Antioch residents. That commitment needs to be fulfilled.

    Allen Payton

  2. Allen Payton says:

    And it’s not the same thing as the overspending in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento. The money being spent on Prewett Park was a fixed amount. The $2 million is part of that $50 million.

  3. Bob Driskell says:

    Turf, synthetic surfaces are problematic at best. A health hazard at worst, for those playing on it (OUR CHILDREN)!!! Do something with the $2m that will reduce the continuing demand from the “general fund”. Aternative energy – solar power will reduce operational costs at ‘Prewett’. Signifigant savings will be realized over the projected, twenty plus year life cycle of photovoltics based on current designs and actual experience with older systems still in use for over thirty years.


    • Publisher says:

      Please elaborate on the health risks playing on turf fields. The health risks I’ve heard about now are the leg injuries sustained from playing on uneven fields of natural grass with all their holes. However, I’m now looking into it and see a variety of studies with pros and cons on both sides.
      Thanks for sharing. I believe the Council should form a task force to look into the matter further and make a recommendation based on their findings.
      Allen Payton

  4. dotherightthing says:

    If the return of $115 is accurate that would come back to every Mello Roos taxpayer from this fund, then I agree to use it somewhere that will be beneficial to giving youth, especially middleschool and highschool age something to do.

    I have observed the skatepark, brought my grandson there. We left, it was dirty, had some teens that were not really skating and sure were not friendly. There were no adults around and it is out in the hot, hot sun.

    I’m not sure what a BMX park is, but it sounds like it could be noisy. How about publishing a reminder of what was origionally planned there. Some of us inherited the mello roos taxes when we purchased our homes.


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