When Cathedral City divided into five districts for voting purposes, I really did not know what effect it would have on the city as a whole, to my responsibilities to the residents in my district, as well as the other four districts. It has been a lesson in park assessment, maintenance, fees, and more.
I noticed that after a few weeks that I was directing most of my attention to my district. I drive and look at the condition of the neighborhoods, the streets, businesses, and schools. There are five schools in District 3, which means there are a lot of children coming and going on a daily basis.
The thought of that immediately made me understand the need for more traffic control in those areas. Of course I was interested before, but it stood out when I took a closer look.
And, I thought, “Hey, this is not so bad; if the other Council members study their districts closely as well, it will bring continuity to our neighborhoods.”
Imagine if all Council members act accordingly and we work together collectively as one unit, while still focusing on our own districts. Cathedral City will be the best place to live, work and play.
I asked a few local District 3 residents who live in the Century Park neighborhood what they would like fixed. I was told the park tax assessment paid annually by all homeowners is a burden. Homeowners in the Panorama Park area have an extra assessment for maintenance of their park.
I looked into the tax assessment for maintenance, watering, and lighting and learned that the Parks and Recreation Department was closed in 2003 when Cathedral City was, for lack of a better word, struggling. This assessment was voted on by the residents to keep Century Park and Panorama Park maintained. Unfortunately, Century Park homeowners pay close to $270 a year due to the size of their neighborhood (599 homes).
Panorama Park residents pay less because there are more than 2,300 homes in that area. It is 2018 and the assessments continue because there is no sunset clause. The assessments could go on indefinitely.
I believe it is time for Council members to bring this fee to an end. I am bringing the issue forward to Council for closure. I believe it is not fair that the cost of park maintenance for these two specific parks should be borne by specific homeowners in the area.
Parks are public spaces and are used by anyone who chooses. Parks have no borders or districts — they are there for all to enjoy, whether one lives in Cathedral City, is a visitor, or lives elsewhere in the Coachella Valley.
These costs must be shared equally and fairly. I am asking you for your support in ending this park fee.