New, Slimmer PBID Has A Coming Out

LA MESA -- La Mesa got its first glimpse at a pared down Property Based Improvement District that proponents of the effort hope will answer opponents' objections and finally win property owner approval.

In a 90 minute meeting, the PBID supporters approved new boundaries that now will adhere strictly to the portion of La Mesa Boulevard being redeveloped by the city and a few side streets.

The new boundaries exclude all churches, all residential property, most of the city's properties and, perhaps coincidentally, the property that is home to one of the PBID's chief critics.

Bill Jaynes, who runs All Things Bright and British, finds his establishment now located outside the new, tighter PBID zone.

Jaynes showed up at last night's meeting at the First Baptist Church of La Mesa wearing a "No PBID" sticker on his shirt and was told he needed to remove the sticker because it was in violation of the church's no politics policy. Jaynes refused and left, but Deena While, another strong PBID critic, stayed through the meeting and spoke favorably about what she was hearing.

"I like what I'm seeing so far,'' While said. "I think it is good to start small and then grow it.''

"Small" is the key word there. The new PBID zones were clearly drawn to answer critics of the bolder PBID that would have extended through three zones and encompassed the Vons Center, Sprouts, La Mesa Lumber and all of the city's Civic Center. The new, PBID-Lite, is less than half the size and excludes all residential property and virtually all areas not directly part of what might be called the La Mesa Boulevard sphere of influence.

The new PBID's eastern boundary would be 4th Street and would extend west to Acacia, extending north and south of La Mesa Boulevard only to Lemon and Allison and only the southern side of Allison.

"We want to stick strictly to the area that will be effected by the city's streetscape project,'' said Lynn McRea, the Village accountant who heads the PBID committee.

McRea acknowledges the leaner PBID would generate fewer fees to fuel the committee's ambitions, but she said she believes there will still be enough income to go beyond simple maintenance.

"We are committed to professional management,'' McRea said. "This is about putting this little village on the map, taking it up a notch.''

La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid, who also attended Monday's meeting, spoke in favor of professional management of the Village endeavors. "A PBID can't be run by a committee,'' Madrid said. "It has to be run by a professional and it can't be done on a shoe-string.''

But with a scaled back footprint, it is clear there will be fewer property owners to fund the new organization, though McRea believes professionally run events and marketing efforts can generate more income to support the PBID efforts beyond the assessments for local properties.

McRea's PBID committee will meet every Monday in July to begin rebuilding a budget and will determine the eventual assessments landowners will be asked to approve in establishing a PBID.

The new boundaries, which were approved by a unanimous vote on Tuesday, will be used to begin a new petition process in which a majority of property owners will need to approve the concept before it can go to a formal balloting process.

Eventually, if the Village property owners agree to the PBID, the City Council will be asked to approve the establishment of what is essentially a property-owner imposed special assessment that will force all land owners within the district to contribute to a budget for extra maintenance, security and marketing. Over the next few weeks, the committee will be revisiting how much money they hope to raise through these assessments for those purposes.

The last PBID effort ran into election-year opposition when opponents described it as a tax and fomented opposition among property owners, churches and some business owners who have been struggling in a difficult retail environment.

The new, smaller version, was clearly designed to answer the critics and focus on the core business district, which is about to undergo a major streetscape facelift.

With the city and some of the downtown area's largest property owners clearly no longer major players, the new PBID will also be able to answer critics who claimed the large property owners had undue influence in the process. But without those large property owners, including the City of La Mesa itself, the new PBID may find over the next few weeks that it is harder to raise significant funds from smaller businesses.

It is also unknown how the new, leaner PBID will play to critics in the community and on the City Council who came to see the original plan as too big and certainly too politically sensitive to support.

After Monday's meeting Jaynes and While were seen meeting outside his now-excluded business, looking at the new PBID map and trying to devise a response.

"I'm not ready to talk yet,'' Jaynes said. "I need to look at this.''






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Tags: 4th Street, Acacia, All Things Bright and British, Art Madrid, Bill Jaynes, City of La Mesa, Civic Center, Deena While, First Baptist Church, Jaynes, More…La Mesa, La Mesa Boulevard, La Mesa Lumber, La Mesa Mayor, La Mesa Today, La Mesa Village, La Mesa news, La Mesa newspaper, Madrid, PBID, Property Based Improvement District, Sprouts, The Village, Vons Center, lynn McRea


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Comment by Marie McLaughlin on July 3, 2013 at 1:29pm

No surprise that the Village bully would push his weight around. 

So Zones 2 and 3 would be eliminated. That makes me feel so much better knowing that my assessment would likely still be the full amount averaging $4000 annually while a business on the opposite side of the street would pay $0...(sarcasm)!   Although I'm pleased to learn that churches would now be exempt, I'm presuming there would be no relief for some of us who are disputing unfair assessments.  PBID Lite is not good news to many of us retailers and restaurants who rely on larger square footage to earn a living for ourselves and our employees.  The PBID effort seems to be attempting to drive out the very businesses that are bringing in the most sales tax revenue.

Wouldn't it be more fair if property values entered into the mix in determining assessments?  It seems that lack of property tax collection and too few retail businesses is a bigger revenue stream problem for our Village.  Maybe the PBID committee and the city council should address these problems!

Comment by Mark Cavanaugh on July 3, 2013 at 9:29am

Oh cmon people. It's just Jim being Jim. Remember, he once publicly called Bill a two bit Chocolatier and Deena a Bankrupt bookseller, This all coming from someone who aspired to be a city councilman. This is the guy heading up a movement to increase people's property taxes even more?  Now add to that he directs the PBID meeting to be held at his church so he can further control the process and attendees?  Art, you must be so proud of your protege.  He has learned the politics of destruction from the best.  Unfortunately, he has also developed the same terrible reputation for bully tactics that are going to backfire and turn people off.  Sometimes, we vote more for who we don't like versus what we don't like.

Comment by chris shea on July 2, 2013 at 1:18pm

How on earth does someone wearing an anti-PBID sticker constitute politicking?  Unless the only people who were invited to the meeting were supporters of the PBID it seems perfectly logical that there would be attendees who are not on board.  Was the Baptist Church hosting the meeting or was the Baptist Church merely the venue of the meeting?  What if I had shown up wearing an EQUALITY button or a Remember Harvey Milk pin?  They could be construed as political I suppose, politicking on an unrelated topic.  Would I have been asked to remove them?   If so, I guess I'd have been hanging out with my friend Bill Jaynes.  

Comment by Bill Jaynes on July 2, 2013 at 12:45pm

Let's leave Jim's church out of it. There are plenty enough policy implications as it is, including when will the Council ever pull the plug and put PBID out of our misery? I can't see any reason that another dime of public money should flow to the benefit of the Team.

It is time for us to seek our own direction from Council, and begin working on the nuts and bolts of alternative mechanisms, from meter money to maintenance districts, and everything in between. Herewith we reactivate "A Village United", the grassroots group of stakeholders seeking true compromise and reasonable solutions to the issues facing our long neglected Downtown.

Anyone is welcome. Let's figure out a time to get together to brainstorm, and I'll send invitations to the Council so they can each be fully apprised of our efforts.

In the meantime, stop by on July 4th to celebrate our freedoms with us. Say "Save Our Village: No PBID" and tea's on us! (Tea is metaphorical. Some restrictions apply.)

Bill Jaynes


(family owned and operated at the same location in the heart of the Village and outside the PBID for over 25 years)

8401 La Mesa Blvd.

619 464 2298

Comment by David Stanley on July 2, 2013 at 11:42am

I have followed this issue loosely for quite some time now and nothing to date has altered my own view. A small group seems to feel it is able to grab a small portion of the Village and force sucker business people to pony up "tax" money to pay for their scheme. A Major, bumblng at best, makes announcements about committees and professionals all the while seemingly part of the scheme. And then there is that boob Weiboldt. At the best of times he seems to be a blustering blowhard and at the worst of times wont to push his "political weight" about, like forcing a dissenter from a political meeting on the grounds that the facility, a church, does not allow politics. ????? Does this seem, feel, sound and appear to the actions of a blowhard politician to you? Certainly does to me. I have followed many of his comments here in the past and each reflect this appearance as well. Am I wrong? Have I unjustly characterized this poor, well meaning civil servant? When he 'Jabbed a finger" at the wee card of dissent on Mr. Jaynes and announced, Senator Foghorn-style, "That has to go!" despite the overwhelming fact that the entire meeting was political, does this appear Naziesque in attitude and action to anyone apart from me? Of course, supporters of "Lets tax the suckers whilst we have a chance" PBID group will strongly deny any political foundation for the meeting but what else was it?

Comment by Scott H. Kidwell on July 2, 2013 at 10:33am

Is this about right?

An open and public meeting is called for by the La Mesa PBID formation committee in a local church.
The PBID is a political issue. This makes the church a public facility opened up for politicking; at least on this issue!
One of the formation committee members happens to be an  officer of the church where the public meeting is being held this time.

This same church officer ejects a member of the public, known for PBID opposition, for voicing his opinion by the wearing of a sticker on his shirt. The reason claimed for the ejection is a "No politicking rule" in the church.
This same church officer does not eject another member of the public, known for PBID opposition, for orally voicing her opinion favorable of the new PBID zone make up. A long discussion is had about how to make this political proposition a reality.

This same officer of the church signed a document of PBID support, on behalf of this church, in a public meeting last year in another church meeting to promote the PBID.
Public funds are being used to promote the PBID.
The La Mesa Mayor was in attendance at the meeting and offered no support for the rights of the ejectee to speak.
The PBID formation committee member who invited the ejectee to the meeting was in attendance and offered no support of the ejectee to speak.

So what we have:

Public funds and resources are again being used to support one side of a political argument.

One public official that will be voting in the future on the issue has already publicly taken a position without a formal hearing and is actively engaged in this political endeavor. The issue will affect the lives, finances and business viability of those in the PBID zone.

A church opens for a public political discussion and then ejects one who does not subscribe to the official church position on the political issue.

Comment by Bill Jaynes on July 2, 2013 at 7:48am

So now I'm supposed to ditch my friends because TeamPBID has (temporarily) carved me out? :)

Let's be clear about what happened last night.

I was invited by the Chair of the PBID "Action" Committee--which Committee was the recent beneficiary of yet more public largesse when it was voted to waste more meter money on the project engineer who midwifed the last debacle--to attend what was billed as a public meeting open to all.

Instead of listening to the new plan, and being listened to, this stakeholder was approached by Parking Commissioner Wieboldt, who jabbed a finger in the direction of my 4" x 6" sticker and told me "That has to go." I replied "It stays, or I go," at which point Mr. Wieboldt escorted me to the door, all the while proclaiming that he was enforcing a rule against "politicking in churches."

And yet the pro-PBID advocates freely expressed their views for an hour and a half without complaint.

This action had nothing to do with the church itself and should not reflect upon it. The issue is, quite simply, one of viewpoint discrimination by an organization receiving/benefitting from the expenditure of public funds from the City of La Mesa. If I couldn't wear a small sticker declaring my opposition to the then current form of PBID, then I certainly have no faith that I would have been allowed to voice a contrary thought either.

If that's the case, then why bother inviting the critics? There's only one reason--to serve as window dressing for the new, "improved" PBID process (the "P" stands for "Potemkin), and the cabal hoping to mollify the City Council long enough to breathe life back into this charade.

A PBID, dependent as it is on property size in determining assessments, is simply the wrong mechanism for the Village. "PBID lite" replicates the original problem of a few properties being able to control the many, as an inspection of the parcels adjoining Spring Street will show. Of course, some may see that as a feature and not a bug. How else to explain the retention of the old Police Station site in the new plan? (Actually, there is another reason for that, to be discussed at a future date.)

"Professional management" is the current watchphrase. Expect every supposed mistake the Merchants Association ever made to be be dredged back up, every disagreement with the politicos to be magnified and distorted beyond recognition to further Art's crusade to destroy this volunteer organization. We already know from emails disgorged under the Public Records Act that he and City Staff are kept "in the loop" regarding every petty, harassing demand designed to hobble the association that currently puts on the Oktoberfest, Car Show, Antique Street Fair, and Christmas in the Village.

I think the request for help watering the flowers--made one time at the depth of the 2008 global  financial collapse--has been beaten to death in Art's war against the Merchants. Instead, expect more pot-stirring over the July 11 start date of the Car Show this year, because heaven knows PBID's fantastical professional managers won't be beholden to mere market dynamics. The trains (and cars) will run on time.

And nobody should have any illusions about the events that PBID "lite" will have to put on if it is to keep assessments down. It's time to start the over/under pool for when the first rumblings will surface regarding simply stealing the existing events rather than building from scratch. Maybe we'll even hear about the possible return of the Farmer's Market that was spirited away to a vacant lot ouside the Village two summers ago, ostensibly to make room for staging equipment for Streetscape repairs that are at best still a half year away. Too bad the businesses that were crippled when our "partner" made this unilateral decision won't be around to see it.

Bill Jaynes


8401 La Mesa Blvd.

619 464 2298

Comment by Marie McLaughlin on July 2, 2013 at 1:20am

The PBID Lite zone will cover Lemon and only the southern part of Alison?  So only shops on one side of the street have the "privilege" of paying PBID assessments?  Does that mean only one side of the street will be newly paved and sidewalked?  "Madrid said. "It (PBID) has to be run by a professional and it can't be done on a shoe-string.''  I'm wondering if the mayor has a professional already in mind to be rewarded with this proposed endowment.  Most of us businesses not on La Mesa Blvd are not supportive of the PBID effort (unless benefiting from city contracts), since we aren't likely to receive equal benefit.  Many restaurants and retailers on La Mesa Blvd. are in opposition as well, so even a PBID Lite will have difficulty garnering support.

Comment by David Smyle on July 2, 2013 at 12:00am

So let's see?  Smaller footprint, less fees = what kind of budget?  When is the Committee going to make that public?  More importantly, read the writing on the wall.  The merchants association is going away in favor of a "professionally run" PBID administrator that can't be done on a shoe string budget at a salary of  ????  Rumor has it Jimbo and the Mayor have already picked out their favorita to run the new organization.  Can't wait to see the new budget.  This is still a bad deal.  A BID is the only way to go on this type of program where the businesses decide, not the property owners and the City ought to be throwing more parking meter money into this thing.

Since the Mayor is on the Committee, maybe he should be reporting to the Council under Committee reports with all the data that has continually been hidden from the Council and public such as the current ballot status.  The amazing thing here is the Mayor, a sitting and active member of the PBID committee is able to vote on the PBID itself and not recues himself.  Excuse me but does anyone else here see the conflict of interest?

The Church's no politics policy?  Are you kidding me?  If the Church didn't want to be involved in politics, it should not have hosted a public meeting on a political issue on its property and it should not have on it Board a politico like Jim Wieboldt constantly promoting the PBID to its members which I am sure he does on a regular basis.  So much for freedom of speech or in this case freedom of wearing a no PBID sticker like that was going to hurt anyone.  One more reason to vote this down given the Wieboldt bully tactics.  They couldn't have held this meeting elsewhere?  Wasn't it Jim who went before the Church members on Church property convincing them to vote yes on the PBID?  Wasn't that political?

Kill this two headed monster now.  I think I hear the fat lady singing.

Comment by william adams on July 1, 2013 at 11:42pm

Has the PBID group reached out to Marco Limandri, New City America?  I highly recommend him.  No one in the country has more experience with BIDs, PBIDs, and CBDs.  One need only look as far as San Diego's Little Italy to see the quality of his work.  Maybe the prior fiasco could have been avoided, and potentially fiascoes yet to come.  La Mesa Village is so special, it would be nice to see it live up to its potential. 

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