PBID 'Not Dead' Proponents Say

LA MESA -- In the aftermath of Tuesday's City Council meeting, the proponents for establishing a Property Based Improvement District are not going quietly into the dark night.

Members of the PBID Steering Committee who have been collecting petitions met quickly after Tuesday's meeting and have scheduled a meeting for next week to plot strategies.

Lynn McRea (pictured right), who headed the PBID Steering Committee, said Mayor Art Madrid was premature in declaring the PBID effort dead.

"We are going forward,'' McRea said. "The (petition) Action Committee will meet to formalize the next step.''

The pro-PBID forces believe they can win the three council votes necessary by simply getting significantly closer to the required "50 percent plus one" level required for pushing the PBID effort to the next balloting phase. "The PBID is not dead,'' local merchant Jim Wieboldt said Wednesday. "We're moving ahead.''

McRea said she would be focusing on Councilman Ernie Ewin, whose statement's at Tuesday's meeting McRea said convinced her he seems opposed to the PBID effort.

Not true, Ewin said Wednesday morning. Ewin said he would be glad to meet with McRea or any other member of the pro-PBID forces. "I would be happy to meet,'' he said. "I have not been inaccessible to the pro-PBID forces but I am just careful not to (violate open meeting laws).''

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of Tuesday's meeting, the opponents of the PBID have been enjoying a victory lap in posting comments and analysis on LaMesaToday.com's report on the meeting. Most were glad to support Madrid's post-meeting assessment that the PBID effort had been killed by Tuesday's vote.

But with more time to assess the situation, Madrid himself is backing away from his first analysis.

"It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings,'' Madrid said Wednesday morning. "She may need to gain 84 pounds and she's got laryngitis, but she ain't dead yet.''

Madrid said he wrote a letter of praise to the pro-PBID members who talked at Tuesday's meeting for their professionalism and pledging his continued support for the effort.

It was clear Madrid, a 60-year-veteran of politics and campaigns, was strill bristling at Tuesday's votes. He said he believes Ewin is simply playing politics with the PBID, courting favor and plotting with his opponents in town in preparation for an eventual run for mayor in 2014.

Madrid said the lines were never more clear and he will not play out the next two years as a lameduck mayor.

"Hell yes I'm running,'' was Madrid's answer when asked if he intended to seek another term.

Ewin said Madrid is wrong to see politics motivating his approach to the PBID issue.

"I don't have in my head what Art has in his head,'' Ewin said. "He's just wrong. I haven't decided what I'm doing in 2014.''

Ewin said he consulted with no one in deciding how to handle the PBID issue.

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Tags: Art Madrid, Ernie Ewin, Government, La Mesa Today, La Mesa news, PBID, Property Based Improvement District


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Comment by Ian I Shiff on May 1, 2012 at 7:53am

Don - if a majority of business owners support the PBID, why can't the PBID get a majority of petitions back in support of the PBID? that's the central issue and Ernie is right - it's the democratic thing to do - you don't make decisions for all - if only a few are FOR the a move that will impact all. the only way the PBID lives on is if a true majority (without the city's support swaying the vote) turns in their petitions. I am for the revitalization of the village - but not at the expense of the shops that make the village charming. Art Madrid wants to see big box businesses in the village - he said it himself - where's the charm in that?

Comment by Don Wood on April 26, 2012 at 5:17pm

It seems a shame that a majority of the business owners in the Village support a PBID, but that's it's gotten bogged down in city council politics.

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