Last, the Council unanimously chose the Encinitas Arts, Culture and Ecology Alliance as the proposed operator for the former Pacific View School site, which the Council purchased in March 2014. We also learned that unfortunately it would take about an additional $4 million to prepare the site for occupancy. While I opposed the $10-million purchase price for Pacific View because the appraised value of the property was only $3.3 million, now that we own the property we must consider the best future use that will enrich our community.Shaffer's newsletter response:
We must move forward with the challenge of raising the $4 million dollars needed to renovate the existing facilities and offset the current approximately $70,000 per month in debt service to repay the bonds used to acquire the property. I commend Garth Murphy and his entire team for pulling together a diverse community coalition, including, but not limited to the band, Switchfoot, and Rob Machado, whose activism and foundation work have touched the lives of many Encinitans. I look forward to helping the Encinitas Arts, Culture and Ecology Alliance clear the high hurdles in front of them.
First, I feel compelled to offer some clarification in response to recently published commentary by the mayor regarding Pacific View. She wrote that "it would take about an additional $4 million to prepare the site for occupancy." This is not true. The architect hired by the city presented a plan to rehabilitate the building in several configurations, the most expensive of which was close to $4 million. However, the Encinitas Arts, Culture, and Ecology Alliance (EACEA), who we unanimously selected to move forward in developing an operating plan and agreement with the City, has its own architect and plans, which are much less expensive and will be financed by the Alliance. The financing costs for purchasing the property are already incorporated into the City's operating budget (which, by the way, has a handsome surplus this year, as it did last year). EACEA will be presenting its fund-raising plans and financial strategy soon, and I have no doubt that the community-based coalition will be successful in creating a vibrant and innovative space that will benefit the entire City for years to come.So, Lisa, if city finances are so great, what was that whole sales tax increase thing about? You've still never explained that. And why are you still underfunding road maintenance according to your own consultant?
The record is clear that Mayor Gaspar opposed the purchase of the property at the price that the school district was willing to accept. She lost that vote, and like all of us, is bound by the decision of the majority. So it would be nice if we could move on without having to rehash that decision. It's done. The bonds were issued and the site activation is underway. Let's work together to make the EACEA proposal a success.