Pine Cove Property Owners Association members were treated to the presence of Pete and Suzon Caparelli, Diane Cardinalli and a handful of others [Saturday, Feb. 1]. They presented a computer fly-through of the multi-story Idyllwild Community Center facility and ampitheater. This was phase 1.

It had a great room entrance, an art gallery, teen center, commercial kitchen/eating facility, meeting room, very large multi-story deck, ampitheater and control room. They told us it was totally privately funded and that there would be no government oversight.

The presentation then ended with the bold statement it was now our moment. I felt like I was in a timeshare presentation with no idea how much it was going to cost but that to be part of the in crowd I should step up and do my part.

I wanted to ask what recreation took place at the facility but instead asked what the construction costs, startup cost and the annual phase 1, 2 and 3 operations/maintenance cost projections were. They said they didn’t know and that it didn’t matter because the benefactors would cover the cost for 10 years.

Then Pete said they wanted CSA 36 recreation property tax dollars to run/maintain the facility but that there could be no government oversight of this property tax money. Hmm.

Had this been a totally funded private project, taxpayers would have no say other than how the center impacts the community and residents during the planning process; at least that’s what they pushed off on us for the past few years.

CSA 36 takes in $180,000 in recreation property taxes annually with explicit restrictions on spending the money unless the taxpayers vote otherwise, a highly unlikely proposition.

You can be certain that I will require government oversight of any property tax money given to a non-membership company to the point of a grand jury.

Jeff Smith
Pine Cove