Whether or not property owners in County Service Area 36 participate in local recreation programs conducted by the county or stand under the occasional streetlight to appreciate its illumination, they are paying for both.

Each year, CSA 36 property owners are billed $35 as part of their property taxes to fund both recreation and streetlights. That amounts to about $125,000 a year to conduct and maintain both elements that CSA 36 is charged to administer. Also, prior to Prop 13, special districts received and continue to receive a portion of county property taxes. For CSA 36, that amounts to another $67,000, bringing the total annual CSA 36 budget to nearly $200,000. That is the budget a CSA 36 Advisory Council could review and comment on.

For many years, the CSA 36 Advisory Council had been active, appointed by the 3rd District county supervisor to advise him or her on the conduct of local recreation and the condition and maintenance of streetlights within the district. It gave locals an opportunity to review recreation budgets, allocations and programs, and make requests of county officials for more recreation programs. County officials were mandated to attend these meetings, give reports, and respond to requests and inquiries.

For the last two years, there has been no local council. Even when the council met, it often met and recessed because of lack of quorum of the five-member group. Often, few district residents attended.

Recently, there has been loud and vocal criticism of the county’s conduct and management of local recreation. Nevertheless, when the call went out to repopulate a local advisory council, few in the community and none of the vocal opponents stepped up to volunteer to sit on the council. The window for applications is scheduled to close the end of December, although Opal Hellweg, 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington’s legislative assistant, said she would extend the deadline, if needed.

The council presents an opportunity to participate in how tax dollars are being spent — taxation with representation.

Download applications at http://rivcodistrict3.org or contact Hellweg at 951-955-1030 or [email protected].