Opinion: Rossmoorgate Continues

Joyce Bloom

The Rossmoor community Services District was formed by a vote of the people of Rossmoor on Nov. 4, 1986. It is what is called a Special District.

The powers granted to the Rossmoor Community Services District were for the following purposes only:

1. Public recreation facilities and services.

2. Street lighting.

3. Installation and maintenance.

of median landscaping.

4. Aesthetic trimming of parkway trees.

5. Street sweeping.

In June 1988, the powers were expanded to include full maintenance of parkway trees. That added power was a deception. Our trees have not been aesthetically trimmed since. But more on trees in another Rossmoorgate.

6. In 1996, building and maintenance of The Rossmoor Wall was added.

I attended the Rossmoor Community Services District meeting on Dec. 14, to give them some input about their ordinance that will allow them to charge you $50 for little ad hoc meetings that they would empower themselves to attend and $100 per meeting for anything that they call “a day of service.”

Having been a RCSD board member for over eight years, I did not think that kind of increase in payment was justified and tried to tell them so.

The Landscaping contract came up on the agenda. They did not increase the payment to our landscaping contractors. What irony!

That’s our RCSD!

Rossmoor could use someone like Julian Assange. The RCSD is reluctant to be informative about what they are doing and they certainly want to limit the input from the citizens they are supposed to serve.

For instance, they have a three-minute rule. You may only address them for three minutes on an agenda item and you must wait until the item comes up and sometimes that is a long wait.

On the night I attended, prior to the Public meeting, they had invited the gas company’s Queen of the Powerpoint to inform the audience about state of gas pipes. Gas pipes are not related to the powers granted the RCSD. Easily 20 minutes until they got to their agendized items.

You would think that they would want more information, not less.

One of the items on the agenda on Dec. 14 was the Reserve account for the Rush Bond issue. It seems their “financial consultant” suggested that they invest the $335,000 of the Rush Park Reserve account in some notes that paid .035 percent for two years.

Folks, that is less than 1 percent.

They were seriously considering doing just that when someone in the audience shouted out that Treasury Bonds were paying over 3 percent interest. (That was me.) Couldn’t explain to the financially challenged Investment Committee that they should anticipate a rise in interest rates and only invest in short term investments at his time. General Manager Henry Taboada, who knows about serious money ($176,000 pension from the city of Long Beach), was not much help. The board finally decided to invest the money for one year at the 0.35 percent rate.

And yes, they did approve for the first reading the Ordinance that will give them the ability to charge you for extra meetings. Second reading is on Jan. 11, 2011. Guess what? They changed the regular meeting to 6 p.m. so that most of the public will be eating dinner and they won’t have to listen to you for three minutes.

Wikileaks, where are you?

Joyce Bloom is a longtime resident of Rossmoor.