I am saddened to report Mr. Jim De Bree’s column, “We Need Streetlight Enlightenment” (Jan. 15), is factually incorrect.
Santa Clarita has two separate streetlight zones, and they are funded differently. One can read the engineers report to understand the difference.
The city is in violation of Proposition 218 for not managing and reporting the two zones separately. All property owners are not required to pay the same rate under Proposition 218, instead they pay a weighted amount based on special benefit per category of development unit. The $12 and $81 amounts are maximum assessment rates, not a universal rate.
This recent city ballot quietly attempted to consolidate the two streetlight districts, by having multiple districts vote on a multitude of items. Each zone should have voted on their issue separately.
The city needs to fix their reporting and management process before trying to make any further changes by ballot. But what they can do, is give the landscape maintenance district property owners the reduction staff claimed was appropriate. The reduction can be provided by the council, without a vote of the property owners, because the vote was based on changing the maximum assessment rate. Changing the rate charged, if below the maximum rate, does not require a vote of property owners affected.