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Santa Ana's New Fees Will Maintain Services

June 15, 2003

Re "Santa Ana Asks Landowners for Help," June 8:

Santa Ana is the largest city in Orange County. It is more than 110 years old, yet its population is the youngest in America. It has urban characteristics that need to be embraced, like its historic downtown. It has overcrowded schools and well-worn streets.

Like many of the state's larger and older cities, Santa Ana has seen a near doubling of its residents in the last two decades, while witnessing a dramatic decrease in funding from Sacramento.

I applaud the Santa Ana City Council's courage in advocating an assessment district to solve the budget deficit while not lowering important services that directly affect property values and quality-of-life standards.

As a 20-year resident, a neighborhood association leader and property owner, I expect my government officials to find solutions to our community concerns. I want safe and clean park facilities, well-paved streets with landscaped medians and reliable public safety services. An assessment district will help pay for these services and guarantee appropriate maintenance standards. It gives the property owners a vote in how they want the city to proceed and in what kind of services they deem important.

Neighboring cities have implemented Mello-Roos districts or other assessment districts to maintain parks and much needed infrastructure improvements. The city, and its residents, must take pride in community assets that uniquely define Santa Ana. It should not be a question of whether $33 a year is too much for one's household, but rather the cost of decreasing maintenance services in an urban city.

Desi Reyes

Santa Ana

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