History Lighting in Cabrillo Estates has been paid in the past through our County Property Taxes (approximately $10/ year). The money collected was paid to LOCSD, who then paid PG&E. Cabrillo Estates was in effect its own Lighting District. Only Rodman and upper Cabrillo Estates were in this Lighting District, thus approximately 200 lots were in the district. Since the county deducts approximately 20% for administrative costs, LOCSD received approximately $1600 per year for lighting. The actual cost of having the lights on is about $6600 per year currently, thus creating a shortfall of approximately $5000 per year for LOCSD.
In the past, before the bankruptcy and other problems that have befallen LOCSD, there was a deposit of approximately $100,000.00 that was controlled by LOCSD for maintenance of the drainage pond on lot 41 in the lower tract and other contingencies. Somehow that money disappeared with the LOCSD bankruptcy. Since the interest from that deposit was used to make up the difference between the money collected from the county and the actual bill, LOCSD discovered sometime in 2009 that they were losing about $5000/year on the Cabrillo Lighting District. The new management at LOCSD apparently was unaware of the missing $100,000.00 and assumed Cabrillo Estates was not paying its fair share on the lights.
Thus in 2009 they drafted a ballot measure, in accordance with state law, that would in effect raise the taxes of those Cabrillo Estate lots in the lighting district to pay for actual year to year cost of the lights. The measure proposed to collect about $11,000 per year (or $55 per lot) with an increase each year dependent on the CPI. The difference between actual and collected would have covered their past losses and the cost of preparing the ballot measure and the actual ballot ($7000.00).
However, no one from LOCSD contacted CEPOA or our Board for input on the ballot measure. Furthermore, no one from LOCSD ever bothered to find out if the residents actually wanted the lighting. With about a week before balloting was to commence, a couple of representatives from LOCSD presented their plan to the CEPOA board of directors at our regular quarterly meeting. They were unable to adequately justify the difference between what they were collecting and the actual cost of the lights as well as the method for future increases. Further they did not explain the reasons behind not consulting with the CEPOA Board (or anyone from Cabrillo Estates) before crafting the ballot measure. Subsequently the ballot measure was defeated by about a two-thirds majority. All street lighting in Cabrillo Estates has now been turned off by PG&E. The Lighting District tax has now been removed from your county property tax bill.
Current Situation In order to turn the lights on for the community as a whole, we would need to re-activate the Cabrillo Lighting District, create a ballot measure that was acceptable to the residents, and have a successful election on that ballot measure. Re-activating the district means working with the county to get the new district recognized and then set up the district as part of our yearly property tax bill (as it was before). We could use the ballot measure designed by LOCSD as a model for a new measure, thus avoiding the cost of preparing and designing a ballot measure in accordance with state law. This would also mean the formation of a committee to make the necessary changes to get the community’s support. Also, before we did anything we would need to be sure that we had a substantial majority of lot owners that wanted the lights back on. If we were to get all of the above accomplished, CEPOA would receive the tax revenue from the county and would be responsible for paying PG&E.
Current Solution~Adopt a Light Individual lights can be turned on by contacting PG&E and paying the annual or monthly fee for a single light. It is possible for a number of neighbors to get together and share this cost with one member being the contact with PG&E and responsible for the payment.