If you think the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD) has a hidden agenda for its well-managed Vision Plan, you’re entitled to that opinion. I don’t believe that’s true because MROSD strictly adheres to the Brown Act, making available its finances and meeting notes on its website.
Few people attend MROSD meetings, so unless you go to the effort and look at the website, you’re missing out.
After looking around I noticed that the District is moving closer to a funding measure on the local ballot, which was reported by the San Jose Mercury News (7/14/2011).
At the Sept. 25, 2013, meeting they contracted with George Gary Manross, Ph.D., who owns Strategy Research Institute (SRI), to monitor their vision plan. Manross was contracted by Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) to conduct a benchmark study to assess likely voter opinion regarding the District’s Vision Plan and related themes, as well as the feasibility of placing a successful funding measure on the local ballot in the near future.
Should the District move forward with a ballot measure, it would retain SRI’s services for writing the ballot language, as well as handling the data management and statistical analysis of District public surveys. Manross is an influential figure in California politics, according to Wikipedia. He predicted Chuck Reed would win the race for mayor of San Jose against Cindy Chavez (I could have predicted that one).
Property tax increase?
The bulk of the District’s revenue — 73 percent or about $30 million — comes from property taxes, with the rest from “transfers in” and “other.”
We all want open space, no denying that. How much the public is willing to pay for it when it’s off limits to humans is another matter.
POST received about $13 million in 2102, $16 million when you add interest and other commitments, which isn’t bad for a non-profit that keeps a low profile.
Now if only we could enjoy the land instead of just looking at it on a map.
Next up, at least there’s one enlightened water district…