For those of you that don't know, the DPOA (Downtown Pomona Owner's Association) is a PBID (Property Business Improvement District). What that means is, the downtown property owners, after years of frustration, took their city back! The downtown was in desperate need of revitalization due to high crime, gangs, drugs, blight, vagrants, boarded up buildings, dirty streets and sidewalks. Five years ago when the PBIB was formed, and even more so today, the City could not, and cannot today, provide the services needed to correct these ills (extra police, maintenance, etc.). The property owners took it upon themselves to form a PBID for the downtown. Even though this meant assessing themselves higher property taxes they believed the formation of a PBID was the only real and practical solution to the problems facing the downtown. The PBID now provides the downtown the financial resources to provide 24/7 security...a combination of dedicated Pomona Police Officers, exclusively assigned to the downtown, and private security teams. It provides maintenance that includes graffiti removal, street scape improvements such as plants and irrigation in the planters along Second St., weeding, power washing of sidewalks, new trash cans and regular trash removal, resurfacing of alleys, painted bollards and light posts, and a host of other needed projects. A promotion and marketing campaign is also a focus of the PBID. The DPOA advertises the downtown in a variety of mediums. It hosts and sponsors events such as Antique Collector's Street Fair, Farmers Markets, Fresh Air Flicks, Zocola, Guatemalan Festival, Art Walks, Chalk Art Festival, and others. The metropomona.com web site and this blog are examples of the marketing effort the PBID provides to promote the downtown. Unmistakably, the PBID is the catalyst that has brought, and will continue to bring, new businesses and developments to the downtown.
The formation or re-certification of a PBID is a long, legal, arduous process which involves all the players; owners, merchants, residents, city council, etc. The final determination is ultimately the City Council's. But before the City Council weighs in there are mandatory legal steps which have to take place.
1) All owners must be sent a petition requesting the City Council to allow the process to go forward. This request requires over 50% of the properties to respond favorably.
2) The next step is a request from City Council by the DPOA to mail ballots to all property owners asking for a yes or no vote. These ballots, when completed, are mailed back to the City Clerk and are not opened or counted until a minimum 45 days has elapsed from their mailing. The ballots are then brought before the City Council at a public hearing where they are opened and counted. If the majority of the vote is "yes" and the City Council so chooses, the PBID is re-certified and the County Tax Collector and County Assessor are notified to add the properties' tax assessment to the tax rolls.
It's a boring, tedious, time consuming process. But it is a fair and necessary process.
The DPOA's charter expires this year and a re-certification drive is now under way. The process is wrapping up step #1. It is the DPOA's hope, as well as the majority of the property owners that the DPOA be re-certified.
There are those who would like to see the DPOA disbanded and return to the days of old. To that end the DPOA has to respond and defend itself to survive. This posting is meant to explain to those of you who don't know, what all the fuss is about. To better understand the DPOA you are invited to view the presentation made to the owners at last year's annual meeting by clicking here. http://www.metropomona.com/dpoa2008.php
Also... Here is a great editorial by Nancy Matarrita from the Daily Bulletin.
We welcome any comments you may have. If you believe as we do that the DPOA is worth saving, please let your City Council member, Mayor, and City Manager know how you feel. If you do not agree, please keep your opinions to yourself.