Improved Isla Vista Services and Infrastructure Funding Plan Approved for June Ballot

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

January 29, 2018

 

Contact: Jonathan Abboud

IVCSD Interim General Manager

Tel: (310) 734-9791

Email: generalmanager@islavistacsd.com

 

Improved Isla Vista Services and Infrastructure Funding Plan Approved for June Ballot

 

Isla Vista, CA - The Isla Vista Community Services District announces the adoption of Resolution 20170123-03, calling a special election on June 5, 2018 for the “Improved Isla Vista Services and Infrastructure Funding Plan” Measure. If approved by voters, the Measure will fund local improvements to parking, public safety, lighting, sidewalks, tenant mediation services, graffiti removal, public art, and the operation of community facilities and events. Further, it will allow for direct inclusion of resident concerns in County of Santa Barbara decisions regarding Isla Vista through a Municipal Advisory Council and Area Planning Commission. A utility user tax of 8% on gas, electricity, water, trash, and sewage serves as the funding mechanism, raising approximately $642,000 per year.

 

In November 2016, voters overwhelmingly approved creation of the District, supporting Measure E by over 87%. In order to ensure the District has the resources to provide critical services to the community, the Board has voted unanimously to place this measure on the ballot for voter approval. The Measure allows for the creation of future exemptions or rate reductions, including a low-income exemption and a lowered rate for commercial utility users. Currently, the District lacks a dedicated and permanent funding source, and it must pass a utility user tax by January 1, 2023 or it will be dissolved.

 

“Since we began operating ten months ago, the District has shown that it is capable of doing a lot for this community with very little. Approval of this measure by the voters will allow us to embark on a path toward truly transformative change, and fulfill the desire for increased local control in Isla Vista” said Spencer Brandt, the IVCSD Board Secretary.

 

“The District has done all that it can to present a transparent proposal, designed with community input and reflecting community priorities.  Now, it is up to the people of Isla Vista to make their voice heard by voting on this measure” said Jonathan Abboud, Interim General Manager of the IVCSD.

 

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The Isla Vista Community Services District is Isla Vista’s first broad based local government, achieving 47 years of community advocacy for self governance. The IVCSD is empowered to provide critical services including police protection services, tenant mediation, community facilities, parking, graffiti abatement, lighting and sidewalks, and both a municipal advisory council and area planning commission. The Board is composed of five publicly elected directors and two directors appointed by UC Santa Barbara and the County of Santa Barbara, respectively.

 

Isla Vista Community Services District selects interim General Manager

Isla Vista, CA ­– The Isla Vista Community Services District Board of Directors has appointed Jonathan Abboud to serve as interim General Manager.

“I am ready to make the Isla Vista Community Services District the most innovative, transparent, and people-oriented local government in California,” said General Manager Abboud. “I want to work with the Board to develop a solid foundation for the future in the areas of Board/Management relations, participatory governance, District external relations, and measuring the effective use of funds for maximum service delivery.”

“Mr. Abboud of Abboud Consulting has a history of service to the community of Isla Vista, and it is an honor to have Abboud Consulting providing us with Interim General Manager services.” said President Bertrand. “I look forward to working with Abboud Consulting to make Isla Vista safer, improve the quality of life for local residents, and ensure the long term success of the IVCSD.”

Jonathan Abboud has been a member of the Isla Vista community since 2010, when he arrived to pursue an undergraduate education at UC Santa Barbara. Since then, he has been a tireless advocate for the empowerment of the Isla Vista community. As an undergraduate, Abboud served in a number of leadership roles, including President of both the Residence Halls Association, and UCSB Associated Students. He graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, with an emphasis in American Government. Since November of that year, Jonathan Abboud has demonstrated a commitment to public service as Santa Barbara City College Trustee.

As interim General Manager, Abboud will prepare and maintain materials necessary for the operation of the Board of Directors, oversee the implementation of District policies, participate in the management of District operations, and supervise the administration of district finances.

The Board of Directors praised Abboud’s eagerness to provide administrative services to the District at competitive rate independent contractor rate. The contract with Abboud’s firm, Abboud Consulting, includes $4,000 in set compensation, with the potential for additional payment tied to Abboud’s success at securing grants for the community. “The IVCSD has acquired a General Manager at 6% of cost estimated in the 2015 Isla Vista Governance Options Financial Analysis Study,” said Director and Secretary of the Board Spencer Brandt. “We are proving that we can do a lot with a little.”

The Board of Directors made the decision to begin searching for a qualified consulting firm to serve as Interim General Manager on August 8. The window for firms to submit proposals closed on September 1. The District’s decision to solicit firms to serve as General Manager (rather than an individual employee) balanced the financial constraints associated with the District’s lack of dedicated tax revenue, and the community’s desire for the District to begin providing municipal services.

A press conference has been called by President Bertrand to introduce General Manager Abboud. It is scheduled for tomorrow, October 11, 2017, at 1PM. It will take place in People’s Park.

Over the last three months, the District has opened an office, assumed management of the Community Room, secured grants for future community programming, and developed an expansion of Community Service Organization (CSO) community policing on weekend nights.

Isla Vista Community Services District to seek General Manager

Isla Vista, CA ­– The Isla Vista Community Services District is beginning an extensive search for a qualified firm to serve as Interim General Manager. At the August 8 Board of Directors meeting, the Board took action to float a request for proposals, and declare the window for submissions open. The District will be accepting proposals until September 1.

The IVCSD was created by voter approval this last November, with 87% of voters supporting the passage of Measure E. This passage was the culmination of a two and a half year public input process, state legislation, and a grassroots campaign for self-governance. The IVCSD is authorized to provide 8 unique services, which include contracting for additional police protection services, operating community facilities, and creating a tenant/landlord mediation program. Since the first meeting on March 7, 2017, the Board of Directors has developed internal policies and procedures, acquired office space in partnership with the County of Santa Barbara, applied for and been awarded grant funding, retained legal counsel, and served and represented the community.

Currently, the IVCSD faces a number of challenges and opportunities. The request for proposals balances the financial constraints associated with the District’s lack of dedicated tax revenue, and the community’s desire to implement important public services.

The scope of administrative services that the District desires include preparing and maintaining materials necessary for the operation of the Board of Directors, overseeing the implementation of District policies, participating in the management of District operations, and supervising the administration of district finances.

To view the RFP, please visit: www.islavistacsd.com

Contact

To learn more, please contact:

Ethan Bertrand | President of the Board

ebertrand.ivcsd@gmail.com