The Cameron Park Community Service District (CSD) is hemorrhaging red ink. The problem the CSD is facing is the expense of maintaining the Community Center complex. This complex was sold to the people of Cameron Park as something that would be revenue neutral. The politicians who pushed for this center misled the public with assurances that there would be such a demand for the center that it would pay for itself.
It’s obvious that the people who championed the building of the Community Center felt comfortable with the idea that no matter how skewed the numbers they presented to the public were, that the ever-increasing property tax revenues coming into the district would more than cover the budgetary chicanery they were perpetrating. Why not fudge the actual numbers on what the Community Center will cost to run when there will always be more tax money coming in than the CSD can spend?
Well, we know that the ever-increasing property tax base is a bust. The assumptions of demand and taxes to cover the expenses of the Community Center complex have fallen flat. What is needed now is a bold innovative vision and plan on how to market the Community Center and all of Cameron Parks’ facilities. There have been several marketing workshops and the very good ideas that were put forth by the public that have yet to be acted upon. Time is running out for any plan to have a positive effect on the Community Center’s bottom line.
I believe the stumbling block to marketing and selling the Community Center is our general manager and several members of the board. These people are so accustomed to working for public agencies that they have failed to grasp that the minute the tax revenues declined to the point that they are today that the Community Center, pool and gym went from being taxpayer sponsored community amenities to being products that need to be marketed and sold.
I was shocked to see how the April budget workshop was handled. Marketing and revenue generation were not even on the agenda. Additionally, I requested a brief overview of the CSD’s marketing strategies be placed on the agenda but to no avail. I had to bring up marketing and revenue generation during the workshop. I can’t understand how the 900 pound gorilla in the room (the costs of running the Community Center complex) can continue to be ignored by our general manager and board. I hope that at future budget workshops, marketing and revenue generation will be at the center of the discussion. They need to be taken seriously and acted upon immediately or there is a chance that the center will have to be closed.