A Modest Proposal for Keeping the Lights on

By Gary Meyer

On Tuesday, Dec. 21, as Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) members reviewed solutions to the quickly approaching blackout of streetscape lighting in Frazier Park’s business district, commercial property owner Emilie Wainright made a proposal. She suggested that property owners should bypass a proposed Community Service Area (CSA) through the county and work among themselves to keep the lights on.

The new lights are slated to be turned off on December 31 if no means of paying for the electric bill is in place by that time.

Wainright was one of two members of the public who attended the MAC meeting.

The MAC members are moving forward with an effort to gain agreement from commercial property owners to form the CSA, which would tax specific property owners for the costs of maintaining the improvements along Mt. Pinos Way and Monterey Trail.

The owners of about 18 lots favor trying to form the CSA, seven are uncertain and approximately nine lots are opposed, MAC members Steve Newman and Rob Peterson said [see related OpEd on page 6].

To keep the lights on through at least January, the Chamber of Commerce has agreed to have the electricity service transferred to its name and Mountain Memories has agreed to pay for January’s electric bill.

Wainright said it would be smarter, and cheaper, for commercial property owners to form their own agreement to pay the expenses. She put her own money behind her words by writing a $300 check to the Chamber of Commerce and handing it to Stacey Havener who—in addition to being an appointed MAC member—is also the Chamber’s president.

At the same meeting, Tejon Ranch employee Rob Peterson was selected president of the MAC for 2011 by the three other members remaining of the group appointed by Supervisor Ray Watson in 2009.

Havener will serve again as secretary and Anne Weber will continue as treasurer. Newman is the fourth member.

The fifth, Linda MacKay, resigned this summer. She said she is disappointed that Watson and the other MAC appointees refused to support an elected MAC that can represent the wishes of Mountain Communities residents, rather than representing the supervisor.

This is part of the December 24, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

Have an opinion on this matter? We'd like to hear from you.