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Incorporation Opponents Sue

Claim County Will Be Stuck With Bill

Carmel Pine Cone – Jan. 9, 2009


OPPONENTS OF the drive to incorporate Carmel Valley
sued Monterey County, the Board of Supervisors and the pro-
incorporation Carmel Valley Forum Dec. 31, alleging the
revenue neutrality agreement between the parties represents
“an illegal and wasteful expenditure of public funds.”

The revenue neutrality agreement, which was initially
reached in 2006 and updated in 2008, allows the proposed
Town of Carmel Valley to pay off 10 years of lost county revenues
in approximately 11 years, according to Tom McCue,
senior analyst for the Local Agency Formation Commission.

“The town is not going to be able to pay the county back,”
argued Frank Lunding, a local resident and attorney who,
along with a statewide nonprofit group, Planning 20/20 Inc.,
is a plaintiff in the case.

Lunding said he filed the lawsuit because he’s worried the
town will not be financially viable, and he’s afraid that
Monterey County taxpayers will get stuck paying for its bills.
Lunding claimed the new town will be responsible for the
cost of repairing and maintaining far more roads than it has
planned — and budgeted — for.

“Twenty to 30 miles of roads are unaccounted for” in the
town’s budget,” Lunding insisted.

He also believes TOT (Transient and Occupancy Tax) revenues
will be much lower than estimated because of the
downturn in the global economy.

Lunding is asking the court to prohibit Monterey County
from scheduling an election on the incorporation issue.
“It’s really an economic mess,” Lunding added. “The
supervisors have to straighten it out or they’re violating their
duties to the county.”

In response to the lawsuit, Charles McKee, county counsel,
said it’s too early to comment on it.

“I haven’t had a chance to dissect the complaint to determine
if there is any validity to it,” he explained. “We will present
it to the board of supervisors next week (in closed session).”

Last Updated: Jan 19, 09

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