By Jim Tortolano
Not this year.
That’s what the Huntington Beach City Council said to members of the Downtown Business Improvement District who want out of the organization.
On a 4-1 vote the council decided to not trim the district to allow Pacific City and three hotels – Paseo, Hyatt and Hilton Waterfront – to withdraw. Councilman Patrick Brenden voted no; Mayor Mike Posey was absent and Councilman William O’Connell recused himself.
The council had to approve the annual report and budget for the HBDBID, but the city received letters from four members asking to be removed from the assessment district, arguing that it didn’t provide sufficient benefit.
Removing those would have slashed $33,240 from the organization’s budget reducing it from $121,400 to $88,220.
Brenden supported the split, saying “There’s value in not having to serve two masters,” referring to the Main Street area and the other properties to the southeast.
But the majority disagreed. Councilwoman Jill Hardy said “Main Street needs the support. If Main Street isn’t successful, the entire area suffers. I’d like to give them one more year.”
All the council members agreed that the district’s board was making substantial improvements in managing the BID’s affairs, and several stated that the requests to withdraw could be considered again in 2019.
The BID was established in 2004 to “improve the business environment of downtown Huntington Beach.” It hosts a website to promote the downtown – www.surfcityusa.com – sponsors events and provides security and extra cleaning of Main Street, according to the organization’s annual report.
Categories: Huntington Beach