Originally published 7:17 p.m. Sept. 10.
The La Mesa City Council voted Tuesday to defund a contract with Ed Henning, a consultant who advised Property Based Improvement District (PBID) Formation Committee.
Henning has already been paid approximately $21,000 of a $28,000 contract.
All members of the city council with the exception of Mayor Art Madrid voted to end funding.
"I can't believe it sprung up and got approved in like 30 seconds," Kevin George, an opponent of the improvement district plan and member of the La Mesa Citizens Oversight Group.
"Except it was 2-3 years in the making," said Bill James, who is also part of the oversight group. "It only seemed quick tonight."
James spoke in opposition to PBID multiple times Tuesday and was asked to return to city council in the future to make a presentation about the benefits of adopting a maintenance district instead of PBID.
The vote came after a contentious status update from formation committee members who presented revised plans for the improvement district.
Under a revised plan presented Tuesday, the district would be limited to a few blocks within the heart of the Village along La Mesa Boulevard and Spring Street. The number of businesses included in the zone would decline from 293 to 80 and the amount of money raised would decline to $167,000.
The formation committee would to see an executive director run the district for $75,000, $35,000 to maintenance, $50,000 for marketing and remaining funds for administrative and operational costs.
Members of the city council seemed skeptical about the revised plans and Mayor Art Madrid defended the need for an improvement district in the area to pay for marketing, maintenance and other initiatives to promote commerce in the Village District.
A PBID would use funds collected from local businesses to pay for improvements in the area.
Approval of PBID or a maintenance district would not impact the Downtown Village Streetscape Project which is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2014.