The District was the fortunate recipient of COVID-19 Relief funding from the State, as part of the Assembly Bill 128, the 2021-22 State Budget Act which included up to 100 million in relief funding for special districts like the Highlands Recreation District. While both cities and counties have been recipients of both state and federal pandemic relief, special districts who provide many of the services that that these governmental entities provide, were left out of consideration which has happened historically when there is an economic downturn. Local governments including special districts saw their revenues plummet and expenditures increase while trying to deal with the devasting impacts of the pandemic. The financial impact to the District was significant with revenue losses and pandemic related expenses easily exceeding 1 million. This had a significant impact on the District’s general fund and reserves. Out of the 2.2 million that San Mateo County special districts received, the District’s allocation was $454,025.
The 2022 election cycle is fast approaching, and the District was informed by the San Mateo County Registration and Elections Division that it must submit a boundary map for its jurisdiction. This requirement was prompted by the 2020 census along with significant redistricting work that the County has been performing in preparation for the next election. Although the County is not redistricting itself, it already maintains supervisor districts. The District’s boundary map is composed of parcels and streets that are contained in tax rate areas (TRAs) of which the District has seven in total. District staff is working with the County Assessor and Chief Elections Officer Mark Church’s office and engaging GIS consultants on the project. The deadline to submit the boundary map to the County is April 2022.
Lastly, the District will soon begin working on its facilities master plan which seeks to prioritize various facility upgrades, make improvements where feasible to better meet programming needs and identifies funding mechanisms while being responsive to community needs. The District wants to hear from Highland’s residents to better inform the plan and collaborate on creative solutions to address the changing needs of the community. If you are interested in learning more or participating in the process, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.