At last night’s Associated Students Legislative Council meeting, members decided to dispute in court a number of the charges levied against them by the property owners of the villa they stayed in during a January retreat.
From the revised damage report — given to A.S. on Feb. 11 by Morrocco Method International, owners of Villa Antonio — the council is facing charges amounting to $1,030.80 from its weekend retreat. The council first approved a motion paying MMI $372.90 for a bed tax that was previously unassessed, but still legally required. After weighing several options and taking counsel from the A.S. attorney Robin Unander, the council then moved forward with a decision to contest a majority of the remaining charges in small claims court, a process that will take at least 45 days.
Representative-at-large Jake Elwood said the council needs to take action against the alleged wrongful charges.
“I think that the council’s reputation and student fees are the most important issues here,” Elwood said. “A lot of students still think there are these claims against us and we really need to clear things up.”
The claims included a $480 charge for carpet cleaning, $120 charge for paint touch-ups, one $130 charge for a new ceiling light and one $80 charge for its installation, an $80 charge for wall resurfacing and a $40 charge for vomit cleanup, among other charges. While most of the damages are consistent with their previous report, Villa Antonio’s owners had added the $372.90 bed tax and a $60 charge for a light fixture to the Feb. 11 claim.
In the early half of the meeting, before taking any definitive action, the council discussed various means of handling the situation. Representative-at-large Josue Aparicio said that he thought the council should resolve the issue for the future of A.S.
“I feel like we made a mistake and now A.S. looks bad as a whole,” Aparicio said. “Nevertheless, it’s not fair to future A.S. boards to have this wrongful reputation.”
Off-campus Rep Jamie Silverstein added that it was an issue of principle to not let Morrocco Method’s claims remain uncontested.
Other topics discussed at last night’s meeting included the possible expansion of this year’s Chilla Vista festival to include all of Pardall Road and last week’s I.V. Recreation & Parks District decision to move forward with the construction of a skate park at Estero Park.