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Glendora Grapples With the End of its Redevelopment Agency

City officials say the Supreme Court ruling leaves more unanswered questions as the city struggles to plan for the dissolution of its redevelopment agency.

As the state prepares to dissolve redevelopment agencies Feb. 1, the Glendora City Council named the city the “successor entity” in charge of making sure the dissolution of its redevelopment agency runs as smoothly as possible.

But city officials called the impending transition an administrative and legal nightmare as they say the state has not given them adequate direction on how to implement the agency’s dissolution.

Glendora, along with , fiercely opposed the state’s plan to abolish redevelopment agencies. But on Dec. 29, a Supreme Court agreed with the state and upheld the , while another law allowing redevelopment to exist if cities paid a portion of their taxes, was considered unconstitutional.

Glendora city officials called the Supreme Court decision “the most detrimental of all possible alternatives.”

However, a new bill -- SB 659 by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Van Nuys – proposes to push back the deadline to April 15, which would allow cities more time to dismantle their community redevelopment agencies.

According to city officials, Auto Centre, Walmart, Marketplace and Diamond Ridge shopping areas were all created through redevelopment funds. About 70 percent of all the city's nearly $6.8 million sales tax will be generated by businesses located within this area. Redevelopment, the city claims, has also provided affordable housing opportunities for about 500 individuals in the city.

City officials say the Supreme Court ruling in California Redevelopment Association v. Matosantos leaves many unanswered questions, including what will become of legal debts to the city, liquidating assets and administrative costs.

“A lot of these questions have not been answered,” said City Manager Chris Jeffers. “It might take months, if not years, for us to get direction.”

“We are treading in water,” said City Attorney D. Wayne Leech. “There isn’t much of a guideline. There’s no real regulation that gives us a manual or a map that tells us how to get from point A to point B.”

City Council members also expressed frustration over the “bureaucracy” of a 7-member Oversight Board, which will be charged to manage successor entities. City officials hope to lobby for a representative from Glendora to join the board.

Among the other actions the council took was to activate the Housing Authority to oversee accumulated assets of the agency’s housing funds and assist with contractual requirements in place for about 200 housing units.

To help make up for a possible $2 million reduction to the general fund, Jeffers pointed to tapping into $197,000 of CDBG funds, usually allocated for housing rehab projects and grants to community organizations.

According to city documents, the demise of redevelopment agencies will void $6.5 million in legal loans to the agency from the General Fund over the years. The transition, the city believes, will also leave the city scrambling to absorb administrative costs charged to the agency for services, resulting in a cost  of “hundreds of thousands” of dollars.

Councilmember Joe Santoro denounced the state’s plan to end redevelopment agencies as effort by the state to pass off its own budgetary problems onto local governments.

“They say let’s get rid of redevelopment agencies and they think all the stuff that goes with it disappears,” said Santoro. “They pay no attention to the planning process that it’s going to take to implement it. They pay no attention to the legal issues that is going to come up with the magnitude of that type of decision.”

Yolanda Mckay January 11, 2012 at 05:58 PM
This sounds like yet more sour grapes over the CA supreme court decision. City Council members need to stop being partisan, that is not the platform they ran on. Council members should do the job required of them and stop whining, everyone is feeling the pinch of the economy soured by BUSH et al in the first place! Whining and bickering will not change the supreme court decision, Mr. Jeffers is already putting his fingers in the pie for residents to give to private business. I for one don't buy that stores will not create businesses without redevelopment subsidies. At a time of fiscal restraint, it is the right move to end private company subsidies.
Julie January 11, 2012 at 08:23 PM
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/01/11/4178469/what-should-be-the-future-of-redevelopment.html Read Ben Boychuk's commentary in the link above. He gets this right. California Republicans should be celebrating this decision in favor of true economic liberty, not trashing it. There is no understanding the thinking of those city council members lamenting this decision and trying their best to replace the RDAs with some other quasi government agency in partisan terms. The only conclusion I can draw is that they don't truly understand or appreciate liberty and the principles of the political party to which they claim to belong.

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