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Redevelopment Is Good For Glendora

It creates jobs, housing opportunities and revenue, says Mayor Doug Tessitor.

Redevelopment Redux

The question about redevelopment last week created a lot of discussion.  Some assertions were made anonymously that were not accurate as far as Glendora is concerned.

 The writer may have been referring to some other city, but as I said originally, I only know what is true in Glendora.  So, for that reason, I am doing a follow-up today.

I made a statement that was challenged, that Glendora’s Redevelopment Agency did not have any employees.  It doesn’t; the RDA contracts with the city of Glendora to provide various services like accounting, payroll, insurance, engineering, etc.

City employees contracted with the agency do the work.

The costs of the contract workers are paid by the revenue from the tax increment - perfectly legal, appropriate and above board.  There is no “unfunded debt unreported for the Agency employees' retirement packages.”

This same anonymous poster said, “You've heard the old saying that "there are no Free Lunches" and what most cities and their leaders would have you believe is that redevelopment is a 'Free Lunch' but nothing could be further from the truth.”

That is a true statement, there is no free lunch.

Redevelopment Agencies provide a means to keep local, taxes that are locally generated.

Those tax revenues benefit us – not some Sacramento politician’s favorite boondoggle.  Glendora residents are buying our own lunch – not providing it to the state – for free!

The Governor’s plan to eliminate redevelopment is merely an attempt to again raid the treasuries of local communities, rather than do the tough job of cutting spending in Sacramento.  I guess he thinks it’s easier for local governments to cut spending to balance budgets than it is for the state.

The fact is that Glendora has balanced our budgets through this recession by making cuts in department budgets, reducing staff, having city employees pay their share of retirement contributions, etc.

We have cut fat, we have cut muscle, and very soon – especially if we lose redevelopment funds – we will have to start amputating!  Other communities in the state are in the same boat.

The Governor’s plan seems like a quick, painless fix to the state’s deficit.  The fact is that redevelopment activities support more than 300,000 private sector jobs in a typical year, according to research conducted by Time Structures, Inc.

More than 170,000 of those jobs are in the construction industry – the hardest hit segment in this recession.  Redevelopment contributes more than $40 Billion annually to California’s economy in the generation of goods and services.

Redevelopment adds an additional $19 Billion to the state’s construction sector output.  This does not include more than $2 Billion in state and local taxes generated by construction activity in a typical year. 

Redevelopment creates jobs.  Redevelopment revitalizes communities.  Redevelopment builds sustainable, transit-oriented communities.  Redevelopment cleans up contaminated areas.  Redevelopment improves housing opportunities for low-income families. 

Communities all over California have benefited from some or all of these.  So has Glendora.

Jim Ridenour, writing in Western City Magazine (April 2011) says, “Eliminating redevelopment will bring little financial benefit to California.

"However, it will permanently destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs, wipe out billions of dollars in local economic activity and obliterate a key tool that local governments use to meet the state’s in-fill land use objectives.”

The Governor should go back to the drawing board!  You betcha!

Jean Dalton May 29, 2011 at 03:07 PM
I think redevelopment IS good for Glendora, however, Glendora has lost much of it's charm. I understand we have to keep up with the times, but I see much of the developed properties continue to be vacant. As for the jobs it brings to Glendora, sure that's a good thing too, but again, most of the jobs are minimum wage or slightly above, and these salaries do not afford a person the ability to live in Glendora. The cost of renting a home, let alone buying a home in Glendora is unappetizing. Therefore much of the money that is being earned in Glendora is not being spent in Glendora.
Doug Tessitor May 29, 2011 at 08:09 PM
Thank you Jean! I am going to turn 67 next week; my family moved to Glendora when I was 12. I don't think Glendora has lost any of its charm! It's different, it has matured - but so have we all! Glendora still maintains its small town, mid-western feel. It still retains the values that we cherish - faith, community involvement, volunteerism, family values, etc. Those are good things. When we talk of redevelopment, you mention vacant properties. We don't have many "vacant" properties in the redevelopment areas. There are some in areas that that are outside of our RDA's or in Area III that has virtually no capacity left to fund redevelopment efforts. (The City Government has tried to extend the life of Area III, but we were rebuffed by the courts.) You point out that many of the jobs created are retail type - not highly paid professional occupations. That may be so, but they are jobs that would not have been available if not for redevelopment. The people that hold them are glad for the income and employment. Many of the people employed are, in fact Glendora residents, students, retired, etc. You also mention that "much of the money earned is not spent in Glendora." Whether that is true, or not, the stores at the Marketplace, bring customers from other cities and Glendora to shop here. The money that is spent contributes to our sales tax revenue - which would be 50% less without redevelopment . "Redevelopment IS good for Glendora"!

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