As debate rages over Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to raid local redevelopment agencies’ coffers to help close the state budget deficit, state Controller John Chiang today announced his auditors will review 18 redevelopment agencies – including five in the Bay Area – to see how they spend their money.
“The heated debate over whether RDAs are the engines of local economic and job growth or are simply scams providing windfalls to political cronies at the expense of public services has largely been based on anecdotal evidence,” Chiang said in a news release. “As lawmakers deliberate the Governor’s proposal to close RDAs and divert those funds to local schools and public safety agencies, I believe it is important to provide factual, empirical information about how these agencies perform and what they bring to the communities they serve.”
Chiang’s office said the 18 RDAs selected for the reviews – to be done by early March – represent urban, suburban and rural communities, are spread around the state represent a mix of populations. Auditors will review, among other things, how the RDAs define a “blighted” area, whether they are appropriately paying for low- and moderate-income housing as required by law, whether they are accurately “passing through” payments to schools within their community, and how much RDA officials, board members and employees are being paid.
On the audit list are:
• Redevelopment Agency of the City of Fremont (Alameda County)
• Richmond Redevelopment Agency (Contra Costa County)
• Hercules Redevelopment Agency (Contra Costa County)
• Redevelopment Agency of the City of Pittsburg (Contra Costa County)
• Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Jose (Santa Clara County)
• Redevelopment Agency for the County of Riverside
• Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (Los Angeles County)
• Redevelopment Agency of the County of Sacramento
• Pasadena Community Development Commission (Los Angeles County)
• Redevelopment Agency of the City of Fresno (Fresno County)
• City of Palm Desert Redevelopment Agency (Riverside County)
• Placentia Redevelopment Agency (Orange County)
• Parlier Redevelopment Agency (Fresno County)
• Anderson Redevelopment Agency (Shasta County)
• Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Citrus Heights (Sacramento County)
• Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Calexico (Imperial County)
• Community Development Agency of the City of Coronado (San Diego County)
• City of Desert Hot Springs Redevelopment Agency (Riverside County)
UPDATE @ 5 P.M.: As our West County Times’ Tom Lochner reports:
The Hercules, Pittsburg and Richmond redevelopment agencies are among seven in California that, as of December, had not paid their obligations to the Supplemental Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund, part of a statewide $1.7 billion shift of redevelopment agency property taxes to schools in the 2009-10 fiscal year. Hercules owed $4.9 million, Pittsburg owed $17.4 million and Richmond owed $10.1 million. Two of the other seven non-payers — Parlier in Fresno County and Placentia in Orange County — also are among the 18 agencies targeted by the statewide review.
Gee, I wonder if that had anything to do with their selection for the audit?