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Contra Costa man to lead state redevelopment fight

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 at 5:58 pm in Contra Costa County, redevelopment.

James Kennedy

Retired Contra Costa County redevelopment chief Jim Kennedy will take the reins of the California Redevelopment Association, the membership organization suing the state over legislation that helped balance the budget using redevelopment money.

The 60-year-old Martinez man will serve as the interim executive director through mid-2012 and “bridge the transition to the post-litigation realm when the shape of redevelopment will be better known,” he said.

He replaces John Shirey, who has been named Sacramento’s new city manager.

Kennedy’s chief task is to shepherd the 350-member organization through its legal challenge of legislation passed earlier this year that requires redevelopment agencies to pay the state a share of their money or go out of business.

The California Supreme Court stayed the law pending a ruling on the lawsuit in early January.

The redevelopment association and the League of California Cities argue that the legislation is unconstitutional in the wake of voter-approved Proposition 22, which barred state raids on local tax dollars.

A 35-year veteran of Contra Costa County, Kennedy officially retired in March although he has returned part-time to help the county unravel its redevelopment future.

After he returns to his retirement, Kennedy says he may teach, work for a nonprofit and write a nonfiction book on transit-oriented development. His wife, Janet, is a Martinez city councilwoman.

 

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  • Ralph Hoffmann

    Congratulations, Jim. Your new job will be quite a challenge.
    I suggest you commute to Sacto via AMTRAK’s Capitol Corridor.

  • Michael Moris

    John is a coward and lacks leadership. He is only seeking the greeback and lacks finess. Glad he left the CRA. Good luck Sacramento! You will need it.

    Congrats Jim, we sure needed new leadership at the CRA.