0

CoCo needs to fill 44 redevelopment oversight openings

Contra Costa County needs a few good men and women. Actually, it needs way way more than a few.

The Board of Supervisors must fill 44 slots on the oversight boards that will supervise the dismantling of redevelopment agencies within the county.

The task is horrifically complex and the pay is zilch. But the county has no choice.

The state Supreme Court earlier this year upheld legislation that shut down as of Feb. 1 California’s 400 redevelopment agencies including those in Contra Costa County and 16 of its cities. Lawmakers said redevelopment was siphoning off too much property tax money away from schools and other public services.

The law mandates the formation of an oversight board for every former redevelopment agency. The members will decide how to dispose of the assets, pay off the bills and restore money as quickly as possible to cities, schools, fire and other special districts.

Membership ranges from elected officials to former redevelopment agency employees to representatives of the county board of education and the public.

The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors’ appointment list is massive:

  • Two people each to oversight boards in 16 Contra Costa cities.
  • One person each to represent the Contra Costa Fire District in eight cities, where the district is the largest special district. (The board of supervisors is the district’s governing board.)
  • Four people to the county’s former redevelopment agency oversight board.

Eligibility requirements vary but most of the open posts call for a member of the public who is not an elected official and require residency in the city or district in which the individual seeks to represent.

The time commitment also varies. Some former redevelopment agencies were larger than others and will take longer to unwind.

Supervisors will directly appoint some of the posts while the full board will select others.

Applications should be returned by noon on March 20 to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, Room 106, County Administration Building, 651 Pine St., Martinez CA 94553.

A Board of Supervisors’ committee will conduct interviews on March 26 at 9 a.m. at the county administration building.

For questions or to request an application form, call 925-335-1900 or visit www.co.contra-costa.ca.us. Residents may also contact county staffer Tim Ewell at 925-335-1036 or timothy.ewell@cao.cccounty.us.

 

 

4

CA redevelopment agencies take plea to governor

The California Redevelopment Association and League of California Cities have sent Gov. Jerry Brown an eight-page letter outlining all the ways the pending Wednesday dissolution of redevelopment agencies is a bad idea.

Read the full letter here.

Among the critical issues they spell out:

  • Possible bond defaults
  • Loss of taxpayer funds
  • Possible violations of federal law
  • Stranded public infrastructure projects
  • Loss of critical staff to implement the law

“Both organizations want to collaborate with the governor and Legislature in order to prevent harm to the public interest and to keep California on track in its economic recovery,” the league wrote on  CA Cities Advocate.

They had hoped to win passage of  a pending bill (SB 659 Padilla) that would postpone the deadline to April 15, but Brown has been quoting saying he saw no reason to “delay the funeral.” The California Supreme Court struck down in December legislation that would have allowed redevelopment agencies to stay in business in exchange for cash payments toward the state deficit.

0

Redevelopment, redistricting on TWINC tonight

Watch KQED “This Week in Northern California”  tonight when I and my colleague Josh Richman and KCBS reporter Barbara Taylor talk about redevelopment, redistricting and the woes of SF Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.

The show airs live at 7:30 p.m. on Channel 9 in most of Contra Costa County.

News Panel: The latest on the Citizens Redistricting Commission, Oakland layoffs, and Ross Mirkarimi

The California Supreme Court considers which Senate maps to use in the fight over the new lines drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission. The City of Oakland will send layoff notices to hundreds of city workers to make up for the loss of redevelopment funds. There are calls for the resignation of newly-sworn in San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, who may face domestic violence charges.

UPDATE @ 11:10 A.M. SATURDAY: And here we are…

2

Court allows state redevelopment money grab

The Supreme Court found that state lawmakers had a legal right to seize $1.7 billion in redevelopment money and at the same time, struck down a separate law that would allow the agencies to stay in business if they agreed to make large payments to the state.

The decision could kill the state’s 400 redevelopment agencies.

Read the full story by Howard Mintz at the Mercury News here.

 

0

Supreme Court to hear redevelopment case Nov. 10

The California Supreme Court will hear arguments Nov. 10 on a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of state lawmakers’ decision to divert $1.7 billion in redevelopment dollars this fiscal year to help balance the budget.

The California Redevelopment Association and the League of California Cities is bringing the suit. It will be heard in San Francisco at 9 a.m.

The court agreed to fast-track its decision and beat a Jan. 15, 2012, deadline for redevelopment agencies to make their first payment to the state.

Read through for the full release from the California Redevelopment Association.

Continue Reading

2

Contra Costa man to lead state redevelopment fight

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.