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Alameda City Council calls for Transparency on Redevelopment Funds

At the Tuesday, March 4, 2008 Alameda City Council meeting, council members called for greater transparency into the use of redevelopment funds, specifically as pertains to Alameda Unified School District redevelopment “pass-through” funds maintained by the City of Alameda Community Improvement Commission.

In accordance with a 1991 agreement between the City of Alameda Community Improvement Commission (CIC) and Alameda Unified School District, (AUSD) the CIC maintains a District Housing Fund and a District Capital Outlay fund on behalf of AUSD. However, as two members of the public noted during Oral Communications, those funds are not kept on AUSD books, and are not segregated on City of Alameda’s books, separate from other CIC monies. Rather, the funds are commingled with other City monies.

Vice Mayor Lena Tam noted that she has been in meetings with school officials to discuss “opportunities to work with the school district to release redevelopment funds from the Business Waterfront Improvement Project Area to the school district” but within the constraints of California redevelopment law. Redevelopment law restricts the use of the funds to providing low-cost housing for school district employees, or providing maintenance to school district educational facilities.

Councilmember Frank Matarrese acknowledged the public’s demands for greater transparency into the use of redevelopment funds set aside for the school district and asked Deputy City Manager David Brant if there was a way to create a destination on the City’s website that provided an “accounting of those redevelopment funds in plain english, and the restrictions around those funds to educate the public.”

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