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California Redevelopment Association Wins Lawsuit to Take Money Back from Schools to Subsidize Developers

The California League of Cities has announced that the California Redevelopment Association – City of Alameda Redevelopment Services Manager Leslie Little sits on the Board of Directors – has realized a victory in their lawsuit against the State of California, over money taken from California local redevelopment agencies to provide school funding.

In September of 2008, the State of California, in finalizing their budget, appropriated roughly $350 million in local redevelopment agency funds to go towards the Education Revenue Augmentation Fund (ERAF) – in other words, the State re-directed local redevelopment money land developer subsidies to our education system. Ms. Little stood to lose roughly $916,000 from her personal Alameda redevelopment fiefdom. Not an organization to take such a threat lying down, the California Redevelopment Association (CRA) – a Sacramento lobby group funded by developers, builders and contractors – found a couple of stooges, the Cities of Moreno Valley and Madera, and sued the State to get the money back. The California League of Cities recently reported that a Sacramento Superior Court ruled in favor of the CRA and their stooges.

So if you’re wondering why we have a new Target store going up in Alameda, or a massive, but empty, parking garage and cineplex downtown, but not enough money to keep our schools open, and pleadings from AUSD for more parcel taxes, blame redevelopment and the CRA.

Addendum: Excerpt from the CRA’s proud declaration of victory over taking back money from the State Education Revenue Augmentation Fund

AB 1389 was approved in September 2008 as part of the FY 2008-09 budget package and authorized a one-time take of $350 million from redevelopment agencies. The lawsuit against the State sought to do two things:
1. Invalidate specific sections of AB 1389, and
2. Prohibit the State from forcing county auditors to divert these redevelopment funds to the Educational Revenue Augmentation Funds (ERAF).

2 comments to California Redevelopment Association Wins Lawsuit to Take Money Back from Schools to Subsidize Developers

  • Thank you for staying on top of this, Dave. I’ve been thinking lately about what an epic time we’re living in: The daily headlines read like the plot of a greek tragedy. Problem is, it’s easy for our brains to pop out the issues when the story involves two people, but nearly impossible for us to see those same issues when it’s between two institutions. Put another way, if some thug broke into a classroom and stole equipment, there would be outrage, and we’d have a fundraiser to replace all that was taken. When the redevelopment agency and the city does the same thing on a much larger scale, we snap into denial and refuse to admit how our public agencies and officials are betraying us. It can be overwhelming.

    For instance: Isn’t Leslie Little’s redevelopment agency board position a conflict of interest? One that Mayor Johnson and the city manager du jour should address immediately? I’d say yes, but where are the handles? Meaning, what do I do about it?

    Much easier to stick my head back in the sand and accuse you of being Chicken Little. Except I know something is very, very wrong here.

  • Lynn

    We cannot continue re-directing money and tapping into reserves approved projects and programs, we are like dogs chasing there tails. This is what you get when people unqualified for these jobs are continuosly elected and re-elected. We need to see real resume’s instead of hearing catchy phrases and empty promises during these elections and never ending/costly special elections. Now the state want to take/borrow money from the cities that are also in ther red to plug up the holes in the budget. The mayor (of Los Angeles) and govenor might want to try asking Mexico and other South American countries for financial assistance.