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Real Estate Developer Calls for End to Redevelopment Agencies

There’s an e-mail circulating in Alameda urging readers to “Email, write, fax and call your state senator and assembly member and tell him or her that you support the governor’s proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies. Then email others, especially people involved in online communities, and urge them to do the same.” It’s originating from an unexpected source – a real estate developer in Capitola, California.

Doug Kaplan of Lomak Property Group, Inc. identified himself to Action Alameda News as a real estate developer and former school board trustee who has “been writing about redevelopment for just under twenty years.” Among other articles, he’s the author of the fourth volume, Simplify Don’t Subsidize of the Institute of Justice’s series Perspectives on Eminent Domain Abuse, and a recent opinion article in the San Francisco Chronicle titled Why Redevelopment Subsidies Must End.

Asked for a statement about his current e-mail campaign, Mr. Kaplan wrote, “As a developer, I can tell you that developers don’t take subsidies because they need them; they take subsidies because the subsidies are there for the taking. Meanwhile, schools and other public services suffer. Governor Brown’s proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies is long overdue.”

His e-mail calling for voters to support Governor Brown’s proposals to end redevelopment agencies notes that, “we come from all parts of the political spectrum — a fact that has been confirmed these past weeks as lobbyists from the California Teachers Association stood side-by-side with Tea Party activists to testify before Senate and Assembly committees, all urging support for the governor’s proposal.”

Alameda voters will decide a school parcel tax ballot measure, measure “A,” next week, March 8th.

1 comment to Real Estate Developer Calls for End to Redevelopment Agencies

  • Barb

    He is absolutely correct. “[D]evelopers don’t take subsidies because they need them; they take subsidies because the subsidies are there for the taking.” AND TAKING THEM AWAY FROM THE SCHOOLS is exactly what they do. In Alameda’s case developer Ron Cowan took tens of millions of dollars (70 plus million sounds about right) to subsidize his version of the “ROAD TO NOWHERE, aka the shortcut between Oakland Airport and his development.

    No wonder he is taking out ads for Measure A, He knows AUSD, its administrators and the Board are too stupid to realize that he is not doing this out of altruistic motivation, but to get them on his side to continue ripping AUSD and the City off of millions of dollars. Too bad the parents have not taken the time out of campaigning to review where redevelopment monies come from, and where they go. Then they would realize that Measure A is a drop in the bucket compared to the millions he is expecting them to help him rip off from AUSD in the future. These people need to get their heads out of the sand. What could the district have done with 70 million (1980) dollars? We will never know. AUSD aministrators are buying this BS lock, stock and barrel. And because they are so stupid, they will continue to shortchange the students. And the parents are too busy campaigning for these idiots and robber barons, to examine the issues.