Follow Pleasanton's lead: disband redevelopment agencies | January 21, 2011 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - January 21, 2011

Follow Pleasanton's lead: disband redevelopment agencies

With the current still-sluggish economy and the city's concern over unfunded pension liabilities, Pleasanton can be glad it never got into the redevelopment agency (RDA) business. Others have, including neighboring Livermore, which is continuing to finance its millions of dollars in downtown improvements through its redevelopment agency. But that could end abruptly. Gov. Jerry Brown wants to disband the 400 or so redevelopment agencies statewide, including Livermore's, sending the funds they collect to school districts, counties and the state.

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Posted by Russell
a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 25, 2011 at 2:27 pm

In the recent opinion article titled "Follow Pleasanton's lead: disband redevelopment agencies" of Friday, January 21, 2011, the author hits a hidden issue right on the head. One only needs to look to Vallejo for an example of RDAs etc gone wild. There and elsewhere proponents of RDAs (i.e. private developers and speculators) hide their un-democratic ways by using well oiled publicity machines to divert the citizen's attention away from their thievery and on to others like nurses, police officers, teachers, etc, saying it is their pay and benefits that is the cause of diminishing public services. In reality it is the big money RDA proponents, up to and including their Wall Street buddies, who spend untold amounts of money to elect council members that will set up RDAs and then appoint those same big money folks to officiate over the funds of the RDA. They give away billions state wide to their cronies through this money funnel while the average citizens sees their public health, safety and education programs go in the tank. And oh by the way have you noticed that those cities that have RDAs are now rushing to approve the use of RDA dollars because the governor is proposing to cut off the gravy train and redirect the money back to the community to be used for education, public safety and healthcare. Sounds and looks like a bank robbery just before closing time. Don't forget some of those dollars could of helped us one way or another. Once again, kudos to the author of the aforementioned opinion article for shedding some light on a topic that has been quietly making the rich richer at the expense of the average citizen.

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Posted by anon
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Sounds to me that this is fight between the unions and developers over who gets this pot of money, and Jerry Brown prefers to give the money to his favored supporters. At least with the redevelopment agencies there is usually something to show for the money. If you give it to the public sector unions it will probably only lead to higher compensation and increased pension payouts, further perpetuating the current problem. Giving money to the unions after they have just consumed the bulk of the stimulus money looks like more union pay-back. The public unions have had issues with restricted RDA funds for years (not the private sector unions because this helps create jobs for them). Go ahead and shut down the redevelopment agencies but why not give the money back to the taxpayers. We are taxed enough already.

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Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Very perceptive of you to recognize what JB is doing.

Of course, in PTown any time the "D" word is used the nimbys get hysterical. So, our "reDevelopment" agency is something fairly easy to give up.