Mayor Jerry Sanders took questions from KPBS’ Tom Fudge and a bunch of listeners this morning on “These Days.” You can listen to the recording on KPBS’ website.
The mayor said the city stood to lose a lot of money if it got rid of redevelopment, because then it would have to allow the county and state to take a share of taxes collected within the redevelopment area.
Without knowing the listener’s intent, there are two things I suppose he could’ve been getting at: Either there shouldn’t be redevelopment there or just that CCDC and SEDC — both the subjects of sizable scandal this summer — should be disbanded as organizations and their duties wrapped back into City Hall where most redevelopment is administered.
If he intended the first question, then the mayor answered it. If he intended the second, he didn’t. Here’s why: You can get rid of CCDC and SEDC and still have redevelopment in those areas.
CCDC and SEDC are completely unique in the state of California, as we’ve talked about frequently in these pages. They are nonprofit corporations with their own boards of directors; however, they are still completely taxpayer-financed and are government agencies.
There are a number of reasons for disbanding them: saving money on rent (they have their own nice offices, stationery, etc.), duplication (there already is a Redevelopment Agency within the city), wages (they tend to pay higher salaries), and oversight (as the unique structure can be blamed in part for the scandals that recently surfaced).
Normally, people in the mayor’s camp argue this point by saying that the two redevelopment organizations have had success and the scandals of this summer were the faults of people, not organizations.