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In my Q&A this afternoon, downtown redevelopment agency head Fred Maas took UCSD doctoral student (and former voiceofsandiego.org staffer) Vlad Kogan to task for criticisms of the agency’s economic development and social service performance. Here’s what Maas said:

I don’t have much time for folks who are so-called academics who have never toiled in the vineyards and have never really contributed anything to downtown who take positions on things they know nothing about. Clearly if anyone had done any kind of research they would have seen the number of affordable housing units we’ve provided, the leadership we’ve taken on the homeless issue — committing $10 million for a permanent homeless shelter. The social service work that we’ve done on a collaborative basis. To make a bald statement like that I think is a sad commentary on someone’s academic training.

I just heard from Kogan, who said his critique came out of a recent city audit of the agency, the Centre City Development Corp. The audit reads:

There appears to be little disagreement that CCDC has met and often exceeded expectations related to facilitating infrastructure improvements in the Centre City and Horton Plaza project areas. However, it does not appear that CCDC has promoted economic development or social service delivery to the extent that CCDC’s peers have — this represents one of the most cited concerns by community stakeholder groups, which at times expressed criticisms that CCDC is primarily orientated to facilitate development and thus, caters to developers.

— LIAM DILLON

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