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Monrovia City Manager Lays Into State ... Again

I don't think City Manager Scott Ochoa is a fan of the California state government. In his weekly report Ochoa writes:

"Governor Brown is quite literally asking mayors and city councilmembers up and down the State, 'If I can't take the money from you, then who can I take it from?' To hear the Governor and some legislators speak, you would have to think that cities have somehow lived through the recession with little or no negative impact."

Ochoa adds that in trying to get rid of redevelopment state officials want to "be able to break the local government 'piggy bank,' as opposed to simply raiding it as they have in years past."

Also, he says of an audit of 18 redevelopment agencies (not Monrovia's) by the State Controller's Office: "I am going to go out on a limb here and predict that the SCO is going to announce findings that agencies are sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars and not spending them, and that these resources should therefore be given to the State. Just a hunch."


- Brad Haugaard

1 comment:

  1. Brad, many people, including city managers, seem to presume that Redevelopment funds are some sort of entitlement they are due from the State. Those funds came from taxes paid by property owners. We, the property owners, voters and taxpayers, did not choose to spend untold millions of our tax dollars on projects whose primary benefit has been to the developers. Most Monrovians are not in favor of more Redevelopment. We already have 2 recent such projects with vast, unrented commercial space on their ground floors in Old Town. This in addition to the unwanted/unrented commercial space our town already had a glut of throughout. This has become a burden for the remaining small businesses, since all these vacancies scare off new businesses looking for a potential location. We also have landlords who gouge the businesses in the Redevelopment area with higher-than-reasonable rents. (Really, does anyone think a shop on Myrtle has more sales and thus more per-sq.-ft. value than a shop on South Lake across from Macy's and walkable from the biz district of Pasa.? And yet rents here are higher.) But these landlords, if their property is left unrented, can deduct thousands of dollars a month as a tax write-off, since they are in a Redevelopment zone. Tenants who can't pay the asking price really aren't all that necessary, thanks to Redevelopment. It isn't supply-&-demand at all, its compensation for lack of demand; its subsidization. (Which Conservatives used to decry.) So, our town biz district, in spite of the so-called Conservative moans of our manager and other City reps, dwindles due to this excessive sucking from the State (i.e. taxpayer) subsidy teat by the City and the developers who court our City staff. As well as due to the sense of entitlement that all this has engendered.