December 2011 archive

California Cities and Redevelopment Agencies To Hope for 2012 Compromise After Supreme Court Decision


Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza and City Hall funded by a Redevelopment Agency

They can hope but I do not think California Governor Jerry Brown has any incentive to compromise. The fact is that cities and their redevelopment agencies have been ripping off the State of California and other local agencies for decades.

The California Supreme Court on Thursday gave Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers the right to eliminate community redevelopment agencies in a crucial victory on the state budget.

But the fate of the more than 400 redevelopment agencies remains unclear as cities—and even many lawmakers—vowed to seek a legislative compromise next year that would ensure the agencies’ survival.

Brown has little incentive to go along.

The court affirmed the state’s authority to dissolve the agencies, calling it “a proper exercise of the legislative power vested in the Legislature by the state constitution.” Doing so means more of the property taxes generated within redevelopment zones will go toward schools, law enforcement and other local services, freeing up as much as $1.7 billion in the state general fund during the current fiscal year. The money now is returned to the agencies to spend on future redevelopment projects.

Lawmakers and the mayors of several large cities said Thursday they were inclined to work out a compromise after the justices issued their split decision. While they affirmed the Legislature’s authority to dissolve redevelopment agencies, the justices in a unanimous decision invalidated companion legislation passed last summer that was intended to keep the agencies operating by forcing them to direct a certain amount of property tax revenue to schools and other services.

I wonder how the City of Thousand Oaks will be able to fund their redevelopment funded grandiose City Hall and Civic Auditorium?

Oh well, the Conejo Valley Schools should benefit.

But, wait, the schools funded two school based performance auditoriums with redevelopment funds.

What a complicated weave of shifting local tax-funding and that is what Jerry Brown wants to eliminate – plus balance his state budget.

Stay tuned….


No “Occupy Rose Parade” Say Tournament of Roses Parade Organizers


I have seen local news reports, particularly on the local NBC news channel that Occupy Wall Street anarchist types plan to participate. But…..

Although an Occupy Wall Street protest group in Pasadena, Calif., tried to get a slot to march in the Rose Parade on Jan. 2, officials with the parade said no. The group now plans to march down the street behind a group of police cars that mark the end of the parade.

In November, the Occupy group announced its plans to “occupy” the parade, but the Pasadena Tournament of Roses provided a statement on Wednesday to saying that protesters would “not be taking part in the Rose Parade” because only official entries, approved by the tournament well in advance of the event, can take part in the event.

Also, Lt. Plhunte Riddle of the Pasadena Police Department told in a telephone interview: “The Tournament of Roses has the exclusive authority to issue permits for the entries in the parade. Occupy has not been issued a permit.”

Instead, the activists can walk down Colorado Boulevard along with countless other people who throng the streets when the parade concludes.

“They will be allowed, just like any other spectator or any other demonstrator, to fall in at the completion of the parade behind our four police cars that trail the parade,” Riddle said. “That doesn’t give them placing, that doesn’t give them a permit – no permit is needed as long as they don’t infringe on other individuals that every year gather in the street and walk.”

Not such a big deal, like the Occupy folks have been hyping.

But, mark my word that if they disrupt the crowd after the parade or place their banners in front of the television cameras where they are not permitted, there will be some ugly arrests.

Watch the video here for some insight into the Occupy organizers weak attempt at protest – Age of Aquarius – really?


Merry Christmas 2011


Wishing you and your family the happiest of the holiday season.

Dilbert December 23, 2011 – Green Paradox


Dilbert by Scott Adams

What about an incinerator?

Shocker: Californa Democrats Manipulated Citizen’s Redistricting Commission


California Congressional District 30

Not really a shocker and why I NEVER like Commissions – rather make the California Legislature responsible.

The citizens’ commission had pledged to create districts based on testimony from the communities themselves, not from parties or statewide political players. To get around that, Democrats surreptitiously enlisted local voters, elected officials, labor unions and community groups to testify in support of configurations that coincided with the party’s interests.

When they appeared before the commission, those groups identified themselves as ordinary Californians and did not disclose their ties to the party. One woman who purported to represent the Asian community of the San Gabriel Valley was actually a lobbyist who grew up in rural Idaho, and lives in Sacramento.

In one instance, party operatives invented a local group to advocate for the Democrats’ map.

California’s Democratic representatives got much of what they wanted from the 2010 redistricting cycle, especially in the northern part of the state. “Every member of the Northern California Democratic Caucus has a ticket back to DC,” said one enthusiastic memo written as the process was winding down. “This is a huge accomplishment that should be celebrated by advocates throughout the region.”

Statewide, Democrats had been expected to gain at most a seat or two as a result of redistricting. But an internal party projection says that the Democrats will likely pick up six or seven seats in a state where the party’s voter registrations have grown only marginally.

The federal courts should throw out the entire findings of the California Citizen’s Redistricting Commission and the California Supreme Court should draw the lines.

Then, California voters should repeal the law, the Commission and end this charade.