October 20, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica to Pay Ransom to Keep RDA:

It may come at a higher price, but the Santa Monica Redevelopment Agency (RDA) will “continue to operate” thanks to an ordinance that the municipality’s city council and RDA members unanimously passed at City Hall on Aug. 9, albeit in protest.

The ordinance in protest was in front of the Santa Monica City Council after Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills in June relating to RDAs in California. One bill eliminated all redevelopment agencies in the state, while the second bill allows redevelopment agencies to continue to operate “if they agree to make huge ransom payments to the state,” said Andy Agle, director of Santa Monica’s Housing and Economic Development.

“The legislation prohibits any redevelopment actions until the city has adopted an ordinance signaling its intent to make the ransom payment,” Agle told council members. “For Santa Monica, the first year ransom payment is nearly $27 million, with ongoing payments estimated at $6.4 million per year.”

He added that by passing the proposed ordinance, the RDA in Santa Monica would continue to operate despite ABX1 26, which “purports to suspend all activities (except enforceable obligations) of the Santa Monica Redevelopment Agency as of June 29, 2011, dissolve the Agency as of October 1, 2011, and liquidate the assets of the Agency subsequent to dissolution”

The signing of ABX1 27 would only allow the City to continue operating the RDA if “it agrees to pay the remittance amount determined due by the State Department of Finance to the County Auditor-Controller.”

Several groups, including California League of Cities and California Redevelopment Agency, have filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of both bills signed into law by Brown. The suit also requests a stay of implementation of legislation.

“While litigation is underway, staff recommends that the council adopt the proposed ordinance under protest to continue the Santa Monica Redevelopment Agency,” Agle said, adding council must also be prepared to direct payments to be made to the state should the court not grant the stay and should the legislation be fully implemented.

Local activist Jerry Rubin said, considering the current economic climate, it was disappointing to see the state move forward with Brown’s plan to all but eliminate RDAs across California.

“I think (Gov. Brown) made a big mistake in doing this, because it really hurts local cities. It’s a terrible move. I urge you to do a strong protest,” he told council members.

While the City may pay more than $33 million to the state just to keep RDA alive and running, Council member Kevin McKeown said the move was worthwhile.

“By keeping our redevelopment agency alive, even under protest… we enable ourselves to continue with the projects that we have promised the residents,” McKeown said. “These include projects for parks, for education, for cultural facilities, for libraries. These are things that are important to the people of Santa Monica. By taking this action tonight, we allow ourselves to continue to move forward.”

However, Council member Bobby Shriver was cautiously concerned about the financial ramifications of enacting the proposed ordinance and asked City Manager Rod Gould what portions of the City’s general fund would be at risk.

“The sole funds that are at risk here are what are known as tax increment funds, which are the central funding source of redevelopment activities in California. This is separate and distinct from the tax revenues that go into the City’s general fund,” Gould said. “What the State of California is trying to do is to extract $1.7 billion worth of tax increment funds from the various redevelopment agencies throughout the state in order to help balance the current year budget.

“At no time would the City general fund be involved in this transaction.”

Gould added the City has enough money to make the $27 million and $6.4 million payments, as well as meet the contractual obligations it entered into for redevelopment projects.

As part of its action in conjunction with its joint duties as agency members, council and agency members also authorized a remittance agreement to transfer funds to the City in order to make necessary payments to the state if and when they become required.

Mayor Richard Bloom and Council member Pam O’Connor were not present at the Aug. 9 meeting.

in News
Related Posts

Grand Jury Indicts Former Angel Employee in Tyler Skaggs’ Fatal Overdose

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Fort Wayne grand jury indicts Eric Prescott Kay on drug distribution and drug conspiracy charges By Sam Catanzaro A federal...

YogaWorks Studios Closing Amid Pandemic: Santa Monica Beat – October, 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * YogaWorks Studios Closing Amid Pandemic * Carjacking Suspects in Custody All...

Edify TV: More Bike Lanes for Westside

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

A Westside city is adding more miles of protected bike lanes. Learn more in this video made possible by Santa...

Outgoing Santa Monica Police Chief Set to Receive Nearly $100K of Severance Pay

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Santa Monica City Council approves retirement agreement for outgoing chief Cynthia Renaud By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica’s outgoing police chief...

Intravenous Vitamin Therapy: A Natural, Effective Solution for the Flu

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

By Dr. Mahboubeh Hashemi, ND and Dr. Matthew Cavaiola, ND  As fall and winter are fast approaching, many people, and...

Edify TV: Deal to House Homeless People Near Freeways

October 18, 2020

October 18, 2020

After months of negotiations, the City and County of LA reached a $300 million deal to house thousands of homeless...

Santa Monica’s Police Chief Retiring

October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

SMPD Cynthia Renaud announces retirement, to be replaced by former Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica has announced...

Virtual Staging Changing The Way We Sell Property?

October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

Today on Westside Cribz, Chuck Lorre buys his neighbors home, Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk selling his Santa...

O.C. Man Faces Federal Charges for Allegedly Setting SMPD Car on Fire

October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

Nathan Wilson, 27, faces up to 20 years in prison An Irvine man was taken into federal custody this week...

Santa Monica Spa Owner Admits Price Gouging in Sale of Scarce N95 Masks

October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

Niki Schwarz, owner of Tikkun Holistic Spa, pleads guilty to federal charges A Santa Monica day spa owner was charged...

Council Challenger Earns Endorsement After Coming Out Against Controversial Project: Santa Monica Beat – October, 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Council Challenger Earns Endorsement After Coming Out Against Controversial Project *...

Edify TV: Penmar Golf Homeless Encampment Update

October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

The City of Los Angeles has taken new action in an effort to deal with a homeless encampment along Penmar...

French Restaurant Reopens in Santa Monica After a Decade

October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

Le Petit Chez Mimi now open on Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica By Kerry Slater A restaurant that was located...