The saga of the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) here in California continues for yet another week, as the short-handed Santa Monica City Council took the next step in picking up the pieces and moving forward just two weeks after the RDAs were formally shut down.
In a move similar to what other city governments are doing all across the state, the city council will now serve as the successor agency in lieu of the RDA, it was decided on Tuesday night. The RDA was officially abolished in nearly 400 cities on Feb. 1.
With a bare quorum sitting on the dais on Feb. 14, the four council members unanimously voted to adopt a set of bylaws that established the City Council as the governing body of the successor agency.
Under the bylaws, the new body is called the “Santa Monica Redevelopment Successor Agency;” Mayor Richard Bloom will serve as chair for the remainder of his mayoral term. Regular meetings of the new agency are scheduled for the fourth Tuesday of each month, with an annual meeting each May.
Accordingly, the successor agency will manage the City of Santa Monica’s priority projects and enforceable obligations during the transition away from the RDA.
“Realize that this is just the next necessary step for us to fulfill promises we had made to the residents of our city, to produce a new Pico Neighborhood Library, to work with SaMoHi and the campus renovation, to do other wonderful things that this city wants,” Council member Kevin McKeown said. “This action tonight is another small step we are taking to move us to where we can actually make good on our promises.”
These promises include, in addition to the Samohi renovation and the Pico Branch Library, the Civic Auditorium retrofit and upgrade, funding for enhancements related to the arrival of Expo Line in 2015, and new projects in the Palisades Garden Walk and Town Square.
The successor agency will be wasting no time getting to work. The council members will be switching into their agency member hats to work on the enforceable obligations schedule, or a list of redevelopment projects that already has RDA funding committed to it by an enforceable contract.
The enforceable obligations schedule, once finalized, will be submitted to a county oversight committee. That committee will decide upon which projects stay or go based upon the proposed payment schedules.
Sitting on the newly formed county oversight committee are seven members, Bloom said, two of whom were appointed by him on Feb. 14; the mayor chose the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Financial Oversight Committee member Paul Silvern and the Housing Division’s Senior Development Analyst Lisa Luboff.
According to Bloom, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will select two more members, while the Santa Monica College chancellor, the school district, and a special district of the RDA will make the other three selections.
Mayor Pro Tem Gleam Davis and Council member Bob Holbrook and Pam O’Connor were not present at the Feb. 14 meeting.